Every February we strive to share recipes that will make your special someone feel truly special and this year is no exception. As we poured over hundreds of dessert recipes that would impress even the most sophisticated ‘foodie’, we chose a category that has stolen center stage at countless birthday parties and has even been dressed up and served at weddings, that single serving, little bit of heaven in a paper cup; the cupcake.
With the surge in interest in cooking over the last few years, cupcakes too have ‘matured’ into a dessert for every occasion. Search the internet and you will find entire websites dedicated to cupcakes. Cupcakes for themed parties, weddings, holidays, birthdays, sports parties; come up with a reason to have a party and you can bet that someone has created a cupcake to fit the occasion.
What about gluten-free cupcakes? There need be no mystery to mastering an authentic tasting gluten-free cupcake. The key, as in full size gluten-free cakes, is the gluten-free flour mixture that you use. Today, there are many gluten-free all purpose flours on the market and they are getting better all the time. We generally use the Gluten Free Pantry’s Country French Bread mix as a straight substitution for flour, but there are many others that our subscribers enjoy with great results.
Here are two fabulous cupcake recipes that you’ll be proud to serve and anyone will be thrilled to eat! The first is a very grown-up cupcake that would make a perfect dessert to even the most sophisticated meal; Chocolate Grand Marnier Cupcakes. The centers are soft and rich, almost like mousse. These cupcakes can be made a day ahead and kept chilled until ready to bake. Decadent and delicious, these are sure to be a favorite. Our second is Carrot Spice Muffins (Cupcakes). We originally categorized this recipe as a muffin, but it can also double as a fantastic cupcake. In fact, we prefer it as a dessert!
Chocolate Mousse Grand Marnier Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
- ¼ cup gf flour
- Whipping cream for topping
Line a 12 muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
Combine chopped chocolate and butter to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir with a rubber spatula until melted. Remove from heat. Add sugar, eggs, egg yolks and Grand Marnier to a large bowl and beat with electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until thickened and light in color. Sprinkle flour over batter and fold in with a rubber spatula. Fold in melted chocolate. Fill muffin cups half full and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. You can keep these in the refrigerator for up to a day before baking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake for about 7 minutes. Cupcakes should puff and crack and an inserted toothpick should come out with moist batter attached. Let cool, the center of the cupcakes may fall slightly. When cool, the center of the cupcakes will be soft, almost like pudding. Top cooled cupcakes with whipped cream and serve!
Carrot Spice Muffins
Although the name of this recipe categorizes it as a muffin, we think it also qualifies as a supurb cupcake.
Makes 12 cupcakes
- 1-1/3 cups gf flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon gf baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup golden raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces gf cream cheese
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons gf vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Grated lemon or orange zest (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins or line with muffin cups.
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk all dry ingredients together. Add oil and eggs, beating on low speed. Stir in carrots, nuts, and raisins.
Divide batter into muffin tins. Bake until a toothpick inserted into 1 or 2 muffins comes out clean, approximately 15-18 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before removing from pan.
Set on baking rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
These muffins will keep, covered for several days.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until just blended. Add powdered sugar, one-third at a time, until just smooth and frosting has reached desired consistency. (Optional: `stir in lemon or orange zest for additional flavoring.)
This frosting will keep refrigerated for about 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Soften and stir until smooth before using.
We have several additional cupcake recipes that can be found in our Recipe Archives complete with subscriber comments and ratings.
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling
Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting
Remember, cupcakes are perfect for any occasion, especially Valentine’s Day!