the cupcakes were for a friend

His wife was coming home, after a long, dreary summer being treated for cancer, away from her family, closed up in ICU where her children could not visit.

A celebration seemed in order.

On the same day, this friend was lamenting the existence of fancy flavours in cupcakes, and the ubiquitous nature of red velvet.

Turns out he is a fan of vanilla cupcakes, nothing fancy, plain old vanilla, the small-town sheriff of cupcakes.

So, I tried my hand at making cupcakes. These were not much in my repertoire even when I cooked with wheat flour. It was an entirely new thing to make them with gluten-free flours.

I used a recipe from a lovely young lady I know, a college student, someone I have watched grow up since middle school.

She makes a damn fine cupcake.

I make a… less damn fine cupcake. I am motivated to try again, though.

Today I will call them birthday cupcakes. Because it is my birthday.

And I am not one of those folks who doesn’t like birthdays, who hides away in a little pocket of sadness, wishing someone would notice.

Nope. I am – at the heart of it – four years old. And it’s my birthday.

It’s almost as if Doug Savage knew, when he posted this yesterday.
(corrected 4 Oct)

Celebration Cupcakes

  • 90 gms millet flour
  • 80 gms brown rice flour (I used a GF flour blend I make for this one)
  • 65 gms sorghum flour
  • 60 gms tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350o (in our convection oven, 335o )
  2. Mix the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.
  3. Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, alternating with liquids (milk and vanilla), and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for up to 25 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). (Twenty minutes in the convection oven.)

This recipe must make two-dozen cupcakes, which – when I look at 4 eggs – makes sense. I don’t have two muffin pans though. Or two cupcake pans. So I did one pan of 12 really full cupcakes, one pan of 12 really full mini-cupcakes, and two custard cups of mega-cupcakes. They might even qualify as mini-cakes. It might be time to buy a second muffin pan. And given the state of the 25-year-old one I have, maybe I’ll buy two.


 about the photo

The first cupcake photos were in the kitchen. I love our remodeled kitchen – it awesome to bake and cook and gather and share in. It is not so awesome for food photographs. The photos did not match what I had in my head. But I had a commitment at the school, so I couldn’t mess with it more. I walked into Kristina’s room to drop some mail on her dresser with the plate of cupcakes in my hand. And there was the light I was looking for.

Canon 40D 50mm 1.4 | aperture 2.8 | shutter 1/100 | ISO 250


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