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Gluten-free Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes

Have you missed me? I’ve missed you.

I’ve been busy galavanting around, hiding from my roommate, writing magazine articles and taking ballet. You know, important life stuffs.

(Seriously, go grab a copy of the Spring 2015 issue of Allergic Living, I’ll wait.)

But even more than missing you, I’ve been missing baking. The sweet magic that happens when I spend some time with “Old Faithful” in the kitchen.

I might have a little bit of a love of cupcakes. Delicious, little, personal treats. (I even made a tshirt about it, which you should order).

Frannycakes <3's cupcakes

(Or, sometimes giant ones).

But these cupcakes.

Oh, these cupcakes.

gluten free lemon buttermilk cupcakes

Tender buttermilk cakes. Tangy lemon buttercream clouds. A burst of intense lemon curd at the center. Dainty little bites of sunshine.

That’s a tall order for any cupcake…much less a gluten-free one, but I assure you that these are amazing. So amazing your gluten-eating friends won’t notice that you left it out and your gluten-free comrades will be singing your praises for the best cupcake they have had in ages.

a recipe for gluten-free buttermilk cupcakes

Gluten-free Lemon Buttermilk Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Serves: 24
The cake part of this recipe is adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker.
Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • 560 grams (4 cups) gluten-free flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • For the Lemon Swiss Merengue Buttercream
  • 8 large egg whites (30g each–total 225g, or 1 cup)**
  • 400 grams (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • The peel of 1 lemon
  • 560 grams (5 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon curd
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Optional
  • Lemon curd to use as filling
  • Sprinkles or lemon zest to decorate
Instructions
Make the cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tins with papers. (This recipe makes 24 cupcakes)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together your gluten-free flour, xantham gum (if using), baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (it will take 3-4 mins with softened butter)
  4. Add your eggs one at a time, beating on medium until combined and scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Next add half of your flour mixture and mix at medium speed until just combined.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk in a slow, steady stream. Raise your speed to medium once all your buttermilk is in and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of your bowl.
  7. Add your remaining flour mixture and mix on medium until just combined. You don’t want to overbeat your eggs (it will toughen your cakes).
  8. Fill cupcake pan wells 2/3 full and bake for 16-20 minutes. Cakes are done when the top springs back after a gentle tap.
Make the buttercream
  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and lemon peel in a small pot until they reach 140 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Transfer this mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Using the whisk attachment, beat until light and fluffy (soft peaks) and the temperature is neutral – the bowl should not be warm to the touch.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter one chunk at a time until it is all combined.
  5. It might look like it is starting to curdle, don’t panic! It should all smooth out by the time you add the last bit of butter. If it is getting too loose, you can pop it in the fridge for 5 minutes to help it set up.
Assemble
  1. You can use a cupcake corer or a paring knife to cut out a small amount of the center of the cakes, preserving the top of what you take out.
  2. Fill the wells with lemon curd (if using), and replace the tops on the filled holes.
  3. Use a large decorating tip for simple, beautiful swirls. Top with your favorite gluten-free sprinkles or even a bit of lemon zest.
Notes
*I like working with Cup4Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose flour but you can use your favorite blend, as long as it is an all-purpose blend (not bean-based and not a baking or pancake mix). If your blend contains xantham gum, you should omit it.[br]**You can use cartons of egg whites (I do it all the time) but your merengue might not be quite as fluffy because these are pasteurized.
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I don’t accept advertising on FrannyCakes and rarely accept product from brands, so if you enjoy my recipes, please consider supporting FrannyCakes by purchasing a “Cupcakes are my therapy” tshirt.

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