Friday, January 30, 2009

Baking Buddies

The other day I went for wine with a lovely new foodie friend, Kimberly who has a lovely blog and a delicious home baking business called Brown Sugar.  We had originally intended to meet at one of my favorite north county wine spots, Gaffneys in Encinitas but upon arrival I was crushed to see that they had gone out of business!  Luckily Gaffneys will eventually be opening in a new yet to be determined location and Kimberly knew of another wine bar just down the road a bit, the slightly newish Wine Steals in Cardiff. We arrived just in time for their happy hour, which got us $3 glasses of vino (woohoo!). We also shared one of their scrumptious fruit and cheese boards while we chatted about our mutual love of baking, dinner parties, planning and preparing elaborate meals, and other delicious tidbits.  We chatted for hours about recipe development, the joys of starting a business, and made plans to meet up sometime in the next month for a joint Brown Sugar and Mari Made baking endeavor. One of Kimberly’s most popular baked goodies at Brown Sugar are her brownies, she also makes a strawberry cake that apparently is to die for. As soon as I heard her description of this sweet pink treat I knew I had to come up with a gluten free version.


Berry Sweet Cupcakes

Because its not quite strawberry season yet and fresh berries are still a little pricy I opted to use frozen strawberries. The frozen berries worked perfectly but I am sure this cake would be even sweeter with fresh berries. This recipe make 12 cupcakes but you can always double the batter if you want 24, and if you have any hungry family or friends around trust me you will want more than 12!



1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

¾ cup brown rice flour

½ cup potato starch

¼ cup tapioca flour

½ teaspoon xanath gum

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 3 oz package strawberry jello

½ cup canola oil

½ cup milk (soy or moo cow)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup strawberries, thawed if using frozen



Preheat the oven to 350 then combine the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat until well combined. In another bowl sift together the flours, xanath gum, baking powder, salt and jello mix then set aside. 

In a third bowl combine the oil, milk, vanilla and strawberries and using a stand mixer or hand mixer blend on medium high until the berries have broken down.  

Slowly add the liquid berry mixture and the flour mixture to the bowl of egg and sugar and beat at medium speed until fully combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.


Pour the rosy batter into a paper cup lined muffin tin and bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until cakes have browned along the edges slightly.


Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tin. Let the cakes sit on a wire rack until completely cool and then top with your favorite frosting.  I used a cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting


½ cup cream cheese (or tofuti brand if you want dairy free)

½ cup butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk (moo cow or soy) 



Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add to this the sugar, vanilla and mil and mix until completely smooth.


Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes. Any extra frosting can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Soooo yummy! Soft fluffy gluten free cake, sweet strawberries, and rich cream cheese frosting all wrapped up in a pretty pink package, what more could a cupcake lover want!?

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