There will be no corned beef and cabbage for my family this year on St. Patrick’s Day. We have been invited to spend the day in the country with some wonderful friends for a picnic/barbeque.
Being as my maiden name is O’Neal, I needed to come up with some way to commemorate the day unless I wanted a bunch of Irish relatives coming after me with pitchforks or rolling over in their graves.
I decided to make some gluten-free pistachio cupcakes to share with our friends. I have no idea if pistachios are particularly popular in Ireland but they are green so it works, right?
I have visions of making my own pistachio paste, baking the gluten free cupcakes totally from scratch with some pistachio pastry cream and then topping them off with a traditional buttercream frosting. Nice plan – in theory. Truth be told, I just don’t have the time for all that!
So I took a few shortcuts. I started with Kinnikinnick Gluten Free White Cake mix and added a box of Jell-O Instant Pistachio Pudding to the mix for the cupcakes and made a simple dairy-free buttercream with Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening, a splash of lemon juice, and organic powdered sugar. The cupcakes are moist, delectable and a perfectly respectable shade of green. The splash of lemon in the frosting compliments the cupcakes wonderfully and keeps them from being too sweet.
Since I saved so much time with my shortcuts, I figured I could go the extra step and turn these into cupcakes in a jar. I mean how fun is that? Ideal for a day in the country.
I am a bit of a jar hoarder so I just went to my jar bin (yes! I have a jar bin) and grabbed a dozen 8-ounce canning jars but if you are a normal, non-jar-hoarding person you can pick up a dozen inexpensively at the hardware or grocery store.
Of course you can just serve these as regular cupcakes but to make them cupcakes in a jar simply bake your cupcakes in a standard muffin tin lined with cupcake papers, let the cupcakes cool, remove the cupcake papers, slice in half horizontally and layer with frosting. You are going to use three cupcake halves per jar (that’s the really great news – not just a cupcake but a cupcake and a half!) pressing down lightly as you layer. Top the jars with the lids and these babies will keep in the fridge for 3 days. If you refrigerate your cupcakes, let them come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!
Check out this recipe in action here on Daytime TV!
Gluten Free Dairy Free Pistachio Cupcakes in a Jar
4 large eggs
¾ cup grapeseed (or other neutral tasting) oil
¾ cup water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant pistachio pudding
1 (18-ounce) package Kinnikinnick white cake mix
Easy Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
¼ cup shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios – chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 standard muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, water, and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Turn off mixer, add the pistachio pudding mix and beat until combined. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the cake mix. Beat until just combined. With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure all the ingredients are uniformly combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 22 – 26 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Remove the liners from the cupcakes and slice in half horizontally.
While the cupcakes are baking and cooling, prepare the frosting.
For each cupcake in a jar place a cupcake half (use the bottom halves in the bottom of the jar) pipe on or spoon in some frosting, add another cupcake half, another layer of frosting, one more cupcake half (use a top for the final layer) and one more layer of frosting. Sprinkle the top with some chopped pistachios.
Easy Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting
1 cup All Vegetable Non-hydrogenated shortening (such as Spectrum)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
4 – 8 tablespoons rice milk
Place the shortening, lemon juice, and vanilla in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until very creamy. Turn off the mixer, add the powdered sugar and beat until combined (start with the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed.) With the mixer running add the rice milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is creamy and spreadable. Once the desired consistency is achieved, beat on high speed for 1 minute.
A gluten free recipe that make 12 cupcakes in a jar or 18 standard cupcakes.
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