French Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

french buttermilk cupcake

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there are very few problems in the world that good, raw cookie dough can’t solve. If you’re a female the chances are that you have already discovered this fact. Bad day? Cookie dough. Hard test? Cookie dough. Hangover? Cookie dough. Break up? Cookie dough, ice cream, and booze. See the pattern? Yes I knew you would.

If we’re being honest here, I crave it all the time regardless of my mood. Sure, sometimes I desperately need some cookie dough to get me through a rough patch and heal some emotional wounds after a particularly long day or sad movie or what have you. And I need cookie dough the most when I remember that I can never have “normal people” cookie dough again. And those of you who can’t eat gluten know how icky gluten-free cookie dough can be if you’re using the wrong flour or buying the wrong refrigerated gunk. The best solution to this problem I’ve found is to make some cookie dough flavored buttercream – and believe me when I say it’ll make you forget your dieting woes. Whether you can or can’t eat gluten, this stuff is delicious. And super sweet, just so you can say I warned you.

This is a good recipe and even though I complain constantly (not in real life, mostly just here on the interweb-ether thing) it shuts me right up. You don’t need gluten. I don’t need gluten! I have this buttercream and a good ole cupcakes beneath it.

Here’s something I learned after baking an entire batch of these cupcakes though: buttermilk doesn’t absorb very well into the gluten-free flours (Thanks, America’s Test Kitchen). So if you would like to adapt these and make them even better gluten-free cupcakes than I did, I suggest using milk, almond milk, etc. The best way to do it is add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice then enough milk to reach a cup.

Other than the milk thing and using gluten-free flour in place of regular flour, I used this recipe and I remember making them pre-gluten/buttermilk fiasco and they were just fabulous. And this buttercream! It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of, I promise.

gf french buttermilk cupcake

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Southern Comfort Red Velvet Cupcakes

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I will be the first one to admit I’m not a huge fan of red velvet. I mean… what is that flavor? Just a hint of chocolate, lots of buttermilk, vinegar of all things, and red food coloring. They’re just so RED. But I found an enticing recipe for Southern Comfort Red Velvet cupcakes and I thought that was a cupcake I could get behind. I know what you’re all thinking, SoCo?! Yuuuuuumm. Right? No? My entire family makes so much fun of me for drinking it but as a college kid what more could you want? It’s the best possible mix in for an Arnold Palmer on game day if you can’t foot the bill for a bottle of Maker’s Mark.

Anyway, I got off topic. We’re not here to debate the merits of SoCo but to talk about cupcakes! It was my birthday a few weeks ago and I wanted to take some cupcakes to a little gathering a friend of mine was throwing. So when I stumbled upon the aforementioned recipe I decided to give them a try and see how spiked red velvet was received.

I should also take this time to mention that I do not really like cream cheese frosting either. So I decided to forgo the classic red velvet topper and settled onΒ  cinnamon whiskey buttercream instead. Best decision ever, I must say. You can never go wrong with a simple buttercream. And with some whiskey and cinnamon? Yeeeeess please. I added some red hots for garnish because they just seemed to fit the theme and they worked perfectly. I shocked myself with how much I enjoyed red velvet of all things. Just goes to show what a little whiskey can do!

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Adapted from Martha Stewart; makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 c. gluten-free AP flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. red gel-paste food color
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. Southern Comfort (or whiskey/bourbon of your choice….)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tines. Whisk together and sift flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. Mix together sugar and oil until combined in large stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Mix in food color and vanilla. (I didn’t have gel so I dumped in about a half of a small bottle of liquid dye.
  3. On low speed, blend in flour mixture in three batches. Alternate with two additions of your buttermilk/SoCo mixture, and mix well after each.
  4. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it sizzles!) and then add to the batter, mixing it in until just combined. So weird, I know, but supposedly this addition is what really brings out the “red” of the cocoa.
  5. Fill lined cupcake tins about three quarters full and bake for about 18-20, rotating halfway through for evenness. Let cool completely, frost and keep in airtight container for up to a week (yes, they’re that moist. They live foreeever in the cupcake world if you can keep yourself from eating them all.)

BUTTERCREAM:

Beat 2 softened sticks of butter until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar (about 3-4 cups, when all is said and done), a dash of milk (yes, that is a technical term), whiskey and cinnamon to taste and blend all ingredients together. Vanilla is optional, but highly recommended if you use the same Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract I do! Frost cupcakes, add red hots and enjoy your super duper Southern cupcakes!!

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Honey Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

There are very few flavor combinations I enjoy baking with more than lemon and lavender. It just makes me feel so posh and British sometimes and with all the uncharacteristic snow North Carolina has been getting lately, the citrus notes are just what I need to perk me back up. Not that I don’t looove snow days, but you have to admit, once it starts to melt it’s just yuck.

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Honey I could really take or leave, and tend to leave it. In the past honey has made me feel pretty ill (which is weird because I’m the type of person one would assume an abundance of sweetness would never bother) but in small doses, or paired with the perfect ingredients, I can make an exception. And boy am I glad I did with these puppies! This recipe from “Gimme Some Oven” is absolutely delicious. I substituted the 1.5 cups of flour for my gluten-free all purpose blend (it’s magical…. stick around for that post in the coming week!) and to add in the lavender I put the 3/4 cups of granulated sugar in my food processor with 1 teaspoon of dried lavender buds, stemmed. I like to wing it with flavored buttercreams when it come to frosting my cupcakes, but if you like the cream cheese honey combo in the original recipe, knock yourselves out! I’ll include my lemon/honey buttercream recipe too πŸ™‚

Hope these gluten-free goodies help drive away your February blues as well!!

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Ingredients:

Honey Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried, stemmed lavender buds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest

Honey Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 – 2 c. confectioners sugar (as needed)
  • honey, to taste (I don’t use that much, probably a teaspoon or 2)
  • pinch of lemon zest if there is some over from cupcakes
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking cups with paper liners. (I made 12 large and about 6 minis!)

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk honey, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a smaller bowl.

3. In a food processor, combine sugar and lavender, pulsing 4 – 5 times until lavender buds start to break down a little .

4. Beat butter and lavender sugar on medium speed for until a fluffy, homogenous mixture form. Add eggs one at a time; beating each in until just combined.

5. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Blend in entire honey/milk mixture and combine. Add remaining flour mixture and beat on low until just incorporated.

6. Fill baking cups evenly, almost 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes; rotating halfway through for most even bake. *When baking with gluten free mixtures, I find the bake time can vary extraordinarily from original recipe, so be sure to check your goodies a few times throughout he baking process. For this recipe I think they fell safely within the 15-20 minutes with the toothpick coming out clean.*

Allow to cool, and frost!

Directions (for buttercream):

1. Beat together all ingredients and add powdered sugar, lemon, and honey to taste. If you don’t want an overwhelming flavor but you need more moisture, mix in milk a teaspoon at a time – a lot goes a long way in buttercreams.

2. Frost those suckers and enjoy!

Makes 12-15, or 12 regular and 6-8 mini cupcakes. Keep in air tight container for up to five days. Gluten-free goodies are best eaten ASAP however, and in our house that’s never a problem!Image