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If you love mochi and other chewy, dense desserts, then you have to try these cupcakes! They're natually gluten free and super versatile, as you can see in the various toppings I used in this batch (though the plain version is just as delicious). 
I've also made some substitutions for the typically copious amounts of butter in mochi and cut the sugar so that these are just sweet enough... so feel free to gobble away on these! ;-)

Step 1: Ingredients

Ingredients:
2 tb butter, softened (in the sun in my case) 
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup mashed banana (about 3/4 of a small banana)
2 tb sunbutter or almond butter
3/4 cups milk (I used coconut, but almond, soy, or regular cow's milk will work too)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups glutinous rice flour (aka mochiko or sweet rice flour)*

Optional toppings:
Chocolate chips
Shredded coconut
Nuts or seeds
Cacao nibs
Dried fruit like blueberries
...the possibilities are endless! 

* Some will only buy the Blue Star Mochiko rice flour but I have had an easier time finding the Thai version and have had no problems with it in my baking, so feel free to use whatever you can get your hands on -- just make sure it's notregularrice flour. 

Step 2: Start Mixing First 4 Ingredients Together

Cut butter into small blocks and place in a large mixing bowl in the sun for about 2 minutes to soften (if you're baking on a cloudy day or at night, you can stick it in a zipped plastic baggie and immerse it in warm water for a 3 minutes). 

Add the sugar, sunbutter, and banana in with the butter and start smushing and mixing. (I had some leftover cinnamon sugar, so I used that instead, but don't worry you'll be adding cinnamon in later!)

*Try to get all the large lumps of banana out, but it doesn't have to be perfect.  

Step 3: Adding Everything Except the Rice Flour

Add the next 3 ingredients in the list to the mixing bowl -- so that's the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract -- and mix well. 

Then mix in the next 4 ingredients -- baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

* Remember, no lumps! No one likes a bite of pure baking powder ;-)

Step 4: Slowly Add Glutinous Rice Flour

Now add the glutinous rice flour to the bowl in small batches and fully mix it in before adding more.

Your end batter should be slightly thick... hope the second picture helps convey the consistency!

Step 5: Line Muffin Tin and Pour Batter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line your muffin tin with either silicone baking cups and/or some good nonstick paper cups. I used a combination because I ran out of the silicone ones. (They both worked great at not sticking to the cupcakes, but the silicone ones had a better shape.) 

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups. 

*Note: you could probably bake this in a 9x13 pan and just cut it into bars, but I'm not sure how long you would bake it for, so just keep an eye on it if you try it that way. 

Step 6: Optional: Add Toppings

Here's the fun part... sprinkle on your toppings! As I mentioned earlier, the plain mochi is also really yummy, but life is so much more fun with toppings! 

I used pecans, cacao nibs, dried blueberries, chocolate chips, and unsweetened medium shred coconut flakes... I gotta say that the chocolate coconut was my fave =)

Step 7: Bake, Cool, and Eat

Pop the muffin tin into the oven for 25 - 30 minutes depending on your oven. You'll see the cupcakes rise a bit and when a toothpick should come out fairly clean, then you're done.

Carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and they will deflate a little. Give them about 10 minutes to cool (or not!) and then dive into the ooey, gooey, sticky, chewy goodness! =D

Storage Tips:
- Once cooled, I store them in the fridge because I am just not sure about keeping anything with egg in it at room temperature (maybe I'm paranoid).
- If you lack self control like me, these also freeze beautifully. I put a few in the freezer and I move one to the fridge for a few hours before I am ready to eat it. I haven't tried eating it partially frozen yet, but maybe that would be a nice texture! 
<p>You don't need to be paranoid about cooked egg in cupcakes (or bread) at room temp XD.</p><p>These look delicious, and I want to try making them at some point!</p>

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