Gluten-Free Cupcakes on the Today Show

The Today Show featured Sprinkles Cupcake’s founder Candace Nelson making gluten-free red velvet cupcakes. Sadly, the feature doesn’t actually give the recipe (but we have it below), or really, any useful tips on gluten-free baking, but it’s pretty neat that gluten-free is is being featured on the Today Show, don’t you think?

I’d never heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes before the Today Show segment, so I looked it up in The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide. Here’s what it said about the bakery: “GF red velvet cupcakes are available every day. They are not visible on display, as they are kept behind the counter to avoid cross-contamination.” (That last part is a nice little tip from the editors . . . it’s easy to see how someone might just walk out if they didn’t immediately see them on display.)  The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide listed locations mostly in California, but on the Sprinkles website, it looks like there are a bunch of locations in the works for Fall 2010 & 2011.

As happy as I am about the exposure that gluten-free is getting on the Today Show — I have some small bones to pick. First, Candace mentions that vanilla may contain “glutens” in the form of fillers. I have never heard of any such thing. In fact, our office favorite, Shelley Case’s Gluten-Free Diet, lists vanilla extract and vanillin (imitation vanilla) as gluten-free. I wonder if maybe Candace worry stems from the outdated rumor that vanilla might contain gluten if the alcohol in it was distilled from wheat. But like I said, that’s totally outdated info: regardless of source, distilled alcohol is gluten-free.  But for all you worry warts out there, The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide lists McCormick and Rodelle vanilla extracts as gluten-free. As always, it’s a good idea to check labels, but I doubt you’ll find anything to worry about. Second, they cut off the part where they compare the taste of GF and non-GF cupcakes. Booh for TV editing!

On an unrelated, but hilarious note, the presenter Hoda starts the segment (presumably thinking she’s off camera) by exclaiming “Wow…somebody has gas!”  I wonder what that’s all about!

Thanks to Nicole Schwartz from Sprinkles Cupcakes for the below recipe.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
4 T cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 T red food coloring
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir the first 4 ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Mix milk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar and add in eggs one at a time. Beat until creamy and light.
  5. Alternately add in the wet and dry ingredients you mixed earlier and beat until smooth.
  6. Bake at 18-22 minutes until the tops are just barely dry.

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. With a mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add salt and vanilla.
  3. Slowly pour in powdered sugar mix and mix until the frosting is creamy; be careful not to overmix.

8 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Cupcakes on the Today Show”

  1. Be careful about the powdered sugar as starch is typically added to the powdered sugar. While it is often cornstarch, it can be wheat.

    What is the flour blend that the Sprinkles chef used in the above recipe?

    Thanks!

  2. Be careful about the powdered sugar as starch is typically added to the powdered sugar. While it is often cornstarch, it can be wheat.

    What is the flour blend that the Sprinkles chef used in the above recipe?

    Thanks!

  3. i made these they were very good. the frosting was sooo sweet. 2 cups of sugar was great but i wanted to go buy the recipe. 3 3/4 cups is overkill.

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