My husband, kids, and I made a spread for the Super Bowl last night. I must confess I didn’t get to watch much of it because what was supposed to be a quick dessert ended up being a full on experiment. Three hours later I have gluten-free and whole wheat mini cupcakes, dozens of them.
I originally made this recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook. I love Ina’s books. Her recipes are truly classic and so easy. She taught me how to roast a perfect chicken as well as make a perfect cake. These cupcakes are an adaptation of her Strawberry Country Cake. I have made this cake a dozen times or more. I don’t think I will ever make a box cake again because of this recipe.
I have been thinking about ways to cut calories out of dessert lately, and I have become somewhat obsessed in “mini sizing” my favorite ones while upgrading a few ingredients. This recipe came to mind when I started out wanting to change all-purpose flour to white wheat flour. Then I wanted to test out a gluten-free, all-purpose flour since I am new to gluten-free baking. I also like fresh whipped cream as a frosting with fresh fruit versus the sugar/butter fest of the usual cake topping. After my 3 hour endeavor, I have to say I liked the gluten-free cupcakes the best of all, but they both tasted so wonderful. Let me be clear though, this isn’t a 3 hour recipe. It took me that long to make and bake 2 different batches, make fresh whipped cream, and clean up with 2 preschoolers and a husband coming in and out of the kitchen to interrupt me continuously.
These cupcakes taste like a min piece of heaven. The citrus zest shines through in these cupcakes. If you cook the white wheat version until they are golden brown on the edges, you will experience a slight crunch as you bite into them. It’s also a way to enjoy dessert without all the added guilt of a full slice of cake. One or two is just enough. I hope you love them as much as we do!
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
6 Tbsp. light sour cream
1/4 tsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/8 cup or 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Gluten Free Version:
Substitute flour for 1 cup King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum.
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. sugar
(Makes 36 mini cupcakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Fill your mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.
2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum if gluten-free). Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer until fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, following with sour cream, vanilla, and zests. Scrape sides of bowl as needed till all combined.
4. Turn the mixer to low-speed and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined and smooth.
5. Place 2 tsp. of cake mixture into cupcake liner until all 24 liners are filled. (I used a 2 tsp. measuring spoon).
6. Place in 350 degree preheated oven and bake. It’s important to note everyone’s oven is different. I have a convection oven. Mini cupcakes can vary in baking time. Taking anywhere from 10-14 minutes. Check with a clean toothpick for doneness. These should look a nice golden brown around the top edges. Place on wire rack to cool.
Gluten Free mini cupcakes: Bake for 10-11 minutes. The gluten-free cupcakes did not have the nice golden brown hue as the white wheat cupcakes.
White Wheat mini cupcakes: Bake for 12-13 minutes.
7. While cupcakes bake, whip 1 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Place in piping bag or large gallon plastic bag to use for piping on cupcake and store in refrigerator.
8. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe frosting on mini cupcakes. Place cut fresh strawberry pieces on top of cupcakes for garnish. Makes 36 mini cupcakes.