Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

I don’t know why Red Velvet cupcakes made such a comeback a couple years back, but I’m sure glad they did.  With a mild chocolate flavor that’s not quite as intense as your average chocolate baked good, a delightful red interior, and cream cheese frosting, I suppose I shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve taken the bakeries around the country by storm.

I rarely bothered making cake from scratch back when I ate gluten.  Betty Crocker mixes did a perfectly good job at an amazingly low cost.  Plus, my from scratch versions always seemed dense and dry in comparison.  I was surprised when my gluten-free cakes and cupcakes attained the light, moist fluffiness that my gluten-containing versions always failed to. Hopefully you guys will experience the same thing :)

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Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yield: 12-15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
* 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips)
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 cup rice flour
* 3/4 cup sorghum flour
* 3/4 cup potato starch
* 1/4 cup cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 Tablespoon red food coloring (or more, if you'd like a super vibrant red, in which case, cut back on the water by that extra amount)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
* 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) butter, softened
* 4 ounces cream cheese
* 2 cups powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

To make cupcakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

Place the water in a small bowl and microwave until very hot. Add the chocolate and let sit for a minute or two. Stir until smooth.

Place the rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and xantham gum in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Combine the buttermilk and oil in a large measuring cup. Set aside.

In a large bow beat the eggs with an electric mixer for one minute. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Beat in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternatively with the buttermilk and oil mixture. Scape sides and mix at medium speed for one additional minute. Add the red food coloring, scrape sides again and stir until the batter is of uniform color.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

To make frosting: beat butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy.

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