GFCF Birthday Cupcakes

For those of you who know me well, or just maybe have gathered from my blog, I absolutely LOVE to bake.

When my birthday came up (yesterday), I decided that the best thing I could do was to make some GFCF cupcakes so that Gabriel wasn't left out. I would feel horrible about that. And now that Betty Crocker has a main-stream option, it was worth trying.

So Matt (my little Gordon Ramsey) and I got going.

Here is my review:

The mix was very very very white and sparkly since you could see the sugar in it. I was skeptical.

We added the ingredients, per the "alternate non-dairy" instructions online. Save yourself some time: the directions are the exact same only using shortening instead of butter. Why didn't they print that on the package? Also, it calls for "Gluten Free Vanilla" which really threw me. But I was tickled to find out that my Costco standard Vanilla is gluten free. Thank you Costco.

Matthew gave the batter his seal of approval.

Twice. OK, maybe a few more times....he just kept eating it.

Into the oven they went.

Out of the oven they came.

I was concerned about the texture of the cupcakes. All three of my boys independently called them muffins. I think they are correct. The texture and appearance was more grainy looking--like muffins (which I make very often from scratch so the boys are used to seeing those around the house).

I decided to go with a Gluten Free frosting mix, because I was suckered into it while standing in the aisle checking out the Gluten Free cake mix. What a waste of money. LOL Although the frosting tasted fine, powdered sugar, shortening and vanilla are much cheaper when they don't come in a "GFCF" bag. Just a tid bit I picked up on.

Even after frosting the cupcakes, they looked a little sad and naked.

I toasted some coconut and rolled the cupcakes in it for me, afterall it was my birthday. For the boys, I put the GFCF Newman's Own brand "oreos" on top. That was a huge hit. Then I left a few plain for the purists in the family. I was very happy mine had coconut.

The answer is this: the cupcakes were great. They were not so bad that you remembered that you are eating something modified, and not so good that you have to eat them all in one sitting. That said, I had two.

There is my GFCF Betty Crocker review. How helpful is it? I don't know. What I do know is that there are about a dozen or so GFCF alternations in my head that I could do with that cake mix. I will try again--but right now, I don't feel like tackling test-kitchen recipes at $4.19 a box plus add ins. Sigh.

I will post again soon, as you have to hear about my day Monday when Matthew threw up on me right before I went into the YMCA to get Gabriel and how they said I didn't have ID (apparently the puke on me doesn't count as ID) and couldn't take my kid. But that story doesn't exactly go well with cake.

Ah, to be me.

See ya soon,


Anonymous said...

Most vanilla extract has alcohol in it but some has glycerol solution. A lot has changed since we had to use the powdered variety years ago to make sure it was GF.

Just because it is in a box and convenient doesn't mean it is worth the cost or even the best tasting. Have you tried getting recipes off the net or from allergy cookbooks like my old favorite "The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy" by Bette Hagman and just buying the alternative flours and making your own adjustment to remove the casein. I know prices have dropped on the specialty products but it was much cheaper to do it that way back when I was doing GF.

Hartley said...

I got this great comment from Cynthia--THANK YOU!! I can't wait to hear more about your kids. H

We are not GFCF, but I have food allergies and for a while my boys did too. Their doctor insists they have outgrown them, but I wonder with my oldest since he is again having occasional "mystery hives" and is severely constipated; both problems which disappeared on our restricted diet. I discovered a delicious cake recipe that is milk and egg free online and made it with oat flour instead of wheat. I have also made it with lemon juice as part of the liquid or extra vanilla instead of the cocoa powder and all have turned out great. DH who doesn't like cake even liked it and at my older son's 3rd birthday party people were asking for the recipe. My computer with the recipe died, but this one is at least very similar:
Frosting can be made with powdered sugar, a little vanilla and or butter flavoring, shortening or lard, and a little water. If you don't need to decorate, you can just make a glaze with sugar, water and flavoring. My understanding of oats is that they could be contaminated with wheat, but they have never bothered me (wheat allergy)so I just buy cheap rolled oats at the grocery store and put them in the blender. If you can't do that, I think there are brands without contamination (try checking Bob's Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills). If you make your own flour from rolled oats I have noticed you need to pack it slightly when measuring. I make all kinds of stuff with oat flour. I makes a very moist, slightly sweet product. Do double check about oats though since, as mentioned earlier, I have never done gluten-free. I love your blog. Our older son was diagnosed with SPD this spring and we suspect our younger son may have it also, on the under-responsive end - complete opposite of his brother; just have to convince his doctor he needs a referral. We have been laughing since I discovered your blog a few days ago while searching for noise canceling headphones. I hope this helps with the baking.

Jeff and Laura said...

When using mixes and products that are suppossed to be gluten free you have to be very discerning now a days. There have been some reports of a product being sold labeled gluten free mix (cake,cookie) that is in fact contaminated with gluten. People extreamly sensitive were/are getting sick from the manufacturer because the product is not produced in a dedicated gluten free factory. Apparently the machinery, inside the mechanisms where the springs and bolts are, has gluten dust which can fall into the gf mix.
If you have a child who is GF, even if they don't experience sever gut pain within minutes of consuming gluten, they most likely need to be 100% gluten free - at least for the first year or two- to heal the gut and brain.
To read the article go to

mo mcd said...

Hi Hartley! We're trying this today for Crazy Pants. He was really sad last weekend when I made butter pecan cupcakes and he couldn't have one. I'm so new at this GFCF thing that I'm just not ready to dive into 6 kinds of pricey flour and some xantham gum, so for us, this was the least expensive way to see if he likes GFCF cupcakes. Its come down in price a little . . . we got it for $3.86. I'm mkaing my old standby buttercream from my Wilton classes . . . he loves that stuff. I'll let you know how it comes out! Thanks for the suggestions!