Gluten Free Old Fashion Cupcakes Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on November 21, 2012

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Gluten Free Old Fashion Cupcakes Recipe

I really had no intention of making cupcakes this close to Thanksgiving. After all, I have pies to bake, a turkey to stuff, rolls to make and a thousand other things on my to-do list.

One of those things was to pick the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving. So I surveyed some people and got a lot of answers that said “an Old Fashion.” I have never had one so I looked up the recipe and my mind starting to take off in another direction. I have a sort of obsession with turning cocktails into gluten free cupcakes and an Old Fashion seemed like it would make a good candidate.

Boy, was that a good notion! The combination of orange, whiskey and bitters was indescribably delicious and the pretty little garnish of an orange piece and a maraschino cherry just made me happy.

This may not be a Thanksgiving recipe (although I kind of like the symmetry of starting and ending a meal with two variations on the same theme) but it is a recipe worth trying. Trust me on this!

These boozy little cakes are not really fit for children, so let them get their own. Or make a batch of orange cupcakes for them, omitting the whiskey from the cupcakes and the frosting.


Gluten Free Old Fashion Cupcake

Gluten Free Old Fashion Cupcakes Recipe


Orange Whisky Cupcakes

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
*1½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup milk
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 – 2 oranges)
4 tablespoons whiskey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

*to make your own gluten free flour blend, combine ¾ cup superfine or Asian white rice flour, ¼ cup sweet rice flour, ¼ cup tapioca starch, ¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour), and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

Old Fashion Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup whiskey
6 dashes Angostura bitters
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3 orange slices; cut in quarters
12 maraschino cherries; patted dry


Orange Whisky Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk.

Combine the milk, orange juice, whiskey and vanilla. It is OK if it starts to look a little curdled.

With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture to the butter, then the milk mixture and finally the rest of the flour. Add the orange zest and mix. Using a spatula, make sure the batter is fully mixed. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until they feel springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.

Old Fashion Frosting

Combine the butter, 3 cups powdered sugar and salt in a mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment. Start the mixer on low, then increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about a minute. Add the whiskey, bitters, and orange zest and mix. Add more powdered sugar, a little at a time, until the frosting is of a spreadable consistency.

Generously frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish each with a quartered orange slice and a maraschino cherry.


This Gluten Free Old Fashion Cupcakes recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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Categories:    Cupcakes

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

AM November 24, 2012 at 1:59 am

Looks great. I’m going to make it this weekend. Is there an alternative to Angostura bitters or can I just leave it out?


Carol Kicinski November 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

You could possibly use orange extract but I would just leave it out.


Lynne H November 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Sounds good but, instead of wiskey (we don’t have that) could we use either wine or even GF Beer in place of it in both the cupcakes and the icing? Thanks and wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season!!


Carol Kicinski November 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Hi Lynne, you probably could – it wouldn’t be an old fashion but I am sure it would be very yummy! I don’t usually have whiskey either – let me tell you my trick – I go to the liquor store and buy those airplane sized bottles. They have exactly 1/4 cup in them – perfect! And I don’t have to have a ton of various liquors on hand.


Lynne H November 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Carol – excellent idea!!! Didn’t want to buy a whole big bottle for cupcakes and icing. I’ll either get the little bottles or end up using the fruit flavored wine. How about we could call it a “New Fashion” or “Fruit Fashion.” Thanks!!!


Carol Kicinski November 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I love that – New Fashion or Fruit Fashion. You should be a recipe developer!!!


Joy November 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I thought whiskey was made with rye, malt and barley. Is there a gluten free whiskey?


Carol Kicinski November 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

The distilation process removes the gluten but you should still check with the actual brand of whiskey. I use Jameson – according to thier website they do not use any gluten containing cereals in their mash and it is gluten free.


tca May 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

The drink is called an “Old Fashioned”…


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