Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe
The world is my oyster. No. Wait. I don't even like oysters. All that prying and shucking. All that shimmying. All that clinging, gelatinous muscle. You can have my share. Take it. Please.
I much prefer a cupcake.
No slimy abductor to deal with. No quasi-fishy liquor. Just tender, soft sweetness in exactly the right portion. Not too big. Not too heavy. Not too much.
Texture, frankly, can be an issue for me. Size is another issue (portions bigger than my head? A serious turn off). And taste, well, that goes without saying (you know how I loathe bean flour).
If I was a storybook character I would inhabit The Princess and the Pea.
Except that it would have to be The Gluten-Free Casein-Free Princess and the Pea (which by the way, I may also be allergic to; the pea, that is). While others around me appear to sail without pause through the onslaught of sensory stimuli and proteins that is life in the twenty-first century, I have been blessed (and I use the term ironically) with the uncanny aptitude of hearing, smelling, feeling every little particle and nano nuance packed into our molecular frenzy of unstable equilibrium. I can sleep on a stack of twenty foam topped mattresses but if there is a single lonely hint of pea beneath, I am sure to sense it.
And it will keep me up all night.
And give me schpilkis.
Which brings me back to cupcakes.
For those of us with acute sensory awareness (what some might dub just chill the f**k out disease) a cupcake is a small and rather lovely gift. When done right, a cupcake is tender and not too chewy, not too crumbly, mealy, or assertive. It's not abrasive in its flavor or flaccidly dull. It's not too clean skinny-chic or too over-the-top use a bucket of butter ya'll sweet.
It doesn't stuff you till you're stupid.
And it doesn't demand attention. It's not a diva. It's not competitive, you see. A simple cupcake is perfectly happy to be just what it is even if it won't garner food awards or get its own TV show and cookware line. A cupcake is very postmodern zen and unapologetic. It is what it is. You can take or leave it.
The cupcake doesn't care.
Because a cupcake well done is simply perfection.
Karina's Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Mocha IcingOriginally posted August 2009 by Karina Allrich. Updated.
I frosted these little vanilla beauties with mocha flavored icing because I love the combo of coffee and chocolate. But straight up chocolate would also be delicious. As would vanilla.
1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
1/4 cup organic free-range eggs, beaten, or Ener-G egg replacer, mixed per directions
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cupcake tin with paper or parchment liners.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, starch and dry ingredients together. Add in the non-dairy milk, eggs or egg replacer, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat with a mixer until the cake batter is smooth. Do not over-beat.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop the batter into the twelve liners. Smooth out the tops with wet fingers.
Bake in the center of a preheated oven until firm and dome shaped. For me this took about 15-18 minutes at sea level but they may take up to 20 to 22 minutes, depending upon your particular oven and altitude.
Cool the pan on a wire rack briefly, then gently pop out the cupcakes and continue cooling on a rack (this avoids steaming the bottoms).
Make your icing.
Mocha Icing RecipeWhen making frosting, start with a small amount of liquid and add a little bit at a time until you achieve the consistency you want. If the icing gets too runny, add more confectioner's sugar to thicken it. You can also put the icing in the fridge for an hour to help stiffen it.
2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons Earth Balance sticks; or use real butter if desired
2 ounces cold strong coffee, more as needed (or use vanilla coconut or rice milk if you don't like coffee)
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla
Starting with a small amount of liquid, beat the sugar and cocoa powder to incorporate the shortening, coffee and vanilla. If you need more liquid, add a tiny amount at a time. Beat for two minutes or so until smooth to see what you've got- it becomes more moist as you beat.
If you need to stiffen the frosting, add more confectioner's sugar.
Chill the frosting before using it. I chill it, covered, for roughly an hour. Frost the cupcakes. Cover in an air-tight container until serving. best eaten the first day. If making ahead of time, chill frosted cakes briefly in the freezer before wrapping individually and freezing.
Cook time: 1 hour Yield: Serves 12
For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.
Yes, yes. This recipe has sugar. We enjoy our sugary treats in moderation, don't we?