Monday, 25 July 2011

Gluten Free Rose & Lemon cupcakes

This simple recipe is my own creation, and I'm very pleased with it. The rose and lemon evoke turkish delight in delicate cupcake form. I should say that cupcakes satisfy the girly, romantic side of me, there's something so wonderfully, enjoyably frivolous about them. They're very quick to make and lots of fun to eat, just watch out for the sugar rush as you take your first mouthful of the cream cheese icing! These are both gluten free and nut free. If you'd like to go a step further and make them dairy free as well, then replace the butter in the cake batter with a dairy free margarine, and leave out the cream cheese icing, opting for a simple drizzle made from icing sugar and a few tablespoons of rose water or lemon juice instead.

Makes 12 medium muffin-sized cupcakes

125g gluten free self raising flour (Dove's Farm recommended)
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder (Barkart recommended)
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
125g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon rose water

1. Turn the oven to 180 (160 fan) and place large cupcake cases in a 12 muffin baking tray. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until smooth and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time and beat in. Then pour in the lemon zest and tablespoon of rose water, stirring well.

3. Next sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, stirring gently until the batter is combined.

4. Spoon the batter into each cupcake case, until they are approximately two-thirds full (you want to leave enough room for the cakes to rise).

5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. You'll know the cakes are done if a skewer comes out clean.

6. Take out of the oven and leave for a few minutes, before moving the cupcakes in their cases to a wire rack or plate to cool.

for the icing:
1 or 2 teaspoons of rose water
100g butter
100g cream cheese
410g icing sugar
food colouring tint pastes (I used Dusky Pink and Grape Violet, both by Sugarflair)

7. Combine the butter and cream cheese. Stir in the teaspoon or 2 of rose water and mix together. 

8. Sift half the icing sugar into the mixture, and stir thoroughly, before adding the other half and continuing to stir until it is a thick paste. Take care stirring the icing sugar, as this is a bit messy, I tend to wear an apron as I've been known to accidentally drench myself in it when stirring too vigorously!

9. When the icing is combined, the only thing left to do is to colour it. If you're making more than 1 colour icing as I was, then divide the icing into 2 bowls and colour each accordingly. With colour tint pastes you only need to add a pin prick amount before stirring it in to give the icing a beautiful pastel colour.

10. Get a pint glass (or 2 if you're icing 2 different colours, in which case just follow the same method for each individual colour). Place a piping bag with a nozzle inside the glass, so that the nozzle is on the bottom of the glass. Fold the piping bag edges over the glass rim. Spoon the paste into the piping bag, then carefully take the bag out of the glass and twist the end of the bag so that the icing is well contained.

11. Pipe the icing over the cupcakes and add any sprinkles or sugar flowers you fancy to decorate. To pipe a rose, you start piping in the middle of the cupcake and work outwards. To pipe a classic swirl, you start piping at the outer edge of the cupcake and work inwards.

These cupcakes were idly baked to the sounds of David Bowie's Singles Collection, the Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust years.


  1. YUM!

    A question: is there any benefit in eating gluten-free, even if you're not intolerant?

  2. Sorry not to get back to you earlier Katharine. Yes eating wheat free can be good for all of us sometimes, whether we're gluten intolerant or not. But bear in mind that you can easily turn this (or any of the other gluten free recipes here) back into wheat flour cakes, by replacing the gluten free flours with normal plain or self raising flour and baking powder. Similarly, all the wheat based recipes can be turned gluten free by changing to the special gf flours. It's that simple! x


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