It’s February and I’m in the mood for baking up a sweet little indulgence!
One of the treasures I took away from the Gluten Free Expo in Vancouver was a bag of Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix. I’ve tried a couple of different all-purpose gluten free flour mixes but have always gone back to mixing my gluten free flours recipe by recipe.
Ever since they opened in New Westminster BC last year, I have heard many good things about Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery. I was looking forward to seeing them at the Expo. I discovered they were selling a new Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix. Intrigued, I decided to buy a bag. After getting home with my treasures from the Expo, I found out Cloud 9 was running a Gluten Free Baking Contest. I decided to create and enter a special recipe using their baking mix.
At first, I was thinking Waffles With a warm Praline Pecan Sauce, or something savoury like Cheese Buns, or Cheese Sticks, maybe some Crackers? None of those seemed right for me to enter in the contest. I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration and that’s where I saw a picture of Rachael Ray’s Hot Cocoa Cookies and that got my creative gluten free juices spinning.
What if I were to take the look of Hot Cocoa with a marshmallow on top and turn it into cupcakes? Not just Hot Cocoa Cupcakes, I wanted to add the flavour of coffee and thought I would call them Hot Cocoa-Mocha Cupcakes or how about Cocoa-Mo? Well, that line of thinking got me singing that song Kokomo by The Beach Boys. You know the song don’t you? It’s the one they did for the movie Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise…
♫ ♫ ♫
Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego,
baby why don’t we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo,
we’ll get there fast
and then we’ll take it slow
That’s where we wanna go,
way down in Kokomo
♫ ♫ ♫
Well, that was a mistake! Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head.
For my trial run, I topped the cupcakes with a small square of chocolate bar and a half of a marshmallow just like Rachel Ray did on her cookies. The cupcakes tasted really good but the partially melted marshmallow was kind of awkward to manage. It was a bit too gooey and gummy, so I decided to switch it up. Still wanting to stick with a Hot Cocoa theme, I decided to try a Marshmallow Frosting on top of my cupcakes.
After a few more trial runs (my family enjoyed doing duty as my tasting panel), I came up with a recipe for cupcakes that are as yummy as they are visually appealing. Gluten free chocolate and coffee flavoured cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting and a little sprinkle of shaved chocolate to give them the look of one of those wonderful beverages you get from a fancy coffee shop. Perfect! With a little scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream…out of this world!!
If you’re worried about the cupcakes being icky sweet, they’re really not, the sweetness is all in the frosting. If you’re making the cupcakes for children, I suggest you use milk (or dairy substitute) instead of coffee and maybe add a bit more sugar. Start with a couple of tablespoons. They would also be great with some mini-chocolate chips added to the batter before baking.
Of course, if you prefer, you can top the cupcakes with chocolate and marshmallows. Just follow the topping instructions for Rachael Ray’s Hot Cocoa Cookies. You can also opt out of the marshmallows all together and go with your favourite frosting instead. A pink buttercream for Valentines Day would be lovely.
Now about the Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix. I tried about six different variations of these cupcakes before settling on the recipe below and I loved the fact that when it came time to add the flour, I wasn’t having to drag out a dozen different jars of flour from my pantry. I just dipped into my bag of Cloud 9 Baking Mix and pulled out a scoop of premixed gluten free flour.
The Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix gave me good consistent results every time. The variations I made as I was developing the recipe, were in the amounts of liquid and sweeteners, as well as in the baking temperatures and times I used but I never had to adjust or add to the Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix.
If you want to try the Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix, you can pick it up direct from the Bakery at 1025 Royal Avenue, New Westminster, BC. Or check the Find Us page on their website to see if it’s available at a retailer near you. If it’s not, they will ship… email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them 604-249-5010 to place an order.
If you would like to enter Cloud 9′s Gluten-Free Bake Off Contest, there is still time but hurry, the contest closes on February 24th.
Watch for an update about my contest entry. If my recipe makes the top ten, I will be soliciting your votes on Facebook to help my Cocoa-Mocha Cupcakes win the Top Prize
I enjoy working with the Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix and definitely plan to keep a bag of it on hand in my pantry. Next up? I’m still thinking about making those Waffles With a warm Praline Pecan Sauce…YUM!
Recipe: Cocoa-Mocha Cupcakes
Summary: Made with the new Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix, these chocolate and coffee cupcakes with a marshmallow frosting and light sprinkle of fine chocolate shavings are something special!
Gluten Free | Vegetarian
Inspired by: Rachael Ray recipe for Hot Cocoa Cookies
*** Always refer to packaging labels for the most up to date allergy information
- 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 Cup freshly brewed strong coffee
- 1 Cup Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix **see variations below
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 2/3 Cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1/4 Cup plain unsweetened yogurt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Note: Gluten free flours are often sticky and for that reason, I use Parchment Cupcake Liners. You can find them in the Baking Section of most mainstream Supermarkets.
- In a small bowl, mix cocoa with coffee (the temperature of the coffee is not important at this point). Start by pouring a bit of coffee over the cocoa. Stir until it forms a paste. Add the rest of the coffee and whisk until smooth. If mixture is warm, allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the cupcake batter.
- In a small bowl, add Cloud 9 Baking mix, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well blended. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter until it’s soft. Gradually add brown sugar, beating until it’s light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, beat until thoroughly mixed.
- Add yogurt and vanilla. Mix until blended.
- Add one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the cocoa/coffee mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until the batter is just smooth. Add another third of the flour and cocoa/coffee, mix until smooth, add last of mixtures, mix until the batter is just smooth. Batter will be quite thick.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Fill each cup about 2/3 full. Use back of spoon to smooth tops of the cupcake batter.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out with dry crumbs on it. Do not over bake.
- Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan, before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Once cool, frost with Marshmallow Frosting (recipe below), or top with your favourite frosting, or a chocolate ganache. These cupcakes are also delicious topped with chocolate and a half of a marshmallow. Follow the marshmallow topping instructions in Rachael Ray’s recipe for Hot Cocoa Cookies.
***Please keep in mind that making substitutions will change the final outcome.
- If you can’t get Cloud 9 Gluten Free Baking Mix, the following DIY Mix of gluten free flours will work with this recipe. Whisk together 1/4 Cup Sweet Rice Flour, 1/4 Cup Buckwheat flour, 1/4 Cup Tapioca flour/starch, 2 Tbsp Millet flour, 2 Tbsp Potato starch and 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.
- You can use melted Coconut Oil as a 1:1 replacement for butter.
- For dairy free version, use Coconut Oil instead of butter and omit yogurt. If you omit yogurt, you need to replace it with an acidic ingredient to work with the Baking Soda. I would suggest using 1/4 Cup milk replacement of choice, plus 1 tsp lemon juice.
- These cupcakes (without frosting) are not very sweet. If you prefer a sweeter cupcake, stir 1/4 Cup gluten free mini chocolate chips into the batter.
Recipe by Laureen
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten Free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Recipe: Marshmallow Frosting
Summary: This Marshmallow Frosting is cooked over boiling water while beating constantly for 7 minutes or until it makes firm peaks.
- 2 extra-large egg whites
- 1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar (not icing sugar)
- 1/3 Cup water
- 6 large marshmallows, cut into quarters
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- small amount of shaved chocolate for garnish
- In a double boiler or heat proof glass bowl set over a pan of boiling water, mix egg whites, sugar, water and marshmallows with a spoon until marshmallows have melted.
- Continue to cook over boiling water, beating with a hand-held electric mixture on medium speed for about 7 minutes, or until mixture is shiny and stiff peaks form.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla and cream of tarter. Beat on medium speed for up to 5 minutes, or until thick and easy to spread.
- Pipe or spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.
- Sprinkle a pinch of shaved chocolate over each cupcake to give them the look of one of those wonderful beverages you get from a fancy coffee shop.
Recipe by Laureen
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 7 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten Free
NOTE: I am not affiliated with Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery. I was not compensated in any way for publishing this post. All of the opinions expressed here are my own.
To see a text listing of Laureen’s gluten free recipes, click here
For dairy, egg, nut and gluten free flour substitutions, click here
Scientific research has shown that if women take 0.4 mg of Folic Acid 3-4 months prior to and during pregnancy, the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida is reduced by up to 75%. Please consult your physician to determine what is the right amount of Folic Acid for you.
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