For my first trick I shall attempt gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream!
I really, really love me some gluten, so I was quite reluctant to bake anything without this delicious wheat protein. But Paul and I were going to a Christmas party and a few of the guests did not eat gluten, so in the interest of inclusiveness I made my dessert gluten free. I also baked gluten-free spiced chocolate chip cookies.
For this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free baking blend which requires nothing but the addition of xanthum gum. To make the recipe full of gluten (which I highly recommend), just swap in all purpose flour instead, and forego the xanthum gum.
See recipe below.
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup canola or other neutral oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp mint extract
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthum gum
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk and apple cider vinegar and let stand for a few minutes to curdle (sounds appetizing, right?).
- After a few minutes add the sugar, oil, and extracts to the soy milk mixture and whisk together until bubbly.
- In a different bowl, mix together the flour, xanthum gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. You can sift together if you like, but I don’t own a sifter so I usually just combine with a spatula and crush any lumps.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix with a hand mixer, or with a whisk. If using a hand mixer, I recommend you fold in the dry ingredients until they’re a little more incorporated, otherwise when you turn the mixer on you’ll get covered in a fine floury mist. I learned this the hard way.
- Mix until there are no more big lumps, but don’t over mix, especially if you’re not using the gluten-free flour. The batter will taste pretty gross (like raw beans) if you’re using the gluten-free flour, but I promise this taste goes away after baking. The batter consistency should be wet and gloopy.
- Fill up your cupcake liners and bake for 20ish minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to cool for about a half hour more. Seriously do not frost until they’re entirely cool otherwise you’ll have a soppy mess on your hands. I warned you.
Makes more than you’ll need for 12 cupcakes, so you can be generous while piping, or you can use a little more sparingly if baking a double batch of cupcakes.
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I use Becel vegan)
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 and 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp peppermint extract (or more if you like it really minty)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 2 drops of green food colouring, if desired
- Beat the margarine and shortening together.
- Add the icing sugar a little at a time (otherwise you get a giant icing sugar cloud) and beat until combined. Should look dry and crumbly.
- Add the remaining ingredients and beat until nice and fluffy, maybe for like 4 or 5 minutes.
- Put the icing into the fridge to firm up a little, then transfer to a piping bag.
Frost the cupcakes no more than a few hours before you want to serve them. Store in the refrigerator until about 10 minutes before you serve. They’re best eaten the same day.
I decorated the cupcakes with fresh mint leaves and dried cranberries to look like mistletoe, but you can also try lightly crushing some candy canes and sprinkling them over top, or just get creative and do whatever the hell you want!