Fauxstess Cupcakes, gluten- and dairy-free

Next month it will be three years since I’ve had any of those store-bought snack cakes.  You know the ones, cream-filled, individually wrapped in plastic, full of ingredients you can’t pronounce.

That sounds appetizing, huh?  Well, I have to confess I actually miss a few of those things.  I have seen quite a few recipes floating around the internet and in cookbooks for fake Hostess/Fauxstess cupcakes but had not come across one that fit my dietary requirements, so I set off to make one that would quell my desire for a store bought chocolate cupcake with creamy filling and waxy frosting with a white squiggle on top.

And here’s the thing…I used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, so the cake is actually good.  I also worked on getting the creme filling to taste just like I remember, except I used no dairy and only ingredients I could pronounce.  And then I dipped it in store bought frosting.  I didn’t want to totally stray from this cupcake’s roots, getting all fancy and pure.  I felt it needed just a little not-so-good-for-you, a little naughty in it somewhere. Update:  I’ve included a non-store bought ganache recipe, too.  I’m reforming my ways…

Speaking of the frosting, I had a scary run-in with gluten at the grocery store.  On the rare occasions when I’ve used canned frosting, I’ve gone with a name brand.  At least two of them are clearly labeled gluten-free.  I picked up a can of the store brand frosting and I’ll be darned if it didn’t include wheat starch in the ingredients.  So choose carefully, y’all!

Fauxstess Cupcakes, gluten- and dairy-free
Makes 12

Chocolate Cupcakes

1/2 cup Green’s Amber Ale, Gluten Free
1/2 stick plus 1 T. Earth Balance vegan butter
1/3 cup Askinosie cocoa powder
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Tofutti Sour Cream substitute or non dairy yogurt
2 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal/flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup teff flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line muffin tins with 12 cupcake papers.

Combine the beer and butter substitute, chopped into small pieces, in a large sauce pan.  Heat to melt butter.  Remove from heat, whisk in cocoa and brown sugar.

In mixer bowl, mix non-dairy sour cream and eggs with vanilla extract.  Add beer mixture.  Whisk together flours and soda in separate bowl and then mix into liquid mixture.  Pour a scant 1/3 cup of batter into cupcake papers and bake for 25 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean when done.  Cool completely on a rack before frosting.

If you are looking for an alcohol-free chocolate, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan cupcake, I suggest this one.

Cream Filling
Inspired by this recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, one of my very favorite blogs!

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum organic shortening)
3 T. cold Earth Balance vegan butter, cut into pieces (use soy free is you’d like)

To make the filling:  In the bowl of stand mixer, combine powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add boiling water and whip with the whisk attachment on medium until smooth and cool, about room temperature.   Add shortening and Earth Balance, beat on medium until combined.  Bump speed up to high for 4-5 minutes, until smooth, fluffy, shiny and about twice the volume. (I dare you to not eat a bunch of it right off of the whisk…)

1 can of your favorite chocolate frosting, just make sure it is gluten-free and dairy-free.   

Homemade Variation:

6 oz. non-dairy chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life

2 T. coconut oil

Melt in double boiler or microwave, let cool for a couple minutes so it thickens a bit.  Then follow instructions as below.

Once cupcakes have cooled and you’ve made the filling, now you need to fill them.  I use this gadget from Williams-Sonoma, but a large open tip on a pastry bag works just as well.  Insert the tip into the top of the cupcake (you don’t need to cut out any of the cake, just have at it) and pipe in filling until you notice the top of the cupcake swelling.  That means the cupcake is full of yummy filling!

Next, put the container of frosting in the microwave.  Make sure all of the foil safety seal is removed before you do this.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir.  Continue heating in 15 second increments until the frosting folds back into itself when drizzled off of a spoon.  Invert the cupcakes and dip into the frosting.

After dipping them, place them on a rack.  Once the frosting has set up, you can pipe a cute swirly line on top if you’d like.  I used leftover filling for the first batch of these to make the swirly line and on the second batch I used a bit of coconut butter.  Both worked really well.

There you have it, a gluten-free, dairy-free cupcake that tastes almost like it came from a cardboard box.  Well, not exactly but you get what I’m saying.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.  They were like a store bought treat, only better.

So tell me, what store bought treat do you miss?  Any of those Hostess or Little Debbie treats you’d love to de-gluten?



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