Okay, so, gluten-free vanilla cupcakes I suspected might be a wee bit dodgy, so I decided to doctor them up with lemon extract and lemon zest.
As it turns out, this was a really good decision, not the least because of the oddly intense yellow that the corn flour lends to the cupcakes. Not that you can quite tell in the photo to the left, but trust me: they are quite quite yellow.
I have mixed feelings on the texture…it felt a little gritty, but that might be because I hadn’t ground the flax seeds well enough? Unclear.
Ingredients, from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/3 cup corn flour (or almond flour, but corn flour is waaaaay cheaper)
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest from three lemons
Preheat the oven to 350 yadda yadda.
In a large bowl, combine the soy milk, canola oil, sugar and extracts, and combine.
Add the tapioca flour and flax seeds, and mix until the tapioca flour is dissolved and the mixture is “well emulsified”. What that means is that the entire bowl of gloop looks the same all over, and everything is evenly distributed.
Add the corn flour, white rice flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix incredibly well for quite a while.
Now, add the lemon zest.
And mix in thoroughly.
Fill the cupcake liners a little over 3/4 full, and bake for 20 to 23 minutes.
I made a blackberry buttercream frosting by making a little bit of blackberry juice, and using it instead of soy milk to thin out a standard buttercream frosting.
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup shortening (non-hydrogenated)
2-4 tablespoons blackberry juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Cream together the margarine and shortening until well combined (meaning there are no lumps and it looks smooth).
At this point, beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix in the lemon extract, and beat in another half cup of powdered sugar. Now, add the blackberry juice.
Now, slowly beat in powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency (I usually shoot for thick enough to form consistent peaks).
Then, frost as desired and eat!
I’m prepared to call them a mixed success. The texture was a little odd, but the flavor was decent. I think they need a strongly-flavored frosting to balance with their…unusual texture, and I think I’d really like a stronger lemon flavor out of the actual cupcakes.
That said, I’m still surprised by exactly how cupcakey this gluten-free cupcakes are; they aren’t a pathetic and pale imitation of cupcake made for those poor celiacs and those gluten-intolerant & allergic folks. They are cupcakes, and I think that with further experimentation, better ground flax, and more patience (and maybe actually using and electric mixer) they’ll be awesome in time for my friend’s wedding.