Gluten-Free Tuesday: Spice Cupcakes Recipe

Gluten-Free Tuesday

Delicious, no-compromise recipes for those who need to live a gluten-free lifestyle, but don't want it to taste like it.

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Spice Cupcakes Recipe

[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.

  • 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.