Christmas Gingerbread Cupcakes


A few weeks ago while I was paying for my groceries, the cover of the Coles Supermarket Christmas magazine caught my eye. The cover was of a gingerbread man Christmas tree. I thought “What a fantastic idea”! So I picked up a copy and took it home to read more about it. I knew I could make a gluten and dairy free version of this.

These cupcakes have a soft, fluffy and light texture. The warm spices are perfectly balanced and they are not overly sweet. The white chocolate buttercream icing compliments the richness of these cupcakes perfectly. And the finishing touch is of course the cute little gingerbread man on top.

Using a bowl with a spout makes life so much easier when pouring the cake mixture into the cupcake liners, as the batter is quite runny. My gingerbread man measured 7½cm or 3 inches. The measurements were taken from the top of his head to the tip of his toe.

For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch and icing sugar before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed. I broke off small individual pieces from my large block of chocolate and each small piece weighed 5 grams (0.2 ounces). When the pieces were placed into a measuring cup, it was a slightly heaped ½ cup.

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Makes 12


126g (4.4 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) gluten and dairy free butter
100g (3.5 ounces or ⅓ cup) treacle
100g (3.5 ounces or ⅓ cup) golden syrup
100g (3.5 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) light Muscovado sugar
150ml (10 tablespoons) dairy free milk of choice
2 large eggs, at room temperature
21g (0.7 ounce or 3 tablespoons) quinoa flakes
50g (1.8 ounces or ½ cup minus 2 scant tablespoons) superfine white rice flour
36g (1.3 ounces or ¼ cup) superfine brown rice flour
36g (1.3 ounces or ¼ cup) sorghum flour
22g (0.8 ounces or 2 tablespoons) potato starch
16g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) tapioca starch
2 teaspoons (10ml) ground ginger
2 teaspoons (10ml) mixed spice
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) salt
White Chocolate Buttercream Icing
225g (7.9 ounces or 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon) pure icing sugar, sifted
82g (2.9 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon) dairy free butter of choice
1 tablespoon (15ml) dairy free milk of choice
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) pure vanilla extract
100g (3.5 ounces or a slightly heaped ½ cup) gluten and dairy free white chocolate (I use this brand), melted and cooled
Red food colouring, I used Hopper natural food colouring – Cherry Red
12 gingerbread men (recipe found here)

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with festive cupcake liners.

In a small saucepan add the butter, treacle, golden syrup, sugar and milk, and then stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and the ingredients are combined. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool.

Add the quinoa flakes to a small food processor and blitz until finely ground.

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Sift the rest of the dry ingredients together and then stir through the finely ground quinoa flakes.

Whisk the butter mixture into the dry ingredients

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and then gently whisk in the eggs, one at a time to form a runny batter.

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Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and fill them until they’re ¾ full, bake for 20 minutes.

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Once cooked, allow them to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the butter with a handheld electric mixer until softened. Gradually add the icing sugar and keep beating until well combined, scraping down the sides when necessary.

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Next add the milk, vanilla extract and melted white chocolate and beat well until thoroughly combined.

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Use a small paintbrush to draw 4 lines of food colouring on the inside of the piping bag fitted with a 1cm star tip. I find the easiest way to fill a piping bag is to place the bag in a tall glass and then fold the bag over the edge.

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Spoon the icing into the piping bag

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and pipe icing onto each cupcake, you do not need to use a lot of pressure when piping as the icing is quite soft. Now place a gingerbread man on top.


Arrange on the cupcakes on a cupcake stand or festive plate.

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse

Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.

Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8

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