Try saying that ten times fast! This recipe, I must admit, is pretty fantastic. Although I am not allergic to gluten, I have wanted to dabble in gluten free baking for some time. I have had plenty of great gluten free baked goods (along with numerous not so good gluten free baked goods), so I wanted to put my pastry skills to the test. Personally I feel these cupcakes were a huge success, especially given that my seven-person work team consumed 10 of them in a matter of 5 hours. Not too shabby!
While I am truly appreciating the effects of this cleanse, I will be very happy to bake again. Baking is my happy place, my stress reliever and my favorite hobby. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as creating something from scratch – combining just the right elements to produce a treat so mouthwatering and delectable – and watching others enjoy the end result. That is why I love baking.
It was time, then, to push myself a bit further and work with ingredients I have not utilized before. Conquering, or at least adjusting to, high altitude baking was one major feat. Now gluten free! I am a huge fan of red velvet cupcakes. A HUGE fan. The hubs isn’t so keen, which I cannot possibly understand (I think it might have to do with the cream cheese frosting, which is absolutely insane as cream cheese frosting is epically amazing). With this in mind, I made these cupcakes for my coworkers. With the move a few days away, I wanted to show them my gratitude in making the transition that much smoother. I think they got the message, and if not, they got a belly full of yummy goodness instead. Same thing, right?
So without further ado, my very own gluten free red velvet cupcakes (with help from a number of great sources)!
High Altitude Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes (If you would like the same recipe – remember to use the Gluten Free Cake Flour – for sea level baking, both recipes are provided here!)
For the Gluten Free Cake Flour:
3 cups brown rice flour (this needs to be fine ground)
1 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
½ cup tapioca flour
1 ¼ teaspoons xanthan gum (can also use guar gum)
For the Cupcakes:
1 ¼ cup Gluten Free Cake Flour
2/3 cup baker’s sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 large egg
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ buttermilk (I used heavy cream)
1 teaspoon red food coloring (Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors are also gluten free!)
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use Penzeys Double Strength Vanilla Extract)
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese (I used light cream cheese)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
I know it looks like a lot of work, but it is completely worth the effort! Start by creating your cake flour. Sift the brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour and xanthan gum in a small bowl, and combine thoroughly. You will want to store this in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for future use, and you will utilize 1 ¼ cup for the cupcake recipe.
Now let’s start on the cupcakes. Whip together the sugar, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer or beater until combined, but do not over whip (especially for high altitude). Alternate adding the dry ingredients, except the baking powder, with the wet ingredients, except the vinegar. Once the batter is smooth, add the red gel food coloring. Combine together the vinegar and baking powder and mix for 10 seconds, then pour this mixture into the batter and mix for another 10 seconds.
Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill a pre-lined cupcake pan about ¾ of the way full. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Make sure to allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing them.
For the frosting, combine the room temperature cream cheese and butter together in a bowl using an electric beater until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar gradually, ½ cup at a time, until no lumps are visible, and then incorporate the vanilla until just combined. Spoon into a piping bag or ice using an icing spatula. I added a bit of food coloring to the frosting just for fun! Enjoy!
Have you dabbled in gluten free baking? What did you think? How did it go? What are your favorite kind of cupcakes?