[Before I get started, I should explain the photo. I only took photos of these once- the time I made them for school, for a project. We were unionists (as in we supported the formation of unions in the UK in the 1800s). Anyways, long story short, our slogan was "Working together for you!" In a way, it applies here, as I'm working for you and we're all in this together. PS - I'd love to hear from you if you haven't said hello before! Cupcakes, just like birthdays and websites are meant for sharing!]
Three years ago, I pressed publish on my first post. It was my fifteenth birthday. I had inklings of starting a site in the days before, but that day, I sat down and did it. I haven’t regretted that decision for a second.
In the past three years, I have met some of the most incredible people. People who light up my day, on a daily basis. I’ve met people who write some of the most beautiful sites I know of. Without you? Celiac Teen wouldn’t be what it is today. I know that for a fact.
Today is a day of change. It is a day of surprises and excitement, but also a day just like any other. Today is my first day of adulthood. Yep. Today, in addition to Celiac Teen’s third birthday, is my birthday. I’m eighteen today.
Somehow, it all feels momentous. I can buy a lottery ticket. I can drink (if I had the desire to). I can vote (and I will, come May 2nd). I’m no longer a kid, at least not in the true sense of the word. I’m entering into a new phase of my life. Here begins my fourth year of blogging, my first year as an adult, the end to high school and the beginning of the “real world” as they like to say.
It’s somewhat bittersweet. Most of all, it’s exciting. This next year only has some plans pencilled in. I’m pretty sure that I know where the first half of it is headed, but past that? It’s anyone’s guess. I’m dreaming of faraway places and months of language learning. I’m dreaming of living on my own for the first time. I’m wallowing in the uncertainty. Teetering on all the good that is to come. I don’t doubt that the most amazing moments will be unexpected ones – they always are. I’m looking forward to hours of being in the kitchen. Hours of sitting down and writing. Hours of soaking up the company of those I love. Hours of exploring.
Today, I have this recipe for you. It’s cupcakes- vanilla cupcakes. The recipe they’re based off of? I found it on twitter, from the brilliant Aimée. They’re a cinch. I think I’ve made about 7 batches of them in the past few weeks, bringing a great majority of those to school to share. Friends asked for the recipe, and they disappeared in a hurry. Among tables of baked goods (mostly gluten-full), these were the first to disappear. They highlight all of the goodness of vanilla, with a comforting texture. Not too moist, not too dry, but just right.
I’m of the camp that vanilla is an exotic flavour. Using the best vanilla you have, this is a prime use of the good stuff. I’ve made it with two vanillas – a Mexican one and one from Madagasgar. Each lent to slightly different results, but both wonderfully good. With all of the goodness that butter brings, these are heavenly. I have no doubt that I’ll be making more of these, soon!
Now, before we get going, I should say that this is another weight-only recipe. I know, I know. Not everyone has a scale. I threw these together one day, on the scale. Then, I made adjustments, on the scale. It’s how this sucker evolved. It’s what made me fall in love with it. When I had to make 48 cupcakes, I didn’t want anything to add to the time it would take.
PS – I’ve just about converted my mom to the weight method too. She’s starting to get why I’ve switched over, even converting old family recipes that way!
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
2 sticks / 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
370 g / 13.05 oz sugar (1 3/4 cups)
2 tsp good vanilla
100 g / 3.50 oz millet flour
100 g / 3.50 oz brown rice flour
50 g / 1.75 oz tapioca starch/flour
50 g / 1.75 oz sweet rice flour
40 g / 1.40 oz ground flax seed
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 to 28 cups in a cupcake tin with paper liners. Grease the tops of the cupcake tin, in case of any possible overflow.
In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer in your largest bowl), beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and beat until incorporated.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flours, flax seed meal, baking powder and salt.
Beat one egg at a time to the butter mixture, incorporating fully and scraping down the bowl between each addition.
Add one third of the flour mixture to the batter and mix until incorporated. Do the same with half of the milk, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk and finally, the last of the flour. If the batter looks a touch curdled, that’s perfectly fine.
Fill the cupcake tin two-thirds full, or just over half full. I ended up with extra batter a couple of times I made these (when making 24), so it’s okay if you have a bit left over or pop the end bits in the oven after the initial two dozen have baked.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. You may wish to rotate them half-way through if your oven’s tends to be uneven in its heat distribution. Let cool in the pan, on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. Top the cupcakes with your favourite buttercream or icing. I used this one.
I know. This photo doesn’t tell you anything. (Besides “Working Together for You.). But, take my word for it, okay? They’re beautiful. And delicious. And yummy. And I’m using every wrong food blogging adjective. But that’s okay. Because today is my birthday. And this is fun. And I love these cupcakes. Everyone who has tasted one has too. (By my count, that’s about 100 people. Plus my family. We’ve eaten more than a couple too.)
I made a whole bunch of signs .
This was for my brother’s birthday. He’s a St. Patrick’s Day baby. I don’t know if you’ll read this bud, but I’m happy I’m your sister. You’re growing up too fast though!
This has been one of the lovliest and craziest years.
We went to Europe. I saw the place where my ancestors lived.
I made a speech for the first time (well, the first time in six years).
I started the Kitchen Generation with some of my best friends.
I missed 3 1/2 months of school, but realized that stress isn’t worth it (remind me of this in a few years?).
I fell in love with baking by weight.
So here we go. Eighteen. It’s just beginning. April 20th, you’ve always been a good day to me. I hope when we meet again, it’s filled with joy and goodness and opportunities to bring joy and goodness.
Celiac Teen has been the best birthday gift I’ve ever given myself. In no small part due to you, dear readers. Thank you for all that you bring to my part of this wonderful online world.
Lots of love,