Red Velvet Cupcakes

With my almost a year now of being a coeliac I have learnt the thing you miss most is baked goods. Whilst typical dinners can be made with minor adjustments, baking is more of an art! Luckily my friends had the realisation that I was going to die without being able to bake (and eat) delicious cakes, muffins, cookies and cupcakes so I got given 3 cookbooks entirely about gluten-free baking within a week of being diagnosed! I know what your thinking: damn I wish I had her friends! Well the best bit is that you can share in their wisdom through my posts about the delicious recipes I have found. First a tip: a LOT of the recipes in books are NOT delicious… they are gluten-free but definitely not up to baking standards. Try not to get too excited about how something sounds until you try it, you may just end up really depressed about how gross it tastes. Don’t blame yourself, blame the devil: xanthan gum!

So today’s recipe is gluten-free Red Velvet Cupcakes. I made these on Thursday so that my housemate, B, could take them to a party (just in case there was a coeliac/gluten-intollerant… well not really.. just because they are delicious!).


175g gluten-free self-raising flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1 stp cream of tartar

85g unsalted butter, softened

150g caster sugar

2 large eggs

2 tbsp natural red food colouring

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cider vinegar

200ml buttermilk

For the cream cheese icing:

115g full-fat cream cheese

60g unsalted butter, softened

½ tsp vanilla extract

350g icing sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place patty-cake paper cases into a cupcake tray and set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa, and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between additions. Add half the flour mixture, colouring, vanilla, vinegar and hald the buttermilk. Whisk well with a hand whisk.
  4. Add the remaining flour and buttermilk. Whist again for 30 seconds. Divide the mixture between the paper cases so they are two-thirds full. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the centres spring back with lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the icing, whisk the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric whisk. Gradually add the icing sugar, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated. Whisk for 30 seconds until really light and fluffy.
  6. Carefully slice and crumble a thin disc from the top of three cakes to make crumbs for the topping. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe it in swirls on top of the cakes.
  7. Scatter over the cake crumbs to finish.

Note: Be careful with how much you put in… these little delights RISE!





P.s. you may notice that B even took some of the Banana and Choc Chip Cupcakes I had made to her party. Coming from a non-coeliac, I take that as a huge sign they are delicious!

Final Note: I have found that most gluten-free baked goods are 10x better the day they are made then the next, try and bake them on the day they are to be eaten!

2 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. This used to be my all time favorite kind of cake until I found out I could no longer have chocolate! Bummer right? :-) They look amazing!

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