If you’re looking for a cupcake with a difference this holiday season, then look no further! These cakes have a wonderful light and fluffy texture, which are delicately flavoured with cinnamon and a hint of vanilla. The cinnamon buttercream complements the cupcakes perfectly, and the finishing touch is a Zimtsterne cookie placed on top, for a gorgeous Christmas inspired cupcake.
I came across this recipe while I was doing research for Zimtsterne cookies. However, all the blogs/websites were all written in German, so first I had to find recipes that could easily be translated into English. Once translated, I could then begin work on a gluten and dairy free version.
First I made a basic flour blend, using what most people would already have in their pantry, with the only specialty ingredient being almond meal/flour. The almond meal not only gives great structure to the cakes, but it also provides moisture too, which we all know in the gluten free world is very important. Even on the second day, the cupcakes still remained beautifully soft and moist.
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.
52g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) superfine white rice flour
39g (1.4 ounces or ⅓ cup) almond meal/flour
22g (0.8 ounces or 2 tablespoons) potato starch
18g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) superfine brown rice flour
16g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) tapioca starch
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) salt
126g (4.4 ounces or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) gluten and dairy free butter
132g golden/raw caster sugar (4.7 ounces or ¾ cup minus 1 tablespoon) I use this brand
90ml (5 tablespoons) dairy free milk of choice, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
324g (11.4 ounces or 2¼ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted (I use this brand)
112g (4.0 ounces or ½ cup) gluten and dairy free butter
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
12 Zimtsterne cookies (recipe found here)
Preheat oven to 160C, and line a muffin tin with festive liners.
Sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, or a hand held mixer, cream the butter and sugar for 4 minutes, until very light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Next, add the egg and vanilla extract, beat until light and fluffy.
Add half of the dry ingredients, then pour in half of the milk and mix on a low speed until combined. Now add the rest of the flour and milk before mixing again until thoroughly combined.
Use an ice cream scoop to approximately fill the cupcake liners to about half way, flatten and smooth over the surface, and then bake for 23 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in pan for 2 minutes, before removing from the pan and letting them cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the cinnamon butter cream, add the icing sugar, butter, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and salt to a bowl. Using a handheld mixer, start mixing on a low speed, until combined, and then turn up the speed to continue beating until light and fluffy.
Transfer the cinnamon butter cream to a piping bag, fitted with a Wilton 6B nozzle (this is a large French star nozzle). To start piping, first hold the bag in a vertical position over your cupcake. Then, begin squeezing the piping bag just off centre of the cake to pipe a medium sized circle. Then, applying a constant and even pressure, continue piping in an upward spiral to make an equal sized second circle on top. Just remember it’s very important that you stop and release the pressure on the bag, before you stop piping.
Now place a Zimtsterne cookie on the top of each cupcake.
Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container.
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 = 325F = 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