Screw wheat!

My pal Victoria had a birthday, and on that birthday, she officially became age mumble mumble!

I was excited to make cupcakes for this birthday because Victoria is many, many special things, and one of those things is “a person with a gluten allergy.” What that means for yours truly is an exciting opportunity to learn how to do something new (and also buying new things, which I enjoy) (although, I’ll be honest, I would probably enjoy buying this pair of shoes more than just about anything).

It's that one! The one in the stripes! Age mumble mumble!

April’s issue of Living (I can’t talk about May yet, I have too many things to say) obliged me with a gluten-free recipe for banana-walnut muffins. Word, guys! Muffins are ALMOST CUPCAKES. Or, rather, it seemed to me, the Unscientist, that without wheat flour in a thing, that thing would probably be less heavy than muffins usually are anyway. Turns out, my sketchy knowledge of food chemistry led me in the right direction! Tapioca flour, brown-rice flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum may all combine to hold batter together, but the crumb was a lot finer than your average muffin. The below photo, I think you’ll find, backs me up – lotta moisture, not enough heft to be truly a muffin.

Batter that is free of all glutenz.

That’s fine though – I wanted these to be cake! I threw together a semi-successful cream cheese frosting (next time, I will consult a recipe first), topped the cakes with banana slices, and we were good to go. I should mention that we surprised poor Victoria while she was eating dinner with her husband, Pete. Mobile surprise parties are the best! Although I did worry that she was going to swoon into a shock-induced state.

Final result, gluten-free banana-walnut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!

While I forgot my stupid camera, it seemed like everyone was pleased. Now I just need about twelve more recipes so that I can use these cool flours in my kitchen! GET AWAY GLUTEN! NO ONE NEEDS YOUR KIND AROUND HERE!



  1. Lianna · May 6, 2010

    Yum! Perfect timing too- my mom and sister are GF and I wanted to do something new for Mother’s Day dessert. The banana slices on top are adorable!

  2. Amanda · May 7, 2010

    Those shoes remind me of, ‘YEA THEY ARE!!!’ outside of Helens. Get ’em. I’ll gleefully have your back.

  3. Susan · May 7, 2010

    Amanda, you’re like my hype man!!

    Lianna, I didn’t bring the issue with me today and the recipe’s not online! Crap! I should have typed it out yesterday, but I was so proud of myself for posting at all that I just hit publish and allowed my head to fill with a sense of accomplishment.

    • Lianna · May 12, 2010

      It’s ok! Was in a time crunch and remembered Betty Crocker GF mixes are now in Kroger, so I grabbed one, added bananas as eggs, and spread with generous amounts of Duncan Hines chocolate icing (both vegan and GF). Certainly not of the same caliber as your cupcakes, but good- like banana bread. In my rush to pick up cards and presents from my too-young-to-work,-drive,-or-independently-remember-Mother’s-Day siblings, I forgot ALL TWELVE cupcakes at home. They were all delicious. :)

  4. Lesley · May 7, 2010

    I’ve never had luck with cream cheese icing.

    Cream cheese should remain on top of bagels where it belongs.

    • Steff · May 12, 2010

      What?! No… Cream cheese frosting can be the bestest sort out there. I will now have to scrounge up my recipe, fix it again and prove that cream cheese frosting is the bestest.

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