Perfect Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting
Yields: about 16-18 cupcakes Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Celebrate any holiday or event with these deliciously sweet and fluffy gluten free treats. Don’t get intimidated by the variety of flours – each has a special role and makes for a fabulous vanilla cupcake!
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or preferred oil
1 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup tapioca flour*
1/3 cup rice flour*
1/3 cup sorghum flour*
1/3 cup millet flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
*UPDATE August 2016: Another option is to use 1 cup of your favorite gluten free flour mix and still add 1/3 cup of millet flour. I use millet flour to add an underlying (and natural) sweetness, plus some extra nutrition, to the batter. Often gluten free flour mixes can be a somewhat bland (but functional) mix of rice and tapioca or potato flours.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/4 cup quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons heavy cream or milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper or parchment paper cupcake holders and set aside.
2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until well combined. Beat in eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients and beat until well combined.
4. Scoop into paper lined muffin tins, a generous 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when gently stuck in the middle. Remove from pan, and let cool.
5. For the frosting, slowly add in the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Combine well and slowly add the teaspoons of heavy cream. After cupcakes have completely cooled, frost, and enjoy!
Let me just say, we are entering my favorite time of year. Most of my family all have birthdays from now through the holidays, so we have lots, and lots, and lots of parties! So, for me, that is a lot of cupcakes from now through December! Part of my neurotic nature leads me to always make cupcakes for parties involving kids because when they blow out their candles and inevitably spray saliva all over, it only hits their cupcake. This is the thought process my family has to deal with…
Anyway, back to the cupcakes. We have some allergies and sensitivities in our crew, one of which requires gluten free options, hence the need for this cupcake. I usually make a few batches, and stick them in the freezer sans frosting, and pull them out when needed.
As I mentioned in the beginning description, please do not be off-put by the list of four different flours. You could always substitute 1 and 2/3 cups of your favorite gluten free baking mix and call it a day. However, I carefully selected these flours for a reason. If you have explored the gluten free aisle much, you may find that many of the baked goods are heavy, grainy and taste like cardboard. Or they are just loaded with so much sugar and fat, there is no other flavor to taste. Well, that is not the case with these cupcakes. They are moist, fluffy, sweet, and are deliciously gluten free.
Here are the flours I used and a little bit about each:
Millet – adds a bit of density, sweetness similar to cornbread; nutrients include B vitamins, iron, and some essential amino acids
Sorghum – slightly sweet and a bit heavy, has a bit of a similarity to wheat flour and overall mild flavor; nutrients include magnesium, copper, iron and niacin
Brown Rice – grainy in nature and helps balance out the lighter, more elastic flours; nutrients include protein, fiber and B vitamins, as well as some other minerals (manganese, phosphorus & magnesium)
Tapioca – adds a bit of fluff and chewy texture, doesn’t add many nutrients, but helps round out the density and graininess of other gluten free flours, allowing for a similarity in texture to gluten containing flours
So, the combination of all of these flours makes a perfectly delectable blend for a fluffy, moist, and bakery quality cupcake. Due to my chocolate addiction, we made chocolate frosting, but it could easily be left as vanilla by replacing the 1/4 cup of cocoa powder with another 1/2 cup or so of powdered sugar. Well, now we’re set for the birthday season!