Gluten-Free Apple Cider Cupcakes

by Susan on October 27, 2017

gluten-free apple cider cupcakes

The other weekend my daughter was in the mood to be cupcakes; I “helped” her by giving her some gluten-free flour and a few tips for how to adapt a standard recipe to be gluten-free. I then felt immense guilt when her resulting cakes didn’t rise well and were literally hard as rocks.

It’s not always easy to convert a recipe, and sometimes trying to take out the gluten takes out some rather important things like flavor and texture. Needless to say, THAT recipe never made it to the blog.

Today I thought I’d make it up to her by making a pretty straight-forward gluten-free cupcake that is not only easy to make but pretty much foolproof. It’s a shortcut recipe using cake mix, which perhaps doesn’t make it the healthiest but sometimes seasonal treats should be just that.

I found the recipe in a copy of Delicious Living magazine that my mother-in-law picked up for me at a local health store. The entire issue focused on gluten-free baked goods for fall. One of my favorite subjects to be sure!

I used King Arthur gluten-free cake mix and definitely recommend it over Glutino and other packaged gluten-free brands. It’s GMO-free and yields super light and fluffy cakes. While I made the recipe as written, you could easily substitute coconut oil for the butter. I did use organic cream cheese and powdered sugar to keep these goodies as clean as possible.

The frosting recipe yields the perfect amount to frost 12 cupcakes as long as you’re not planning anything too fancy. If you want to pipe the frosting I’d suggest doubling the batch.

The whole family loved these, and I think they’d make a great dessert to bring to fall get-togethers or bake sales (especially if anyone with allergies will be attending).

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Cupcakes
adapted from Delicious Living

1 15 oz. bag gluten-free yellow cake mix (I recommend King Arthur)
¼ cup butter or coconut oil (melted)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
⅔ cup real apple cider

cream cheese frosting:
⅓ cup real apple cider
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbs. unsalted butter or coconut oil, at room temperature
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups organic powdered sugar
a little ground cinnamon, for topping

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cups of a cupcake pan with paper baking cups.

Using a stand mixer, combine cake mix, melted butter or coconut oil, eggs, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and ⅔ cup apple cider until well combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2 /3 full with batter. Bake 18–22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare frosting. In a small saucepan, bring 1 /3 cup apple cider to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer until liquid has reduced to 1 tbs., about 6 minutes; set aside to cool.

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and 2 tbs. butter or coconut oil until fluffy. Slowly add cinnamon and then powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, and mix until incorporated. Fold in reduced apple cider. If frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar, 1 tbs. at a time. If frosting is too thick, add a little more apple cider, 1 tablespoon at a time.

When cupcakes have cooled, top with frosting and a dash of cinnamon.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Saleha October 27, 2017 at 11:55 am

Hello, thank you for sharing the recipe.
I have a question about the Apple cider. Is it Apple cider vinegar you’re talking about?
Forgive me if my question sounds silly!

Thank you


Susan October 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Hi! Thanks for the question… not silly at all! It’s actually apple cider (as in the unfiltered juice).


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