Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
These gluten-free cupcakes with sugar coated cranberries are perfect for the holiday season!
A Twist on a Classic
Snickerdoodle cookies are one of the most popular cookie recipes, especially during Christmas time. These soft, chewy cookies are known for their cinnamon sugar coating and vanilla flavor. Much like sugar cookies, the snickerdoodle has one ingredient that makes it significantly different. Cream of tartar is an essential component that gives the cookie a bit of tang that differentiates its flavor from the sugar cookie. The end result is a delicious, irresistible cookie!
What if I told you this cupcake recipe had the exact same flavor profile of the snickerdoodle? That’s right, these cupcakes live up to their name! These Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes have the same soft interior and sweet taste that makes the cookies so good. The cupcakes are finished with a cream cheese frosting that enhances the vanilla flavor of their profile. The combination makes for a must-make holiday dessert!
Don’t let the cream cheese frosting fool you. The real star of this recipe is the batter which yields a soft, flavorful cupcake. This batter is straight forward to make. Like any good batter, it starts with the flour. When it comes to gluten-free baking, this can be the trickiest component. Luckily, I have a tried and true go-to flour. The Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour is a favorite of mine. This flour is soft and fluffy; which, translates to the batter. As well, this flour makes gluten-free baking a breeze! No need to mix a number of gluten-free flours together or find the perfect combination.
Start by combining the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. First add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Then, it’s time for the spices. Like traditional snickerdoodle cookies, this cupcake recipe uses cinnamon, nutmeg, and cream of tartar. Finally, add a bit of xanthin gum to bind the ingredients and a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness. Mix the dry ingredients together, then set them to the side.
Time for the wet ingredients! Add the softened unsalted butter, brown sugar and cane sugar to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugars. Start with the mixer on a low speed for one minute. Then, when the ingredients begin to incorporate with one another, increase the speed to medium and beat for another minute. Once well mixed, add two room temperature eggs- one at a time- and beat between. Adding your eggs slowly allows the ingredients to better blend together. Last, add a half cup of plain Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of milk and two teaspoons of vanilla extract. The Greek yogurt adds a tang to the recipe that compliments the cream of tartar. Furthermore, it ensures the interior of the cupcakes stay moist.
Now, we have one bowl of dry ingredients and one bowl of wet ingredients. So, you know what that means… it’s time to combine them! Slowly sift in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I like to add one fourth cup of the dry ingredients at a time while mixing on low speed. This ensures that the flavors are being well incorporated. As well, adding all the dry ingredients at once can make the recipe too thick at first. This can lead to over mixing the batter; which, will result in more dense, chewy texture.
When it comes to pouring the batter into the muffin liners, there’s always the question…. How far should I fill it up? If you’ve made muffins or cupcakes before, then you’ve probably had the experience of filling the liners too high. Not only does this get messy really fast, but it also can ultimately ruin the cupcakes- at least the look of them. For this recipes, I fill the liners a little more than three fourths of the way with batter. The cupcakes will ultimately rise but will not go over the top and spread.
There should be enough batter to fill at least twelve muffin tins. If you’re using a smaller tray, you may even have enough for fifteen! As much as possible, try to make sure that each liner has the same amount of batter in it. Then, all that’s left to do is bake the cupcakes! Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. When you remove the finished cupcakes from the oven, allow them to rest in the tin for at least ten minutes. Then, you can remove them and place the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.
The Cream Cheese Frosting
You can’t have cupcakes without frosting! The most important element when it comes to frosting cupcakes it allowing the cupcakes to fully cool and reach room temperature. If you frost the cupcakes too early, the frosting will melt. As hard as it can be to wait, trust me- it is worth it!
My cream cheese frosting has a special ingredient to it. Like the batter, I use a bit of plain Greek yogurt in my frosting. This ties the recipe together by ensuring the frosting isn’t overly sweet. First thing is first, though: the cream cheese and butter. I like to put both ingredients out when I’m making the cupcake batter. I do this so that when it is time to make the frosting, the cream cheese and butter are already at room temperature. This makes it so much easier to mix the two together!
After the butter and cream cheese are thoroughly incorporated and creamy, it’s time to sift in the powdered sugar. Sifting the sugar ensures that the frosting is smooth and doesn’t have any lumps. Then, add a bit of plain Greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Mix again to incorporate. If the frosting is a little too loose, add another quarter cup of powdered sugar. Remember too that the frosting will firm up in the refrigerator. I like to allow my frosting to rest in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes.
Finishing the Cupcakes
Let’s frost some cupcakes! Start by adding your refrigerated frosting to a pipping bag. If you don’t have a pipping bag, you can add the frosting to a ziplock bag. Use scissors to cut a very small piece off of the bottom corner of the bag. To frost the cupcakes, start in the outside of the cooled cupcake. Then, work your way to the inside by making a circle from where you started. Once that circle is complete, continue to build on the layer of frosting and work your way up.
Once frosted, it’s time to add the garnishes. The sugar coated cranberries are a great element and easy to make! Just wet fresh cranberries, then roll them in cane or brown sugar. Place one or two on top of the frosted cupcakes. Finally, you can add a cinnamon stick for garnish. This easy decor gives the cupcake the perfect styling for a holiday party or Christmas celebration!
Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
For the Cupcake Batter
- 2 cups of gluten-free baking flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthin gum
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt,
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For the Toppings
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
- Cinnamon stick for garnish
- For the Batter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place paper liners in a muffin tin
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream of tartar, xanthin gum and salt
- In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugars
- Beat for one minute on low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat for another minute
- Then, add the greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract
- Use the electric mixer again to combine on medium-low speed for one minute
- Next, add the room temperature eggs one at a time, beating between on low speed
- Slowly sift in the dry ingredients to the bowl, mixing on low speed to incorporate
- Fill the muffin tins up three fourths of the way with the cupcake batter
- Bake for 25 minutes, then allow to reach room temperature before frosting
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Use an electric mixer to combine the room temperature cream cheese and butter
- Once well incorporated, sift in the powdered sugar
- Mix on low speed to thoroughly combine the sugar with the cream cheese mixture
- Then, add the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and pinch of salt
- Beat for one minute on low speed, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- To frost the cupcakes, use a pipping bag or cut a small sliver off the bottom corner of a ziplock bag
- Frost each cupcake by starting on the outside and working your way in, then build on the first layer of frosting
- For the Toppings
- Wet the fresh cranberries in water, then roll them in the sugar
- Place a sugar rolled cranberry on top of each cupcake with a cinnamon stick
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to three days