Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Best Orange Cinnamon Cupcakes

You can thank Abby for these incredible cupcakes (sorry, “muffins” yesterday was a misnomer!)

What? You don’t know Abby? Let me introduce you!

Abby has an incredible food blog called Confabulation in the Kitchen. She’s taken the last month off from posting, but that shouldn’t stop you… she has incredibly yummy recipes! I mean all of them… Abby never has a dull recipe or a case of writer’s block…it’s just not fair! I also love Abby because she is wickedly funny, totally southern, a fellow North Carolina girl, and is a truly amazing writer. She’s also quite a photographer! She’s also wonderfully organized (check out the great grouping of recipes on her site!)…. Need I go on?

Last week I was randomly musing through Abby’s recipes, when I saw these delicious orange cupcakes! The title of her blog post, “Hello Sunshine” immediately caught my attention… she has a way of doing that! I had to read on… there was this gorgeous picture of an orange cupcake… I could already smell them baking in the oven! I had to make these!!

Abby’s original recipe came from… a great site as we all know. I had to do a little tweaking to create a gluten-free version of the cupcakes, and I have to say… and I really don’t mean to brag… but these are the best darn cupcakes that I’ve ever had… BEFORE or AFTER going gluten-free!

If you look really closely, you'll see the little specks of orange zest! Yummy!

Other than changing the flour to a gluten-free variety and adding xanthan gum, my biggest change to the recipe was simply adding cinnamon. The thought came to me that these cupcakes might be similar tasting to Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls, which I was completely in love with before going gluten-free. I didn’t make them often, usually when I had company coming over (I never tried making them from scratch… I was perfectly happy with Pillsbury doing the work..) but they were always so tasty… I think I could have eaten a whole pan myself!

These cupcakes are even better than Pillsbury’s Orange Sweet Rolls, especially with adding a simple orange glaze! I have to admit, they aren't just good for dessert... I've been eating these for breakfast all week! Yum!!

I think one of the reasons these gluten-free cupcakes came out so well is due to separating the eggs, and S L O W L Y folding the whipped egg whites into the batter. This is an art! Take your time… you won’t regret it! If you fold in the egg whites too quickly, you will lose fluffiness which helps these gluten-free cupcakes to rise so beautifully! I think I cried when I saw these cupcakes rising mightily in the oven while baking! I know you folks who are experimenting with gluten-free flours completely understand this epiphany!!

You must make these. Just once… just to see if I’m right… and you know you love using the microplane grater, so grab an orange and get baking!

Orange Cinnamon Cupcakes

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake liners, or thoroughly grease baking pan. Mix flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and cinnamon in bowl and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar, and grated orange zest until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Fold in flour mixture, alternating with orange juice.

In another bowl, mix egg whites until stiff and add a pinch of salt. SLOWLY fold whisked egg whites into the mixture. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan. You should have enough batter for around 10 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Try your very best not to over-bake! Gluten-free flours really aren’t nice when they are over-baked!

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • 4-5 tbsp. orange juice

Mix confectioners sugar with orange zest. Slowly add orange juice until you reach the glaze consistency you prefer. Drizzle glaze over cooled cupcakes.

Check back tomorrow for a great chicken dinner recipe and

a 101 on southern grits!

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