*Gluten- Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free and Nut-Free Delights
Sometimes, allergy-free can be unbelievably easy, even when it looks a little difficult. I made these little cupcakes with gluten, dairy, nut and egg-free pretzels, the frosting that I posted in my January entry (Crazy Easy Vanilla Buttercream) a Skittle and cake mix. You can use black licorice spirals for the antennae, but be very careful to read the ingredients—licorice often contains flour as a binder. I was shocked to learn that Skittles were gluten, dairy, soy, nut and egg-free, but when I did, wow was I excited!
With Spring around the corner, I felt like it was time to do something easy, pretty and impressive to perk up my table. The three adjectives I just used to describe these cupcakes ensure delight among your guests, and the first adjective, well that just ensures delight within the chef. So, I thought that these were the perfect kick-off to the very earliest days of Spring. I think you, or at least your kids, will too!
1 box Cherrybrook Farms gluten-free vanilla cake mix
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup Crazy Easy Vanilla “Buttercream” (recipe follows)
24 Glutino gluten, dairy, nut and egg-free pretzels
1 black licorice spiral, unrolled and cut into 1/8” lenths (Optional. Only use if you can find wheat-free licorice)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners. Pour the cake mix into a large bowl, add the canola oil and water and beat with a hand mixer for two minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat again until no lumps remain in the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing according to the recipe directions. Tint 3/4 of the icing light pink and 1/4 of it light blue. Load the blue icing into a pastry bag fitted with a number 4 tip. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the pink icing. Pipe five dots down the middle of each cupcake. Place one pretzel one either side of the row of blue dots. Place a Skittle at the top of the row of blue dots and, if you are using it, carefully insert 2 lengths of black licorice underneath the Skittle.
These cupcakes are best served on the day that they are made but may be stored, at room temperature in an airtight container, for up to three days. They are great to celebrate Spring, but even better for a very special birthday treat!
Crazy Easy “Buttercream” Frosting
3/4 cup organic palm fruit oil shortening
1/3 cup powdered vanilla rice milk
5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the organic palm fruit oil and the powdered, organic palm fruit oil shortening until they are light and fluffy. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. The mixture will be crumbly. Stir in the water, salt and vanilla extract. Beat the frosting for three minutes on medium high.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed directly on top of the frosting in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw completely and beat again before using the frosting.
Written By: Elizabeth Gordon