Our First Gluten-Free Cupcake Party

by Maggie on October 26, 2009

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So we did it.  We held our first GF cupcake party and it was definitely a success.

The Birthday Girl is a sensitive little soul with a few intolerances too.  Polyester, dairy, and fragrances, to name a few (the ones we’re sure of for now).  Pete and I decided to keep her off wheat for the first year of her life (really, everyone should be wheat-free for the first year…. don’t get me started on Arrowroots and the like).  She’s been sharing her daddy’s breads and cereals, and she even gets some of mommy’s GF baked goods every now and then.

So, for her first b-day bash (aka in the words of Callum: a Cupcake Party), my plan was to make some GF cupcakes, and some traditional cupcakes.  But then I got to thinking, and tasting, and I realized that my oven was a wheat virgin – it had never baked a single grain of wheat, spelt or kamut in its lifetime (brand new a month ago, lucky me).  So I decided to keep it that way because we really don’t know how wheat baked in the oven can affect the celiac’ers of the world.

I really wanted Livvie’s party to be close to perfect (perfection is hard to achieve when you’re at the mercy of a one year old and a three year old) so I decided I would start with a recipe from one of my favourite GF bloggers.  Better safe than sorry.

Obviously I headed right to Karina’s Kitchen – my Gluten-Free Goddess.  She has a recipe for GF Vanilla Cupcakes with Mocha Icing.  I decided to give these a try since I’ve had much success with her recipes.  I skipped the Mocha Icing and made my own (see below) since I thought the sweet cupcake would be enough for my girl, never mind the chocolate-coffee combo!  Here’s her recipe and my changes as noted by the *.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cupcake tin with paper or parchment liners.  I used some fancy liners since we were celebrating in girlie-girl style.*

In a mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together:

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1 cup organic cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Add in:

1 cup warm vanilla rice milk or water (I used plain rice milk since that’s all I had)*

1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water (or two large happy eggs)  I used two large eggs, not sure if they were happy*

3 tablespoons light olive oil ( I used extra-virgin olive oil)*

1 tablespoon vanilla extract*

1/4 teaspoon light tasting vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)*

Beat with a mixer until the cake batter is smooth- roughly 2-3 minutes.

A reminder (from Karina) on gluten-free vegan batters: Gluten-free vegan batters behave a little different. They are often stiffer at first, then get sticky and stretch as the xanthan gum and egg replacer do their vegan g-free thing.

If the batter climbs the beaters, slow down the speed and slightly lift the beaters to encourage the batter to migrate back down into the bowl. Move your beater around the bowl in figure eights, at a slight angle.

Using an ice cream scoop, plop 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 18 minutes at sea level but they may take up to 20 to 22 minutes, depending upon your particular oven and altitude (this took me 20 minutes).*

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).

*We found these to be lovely and moist.  However, they tasted more like a muffin than a cupcake.  When you’re eating a cupcake, you know what taste you’re after and this just wasn’t it.*

Make your icing.  Miss Livvie has a dairy intolerance so this recipe worked great for her.  It’s adapted from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s frosting recipe.

1 cup of icing sugar

½ tsp of vanilla

2 TBSP of rice milk

3 TBSP of Earth Balance Vegan Butter/ Margarine

I liked these, and so did my testers (thanks Pete and Mom and Callum) but I didn’t feel like I could feed them to a house full of wheat-eaters.  So my search resumed.  And I will leave you hanging here.  Come back soon and I will tell you all about the yummy GF chocolate cupcakes that fooled everyone (my Dad had two and my nephew had three…much to the chagrin of his mother).