Homemade Gluten-Free Hostess Cupcakes

Imagine my delight when my future husband said, "Oh, I usually just use my stand mixer for that!" The man ate extra-sharp cheddar cheese and owned his own Kitchenaid. My WI heart never had a chance!

Behold, the mighty stand mixer. This beauty got a workout Saturday.

We had our first choir concert this weekend, and the directors asked people to bake so we could have a social after the concert with the people who attended. So of course I volunteered to bring something GF - what better excuse to experiment (and get the baked goods out of the house so we don't eat them all!)?

I'd been wanting to try my hand at a GF Hostess Cupcake recipe for a while, and this was a great opportunity. It took some internet research and combining of recipes, but I think the result was pretty great :)

There are four components to this: the cupcake, the filling, the ganache and the swirls on top. I used the same stuff for the filling and the swirls, because I am lazy. To do it really right you should probably make a separate vanilla frosting. Let me know how it goes if you do it! So here are the recipes, broken down into parts.

The Cupcake:
For this I modified a recipe from the Goddess. Since we are not vegan, I generally put back the eggs and butter and milk into her recipes. No reason to cut out more goodness than we already have to when considering other allergies!
3/4 rounded cup of sorghum flour
Lookin' good, but we're
not done yet!
3/4 rounded cup of arrowroot, potato, tapioca (which I hate, btw) or corn starch
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (I think 1/2 cup of chocolate powder + 3 T of oil might work better, but we were out of powdered, so solid chocolate it was!)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup warmed milk (The Goddess uses coffee, but that didn't seem right for this recipe. Coconut milk would have been fantastic but I didn't have any) Warmed is important if you're using melted chocolate.
1/4 cup Egg Beaters
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp light-tasting rice vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F.
Whisk all the dry ingredients. Warm the milk and melt the chocolate and add them with the other wet ingredients. Beat for 2-3 minutes, until everything is totally combined and smooth. Fill your cupcake cups 2/3 full of batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

The Filling/Swirls:
Again, a modification of what I found elsewhere. Has marshmallow cream, so is messy, but fun!
Make this while your cupcakes cool, and put in the fridge while you make the ganache.

4 T softened unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 T heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup marshmallow fluff

Cream the butter until it is fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and then alternate sugar and cream until fluffy and blended. Add vanilla and marsmallow. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl during the powdered sugar and marshmallow fluff parts - they like to stick to things and climb bowls :)

The Ganache:
The cupcake recipe only makes 12 cupcakes, so I scaled down a couple ganache recipes I found, to make this (again, while the cupcakes were cooling - be efficient, people!):

4 oz semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring the cream and butter just to a boil, and pour over chocolate in a glass bowl. Let sit until the chocolate is soft, and whisk until combined. Add vanilla. Let cool. Should be glossy and slightly liquidy. Taste test. Yummmm.

Putting it all together:
While your cupcakes cooled, you should have made your filling and ganache. I know it's hard, but try not to eat it all! Here are the steps to put everything together:
     1. Put the filling into a frosting bag with a medium star tip. Put this in the fridge while you make the ganache, if you haven't already.
     2. Dig the tip deep down into the cupcakes and put in a bunch of filling, until you can feel that the cupcake is getting heavier. I had to insert at multiple spots because I was having some pretty epic fail with my frosting bag - if your bag is working well, you should be able to just use one insertion point. Put the filling back in the fridge (it gets runny if it gets too warm).
     3. Use a knife or frosting blade to clean the excess filling off the top of the cupcakes. A little bit is ok - the ganache will cover that, you just don't want a ton of extra texture.
     4. Spoon some ganache on top and gently smooth it out to the edges of the cupcakes.
     5. Put in the fridge to harden the ganache a bit. 10 minutes or so.
     6. Change the tip on your frosting bag to a small round one, and put the signature swirls on top!
     7. Enjoy, and revel in the smiles :)

Yeah.. the filling was too warm, see?
It was still really delicious :D