Flower Vanilla Cupcakes – Gluten-free!

What an awesome weekend! The beach was perfect on Saturday. Kind of makes me think we should go every weekend. I can totally be a beach bum.

So last week Chris and I attempted to eat gluten-free. Just an experiment – don’t worry, I can’t abandon bread, cakes, and cookies that easily. Chris is always feeling tired even when he gets 8 hours of sleep and is regularly dealing with stomach pains. We were curious if these symptoms might be related to a gluten intolerance so we decided to give a g-free diet a try.

Overall, I found eating gluten-free wasn’t that hard especially since we cooked almost every night. It was easy to control what we were eating. One notable obstacle was finding a variety of options when dining out. Gluten is found in more things than you realize! And the absolute hardest thing was trying to make gluten-free baked treats taste ‘normal.’

Not only was taste an issue, but I was overwhelmed by the ingredients needed to replace all-purpose flour. I didn’t want to buy multiple kinds of flours – i.e. brown rice, sorghum, oat, etc – so I opted for Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all purpose flour which is a blend of garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour.

The recipe for these cupcakes are slightly adapted from The Urban Baker which calls for millet flour and sweet rice flour. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all purpose flour combined with Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour/Meal. And instead of Greek yogurt I used full fat sour cream (low fat sour cream may be thickened with gluten). Lastly, for good measure I added in some ground flaxseed meal.

The frosting is Wilton’s Buttercream Icing which holds up fabulously for decorating! I had about 2 cups of frosting (which is more than enough to decorate 12 cupcakes) and filled piping bags with different colors. The colors can be whatever you want. I used concentrated icing gels since they don’t water down the frosting. And then I used different tips to make the decorations.

I would say these cupcakes are somewhat successful. They look darn pretty though they taste like “sweet cornbread.” I’ve never had a gluten-free cupcake before. Is this what they’re supposed to taste like? I suppose the taste is also related to the kinds of flours used. I think it’s pretty cool that you can experiment with texture and flavor just by mixing different flours. Like adding coconut flour for a subtle sweetness, or say amaranth flour for a more earthy, hearty flavor.

Overall, the cupcakes are moist and tender and have a nice crumb. I plan to continue to experiment with gluten-free baking even though our week of gluten-free eating is over. The result? Given we have no medical training and the diet was not strictly adhered to (ahem, Chris had a beer by ‘accident’), we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say we’re fairly positive Chris is not gluten intolerant. (The search for an answer continues.)

These cupcakes might be a fun weekend baking project especially if you have an event to bring them to. I really enjoyed decorating the cupcakes but I did not like the cleaning up part. So much so, that I still have not cleaned up all the piping bags and bowls of frosting…

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4 thoughts on “Flower Vanilla Cupcakes – Gluten-free!

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