I had the assignment of making the treats for my son's class party last week. Usually a batch of cupcakes is no problem for me. From a cake mix or from scratch, I love making cupcakes for children. It's a party on a plate for them. Nothing fancy, just a cupcake. Perfect...but this time I was thrown for a loop with the added detail that the class treat needed to be gluten-free and dairy-free. Sure, taking in the apple sauce and little boxes of raisins was easy for a preschool class but, hey, this was a party, and even three-year-olds know that it's not a party without the cake!!
My blogging friend, Pamela, from Pamela's Heavenly Treats was quick to offer help with the recipes. She shared this recipe with me which was egg-free and dairy-free; I had gluten-free on my list (and eggs were ok). I took the easy route and bought a mix, coincidentally called Pamela's, and the cupcakes didn't look all that different from Betty Crocker's. Yes, there were differences and the texture was not the same, but would the little preschoolers mind? This would be a picky bunch to please so I had my doubts.
I spruced up store-bought dairy-free, gluten-free vanilla icing by whipping it with a hand mixer for a few minutes to incorporate more air into the frosting. You'd be surprised what a quick difference this step can make. It lightens the icing and makes it easier to pipe onto the cupcakes. Take the trouble to put the icing into an icing bag or zip loc bag and pipe it onto the cupcake. This is much easier than spreading it with a spatula.
So, what was the verdict, did the kids enjoy the treats??? Yes! Most of the class ate the cupcakes. Some tore into it and left only crumbs, others ate mostly icing, some at only the cupcake. Not one complained the it tasted funny which I consider a success.
Does anyone have ideas for gluten-free, dairy-free snacks for kids? I'd love to have more recipes ready for the next time I am snack mom at school. Leave me a link in the comment section if you have suggestions. Thanks!