I kid you not, no one will know these are gluten free! These Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes are hands down the best, moist, fluffy gluten free cupcakes ever. The vanilla buttercream is not too sweet and uses all natural food coloring. They are prepared in one bowl and super easy.
I don’t make a lot of sweets around here and when I do I try to spin them to be a bit healthier. I wouldn’t call these Gluten Free St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes healthy but they don’t have artificial green food coloring and my kids did not miss it at all.
What is it about food coloring? My kids act like it tastes good. Their eyes light up when they think they are getting it. It’s weird how coloring makes food more attractive to the eyes. Newsflash kids → food coloring has no flavor! They had no idea this was natural food coloring. That’s a win for me.
This recipe is taken from Ina Garten’s best chocolate cake ever → Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. My friend turned me on to this cake at her son’s birthday party. Thanks love! It’s moist, rich and flavorful.
All I did was make it gluten free by using Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour. It is hands down the most like regular flour gluten-free flour. You will never know it’s gluten-free. It’s not grainy or gummy and doesn’t taste like chickpeas, almonds or any other weird flavor that would throw off your cake. You will love it.
I used Color Garden natural food coloring. It’s more expensive so be prepared. I found mine at Whole Foods.
I also did some serious experimenting with this buttercream frosting. I have tried so many ways to make buttercream: more butter, less butter, less sugar, a pinch of salt, no salt, extra whipping, adding cream and on and on. I feel like I finally hit the jackpot and part of it was an accident. I was out of butter and had to borrow from my neighbor. Luckily she only had Plugra European Style unsalted butter. It tastes better – plain and simple. It is worth the extra money when you are making a buttercream icing that contains so much butter.
I am now a butter snob.
My other trick is less sugar. I hate frosting that knocks me into a sugar coma, you know the ones from the supermarket. I want a lightly sweet icing that complements the cupcake.
I’m not a baker so don’t make fun of my decorating. I tried to make it pretty but it’s pretty bad.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
- For buttercream:
- 2 sticks of European unsalted butter Plugra
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1 package of natural food coloring
- 1 tbsp of milk or heavy cream if needed for thinning
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spray two round 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line with round parchment sheets.
In the bowl of an electric mixer add first wet ingredients, buttermilk through vanilla. Mix on low until combined with the paddle attachment.
Add the dry ingredients all at once, flour through salt and mix on low using a spatula to scrape the sides.
Add fresh coffee and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
Pour batter into two cake pans dividing evenly.
Place on middle rack and cook for about 25-35 minutes rotating once.
Check with a toothpick after 25 minutes to see if it's done. If not put back in for five minutes and check again.
Let cool 30 minutes.
For the icing:
Place butter in mixer and beat for a few minutes.
Add sugar in 1/2 cup increments and beat well, using a spatula to scrape down the sides.
Add the vanilla and beat.
Add the food coloring and continue to beat.
Check out the texture. If you want it thinner add a bit of milk or cream. I added just a teaspoon.