Greetings, crafty people! My dear friend, Amy, is allowing me to take over her blog, today (well, maybe not take over, but I do get to write a guest post!) Allow me to introduce myself, since we have not yet met. My name is Vanessa, and I am the chief executive officer of my household. Before I became CEO, I was a nurse, which comes in handy, because I am the mother of 2 non-stop little boys. I met Amy through my oldest son, and instantly loved her. Who wouldn’t?! I’m also a card carrying member of the Little Crafter fan club. Enough about me, though, let’s talk cupcakes!
One of my most favorite hobbies is cake and cupcake baking. I started my hobby 11 years ago, when I made an Elmo birthday cake for my niece’s 1st birthday. I had no tools, no recipes, no experience, but I wanted to make something special, and make my family smile with their bellies full of delicious dessert. I quickly became the go-to person for family and friends when it came to cakes. When I had my own children, and got to make cakes for their birthdays, I was in Heaven. However, a year and a half ago, I discovered my children have a gluten intolerance. I stopped baking. It was difficult enough to change our entire diet over to gluten-free. I did not want to try to figure out gluten-free baking. Eventually, I found gluten-free box mixes. They were okay, but I wanted spectacular. That’s when I found Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Kelli & Peter Bronski. It was love. Everything I have made out of this book has been a huge hit. No one misses the gluten. Most people do not even realize the cupcakes are gluten-free! I’m a happy girl! If you like their recipe I am sharing with you today, grab their book. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to the long, snowy winter, we had an extended school year, and when it was over, a celebration was needed. I invited my friends and their families over, and we all decided that piña colada cupcakes were going to be necessary. So, I got to work.
The first thing you need to do when baking gluten-free goodies, is mix your flour. The flour blend in Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes is perfection. It has never let me down.
Gluten-free flour blend
1 ¼ cups brown rice flour
¾ cup sorghum flour
⅔ cup cornstarch
¼ cup potato starch
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon potato flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Throw all of this in a big bowl, whisk it together, and you can store it in an airtight container, or just get to baking right away!
Now you can get started on your pina colada cupcakes. I always use paper liners; they keep the moisture balance nicely with gluten-free cupcakes. I also got brightly colored cocktail umbrellas. Have these things on hand, in addition to your favorite mixer, and you’re ready to go.
Piña Colada Cupcakes
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon salted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons GF pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
¾ cup fresh pineapple puree (chop it up, and pulse in a food processor or blender)
1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, diced small
2 ¼ cups Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons GF baking powder
¾ teaspoon GF baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup salted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut cream (NOT coconut milk)
2 teaspoons heavy cream
(Cream together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, coconut cream, and heavy cream until light and fluffy. You can always add more heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time if the frosting is too thick.)
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
Fresh pineapple, cut into 24 small wedges
24 mini umbrellas (if you wish)
Another helpful tip: Do not melt your butter. Remember to sit it out, and let it soften on the counter. It’s better this way, trust me.
1. Get your oven preheating at 350° F, and line your cupcake tins with your paper liners. This recipe makes 24, scrumptious cupcakes, line accordingly.
2. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the vanilla.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition.
4. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined.
5. Add the pineapple puree and diced pineapple, and mix just to incorporate.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix with a whisk to “sift” the ingredients and break up any lumps.
7. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the sugar mixture, and mix for about 10 seconds at medium-low speed to incorporate.
8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix at high speed for about 5 seconds, just until the batter is completely mixed and smooth.
9. Divide the batter evenly among the paper-lined cups. Make the top of the batter as smooth as you can.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove from the tins and let cool completely on a wire rack. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the coconut frosting.
To finish the cupcakes:
1. Use a small palette knife to spread the coconut frosting on top of the cupcakes. (Only do this when they are completely cool, or it will melt off.)
2. Garnish with the flaked coconut, a wedge of pineapple, and a mini umbrella.
We chose to serve these fabulous cupcakes with piña coladas. It was a very good choice. Very delicious, and very fun. These cupcakes are perfect for a summer BBQ, or for just standing over the sink and eating one in the middle of the night. Whatever makes you happy. I prefer sharing mine with my amazing friends.
So, go get your gluten-free baking on. You won’t be disappointed! Until next time, stay sweet.