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Yes, I realize the icing is green. But the cake is yellow, I promise.

My kids wanted green cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day.  While I’m all in favor of a good corned beef dinner to celebrate my Irish-American heritage, something in me cringes at green tinted things for St. Patrick’s Day, even if it is a natural food coloring.  I can cope with tinting the icing, but not the cake itself.  So these are the compromise.

The icing (or frosting, depending on your regional preference) recipe below is really forgiving.  I don’t usually use a recipe to make icing.  I just throw things in a bowl and make it.  Close really does count on this one.  If it’s a little too runny, add more powdered sugar (which I have to do most of the time I make icing).  If it’s a little too dry, add a few drops more of rice milk. It will all be good in the end.  When it’s not tinted with food coloring, the icing will come out an off-white color.  I use India Tree natural food coloring when my kids insist on colored icing.

Yellow Cupcakes and Icing

1 ¼ cup organic granulated cane sugar
½ cup organic palm shortening
1 tablespoon organic GF vanilla extract
3 large organic eggs
2/3 cup organic brown rice flour
2/3 cup organic tapioca starch
2/3 cup organic millet flour or almond meal*
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1.5 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup organic rice milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Use canola oil or another neutral oil to oil 22-24 muffin tins.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a whisk or hand mixer to combine the sugar, palm shortening, vanilla extract,  and eggs.  Add in all of the flours, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder and rice milk.  Use a mixing spoon to stir thoroughly.  Fill the muffin tins half full with batter.  Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350F until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

* If you use millet flour, there will be a stronger, nuttier flavor to the cake.  If you use almond meal, the flavor will be more neutral.  Almonds carry a cross-contamination risk from tree nuts, so be careful using them in food for the nut allergic.

Icing or Frosting

2 cups organic powdered sugar
About 2 tablespoons organic rice milk
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
¼ cup organic palm shortening
Natural food coloring, if desired

Using an electric hand mixer, cream the shortening into the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, very slowly adding rice milk to get the right consistency.  Add in food coloring if desired.