Did you read this? It’s a short personal essay on the value of the small kitchen, and how less space and fewer tools help develop your cooking skills. I’d say 75% of me is with this; I’ve definitely learned the value of having good quality, multi-use tools rather than a piece of junk for every occasion. But on the other hand, my family is going to have to bury me with my Kitchen Aid Mixer on one side and my cast-iron ladle on the other.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that our current kitchen (in the house we are taking care of over the winter) is less than ideal for someone who enjoys cooking. There is a hotplate that can’t really boil water, a convection microwave that can, through a technological miracle, bake, but is the approximate width of my forearm, a kettle with a sparky cord, and a toaster (the toaster’s fine). None of these appliances can be used at the same time, or the fuse’ll blow. While it’s still frustrating to have to bake cookies in batches of four placed in a brownie tin rather than on a cookie sheet, working in this kitchen has made me more mindful, by necessity.
Onto these cupcakes, then. This recipe is a three-in-one: gluten-free cupcake, maple buttercream frosting, waffle bits. You can skip making the waffles if you have a pre-made one stashed away – just cut it into little triangles – but this recipe makes the perfect amount for garnishing twelve cupcakes, so you don’t have to make a whole batch of waffles just for cupcakes (although if you want to make a whole batch of waffles, all the power to you). The end result is a cozy, cinnamon-sugared treat that looks like you put more effort (and unhealthy ingredients) into it than you did.
This cake recipe has its bones in the vanilla cupcakes from Post-Punk Kitchen.
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (see note)
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan non-hydrogenated margarine (I used Earth Balance)
- 4 cups organic powdered sugar
- 3 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp maple extract
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
- pinch salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners and preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix the non-dairy milk and vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside to curdle, about 10 minutes.
- In another large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (but not the sugar).
- Add sugar, oil, and extract to the milk mixture and stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix into the dry ingredients (gluten-free benefit: you don't need to worry about over-mixing).
- Distribute evenly among muffin liners and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool fully before frosting and waffling.
- Grease and preheat you waffle iron.
- Mix together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then add in wet ingredients (no need to pre-mix). Drop tablespoonfuls onto the hot iron, keeping them separate, and cook until lightly brown (for me this was about ten minutes and I had to do three batches of four tablespoonfuls, but every waffle iron is different). Let cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat margarine until light, about two minutes. Add in one cup of sugar and one tablespoon of milk and stir to incorporate fully, scrape down sides. Repeat until you have the texture and taste you want (you may want to add slightly more milk or sugar depending on your preference). Stir in extract.
- Pipe or spread a dollop of frosting on each cooled cupcake, then sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. Finish off each with a waffle bit.
- This makes a pretty generous amount of frosting, so if you're planning of spreading the frosting rather than piping it, you can scale back the frosting recipe by 1/2. I had a bit left over.
- I used a brown rice flour base flour blend that contained xantham gum. If your blend doesn't have it, you may want to add 1/2 tsp.
- You can also use a pre-made waffle cut into small triangles instead of the micro-recipe I suggest here.