Gluten-Free Tuesday: Spice Cupcakes

[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

It's clear by now that cupcakes are here to stay—and I, for one, couldn't be happier. Not only are easy to eat (and cute), they're great for gluten-free bakers--especially if you live alone or in a small household. Cupcakes are easy to freeze. You can make a batch, eat a few, and then freeze the rest. Then when the cake-mood strikes (or you get invited to a birthday party), you can reach for an emergency cupcake in the freezer.

Even after the pumpkin breads of the fall and gingerbread of the holiday season, I still crave a spicy cake. And this one does not disappoint. As written, this recipe makes a tender spice cake with a slight buttermilk tang.

You might notice that the ingredient list is long. I tried whittling the recipe down. When I did, the cake suffered. Measuring the ingredients is the most labor-intensive part of making the cake. After the ingredients are measured, you just stir everything together and bake. Once baked, allow the cupcakes to cool before icing. I like cream cheese icing on these cupcakes. To freeze, just pop them into a freezer-safe plastic container.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Spice Cupcakes

About This Recipe

Yield:20 cupcakes
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour and 20 minutes


  • For the Cake
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) brown rice flour
  • 3 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) white rice flour
  • 3 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) cornstarch
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) tapioca starch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • For the Icing
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 20 muffin cavities with paper liners or grease with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

  2. 2

    In a small bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, tapioca starch, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, xanthan gum, and salt.

  3. 3

    In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, vegetable oil, and eggs. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients. Whisk, using an electric mixer or handheld whisk, until a smooth batter forms, about two minutes.

  4. 4

    Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake cupcakes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

  5. 5

    Remove cupcakes from pan. Place on wire rack to cool. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare icing.

  6. 6

    In a bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Cream until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Cream until smooth. Icing should be spreadable. If needed, add an additional 1/2 tablespoon milk. Spread icing on cooled cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored for up to three days at room temperature or frozen for one month.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: