I cheated. I admit it.
There are just some times in life when one thing after another happens, when people are pulling at you from all directions, when you don’t have a minute to do all the things you need to do—let alone all the things you want to do. That’s when you say, “What the hell!”
Yep, people. That’s when it happens. That’s when you cut corners.
Wait a minute. I have some pretty good excuses. 1) My stove exploded—not literally, but almost literally…well, my husband exploded some kind of experiment all over it. Two burners…totally fried. I didn’t even kill or maim him. 2) My refrigerator is so tired it’s coughing air just cold enough to keep it from being called a heater. The vegetable drawer, on the other hand, will freeze a tray of ice cubes in 10 minutes flat. And, 3) The dishwasher. Oh, the dishwasher. It wants to burn my house down. Yeah, that’s right. I can only run it when I’ve got time to sit there and make sure it runs through all the cycles and doesn’t skip the water spraying part.
Needless to say my kitchen is not a happy place. And, work is keeping me pretty busy. My life is a food blogger’s nightmare—no time and a dysfunctional kitchen.
That’s why I did it. That’s why I used a cake mix for this recipe. That’s it, right out in the open. I cheated. I cut a few corners. And, I’m not sorry I did. Thank you, Gluten-Free Betty Crocker.
I didn’t exactly make the cake as directed on the box. I spiced it up a bit. I’m hoping that redeems me in your eyes.
My Aunt Rose’s Italian chocolate spice cookies inspired me. If you’re Italian you may have an Aunt Rose (we almost all do!) and maybe your Aunt Rose baked these cookies around the holidays. They’re like a dry chocolate rock with a drizzle of confectioners’ sugar glaze topped by a sprinkle of colored jimmies. They’re more than chocolate cookies though. They’ve got spices—cinnamon, cloves, maybe nutmeg—in them.
These cupcakes are not dry chocolate rocks…they’re light and airy. They’re chocolate with a hint of spice topped with cinnamon glaze. They’re what I imagine Aunt Rose would bake if she made cupcakes—which she didn’t. These are grown up cupcakes for the big kid in all of us.
Many thanks to the Gluten-Free Goddess for linking to TSP’s Spiced Up Chocolate Cupcakes on her Gluten-Free Brownie Cupcakes post!
Spiced Up Chocolate Cupcakes
1 box (15 oz) Betty Crocker® Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch cayenne pepper (more or less/optional)
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 flax eggs
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 or 3 teaspoons rice (or other non-dairy) milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Colored or chocolate jimmies or sprinkles
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Make the flax eggs: whisk 2 tablespoons ground flax with 6 tablespoons warm water. Set aside.
Place the cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together.
Add the remaining ingredients—water, vanilla, flax eggs, Earth Balance, and coconut milk yogurt. Mix with a regular beater (not a whisk attachment) on low until just mixed. Scrape down the bowl and then mix on medium speed for two minutes.
Line a cupcake pan with liners and fill each 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once the cupcakes are cool enough to handle remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling make the glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar & cinnamon together. Add the vanilla and then whisk in the rice milk a teaspoonful at a time until you have a thick glaze.
When the cupcakes are cool drizzle the glaze over top and sprinkle with the jimmies.
Note: I used plain coconut yogurt. If you decide to use vanilla coconut yogurt you may want to omit the vanilla extract from the recipe.