Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gluten Free Maple Bacon Cupcakes

In celebration of the end of the BamaCross season, I decided to make some sort of bacon cupcake because... well, BamaCross and bacon go together, ask anyone.

I threw in the Gluten Free part because several racers and one of the photographers are gluten intolerant or have Celiac. I had been planning to start playing with gluten free baking anyway (and maybe go GF myself), and this was the motivation I needed to get started!

I perused the interwebs a bit to see what recipes were out there, but nothing really spoke to me (and none were for big batches like I need. I decided to do something totally out of character for the OCD Baker: improvise.. Well, kinda.

I went through my cookbooks and found a basic yellow cake recipe in my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and went from there. But trust me, it took me at least half an hour to determine all the substitutions and changes I would make. And then I wrote it down because, if I didn't, I wouldn't be OCD.

In the end, this is what I came up with.

Gluten Free Maple Bacon Cupcakes
Cupcake - makes about 24 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped up cooked bacon
  • 2-1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose mix because it was all that was available at the local grocery store)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (rounded) Xanthan gum
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water (or milk--I didn't have any, so I used water)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
If not already done, cook some bacon, preferably in an iron skillet. I roll old school. I'd suggest a pound of thick cut bacon because there is no such thing as too much bacon. Reserve the fat and put it in the fridge or freezer to solidify. Cut enough cooked bacon to make 1/2 cup and put it and any leftover bacon aside for later. But don't eat it all because we'll use at least part of what's left for garnishing those cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tin with cupcake papers and set aside.

Combine softened butter and bacon fat until well blended. It's going to look pretty icky, but trust me, this works.

Add the sugar to the fats and mix for two minutes.

Add in the eggs, water, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix until well blended.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together then add gradually to the wet mix until incorporated.

Add the chopped up bacon and mix until just combined.

Fill each cupcake tin about halfway and bake at 350 for 15 minutes (for regular sized cupcakes--13 for mini cupcakes). Remove from oven and cool.

Frosting- makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes
  • 2 pounds of gluten free confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups of gluten free shortening
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 16 teaspoons of water

I recommend using a stand mixer for this one. It's pretty stiff and can be hard to do with a hand mixer.

Combine shortening and 1/4 cup maple syrup.

Add in all the sugar and continue mixing, adding water to get the desired consistency.

Now it's time for Assembly!

Make sure all of your cupcakes are cool--otherwise your frosting is just going to get nasty.

Pipe or spread frosting onto each cupcake. I used a decorator bag with a large star tip to create the look in the picture above.

Cut a piece of the cooked bacon and place on the cupcake.

Repeat until all of your cupcakes are done.

On Gluten Free Baking/Cooking

For the BamaCross gluten free folks, I researched and read labels for everything that I used.

For anyone who sees gluten free recipe and says, "I can make something gluten free for my friend!". Please remember that just about everything that is mass produced has gluten in it or has been exposed to it (cross contamination). So don't be offended if they ask lots of questions or still opt not to eat your goodies. It's their health.

Some common baking items that could have gluten in them:
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • extracts (like vanilla)
  • yeast
  • chocolate chips