Monday, April 4, 2011

Spice Cake Cupcakes

At work we have this thing where if it’s your birthday you bring in a cake for everyone else. I’ve always thought it should be the other way around, but what the heck, everyone ends up getting free cake, so it’s all good!

Of course, I normally can’t eat that cake.  As a result the last few years I’ve actually been pretty lazy and brought in a bought cake that everyone else can eat. Mostly because there wasn’t a gluten free bakery in town at the time and because I hadn’t become confident enough in my own baking skills to trust that what I made would turn out.

Things are changing though. My supervisor came up to me the other day and proposed that I make him his birthday cake and he would pay me for the ingredients used. That way I could make it safe for me to eat and have a chance to share with everyone else while my boss doesn’t have to get his wife to make something. I liked the idea, so I took him up on it. For that particular birthday I made this Coconut Layer Cake by epicurious. Man it was a lot of work and a lot of eggs, but so tasty. Everyone loved it.

Shortly after that cake another co-worker asked if she could do the same deal, but would pay extra for the labour and not just the ingredients. She was excited to do this deal until I told her how much the last cake cost to make. After that she was a bit hesitant, but then I found a deal on a gluten free cake mix at Home Sense of all places and told her I could make the cake at half the price. She liked that idea!

So what follows is a quick and easy, not from scratch recipe for some delicious spice cake or cupcakes.

 Spice Cake

1 package of gluten free vanilla or yellow cake mix (plus required ingredients listed on  the box)
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Cinnamon Vanilla Butter Cream Icing*

½ cup of vegetable shortening
½ cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4-5 cups of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of water

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix boxed cake as directed, adding in ground spices.  Bake as directed, roughly 18-20 minutes for cupcakes or 35-45 minutes for a whole cake.  Once a toothpick comes out clear, remove cupcakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

While they are cooling you can make your icing. Throw your shortening and butter in a mixing bowl and add in vanilla and cinnamon. Slowly add in icing sugar until well mixed then add a bit of water to soften it up.  Ice cup cakes only when they are completely cool.

*If your icing is too soft, add more icing sugar. If it is to dry add more water.

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