Do you ever walk by an item in the grocery store that brings back a flood of memories – one that you thought you could no longer enjoy ever again? That happened to me the other day when numerous displays of these awesome snowball cakes (in a Halloween orange) were right by the register, just begging for a compulsive purchase. Being the gluten free maven I am, it was easy to pass by, however, I couldn’t resist the inspiration to make it at home…without any gluten, gums, grains or dairy!
The first try was a winner. I knew I couldn’t fail using my chocolate cupcake recipe (from my cookbook), filling them with my favorite vanilla frosting and lastly, altering a marshmallow recipe I had to accommodate that strange and wonderful texture on top. Then for the real taste test…my husband loved it, but so did my gluten-eating neighbors..Thumbs went way up and they said it was better than the store bought version – probably because it was made with real ingredients and no additives (or gums, like all of my recipes). Give it a try!
Always double check your ingredients for Gluten Free status before using!
Curious about ingredients used in this recipe? Click here for info and sources!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING EQUIPMENT BEFORE STARTING: a reliable food thermometer and if you want the classic shape, you'll need the Silicone Half Sphere pan. You can use a standard cupcake shape pan but consider silicone pans, as they release the cake with very little effort.
For the Cake:
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
6 Tablespoons Tapioca Flour
2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
6 Tablespoons Applesauce
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, Melted
For the Filling:
1/4 Cup Palm Shortening
3 Tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot
1 Tablespoon Canned Coconut Milk (the cream only -refrigerated ahead of time)
For the Marshmallow:
3 Tablespoons Water
3 teaspoons Gelatin
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Coconut Extract (optional)
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Water
1/2 Cup Finely Shredded Coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease the pan you'll be using (see the summary for more info on pans)
Make the Cake
Combine the flours, baking soda, salt and cocoa and mix well.
Add the remaining ingredients (except the coconut oil) and whisk until fully combined. Now whisk in the coconut oil.
Spoon batter equally into your dome pan (regardless of what pan you use, greasing it up with coconut oil helps make releasing easier).
Bake for 20-25 minutes. They are done when you gently press on the top center and it is firm.
Remove from oven and allow to COOL COMPLETELY.
Make the Frosting
Place all of the frosting ingredients in a small bowl and whip until smooth. Set aside/refrigerate until ready to fill the cupcakes.
To fill the cupcakes, remove the cooled cakes from the pan.
Using a small knife, cut a wide cone shape out of the top of each cake. Gently cut the tip of the cone off (and discard that part - eat them if you wish) and reserve the "lid." (If you need a visual, the photo is below the recipe online)
Fill the cavities equally with the frosting and gently top with the "lids," pressing down just enough to ensure it is secure.
Set the cakes aside (or you can place in the fridge and do the next step later).
Make the Marshmallow
Place 3 Tablespoons of water in a small mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let it sit. Toss the extracts and salt in there too. It will gel up pretty quickly.
Place the coconut into a small bowl and plug in your hand mixer so you are ready to work fast when the marshmallow is ready.
In a small saucepan, heat the syrup, honey and 1 tablespoon of water until it reaches 240 degrees (I quickly remove the pan from the heat and tilt it a little to get a more accurate measure of the temperature). This can take several minutes to get to 240 degrees F, so be patient.
When you've reached 240 degrees, pour the mixture into the gelatin and begin beating it. You may need to tilt the mixing bowl and fluctuate the speed of the mixer to be sure it becomes a smooth mixture and breaks up the gelatin.
Whip it for a few minutes, until soft peaks form (Note: the gelatin and honey may emit a funky smell, but rest assured, it won't carry over to the finished product).
Now, work QUICKLY - Take a each cake and dip the top in the marshmallow and swirl it around to cover the sides, then dip into the coconut shreds and set back on a plate.
Repeat for the remaining cakes - the marshmallow in the mixing bowl will solidify if you go too slow.
If you desire, spread the remaining marshmallow into a small, greased pan and place in the fridge (cut and dust with arrowroot flour to make marshmallows for cocoa, etc).
Chill the snowballs for 10 minutes then serve, or you can individually wrap these and freeze them so you can have a treat in an instant!