Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream – Gluten Free

June 17, 2012

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I am almost in a place where I may be able to come up for air (maybe after Tuesday). The past 6 weeks, or so, has left me exhausted, spent, weary, and in desperate need of a 2 hour massage. Or a full day at the Korean Spa!

Last Friday, 2 of my three boys graduated; one is heading off to high school and the other will be entering middle school. Levi graduates from Kindergarten today. Lots and lots of planning, parties, special culmination events (thousands of events), and endless baking and creating for the end of the year gifts and parties.

One of the amazing events that our school presents to the 5th graders is “This is Your Life”. The fourth graders write up a summary of their assigned class mate. As parents, it’s our job to answer questions based on our child’s life. Then, the 4th graders interpret our words, add some humor, and presents their summary in front of the class. Coupled with that, we have a class party.

Originally, I offered to make a cake. But with so much going on (and being part of the culmination committee), time did not permit. With lots of solo cups on hand, I made some gluten free cupcakes, all with ingredients found in my pantry. The butter cream was inspired by some left over homemade dulce de leche, resting in the fridge and I kept the cupcakes simple.

As I reflect back on the 1,000 plus photos I took over the past 6 days, I am somewhat sad. Friday I was joyful, excited, but mostly emotional. As Isaac performed with the other 103 5th graders in the morning and Eli marched to the traditonal graduation song in the afternoon, I cried. I cried in the morning and I cried in the afternoon.

Not out of sadness, simply because I am in amazement of how quickly time goes by and I how in awe I am of what incredible young men my babies are becoming. These times are teaching me to not take it all so seriously, not let the little stuff ruffle my feathers, and to do my best to be in the moment.

We, as a family, have so much to look forward to, so MANY blessings, and lots and lots more memories to create and share together. I am one lucky lady!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream – Gluten Free
yield: 18 cupcakes, made in 2 ounce Solo cups

4.5 ounces | 126 grams | 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter , room temperature
7 ounces | 200 grams | 1 cup organic, whole cane sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean
3 ounces | 85 grams | 1/2 cup brown rice flour
3 ounces | 83 grams | 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon sweet, white rice flour
1 ounce | 29 grams tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3 1/4 ounces | 94 grams | 1/3 cup buttermilk, cold
1 recipe dulce de leche buttercream

• preheat oven to 350*.
• line cupcake pans with paper liners or solo cups. lightly butter the paper liners.
• in a small bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. set aside.
• in the work-bowl of your electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
• add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely after each egg.
• scrape the vanilla bean seeds from the pod. add the seeds to the batter (I save the pods and throw them in a jar of organic, cane sugar – thus creating vanilla sugar).
• alternately, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients until all is incorporated and combined.
• using a 1/4 cup ice cream scooper, fill liners 3/4 full.
• bake 18 – 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs.
• while the cupcakes cool on racks, make the buttercream.
• using your favorite pastry tip, pipe frosting onto each cupcake.
• share, eat, and enjoy!