Gluten-Free Cupcake-Shaped Objects

I prowled around the internets for a gluten-free cupcake recipe, so I could celebrate my birthday with a little baked good or two. Let me tell you, friends and foes, it’s very hard to find a gluten-free cupcake recipe that’s not also vegan. Unacceptable, I say! I demand butter in everything. And egg makes any baking better. So I cobbled together what I could.

My first attempt was a small batch, just to see what happened. Here’s what I mixed:

1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup gluten-free baking mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (helps with gluten-free cohesion)

1/3 stick softened butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk (actually, I used 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup half-and-half, just because that’s what I had on hand)

It came out really thick, more of a dough than a batter. Still, I tossed it in some cupcake liners in my muffin pan (and I also tried one with no paper, just buttering the pan).

Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes.

They came out really jagged and rough looking. As you can see, they’re the ones in the back:

Gluten free cupcakes 1

So I popped them out of the pan, put them on a rack to cool, and mixed up a second batch of batter. It’s pretty similar to the first, actually:

1/2 cup gluten-free baking mix (Bob again)
1/3 cup Splenda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/3 stick softened butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup half-and-half (straight this time, not cut with water)

It made a much runnier batter. It cuts down on the dry goods (1/2 cup instead of the 2/3 cup total) and cut out the much thirstier coconut flour. Which also makes this a higher-carb cupcake. They baked the same: 350° F for 20 minutes. You can see from the picture above that batch two, the bottom ones, are smoother and puffier.

I frosted both batches with regular old buttercream. You know, the one that’s always printed on the side of the confectioner’s sugar box. Powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, milk (or half-and-half, if that’s what you have — as long as it’s not that awful fat free half-and-half).

Gluten free cupcakes 2

Neither one had the texture of a wheat-based cake. But they were both pretty good. Funny thing is, both Scott and I liked the jagged first batch a little better. For me, it was almost the same texture as an old-fashioned donut — firm on the outside, really soft and squooshy on the inside. So with some tinkering (and a low-carb glaze recipe), I might be able to come up with a gluten-free, relatively low-carb donut recipe.

Still, they were all pretty tasty. And the batches were so small (5 cupcakes each), I don’t run the risk of eating a dozen at a time.