Gluten free vanilla and raspberry cupcakes

February 18, 2016

I made these as a gluten-free birthday cake alternative for my mother-in-law. You can find more of my recipes on my blog.  I think gluten free food needs to be pretty and not have such a stigma attached to it as being boring. What’s prettier than a red rose? I find them seductively beautiful; the smell, the velvety feel of their petals, the deep pigment rich colour, the sacred geometry of the petal design.

After visiting a local rose farm in search of the perfect rose bouquet for our wedding, it got me thinking about roses. Personally, I love the flavour of rose, however I can find it over powering by itself. But when paired with berries, herbs, and some citrus, it just takes it to another level of complexity. I have used rose-water before in my recipes, but I wanted to try something a little more fun. Here goes:

** Pre-heat oven to 160*C [fan forced]

– 1/4 cup of soft unsalted butter
– 3/4 cup of caster sugar
– 2 large free range eggs
– 1 1/2 cups of gluten free self raising flour
– pinch of sea salt
– 1/2 cups of full fat milk
– 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
– 1/4 cup of frozen raspberries

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, cubed and cold, not too soft;
  • 3 cups of pure icing sugar, sifted;
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract – you could substitute this for vanilla  bean paste however I didn’t want to see the seeds in my icing;
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water;
  • 3-4 drops of rose pink food colouring – this could also be substituted for a 1/4 of a teaspoon of freeze dried beetroot powder if you are wanting to take a more natural approach;
  • A dash of milk.

To make the cupcakes:

  • Line a muffin or cupcake pan with liners;
  • Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy;
  • Add the eggs one at a time until combined. Add the milk and half the flour and mix until uniform. Add the remaining flour and salt and continue mixing for 1minute;
  • Stir through the frozen berries, and prepare your cupcake liners;
  • To avoid overfilling, only fill the liners half way;
  • Bake for 13-15minutes;
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To make the frosting:

  • Beat the butter until smooth for a few minutes using a paddle attachment in a standing mixer;
  • Add the 3cups of icing sugar and mix on low for 1minute until combined;
  • Pop in your rose-water, colour, vanilla and milk and mix on a high speed for 3-4 minutes. If your mixture is too wet, add extra icing sugar, to stiff? add a little more milk;
  • Scoop a couple of scoops into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle; pipe your desired shape onto your cupcakes;
  • Devour!