Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween is almost here which means it’s time to get perfecting those Halloween costumes and planning those Halloween bakes.

It’s no secret amongst my friends that I am the biggest scaredy cat. I am easily spooked and don’t do well with the grisly and gruesome side of Halloween; but give me pumpkin carving, cat costumes and treats galore and I’m a happy chappy!

Speaking of treats, today I’m going to share with you my recipe for Halloween Cupcakes.
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At Halloween everyone should be able to have a treat. I decided I wanted to create a delicious cupcake that would be suitable for those with multiple food intolerances and after a bit of experimenting I came up with a recipe which is both gluten free, egg free and can be made dairy free.

In case you’re wondering, cupcakes don’t really need eggs to work! After a little research and a few experiments, I found that using soya milk helps to bind the ingredients together and a little extra raising agent helps the cakes to rise.

For decorations, I used ‘Creepy Coins‘ from Tesco which are both gluten free and egg free, but are not suitable for those with dairy intolerance. For dairy free decorations, you could try making these cute marshmallow ghosts instead!
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Gluten Free/Egg Free Halloween Cupcakes (Dairy Free Options)

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
150g gluten free self raising flour
150g caster sugar
20g cocoa powder
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
55g butter (or dairy free spread/sunflower oil)
150ml soya milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Icing:
50g butter (or dairy free spread)
200g Trex (Crisco in America)
200g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Decorations:
10 Halloween chocolates (I used ‘Creepy Coins’ from Tesco) OR
10 Marshmallow Ghosts (dairy free)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/Gas mark 3 and line a cupcake tin with 10 cupcake cases.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar and baking powder.

3. Add the butter, vanilla extract and soya milk and give the ingredients a quick stir but don’t worry too much about any lumps.

4. Pour the mixture into the cupcake cases until they are about two thirds full.

5. Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, when they are ready the cupcakes should be firm to touch.

6. Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

7. In a large bowl, beat the vanilla essence, Trex and butter with an electric hand mixer until soft then add the icing sugar and beat until you are left with a light and fluffy icing.

8. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a large 1 inch star nozzle, or one that is suitable for creating cupcake swirls.

9. Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing onto each cupcake and decorate!

Come and follow me over on Instagram or Facebook to see what else i’m getting up to this Halloween!

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Gluten Free Ginger Cake

Autumn is here and as the weather turns colder I look forward to all the flavours the new season has to offer. Gone are the summer fruits, in are the wintery comfort foods and what could be more comforting than slice of warm and spicy ginger cake?

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In my opinion, comfort food should be as fuss free and simple to achieve as possible. My ginger cake recipe is exactly that and requires no advanced techniques – simply mix the ingredients together and bake!

This cake certainly packs a punch and has a very strong spicy ginger flavour, so feel free to use less ginger if you’d prefer a milder flavour.

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Gluten Free Ginger Cake

Ingredients:
200g gluten free self raising flour
200g light brown sugar
2 – 3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55g unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
100ml strong black tea, cooled

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 then grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

2. In a large bowl: Mix together the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.

3. In a separate bowl: whisk together the eggs, golden syrup and treacle.

4. Make a well in the centre of the ingredients, add the egg mixture, melted butter and tea then mix until you are left with a smooth and lump-free batter.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, when the cake is done it should be firm to touch.

6. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool before serving.

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This cake matures really well and tastes even better after a day or two. If you can wait, wrap your cake in some greaseproof paper and store it in an air tight container for at least 12 hours before you tuck in – the longer you leave his cake, the sticker it gets! This cake will be at it’s best for at least 5 days and keeps for up to 7 days, if stored properly in an airtight container.

Gluten Free Christmas: Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

It’s almost Christmas which means time for preparing those bakes for the big day!

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Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies which would make a lovely gift or edible tree decoration!
Gingerbread is my favourite and I have lovely memories of making it with my mum and sister during the Christmas holidays, but until now I’ve never made it gluten free!

In the past I have found making Gluten Free biscuits quite tricky, usually they would end up rising, lose their shape and the texture would be far too chewy. After a few experiments with different types of flour, I have come up with the perfect Gingerbread Cookie recipe that has both the taste and texture of proper Gingerbread – I guarantee no one would be able to tell they are Gluten Free!

These cookies would also make a lovely homemade Christmas gift. The recipe makes a very large batch (perfect if you’ve got lots of special people to give presents to) and the cookies keep well if stored in an airtight container or a clip top jar.

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Ingredients

For the Cookies:
125g gluten free self raising flour blend
200g rice flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
125g unsalted butter
150g soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp black treacle
1 large egg

For the Royal Icing:
1 egg white
250g Icing Sugar

Method:

1) In a large bowl, sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon.

2) Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes like fine bread crumbs and then stir through the dark brown sugar.

3) In a separate bowl whisk the egg with a fork, then add this to the cookie mixture along with the golden syrup and black treacle.

4) Mix until the ingredients come together. The cookie dough will appear quite wet at this stage but don’t be tempted to add more flour or you will dry out the dough!

5) Gently knead the dough on a floured surface with floured hands until it turns into a smooth, soft and slightly sticky ball of dough. Dust the dough with rice flour as you knead to stop it sticking to the work surface.

6) Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours – chilling helps the dough to firm up so it can be rolled out.

7) Heat your oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.

8) Roll out the cookie dough on a floured surface. Using festive cookie cutters, cut out the shapes you want then arrange the cookies on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

9) The cookies will take different times to bake depending on their sizes:

Small Cookies – 8 to 10 minutes
Medium Cookies – 10 to 12 minutes
Large Cookies – 12 to 15 minutes

You will know when the cookies are done if they lift off the baking sheet easily. The cookies shouldn’t get too brown – watch out for burnt edges!

10. Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack to cool.

11. To make the Royal Icing, place 1 egg white in a bowl and slowly sift in the icing sugar in batches. In between each batch of sugar stir the icing with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk until the icing thickens up.

12. Transfer the icing into a piping bag, if you are not using your icing straight away cover the bowl with cling film to prevent air getting to it which will cause it to harden.

13. Finally, have fun decorating your cookies however you choose!

I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season and will give my recipe a go this year.

I am taking a well deserved holiday, but I will be back in the New Year with more gluten free recipes for you all to try.  In the meantime, come and check out my out my Instagram page to see what else I get up to over Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  xxx