Gluten-Free Yellow Cupcakes

For years, I struggled with gluten-free cupcakes. They fell flat or felt dense. Sometimes they had the texture of cornbread instead of a[ light and fluffy cupcake. Then, I started baking from Joanne Chang's brilliant baking book, Flour. A former chemist, Chang became a beautifully persnickety baker. Her recipes always work. Her yellow cake was fluffy for the careful interplay of eggs, egg yolks, creamed butter and sugar, and buttermilk. With a few changes, the recipe made for some great gluten-free cupcakes.]

24 cupcakes
  • 420 grams all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons psyllium husks
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 345 grams (3 US sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preparing to bake: Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two 12-cup muffin tins. (For best results, use cupcake liners here.)

Combining the dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour mix, the psyllium, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Creaming the butter and sugar: Put the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment at medium speed, whirl the butter and sugar together until they are thoroughly combined, creamy, and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula once in a while.

Combining the wet ingredients: Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Finishing the batter: With the stand mixer running, add the egg mixture, one tablespoon at a time, to the creamed butter and sugar. When the entire mixture is incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl. When there is no visible sign of flour, add 1/2 of the buttermilk. When that is incorporated, repeat this process, ending with the dry ingredients.

Baking the cupcakes: Using a small ice cream scoop, spoon enough cake batter into the prepared muffin tins to fill each one 2/3 of the way. Put the tin into the oven and bake until the cupcakes are slightly firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes.

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 15 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the cupcakes, then turn them onto a cooling rack.

Variations: If you cannot eat dairy, try this with vegan "buttery" sticks and a non-dairy buttermilk.

Suggestions: This recipe makes kid-approved cupcakes. But it also makes a lovely 2-layer cake.

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Lisa S. - can you recommend some alts to this recipe or a GF yellow cake recipe that does not require the use of gums?  item not reviewed by moderator and published
Dear Shauna, Perhaps your past attempts at GF cupcakes fell flat because you added 3/4LBS (!!!) of butter for a recipe that yields 12 cupcakes. GF flour simply cannot absorb that much fat. Maybe that is why you added psyllium husk , to dry things out a bit? Psyllium husk produces a drier coarser crumb, it has no place being in a cake recipe. I notice you do not use any gums in your recipes, perhaps you choose to avoid them. The amount of eggs you have in this recipe negates any need for a binder or texture enhancer, so no gums needed. I respectfully request you review this recipe before publishing it, it gives GF baking an unfortunate view.  item not reviewed by moderator and published

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