Mediterranean Yogurt Cupcakes

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According to Dorie Greenspan (and confirmed by a French friend of mine), the French all know how to bake yogurt cake.  In fact, my friend tells me that because it’s so easy to make, little kids will learn the recipe and bring it to school and birthday parties.  The gluten-free version turns out well, as it is dense and similar to pound cakes.  The cupcakes even dome nicely on top.

 

Baking Notes:

  • If you want to halve the recipe, use 2 eggs.
  • I turned the batter into cupcakes because I needed something easy to carry around and snack on, but the original recipe gives directions for a loaf cake.  Although I haven’t tried making the loaf cake version with gluten-free flour, I doubt that you’d need to change the baking time.  I’d start with the recommended 50-60 minutes and add a few minutes if necessary.

Original recipe

 

Mediterranean Yogurt Cupcakes
Adapted from Everyday Dorie

Yield: 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 cuties/clementines
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat or nonfat Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour OR 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavored olive oil

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cups.
  2. Put the sugar and zest in a mixing bowl.  Use your clean fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is aromatic and moist.  (This step is fun, almost like playing in a sandbox!)
  3. Add yogurt, eggs, and vanilla into the zest and sugar.  Whisk until mixture is very well blended.
  4. Whisk in baking powder and salt.
  5. Add flour(s), whisking less vigorously than before.
  6. Once there’s no trace of dry ingredients, switch to a flexible spatula and stir in the oil; do that in a few additions. You should have a smooth, shiny batter.
  7. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cupcakes are a beautiful pale yellow and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and cool them to room temperature on the rack.
  10. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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Maple Carrot Cupcakes

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These maple carrot cupcakes taste like tender, fluffy carrot cake in muffin form.  If you fill the muffin cups all the way to the top with gluten-free batter, you’ll even get fat, domed cupcakes.  Because of the amount of oil, they’re moist and keep well.

Original recipe

 

Maple Carrot Cupcakes
Adapted from Taste of Home

Yield: 16 gluten-free cupcakes, 18 normal cupcakes

  • 2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 6 medium)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF.  Line muffin tins with 16 (if using gluten-free flour) or 18 (if using all-purpose flour) paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and maple syrup.
  4. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  5. Fold in carrots.
  6. If using gluten-free flour, fill 16 muffin cups all the way to the top.  If using all-purpose flour, fill 18 muffin cups two-thirds full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and finish cooling on wire racks.
  9. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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Chocolate and cream cheese lovers, this one is for you!  They’re basically chocolate cupcakes with a big dollop of chocolate chip-studded cream cheese in the middle.  The gluten-free ones turn out flatter than the ones with gluten, as you might expect, but they still taste good, which is what matters!

Original recipe

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For cream cheese mixture:

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

For chocolate cupcake base:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar OR rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  6. Stir together until well blended.
  7. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes if using gluten-free flour, or for 25-30 minutes if using normal flour.

Spring Bunny Cupcakes

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These bunny cupcakes are perfect for a springtime party.  For the frosting, the original recipe suggests pink vanilla buttercream frosting plus store-bought fluffy white ready-to-spread frosting.  I’m not a fan of buttercream frosting, so instead I made a batch of egg-white frosting and dyed half of it pink.

Spring Bunny Cupcakes
Adapted from Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Yellow cupcakes:
2 1/3 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened3/4 – 1 1/4 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you want the cupcakes
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

Frosting and decorations:
Fluffy egg-white frosting
Red food coloring
5 large marshmallows
Pink sugar
Candy decorations and sprinkles

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  6. On low speed, beat in flour (1/3 at a time) alternately with milk (1/2 at a time).
  7. Divide batter in prepared tins.  Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Prepare a batch of fluffy egg-white frosting.  Divide into two portions and color one of them pink with a few drops of red food coloring.
  11. Frost cupcakes with large dollops of pink frosting.
  12. Spoon a dollop of white frosting on top of the pink frosting.
  13. With kitchen scissors, cut each marshmallow crosswise into 5 slices.  Then cut through the center of each slice to within 1/4 inch of the edge.
  14. Separate so they resemble bunny ears and press one side of the marshmallow slices into pink sugar.
  15. Poke bunny ears into the white frosting mounds on the cupcakes.
  16. Use candy decorations as eyes and noses, and sprinkles as whiskers.