Gluten Free Jasmine Lemon Cupcakes

Yep I said Gluten Free! I am not on a gluten free diet, however I do have family members that choose to follow it for their health. Therefore when I entertain them I try my best to create something for them that is gluten free. I have not ventured out into making mixes from scratch  because I know it takes a little more practice to find the right texture using various flour alternative’s.

I decided to take the easy and honestly the least expensive path to making some gluten free cupcakes, my secret? The Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix.  http://www.hodgsonmill.com/about-hodgson-mill/recent-news/gluten-free-mixes/ (LOL) This was an excellent mix and I will use it again, I cant wait to try their chocolate cake mix. Here in Oregon I can find it anywhere I go, I bought mine at Walmart and it was under $3.00 for the box. Of course if you can not find this mix, use whatever you can find that you like.

I was hosting Tea Time for a couple of friends and family members who have been very giving to me and I wanted to share my appreciation for them. So I took a month of planning (and saving) to host Tea Time. It worked out very well and I have some great memories to hold onto. Gluten Free Jasmine Lemon Cupcakes is one of the recipes I wanted to share with you from my Tea Time. Now you don’t have to make this gluten free, just use whatever mix you like. One thing I used was Low-fat Buttermilk instead of whole milk or a low fat milk. I am interested to try the Low Fat Buttermilk with a non gluten free cake mix to see how it compares. I do recommend that you use the buttermilk with the gluten free recipe, if you can.

Here is my Tea Time tables escape. 

 This picture shows some of the other finger foods I made. Open face Waldorf Chicken Salad on sourdough bread. Polenta rounds topped with Pesto, Sun-dried Tomato and Feta Cheese. Cucumber cups filled with Tomato & Basil Hummus, and a Roasted Pecan Blue Cheese Dip.

Okay onto the direction for my cupcakes.

 Pre-heat oven to 350

1 Box of  The Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
2 whole Lemon
3 Bags of Jasmine Tea Bag
1 container of Vanilla Frosting
1 stick of butter softened
1 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs room temp
1.5 tsp of vanilla extract

Basically for cake mix I just followed the box instructions. The one thing I have learned was to make sure that my butter and eggs are at room temperature, I also allowed my buttermilk to sit out for 30 minutes to take the cold chill off. Why? Well this helps with whipping the batter, it makes it much smoother and fluffier (secret to most any cake). If your butter is kept in the freezer like I keep mine, you can always place the butter into your microwave and on the DEFROST setting defrost for 1 minute. This will help speed up the softening process without it melting the butter. Also you can even do this if you keep butter in refrigerator, only defrost  for 30 seconds.

  Take buttermilk and measure out 1 cup. Then cut open two bags of Jasmin Tea and pour into the buttermilk, mix together and let it sit out for 30 minutes.

Have two separate bowls, one for your butter and the other for your wet ingredients of eggs & buttermilk.

Take your electric mixture and whip your butter, start on a lower speed and after a 30 seconds turn speed to the highest setting. Mix for 3 minutes until butter looks fluffy and smooth.

Make sure your eggs are at room temperature because if you don’t once you add it to the butter it will cause the butter to separate and loose its fluffiness. If you need a quick way to get your eggs at room temperature just place them in some lukewarm water (please not hot because you don’t want to cook your eggs) and let them set in the water for about 10 minutes. Place eggs into a separate bowl from the butter. With your electric mixture whip eggs together for 2 minutes. Then add the buttermilk and jasmine tea mixture to eggs.

Then zest 2 lemons of all its skin and put zest into egg mixture. The add the vanilla and mix all together for one minuet.

Take flour mixture and with a spatula mix with butter.

Then take egg mixture and mix into the the butter and flour mixture on a low speed, then turn to a higher speed for two minutes until smooth. 

Then  spray your muffin pan with canola oil, make sure pan is well coated so nothing sticks to pan. Ladel batter into pans. It is a VERY THICK batter. So you will need to scoop into pan. Then try and smooth them out, I had to bounce my spoon up and down to keep them to flatten. Make sure it is all even. I was able to make 12 cupcakes and bake on 350 for 20-25 minuets. Mine took 25 minutes.

While your muffins are baking you can work on your frosting. Take half of the container of vanilla frosting, add a bag of Jasmine tea and the juice of your lemon and mix together. You can add more lemon if you want a stronger taste. The frosting will have a nice little crunch due to the Jasmine tea. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. I made mine a day ahead and when I was ready to use it the next day just whipped it with a spoon and let it sit out to get a little softer so I could spread on cupcake.

Once your cupcakes are completely cooled then you can frost them. I personally did not frost the Gluten Free cupcakes the day before because in the past I found the cupcakes can get soggy, so I would frost the day you will be eating them. After I baked my cupcakes I placed in an airtight container on my counter until I frosted them the next morning, then after I frosted I placed in the refrigerator to be served later that afternoon.

 Here is the my cupcake on the table. I used it also as a name tag for seat placement.

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