(Belated) Variety Flour Thursday: Rice Flour Cupcakes

May 13, 2011

First up, my apologies for not posting my Variety Flour recipe on Thursday. I think I’m going to try to play it off as some parallel universe Friday the 13th mix-up, one where everything I was supposed to do Thursday will be done on Friday. Mainly, though, it was relaxing cocktail of procrastination and sunlight.

Anyways… back to baking! I bought a small bag of brown rice flour last year on a whim. Shortly after buying it, I figured out that rice flour is the perfect ingredient in shortbread, giving an already delicious treat a fantastic textural highlight. Other than that, though, the rice flour has just sat in my freezer, next to all the other flours I use on a semi-regular basis (buckwheat, whole wheat, oat, etc), and that started to make me sad. No flour left behind, people!

Since my rice flour recipe box is embarrassingly sparse, I did what I usually do when I want more information about something, type it into the google machine and see what results come to me from the vast world of the internet. This approach doesn’t always work, but one of the first recipes that came up for “rice flour” and “cake” was, not surprisingly, a rice flour cake from Whole Foods.

I was skeptical without reason. Instead of making the cake, I decided to adapt it to cupcakes so they are easier to eat for people on the go (mainly my co-workers and room mates), and the only other change I made was to add a little bit of almond extract in place of some of the vanilla. I love the texture of these cakes, which is grainy/crunchy, almost like a semolina flour cake, and fall even more in love because the graininess of the rice flour doesn’t overpower the lightness of the cake itself. If you want to make cupcakes that are a little different, I highly suggest these, along with either the jam glaze listed after the recipe or just a smear of plain ol’ jam. Both options were great!

Rice Flour Cupcakes

(Recipe adapted from Whole Foods)

Yields 9 or 10 cupcakes (If you use a ¼ cup ice cream scoop, you’ll have 9 cupcakes and they will puff over cupcake papers, so if you prefer cupcakes not puffed over the top, use a scant ¼ cup measure.)

Ingredients:

½ cup, or 8 tablespoons, butter, unsalted and softened

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 ¼ rice flour, brown or white

1 teaspoon baking powder

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 9 or 10 muffin cups with cupcake papers.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Whisk in eggs and extracts until combined. Mixture will be grainy.

4. Fold in flour and baking powder until no flour lumps remain.

5. Fill cupcake papers using a ¼ cup measure, or about ¾ full.

6. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them to a rack to cool completely.

Once cool, store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If frosting cupcakes with jam glaze, store frosted cupcakes at room temperature for up to a day and in the fridge, kept in an airtight container, for up to two more days.

Jam glaze

Ingredients:

1/3 cup fruit preserves

1 tablespoon water

Method:

1. Place preserves and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil for a minute.

2. Turn the heat off and stir the glaze for another 30 seconds or so.

3. Glaze cupcakes.

 

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