Baking sans gluten can get tricky, but once you get it right, the end result is so worth it. In baked goods, gluten plays the role of holding things together and giving them that springy structure. You can make almost any recipe gluten-free by replacing regular all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour, which is a blend of flour milled from other grains or legumes, such as rice or chickpeas. Whether you are sensitive to gluten or not, leaving gluten out of delicious desserts has its benefits. Using gluten-free flour like brown rice flour can add tons of nutrients and fiber to your yummy dessert. Keep in mind that different milled grains provide a variety of different flavors, so choose based on the type of dessert you are going for. The brown rice flour used in the following recipe adds a nutty undertone to the cupcakes.
1 cup granulated sugar (or use a sugar substitute to make it sugar-free!)
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour mix
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Warning: Gluten-free batter is thicker and stickier than standard batter.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Position rack in center of oven. Place cupcake baking liners in a 12-cupcake baking pan.
2. Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed for one minute.
3. Add flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, oil, milk and vanilla; beat at medium speed for one minute.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Place in center of oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until center springs back when touched and cupcakes are very lightly browned (bake about 35 minutes for nine-inch round cake pan, 40 minutes for eight-inch round).
5. Cool on rack for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan onto rack and cool completely before icing. Top with your favorite frosting and dig in!
If you’re dealing with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite sweets. Don’t be discouraged if your dessert looks more like a bookend than a yummy treat. Chances are you won’t get it right on the first try.
Raquel Santos is a senior at Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @raqueltossi. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.