I hope you have all had a good winter break and I wish you all a good New Year. I thought I would start this year with a recipe that I promised you a while ago. My standard gluten and dairy free cupcakes.
This recipe is adapted from an ordinary ‘even mix’, one my Mother used to call a 4,4,4 & 2 mix (she measured in oz not grams in those days). This mix was used for all sorts of sponges and puddings and I still use it today for standard gluten free cakes and puddings as it works well (most of the time, there are a few exceptions). Here I’ve doubled it up to make a more substantial mix which actually works better when converted to gluten and dairy free ingredients.
Although here I’ve used lemon for the flavouring, just vanilla or orange works just as well. Chocolate works a little differently in gluten free cakes though, it usually makes them better, but if you want a chocolate cake it needs a little something different than this straightforward mix to make it work.
Pre-heat your oven to 200° C / 400 F / Gas 6
Soften the DF margarine together with the caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well. With a DF margarine it is really difficult not to have this mixture curdle, but don’t worry it all comes together once you add the flour and I don’t think it really affects the outcome.
Add in the grated lemon zest, and the lemon juice or extract if using, and mix to combine.
Next, sift together the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum straight into the bowl and give the whole lot a good beat.
The mixture should be fully mixed with no lumps. It should also be quite soft. If you find that it is holding together a little too much i.e. the whole mixture is moving almost as one around the bowl, add a tablespoon or two of DF milk just to loosen it up a little. The xanthan gum is vital for holding your GF ingredients together and holding in the air so that the cakes rise, but sometimes it can be, let’s say, a little over enthusiastic about it!
The mixture should look like this, holding up but still soft like a standard soft dropping consistency.
Divide the mixture evenly between the cases. The mixture should be enough for between 20 and 24 small cupcakes with the mixture filled three quarters to the top of the cases.
Pop them into the pre-heated oven, they should take about 15 minutes. They are cooked when well risen and slightly golden and a tooth pick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
You can of course ice these with an icing made from icing sugar and lemon juice, or pipe a swirl of DF buttercream flavoured with some more of the lemon juice; which I do if I am going to serve these to guests. But to be honest, most of the time we are pretty boring and just eat them the way they are. They are just sweet enough to satisfy and without the icing or butter cream it doesn’t interfere with my daily sugar intake, which means I can eat more of them!
If you want to make large cupcakes, the muffin sized ones, the mixture should make about 12 but you will need to bake them for a little longer, perhaps 20-25 minutes.
These will keep for several days in an airtight container.