Gluten-free ‘Flake 99’ Cupcakes Recipe

For the sponge
225g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder, (ensure it’s gluten free)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
225g margarine / spread / softened butter, (dairy free if necessary)
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
Nutella OR Jam
For the buttercream
450g icing sugar
225g margarine / spread / butter , (dairy free if necessary)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the decorations
Chocolate Flake bars
Strawberry OR chocolate sauce

For the cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a cupcake / muffin tin with cases.
Place all your sponge ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined and thoroughly mixed (1 minute should do it).
Divide the mixture between the cases. I fill mine just over 2/3 full.
Place in the oven for between 20-25 minutes until cooked through. To check if the cupcakes are cooked, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean, it’s done!
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the buttercream
For the buttercream, ensure your butter is soft and at room temperature. I find it takes a good hour out of the fridge to soften, but never let it go too soft! Place your butter into a stand mixer and mix on a medium speed for about 5 minutes until the butter has gone a lot more pale in colour.
Add your icing sugar gradually. I add it in 2-3 stages and beat for about 3 minutes between each addition. Start your mixer slowly to save your kitchen from a real icing sugar mess, but then increase the speed to medium / high for each of your 3 minutes.
Add your vanilla extract and mix once more – it should now be done. Ensure it’s the right thickness – it should be if you’ve beaten it for long enough. However, if it’s too thick you can add a tiny amount of milk. And if too thin, sieve in a little extra icing sugar – this might be the case for dairy free buttercream using hard margarine.
For the assembly of the cupcakes
Once the cupcakes are cool, you need to make little holes in your cupcakes to fill with the either Nutella or jam. I use one of my piping nozzles to gently push into the centre of the cupcake and remove a bit. You could use a knife and remove a little too. Just make sure you don’t go too deep as you need some of the cake beneath to hold the filling!
Spoon some filling into the hole you’ve made in each cupcake.
Spoon your buttercream into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Then pipe your buttercream on top.

Finish with a flake pushed into the top and optionally (just before eating) some strawberry or chocolate ice cream sauce!