Sunday, April 1, 2012

The BEST gluten free birthday (cup)cake.

For the last two weekends, I have been baking up a storm. My mission? Find the right recipe for non-chocolate birthday cake. Besides tasting fantastic, I wanted a cake that had a fluffy texture AND can hold up to the heavy frosting involved in making a themed birthday cake.

After 2 weekends of my house smelling like a bakery, a couple pounds added to the scale from "taste testing", and more flour than I've used in a LONG time...BAM. I did it!

For one cake, I began with a champagne cake recipe- kind of just using this mission as a chance to recreate a champagne cupcake I had at a wedding a year ago and still dream about. Since I AM trying to find a cake for a kid's party (and I don't think an alochol based dessert will make me a favorite at PTA meetings) I decided to change it up.

So, here it is:

The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cupcakes*, EVER.

2 cups gluten free flour mix **
1 Tbsp. nonfat milk powder
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup room temp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cup baker's sugar
5 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup Cherry 7-Up

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with liners OR grease and flour cake pans*.

In a large bowl, combine baking mix, milk powder, baking powder and sea salt. Mix and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and coconut oil. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, until white and fluffy. Add sugar in small batches, scraping sides of bowl and mixing well. Add egg whites in 2-3 batches, then add vanilla.

Alternate adding baking mix and soda into the mixer, while mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix at this stage!

Pour batter in to cupcake liners or pans. Bake cupcakes for 15-18 minutes for small cupcakes, 25-28 for large cupcakes. When batter is baked, cupcakes will have beautiful golden edges and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.

I frosted these cupcakes with Wilton's buttercream. Next weekend's mission is to find the perfect frosting- for Sky and I, buttercream is too sweet! But it DOES do a good job when it comes to decorating and making frosting fast.

*I used this mix for cupcakes. I have every reason to believe it will be perfect for a cake- the crust of the batter will lend itself well to a shaped cake and whatever frosting I want to pile on it. I simply don't know the baking time for this, though, if it is used in a cake. If you want to use this in a cake, 350 is a great temp for it- you'd just have to keep the oven light on and line up testing toothpicks rather than setting a timer and walking off.

**You *could* use a store bought gluten free flour subsititute. But the truth is, in the almost 3 years that Sky has been off gluten, I've just never found a store bought mix that is better than this homemade (less expensive) mix. Honestly- stop wasting your money buying expensive mixes. Buy these ingredients, mix this up, keep it in the freezer, and use it in any "regular" recipe, any time flour is called for.