Single-Blind Experiment: Of, relating to, or being an experimental procedure in which the experimenters but not the subjects know the makeup of the test and control groups during the actual course of the experiments
To begin my little cupcake experiment, I first made my hypothesis that my Gluten free (GF) Cinnamon Spice Cupcakes would be as well received as my over-the-top, well loved Three Musketeers Cupcakes.
Now onto my procedure or “taste test”. In this case my independent variable was the entire GF cupcake. Yes, in any good experiment (which this is not claiming to be), the independent and dependent variables would both be cinnamon spice cupcakes of course with the independent variable being just the flour mixture, but this is a food blog, and it was my hubby’s birthday dinner and I had no real intention on publishing any results…except here mind you. He had requested the Three Musketeers Cupcakes, and I also needed to make a GF chocolate free cupcake so there you have it. Necessity is the Mother of Invention and all that.
Next, I presented both of my cupcakes to my experimental group of blind subjects (blind because they didn’t know the Cinnamon Cupcakes were GF), our typical Sunday Dinner of 10 family members. Normally, my Three Musketeers Cupcakes are gobbled down by the whole crew in seconds flat, BUT there were several family members who ended up choosing the GF Cinnamon Spice Cupcakes or half of each cupcake, despite us being a family of insane chocoholics.
Observation: Eyes got wide as they bit into my cinnamon spice cupcakes with the heavenly cinnamon butter cream. Anyone who bit into one touted their deliciousness and insisted the chocolate eaters try the cinnamon cupcakes. “Mmmms” and “Oh my’s” were heard across the table. My nephew said, “This is the best cupcake I’ve had in a very long time”, and his family has amazing pastry chefs and eats at five star restaurants more often than not. He asked to take one home to share with his girlfriend the next day. Still no one was told the cupcakes were GF.
Data Analysis: Of the 10 family members, 5 tried the GF cupcakes. All 5 shouted with glee and polished off their cupcakes, every last crumb. I asked if anyone noticed anything “different” about these cupcakes in general. Everyone said the only difference was that they were completely fantastic and addicting. My hypothesis was proven correct.
The Experimenter’s personal review: These cupcakes seriously are so tender, soft, moist and yummy and in a million years, no one would ever guess they are Gluten Free. The cinnamon and nutmeg spices along with the coconut sugar give them a warm and inviting caramel-y taste and color and the cinnamon butter cream just puts them over the top into nirvana. You can serve these to any experimental group of your choice and they will be ogled over. Trust me.
Gluten Free Cinnamon Spice Cupcakes
Topped with Cinnamon Butter Cream
This is a Sweet and Crumby original recipe, inspired by Gluten Free Baking Classics Vanilla Cupcake.
Makes 12 cupcakes
1/2 c. (125 ml) granulated sugar
1/2 c. (125 ml) coconut sugar or light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 c. (310 ml) gluten free brown rice flour blend1*, specifically made with extra fine rice flour
1/4 t. (1.5 ml) salt
1 1/2 t. (7.5 ml) baking powder
1/4 t. of guar gum + 1/4 t. xanthan gum (or you can use 1/2 t. of just one of the gums if you only have one type)
1 t. (5 ml) ground cinnamon
1/2 t. (3 ml) ground nutmeg
1/2 c. (125 ml) Canola Oil
1/2 c. (125 ml) Buttermilk
1/2 t. (3 ml) almond extract (GF)
1 t. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract (GF)
*The gluten free brown rice flour blend is from Annalise Roberts’ cookbook, Gluten Free Baking Classics. It consists of 2 c. extra finely ground brown rice flour (this is essential), 2/3 c. potato STARCH (not flour) and 1/3 c. tapioca starch or tapioca flour (same thing just different name in this case). See my tips for making this flour blend and keeping it on hand on my GF tab at the top.
To make the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit./180 degrees Celsius. Line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand beater, add your sugar and eggs and beat until well combined and smooth-ish.
In a large bowl, put in your gf flour mixture through the nutmeg and whisk well. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture. and mix on low speed just for a few seconds to barely combine.
Add the Canola oil and buttermilk along with the extracts. Now beat on medium-high for a minute. This beating actually helps your batter and later your cake texture to be nice and smooth and eliminates that graininess GF can be infamous for.
Scoop into muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cupcake is lightly firm to the touch and springy. Cool completely before frosting.
Cinnamon Butter Cream:
1 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 c. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1 t. all natural vanilla extract (GF)
1-2 t. ground cinnamon (depending on how spicy you’d like it)
To make the frosting: Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Start on slow speed and then work up to a high speed. Add the milk, vanilla and ground cinnamon and beat on high for 1-2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.