Today I bring to you all a yummy gluten-free cupcake recipe. This is not the first one I’ve tried. My previous attempts ended up in dry and crumbly cupcakes, not chewy at all. After a little research, I found out one of the most important elements to be successful when baking gluten-free desserts: xanthan gum.
But… what on Earth is xanthan gum?
It’s a food additive used to prevent gluten-free products from drying and crumbling. According to my experience, it really works! If you are interested in knowing more about xanthan gum, I’ll explain more about it after the recipe.
Ingredients to make the sponge (yield 8-10 cupcakes)
All them must be at room temperature:
♦ 125 grs unsalted softened butter
♦ 125 grs caster sugar
♦ 125 grs rice flour (naturally gluten-free)
♦ 2 eggs (size M)
♦ 1 tsp baking powder (I use the brand Dr Oetker, which is gluten-free)
♦ 2 tsp vanilla extract
♦ 2 tbsp milk
♦ 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
As you can see, this recipe keeps the Victoria sponge proportions between butter-sugar-flour.
1) Pre-heat your oven at 170º C / 340º F.
2) Sift the rice flour with the baking powder and the xanthan gum in the same bowl. Set aside.
3) Mix the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
4) Add the eggs slightly beaten (one at a time) and mix at slow speed until well incorporated.
5) Add the vanilla extract.
6) Add half the amount of the rice flour (already sifted with the baking powder and the xanthan gum) and mix at slow speed for some seconds.
7) Add the milk and mix for a little time.
8) Finally, add the remaining flour and mix slightly until get an even batter.
9) Line a muffin tin and spoon the batter in your cases.
10) Bake them for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
11) Leave them to cool on a cooling rack for at least a couple of hours before decorating.
Once cooled, I decorated them with buttercream: luckily, it’s absolutely gluten-free If you want to colour it, I recommend using Sugarflair colourings, which are also gluten-free. And keep an eye on your sprinkles! Lots of them are made from wheat flour! The yellow dots I used contained rice flour instead : )
Sugarpaste is usually gluten-free, so feel free to add the details or figurines you wish.
Why to use xanthan gum?
Gluten is a protein that gives structural stability and chewiness to our cakes, breads… It’s found in products containing wheat (such as flour, cereals…). There are people who develop allergic reactions to gluten, so they have to avoid products containing this protein.
When we use gluten-free flour, the final product will be fragile, crumbly and dry due to a lack of structure. To compensate the lack of gluten (hence, of structure), we can use xanthan gum instead, which will help our gluten-free deserts to keep their shape, elasticity and chewiness by binding, thickening and emulsifying the ingredients. It really improves the final product texture, definitely. I really notice the difference.
When making gluten-free cupcakes I add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum per 125 grs of flour. Take into account that the ratios change depending on the product you’re baking (cookies, bread…). For example, I add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum per 100 grs of flour when making sugar cut-out cookies (twice least). It’s important you to stick to the right proportions by using measuring spoons.
It’s essential you to check the label of all the ingredients in order to avoid any trace of wheat or gluten. Sometimes there are products that don’t contain gluten by themselves, but they’re made in factories where wheat is handled, so there could be a risk of cross contamination.
These cupcakes were absolutely delicious, I’d say as tasty as the standard ones!
If you’ve found it useful or have any doubt, leave me a comment
See you soon,