Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gluten-Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Fluffy Reduced Sugar Vanilla Frosting, Version 2 - Egg-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free

I'm happy with this batch!  Soft, fluffy, moist and not gummy when taken out of the oven.  I couldn't help myself.  I *inhaled* the first one.  The true test:  I wanted another one.  Most of the time, I have a bite and then let the kiddies finish it.  I was sure glad the kiddies were still in school so I could have my (short-lived) moment with this cupcake.   

I used my favourite vegan vanilla cupcake recipe and substituted with Sarah's gluten-free flour blend (with the white rice substitution instead of sorghum flour for a lighter cupcake).  Previously, I used a different blend for my "Version 1" GF vegan vanilla cupcakes but they came out a little too moist and slightly gummy.  The kiddies didn't complain!  

I baked it for 3 minutes longer than specified by the original vegan (all-purpose flour) recipe and there was no gumminess (common with gluten-free baking and xanthan gum). 

It was so good I had to write it down!  If you are not gluten-free, you can use 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp cornstarch in place of the brown/white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum.  

Gluten-free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes,  Version 2
makes 12 regular cupcakes

1/2 cup milk of your choice (I used unsweetened Coconut Dream)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp brown rice flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/4 cup white rice flour (I used an Asian brand, super finely milled)
1/4 cup potato starch
1 Tbsp tapioca starch
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Whisk the vegan milk and vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled.

Beat together the vegan milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and other extracts, if using, in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake liners half-way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

My own notes:  I baked for 25 minutes, maybe I'll try 24 minutes next time.    

Fluffy Reduced Sugar Vanilla Frosting 
generously frosts 12 cupcakes

1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk of your choice, dairy or not

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.

Add the vanilla and milk and whip for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.  (I have a KitchenAid stand mixer and I like to change from the paddle attachment to the wire whip attachment for a lighter, fluffier frosting).  

Using a piping bag and 1M Wilton tip, I was able to generously frost 12 cupcakes with leftovers.  The key to this frosting is to whip it so full of air that becomes fluffy and not so sweet.

Since I decreased the sugar, the liquids should be adjusted accordingly to maintain some stiffness for piping.  I think you could even omit the milk for a stiffer frosting.  It will firm up in the refrigerator, as the non-hydrogenated fats are heat sensitive.  

In case anyone was curious, this is what the texture/crumb looks like.  A little dense yet soft and tender.  

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