If you’re a fan of Millionaire’s shortbread then you’re going to love these cupcakes! Light and fluffy gluten-free cupcakes filled with salted caramel and topped with a silky smooth chocolatey buttercream – utterly delicious! Take a look at my super simple coeliac-friendly recipe below for cupcakes that you won’t believe are gluten-free!
If you’re a fan of caramel, then you’re going to love these cupcakes! Not only are they ridiculously simple to whip up, they taste utterly delicious and look divine! You don’t need to be an expert for these, as I’ll explain in the recipe below.
How do you make these cupcakes?
So, how are easy are these cupcakes to whip up. Well, we start off by creaming the margarine and brown sugar together in a mixer until thoroughly combined and a light and fluffy texture has been achieved. It is imperative that the margarine, even though always softer than butter to start off with, is at room temperature for this, so that the ingredients are incorporated into the batter correctly.
Once finished with the creaming method, the eggs are whisked in one at a time until a gloopy mixture forms. Be careful not to overmix here but we do want them to be whisked in completely!
The vanilla extract is added next and mixed in too.
In a separate bowl, the flour, salt, Xanthan Gum and baking powder is sifted together and then slowly added to the wet ingredients and mixed in until just incorporated. We don’t want to overmix and lose those nice air bubbles that we’ve achieved in the whisking beforehand but we do want to make sure that there are no pockets of flour left in the mixture.
The mixture is then scooped into 12 cupcake cases (or 6 if you’ve chosen to do a small batch) and baked at 160 degrees in a fan assisted oven for around 20-25 minutes, until slightly golden and springy to the touch.
After cooling, a hole is created in the centre and a dollop of sweet carnation caramel is spooned in.
The chocolate buttercream topping is whipped up, piped on and then sprinkled with even more chocolate flakes to finish, just perfect!
What equipment do I need for these cupcakess?
- 12-hole cupcake baking tray
- 12 (or 6 large cupcake cases)- I actually use muffin cases (50 x 44mm) because you can really fill them up and have some decent sized cupcakes at the end
- Piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton 1M)
- Baking paper to toast the coconut flakes on in the oven
What ingredients do I need?
Brown Sugar – Brown sugar adds structure and sweetness to these cupcakes and also helps to give them structure. Using brown sugar gives the cupcakes a more golden caramel colour
Eggs – Eggs are needed to add structure to the cupcakes and to help them to rise in the baking process, room temperature is essential for all eggs in this recipe.
Margarine and butter – Margarine works wonders in cupcakes, hence why I’d recommend sticking to a margarine spread like Stork rather than a butter. Unsalted butter can be used at room temperature but you won’t get a super light and fluffy cupcake like you would with margarine. Unsalted butter at room temperature is best for the buttercream
Gluten-free flour – A gluten-free flour blend which contains a variety of flours is perfect for gluten-free baking. This ensures the cupcakes contain all of the necessary components needed to create the perfect crumb which a gluten-containing flour would naturally contain. For these cupcakes I like to use a self-raising flour such as Dove’s Farm or Schär- Cake and Cookie Mix C
Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten-free recipes and there are no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice but you can use any brand. Xanthan Gum is a gluten replacement for gluten-free baking and helps to replace the lost elasticity that gluten provides, keeping your cupcakes together and stopping them from crumbling into dry pieces later on
Baking powder – Baking powder acts as a leavening agent, helping the cupcakes to rise. Any baking powder will work, just again, check that it is definitely gluten-free as not all brands are.
Salt – A pinch of salt in a recipe enhances the flavours of the other ingredients and offsets the sweetness of the cupcakes
Vanilla extract – A few drops of vanilla extract pairs perfectly with the caramel flavours
Caramel – A pinch of salt is added to the carnation caramel before being spooned into the centre of each cupcake as the hidden filling. I like to use Carnation caramel but you can use any that is gluten-free
Icing sugar – Icing sugar is the main ingredient of the buttercream, adding sweetness and structure
Cocoa powder – Dutch pressed cocoa powder gives the buttercream the intense chocolate-y flavour
Chocolate flakes – A sprinkle of extra chocolate flakes finishes off the cupcakes
Tips & Tricks
Room temperature ingredients are essential for this recipe to work. Room temperature ingredients ensures that they all can be mixed together thoroughly. If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge beforehand, place them in a bowl of lukewarm, not hot, water 15 minutes prior to baking to bring them to room temperature quickly.
Uniform-sized cupcakes – I like to use an ice cream scoop to spoon my mixture into the cases. This way the cupcakes are likely to have a more uniform size after baking.
The toothpick test is a great way to check whether your cupcakes are done. As all ovens are calibrated differently, the baking times stated are always suggested a a rough guide. To check if the cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake and if it comes out with no crumbs stuck to it, you can assume that the cupcakes are baked through and ready to come out.
- Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
- Strawberry & Bourbon Vanilla Cupcakes
- Mini Strawberry Pies
- Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread
- Lemon Curd Linzer Cookies
For the cupcakes
- 230 g margarine softened, room temperature
- 230 g brown sugar
- 230 g gluten-free self-raising flour blend *
- 4 large-medium eggs room temperature
- ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
- 12 tsp caramel sauce
- ¼ tsp salt
For the buttercream
- 250 g unsalted butter softened, room temperature
- 375 g icing sugar
- 50 g Dutch pressed cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp chocolate flakes
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 160° C Fan and line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.
- Cream together the margarine and brown sugar until combined.230 g margarine, 230 g brown sugar
- Whisk in the eggs and vanilla one at a time until combined.4 large-medium eggs, ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and Xanthan Gum.230 g gluten-free self-raising flour blend, ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum, ½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and fold in, until no pockets of flour remain.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling the, 2/3 full. I like to use an ice cream scoop for this to get perfectly even-sized cupcakes.
- Bake the cupcakes on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack to room temperature before adding the filling and buttercream.
For the filling
- Mix the 12 teaspoons of caramel with the ¼ teaspoon of salt to create the salted caramel.
- Create a hole in the centre of each cupcake, you can use a knife or a piping tip for this, and fill each one with a teaspoon of caramel, before adding the top back on.12 tsp caramel sauce
For the buttercream
- Cream the butter in a mixer on the highest setting for 2-3 minutes until paler in colour and lighter in texture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.250 g unsalted butter
- Sift in the icing sugar in batches and mix on a high setting until thoroughly combined.375 g icing sugar
- Add the milk, cocoa powder and salt, and mix again on a high speed until no pockets of sugar remain and light and airy in texture.50 g Dutch pressed cocoa powder, 2 tbsp milk, ¼ tsp salt
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large open-star nozzle and pipe in a swirl on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes to finish.3 tbsp chocolate flakes