Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Happy #Halloween week - Ghost cupcakes #gluten-free #recipe + book #giveaway from author @DarylWoodGerber


From Daryl:

Non-spooky giveaway below!!  


I love making goodies that my grandsons can enjoy. I saw a picture of these cupcakes online and decided I had to make them. Using one of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks, The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook, I put together the following recipe.  I purchased the "eyes" for the ghosts at Michael's - curbside pickup!  Easy-peasy.


According to the book, the potent source of chocolate flavor is nothing more than unsweetened chocolate with much of the fat removed.  Cocoa powder comes in natural and Dutched versions.  Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with an alkaline substance to make it less acidic.  In some cases, the type of cocoa can make a noticeable difference, but for the recipes in the book, they had good results with both regular brands as well as Dutched cocoas.  The cookbook authors’ favorite brand of natural cocoa is Hershey’s.  That is what I used.


What I love most about these cupcakes is the structure. They hold up well. They don't sag after baking.  I will admit that I used a "measure for measure" GF flour from King Arthur that has the xanthan gum already mixed in so I did NOT add xanthan gum to my mixture. But if you're using regular gluten-free flour, like sweet rice flour or tapioca starch, then add the xanthan gum. It is the binding agent required to keep flour together.


By the way, the vote from my grandsons - AMAZING!  


If you have left over frosting, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Dip a gluten-free pretzel into it or a gluten-free graham cracker. Yum.

Halloween Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake  – Recipe from  The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook


1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend *  

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

2 cups frosting


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners. *I spray my muffin liners with Pam (gluten-free) to insure the cupcakes will not stick to the paper. 


In a small bowl, microwave oil, chocolate, and cocoa together at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally until melted.  I went in 30 second intervals and it took 90 seconds.  Whisk mixture until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.


In a separate bowl, whisk flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together.


In a large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Whisk in sugar until well combined. Whisk in cooled chocolate mixture and milk until combined.


Whisk in flour blend mixture until batter is thoroughly combined and smooth. This is a really “sticky” mixture.


Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, portion batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.  Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 16-18 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.  Let cupcakes cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove cupcakes from tin and let cool complete, ably 1 hour.  (Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.)


Spread or pipe frosting over top of cupcakes.  Decorate accordingly. 


I'm sharing 2 frosting recipes. One that is Betty Crocker's and easy. The other is from the aforementioned cookbook, and it's not difficult, it just has a few more ingredients. That is the one I used for this recipe! 


Cream Cheese Frosting - Betty Crocker's easy

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 package (8 oz)cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar, plus more as needed


Whisk everything in a bowl and it’s ready.



From the How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook, a bit more detailed and less sugar!  Delicious.


8 ounces cream cheese, softened,

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioners’ sugar


Using stand mixer, whip cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla and salt on medium-high until smooth, 1 - 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium-low and slowly add sugar.  Whip until smooth, 1 - 2 minutes.  Increase speed to medium-high and whip frosting until light and fluffy, 3 - 5 minutes.



Non-Spooky Giveaway!!


I have a new suspense coming out next week, COLD CONVICTION

the 3rd Aspen Adams novel of suspense.  

To get you in the mood, I'm offering commenter's choice of either of the first 2 books in the series.  


Tell me, do you like to do up Halloween? Decorations? Candy? Baking? Spooky? 

Leave your email in case you're the winner.  

And remember, if you don't read suspense, maybe a friend does, 

so enter for that person.  :) 

If you'd like to order any of these titles, go to my newly revamped website and you'll find all the links for your favorite stores.   SUSPENSE NOVELS

If you're in the mood to read other books written by me, check out:


Fairy Garden Mystery series, 
in trade paperback and e-book and audio.
You can read all about it and order it on various sites 
on my website HERE.

Don't forget to order the 9th book in the  
Cookbook Nook Mystery series,  
in trade paperback and e-book.
You can read all about it and order it on various sites on 
my website, HERE

And here is my latest Aspen Adams novel of suspense...

Order COLD CONVICTION, the 3rd in series, trade paperback and e-book: HERE

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  1. I enjoy decorating for Halloween.
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  2. Thank you for these wonderful recipes. I am gluten free so I appreciate it. I would love to win the first book in the series. I really cant handle suspense but my daughter loves them. I would decorate fun and happy for Halloween when the kids were growing up. But now just a few things inside. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    1. Lori, I'm glad to share gluten-free recipes with you. These really are the best cupcake I've ever made. :) As for suspense...I will tell you that my suspense are really "mystery plus 1 notch up for pace". Not gruesome. Not grueling. I just kick up the pace.

  3. Though I don't decorate for Halloween, I do usually hand out candy. It is fun for me to see the kids dressed up.
    I really appreciate you sharing the frosting recipe that has less sugar. I still try to keep that ingredient low, but I so love cream cheese frosting!
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

    1. Yes, Lil, isn't that great? And the frosting is delicious!

    2. Lil, you're the winner of this giveaway by random selection. I'll email you for your info. ~ Daryl

  4. Hee hee. Don’t you just love it when you bake something beautiful and 1 minute after it comes out of the oven it sinks 😏. Been there. Would love to win a book!

    1. What was great was these did NOT. Love that they kept their height and moistness. :)

  5. Love decorating for Halloween.

  6. I don't decorate much for Halloween. I usually put my big spider on our front door and put a few little trinkets out. I am usually the only one who decorates in our house, so not much gets done because I don't like have to put a lot of things out then have to put them away. stardustindy at yahoo dot com.

    1. It does become a burden sometimes. Those big spiders are scary!

  7. We watch Star Wars movies with candy, my kids are older.

  8. I love to decorate and bake for Halloween!! It is such a fun holiday! The ideas for treats and desserts is endless! Thanks for the recipe for those cute gluten-free ghostcakes! ladyofshalott03(at)yahoo(dot)com

  9. I help my grandsons decorate their house since they love Hallowe'en. I enjoy their happiness and get the decorations. Your yummies are wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. We love Halloween! We decorate and usually do some baking.

  11. We bake for the little ones who love the cupcakes and treats. The recipe is delightful and I will create this for the kids. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  12. Not a lot of prep here. Just the buying of candies!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  13. I enjoy giving out candy to the kids on Halloween and to see their costumes. It's fun to see them having fun.

  14. I enjoy seeing all the costumes

    Pugpower63 at Gmail dot com

  15. I decorate my door and room in assisted living with things I've collected over the years.

  16. Usually, no, but this year we have kids at the house so it's different. We are decorating and baking and counting the days. It is my son's girlfriend's favorite holiday.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  17. I usually decorate for Halloween but this year I did not. I am hoping to make Halloween cookies this weekend.

    1. Have fun. Lots of great recipes out there and here, on the blog. :)

  18. I don't really decorate for Halloween, but I do bake treats for my officemates, usually pumpkin. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. Desolate Shores is very intriguing. We usually decorate more for fall than Halloween, but our neighbors are stepping up their games. We need to get a little more outside Halloween decor.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

    1. Funny how we often compete with neighbors isn't it? My neighborhood has some big displays.

  20. My husband and daughter both have to eat gluten free so I am very excited to see this recipe. They will love it and so will I! I would love to read the first book ( and then the others) in this series. I hae not tried this series yet.

    1. oops, didn't answer the question - I'm not big on Halloween, but do like to put up a few decorations and we hand out candy and occasionally I dress up. One year we cut eyes out of toilet tissue tubes and put glow sticks in them and hid them in our trees to look like critters with glowing eyes in our trees. That was fun!

    2. Chris, glad you'll enjoy the recipe. I really love it.

  21. I like it when young children dress up in Halloween costumes - so cute! I also like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Halloween candy treats!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  22. I dont decorate but like to see the costumes.