Tagged with Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

I’ve tried a few recipes for gluten-free cupcakes but I keep going back to this one.

gluten-free vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from: 500 Cupcakes edited by Fergal Connolly

Ingredients

225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
225g/8oz caster sugar
225g/8oz gluten-free self-raising flour mix (I like Orgran Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour)
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter slightly, then add sugar, flour, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Spoon mixture into 18 – 24 patty cases. (Fill only to half full to avoid muffin tops.) Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Remove trays from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing from tray to cool on a rack.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Girls’ Night In 2012

Yesterday I hosted my seventh annual Girls’ Night In, at my grandmother’s house, in the afternoon. So it wasn’t quite a night in, but the idea was the same. Get the family together and stay in rather than go out; wear some pink, eat some treats and raise money for a cause close to my heart. Each year we donate the money we would have spent on a night out to the Cancer Council. It’s become a bit of a tradition in my family and I’m blessed to have such generous women in my life. We raised over $300 this year for the Cancer Council, which means we’ve raised close to $2000 in total over the past seven years.

We had vanilla cupcakes and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. This tiered cake stand was a bargain from Peter’s of Kensington recently.


We used my grandmother’s best china – Royal Albert Moss Rose which is no longer being produced. When did you last use your “best” china or cutlery? Too often the good stuff gets left in the cupboard collecting dust. Fortunately she has a set of eight tea cups, saucers and plates – perfect for our party of eight. My grandmother made her famous curried egg sandwiches, no one can make them quite like she does.

I made regular scones and gluten-free scones to make sure all guests were catered for. My great-aunt told me her mother made fabulous scones, I wonder if she or my grandmother still have the recipe. The favours were noodle boxes filled with chocolates and assorted exotic tea bags – like Cranberry, Raspberry and Strawberry herbal tea.

pink kitchenaid

This year we had a special guest star, this lovely KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Pink. It’s such a pretty colour, and so girly! I used it to make the cupcakes, the frosting and to whip up some cream for the scones just before the ladies arrived. I get so much use out of my own Stand Mixer, I really don’t know how I used to bake without it. If you are thinking about treating yourself to a mixer here’s yet another another reason; $25 from the sale of each Pink KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Australia and New Zealand goes directly to the Breast Cancer Network Australia.

I hope my relatives in Queensland, England and the US are able to join us one year for our annual Girls’ Night In! Check out my Pinterest board Pink Party for inspiration for your own event.

* The Pink KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer was loaned to me as part of a promotion for Pink October.

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White Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yesterday was Mother’s day here in Australia. I honored the memory of my mother by participating in an annual fun run which raised money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. While my mother has been gone too long for me to remember the sound of her voice, some of the strongest memories I have of her contain her baking and her cooking.

Her roast dinners with Yorkshire puddings, the thin, speckled crepe-like pancakes with golden syrup on Shrove Tuesdays and the amazing birthday cakes she made for my brother, father and I each year. Today the scent of freshly-squeezed lemon juice reminds me of something she would make in the kitchen, I just can’t remember what it was she added lemon juice to. Perhaps it was the cheesecake she made with Philadelphia cream cheese or the warm lemon pudding she baked in a large oval-shaped Pyrex dish.

 Katie in the kitchen, 1984

Today I mix my cakes with the same metal spoon she did, the one I’m holding in the photo above. I made these white chocolate cupcakes with her in mind, and shared them with the friends who ran with me yesterday. We raised over $900 for the fight against the disease that took my mother too soon.

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Bacon and Maple Syrup Cupcakes

The invitation read: MEAT-A-THON. The concept of Meat-a-thon is simple. Everyone brings something different. Even a little exotic. We try to BBQ as many kinds of meat as possible.

So, of course I had to try a dessert that adhered to the theme. You know I love a theme. It seemed only right to make a bacon cupcake, almost everyone seems to love bacon. Ok, not everyone. I’ll eat it occasionally but I’m not crazy for it. However, the idea of a salty-sweet cupcake beckoned, so I did some research and combined a few recipes to come up with these bacon and maple syrup cupcakes.

Yes, it is a little odd to find bacon inside a cupcake but somehow it works. Would I make these again? Probably only if asked, but I will try the maple syrup in cupcake batter again, as per hubby’s request.

Bacon and Maple Syrup Cupcakes
Adapted from various recipes, including Cupcake Crew’s
Makes 24

Ingredients

For cupcakes:

About 6 – 8 strips thick-cut bacon
1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
 2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk, more if required
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Directions

For cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place liners in cupcake trays.

Lay bacon on a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Set aside 2 pieces of the bacon for garnish, and dice the rest.
Lower heat to 175 degrees Celsius. 

In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients and milk in alternating batches, beginning and finishing with the dry and mixing well between additions. Then add maple syrup and diced bacon, and mix on medium  speed until combined. Do not over mix.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, making each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

For frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

Gradually add sifted icing sugar and milk (as required). Add maple syrup and beat until combined and fluffy.

Decorate cupcakes with frosting and garnish with reserved bacon.

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Cupcakes

80 cupcakes for my cousin David’s birthday. Happy birthday! I hope the party was a smash.

And yes, I just got an iphone. And no, every post won’t feature iphone pics from now on.

Vanilla recipe
Chocolate recipe

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Sprinkles

I made these pink cupcakes for no other reason than to make cupcakes. Pink cupcakes with sprinkles that is. These cake forks belong to my nanna and I loved using them when I was young. I remember eating some type of cake at her house, I’m pretty sure the cake had sprinkles too. The best part of having cake at nanna’s house was picking out a cake fork to use. The one with the pink flowers, or the purple or yellow. Never the fork that had somehow lost its artwork though!

Vanilla cupcake recipe

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Girls’ Night In 2011

My sixth annual Girls Night In was actually an afternoon in this year. The idea is to stay in and donate the money you would have spent on a night out towards the fight against women’s cancers. It’s a cause close to my heart and I’m lucky to have family and friends so willing to contribute. And, of course, it’s a good excuse to get together and have fun! In the past, we’ve had dinner and played a game like Taboo or poker. This year, it was an afternoon of pink treats baked by me and shared between the eight of us.

Two of my guests are gluten-intolerant so I provided a selection of gluten-free treats as part of the spread. My aim with any gluten-free baking is to make something that everyone can enjoy, rather than a poor alternative to desserts with gluten. Sometimes I modify a recipe I have and other times I bake a treat that does not require flour of any kind. It’s easy to modify many recipes by using gluten-free flour mix instead of wheat flour. I’ve had good results with most recipes, especially the Hawaiian carrot cake I made back in July. This pink cake is from the same recipe I used for the rainbow cake in June; however, this time I used gluten-free flour mix and made three layers instead of six. Each layer baked for about 30 minutes. I had no real issues with the gluten-free flour; the taste and texture of the cake were comparable to one with gluten. To assemble the cake, I made a big batch of pink-tinted buttercream frosting. The cake held together well when sliced; popping it in the fridge for just a short while can help the frosting “set” and make it easier to cut.

The other gluten-free treat I baked was pink macarons. Most macaron recipes are gluten-free, as they call for almond meal, icing/confectioner’s sugar and egg whites, so I didn’t have to modify the recipe at all to make it gluten-free friendly. (Check your icing sugar is gluten-free, as the manufacturer may have blended it with something other than corn or tapioca starch.) I tried unsuccessfully to make macarons once before but I’m pleased to say this time went smoothly. Some leftover swiss meringue buttercream between the biscuits was the finishing touch. These were the most popular sweets on the table, I should have made twice as many to keep up with the demand!

The recipe for the chocolate cupcakes was the German chocolate cake recipe from the Baked Explorations cookbook. I used milk chocolate instead of dark and baked 36 cupcakes for about 25 minutes. This is definitely my favourite chocolate cake recipe to date, so expect to see it some more in Katie’s Kitchen. The frosting is swiss meringue buttercream piped on with an open-star tip. Remember to serve the buttercream at room temperature. Sweetapolita has some great tips to help you make this light and fluffy frosting.

My mission every October is to find the special edition pink-and-white M&Ms in stores. Last year I missed out, so this time I started looking early in the month. They are now sold exclusively in IGA stores in Australia, so that makes them a little hard to come across. I called five IGA stores before I found some in stock. Of course, I then raced over and bought a fairly restrained amount of four bags. Thirty cents from each packet goes to the McGrath Foundation. I just love colour-themed M&Ms in general! (I’ve already stocked up on the red and green Christmas packs.)

At the supermarket, I also picked up some tasty berry yoghurt coated rice cakes, as they are gluten-free and most importantly pink. Fresh strawberries, musk sticks, cheese, dip and crackers rounded out the afternoon’s snacks. Each guest went home with a goody bag of chocolates and a mini bottle of body lotion or body wash in sugary-sweet scents. As a result of the afternoon, the Cancer Council will receive a nice-sized donation from my family and me. Thank you to my grandmother, aunties and cousins for their generosity again this year.

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Green Velvet Cupcakes

How to make green velvet cupcakes.

Step 1: Make cupcake batter according to red velvet cake recipe, using green food colouring in place of red.

Step 2: Pour batter into cupcake trays.

Step 3: Discover oven is broken, see thermostat lying on bottom of oven.

Step 4: Place batter-filled cupcake trays into cupcake courier.

Step 5: Drive to grandmother’s house with cupcake courier on back seat. Avoid speed bumps, sharp corners and pot holes.

Step 6: Ask grandmother to bake the cupcakes.

Step 7: Pick up cupcakes from grandmother’s house and leave one behind for her.

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Gluten-Free Cupcakes

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.

I made these last weekend as we now have two family members diagnosed as non-Celiac gluten intolerant. I’ll update with the recipe once I get a review on them from the non-gluten eaters. (No, the M&Ms aren’t gluten free – they were eaten by the gluten eaters.)

Recipe here. I used gluten-free flour mix.

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