Gluten Free Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe

It is funny how my mind works – places, events and people are entwined and woven together with food in my memories. Take these gluten-free cupcakes for instance. I came up with the recipe as homage to my dear friend Christiane, a beautiful German woman who now lives in London. For every birthday or special occasion Christiane would make her grandmother’s recipe for Black Forest Cake, a lovely combination of chocolate, cherries and cream. We may live miles apart now but one bite into these cupcakes and I am right back there with my friend sitting in our favorite coffee shop sharing cappuccinos, one of her outrageous stories and lots of boisterous laughter.
The recipe for these cupcakes is just one of 150 gluten-free dessert recipes in my book Simply…Gluten-free Desserts. The book is about more than recipes though, it is about friends and family, little stories and snippets, memories linked with food. It is also a primer on how to bake gluten-free as I walk you through each recipe. And just to top it all off there is a recipe for a pastry-quality gluten-free flour you can make at home, ensuring your desserts are not just “good for gluten” but just plain good!

My hope is that this book will inspire you to create beautiful, gluten-free desserts and more importantly to create some cherished memories of your own.

Here is a little preview.

Black Forest Cupcakes



½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1½ cups milk
1 – 14.5 ounce can red tart cherries – drained
1 -10 ounce jar maraschino cherries – drained and liquid reserved, use divided


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated dark chocolate for garnish



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert paper liners into the cups of 2 standard muffin pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time until each egg is fully mixed in, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and milk to the creamed butter, starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the milk, half the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl well with a large spatula.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup, add 3 of the red tart cherries to each cup then top with 2 more tablespoons of batter. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until springy on the top. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.

With a toothpick, poke 6 or 8 holes in each cupcake. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of reserved maraschino cherry liquid onto each cupcake and let it soak in. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.


Whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of reserved maraschino cherry juice. Beat until stiff.

Frost cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry and some grated chocolate.

Makes 24 gluten-free cupcakes.

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

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Gluten Free Home Made Marshmallows Recipe

I had the best of intentions this Holiday Season. To get the house decorated, buy and wrap the gifts, have a wonderful Christmas Eve party for 40 of my closest friends, make marshmallows (a gluten free recipe) to give away as gifts (keeping some for myself of course!), post my blog and enjoy to the fullest this time of year all while remaining stress-free.
Well, I got the house decorated, bought and wrapped the gifts, cooked, cleaned, had a lovely party, spent Christmas day with the family and I even made marshmallows for my friends. I did not however post my blog or remain stress-free.

It all started when my husband who works in California (while we live in Florida) missed his flight home on the 22nd. But no worries, he caught a flight on the 23rd in plenty of time to full-fill all his duties as man of the house and carry out the enormous list of duties to ready the house for the party.

However, as luck would have it the woman sitting next to him on the plane suffered some sort of physical breakdown and while my husband was able to revive her (sitting next to him on a plane is like sitting next to Harrison Ford, he can handle anything and save the day!) the plane had to make an unscheduled stop in Texas to get this woman to a hospital. This meant he missed his connection in Miami and did not effectively get home until Christmas Eve. So much for that big list! I had to do a whole lot of the list (that will teach me to make such big honey-do lists for him, what’s the point if I have to do it all myself?)

But the good news is the woman is fine, he made it home for Christmas and somehow it all got done. Well, except remaining stress-free and posting my blog.

I have been making Marshmallows for Christmas gifts for ages. They are naturally gluten-free and if you have never had home-made marshmallows you are missing one of the true joys of winter (even if it is 80 degrees on Christmas morning). They are easy to make but you do need a good mixer and a candy thermometer.

When I first started to make marshmallows as gifts the response was always the same “I didn’t know you could make marshmallows!” Now what with marshmallow making demonstrations on morning shows, The Food Network and what-not they don’t seem as mysterious as they once did but that does not in anyway lessen the specialness of truly home-made marshmallows (as opposed to the “home-made” kind you but at specialty food stores.)

Marshmallows can be cut in any shape you desire, rectangles and squares are probably the most popular but one could use cookie cutters for unique shapes if desired. Now while my pantry and sock drawer may be a symphony of chaos, I am a tad O.C.D. when it comes to the size and shape of my marshmallows. I like squares. I have tried all sorts of ways to make perfect squares and the easiest is to lay the block of uncut marshmallow on a cutting surface, cut off a small strip at the edges to get rid of the rounded corners and then cut in half, then cut the halves in half and then again. Once that is done you will have strips and then I line those up and cut into squares.

Last night, after the house was finally put to right and the noise had worn down from Christmas, my husband and I had a big mug of hot chocolate with home made marshmallows and watched a movie. Such joy!

I hope you will consider making yourself this amazing treat.


4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 ½ cups water
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract
About 1 cup confections sugar – maybe more


Oil a Pyrex lasagna baking sheet with vegetable oil. Line the dish with foil (don’t use the heavy duty stuff) and then lightly coat the foil with oil.

In the bowl of an electric mixer soften the gelatin with ¾ cup water.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, ¾ cup water and the salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

With the whisk attachment of the mixer at full speed, pour the hot syrup slowly into the gelatin. Continue to beat for 15 minutes. Mixture will be white and fluffy and very stiff. Add the vanilla and beat until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared Pyrex pan and smooth the top with a lightly oiled spatula. Allow to rest uncovered for 10 -12 hours.

Using a fine sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar onto a cutting surface. Turn the marshmallow mixture onto the powdered sugar, remove and discard foil and sift more powdered sugar on top of the marshmallow mixture. Cut as desired. Roll the cut marshmallows in more powdered sugar to prevent sticking.

Prepare your taste buds for the absolute best marshmallow you have ever tasted!

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