I suppose if the New Year is about new beginnings and what not, it’s only fitting that my first baking endeavor of 2015 was also my first fore into gluten-free baking. I had heard that a lot of gluten-free sweets aren’t very good or are a pain to make with not a lot of taste pay off, so up until now whenever I received an invitation to someone who can’t eaten gluten’s home I would just play it safe and bring along something that didn’t rely on gluten anyway. However, recently a friend of mine who suffers from a gluten allergy asked me if it would be at all possible to make a gluten-free version of the absinthe cake balls and that served as the impetus for me to finally take the plunge and take on gluten-free baking. I had to make a few adaptions to the original absinthe cupcake recipe, but the results were more than acceptable in terms of taste and texture–in fact, the gluten-free version may even be a bit better for you as its slightly springier texture requires less icing to form balls. If you want to make a decadent gluten-free treat that doesn’t seem, well, gluten-free, give this a try.
As those of you who have been following me on Instagram know, in the spring and summer I make a fair amount of varieties of sangria and even made some sangria cupcakes, which were surprisingly quite tasty. And since sangria is to summer as mulled wine is to winter, when I was making my last batch of mulled wine I got to wondering if it would be good in cupcakes as well. My friend had a birthday in late November and I figured that would be a good opportunity to put this idea to the test, but since someone else was already bringing a proper cake to the party I decided that cake bites (cake pops without the stick) would make for a better gift since they are easier to take home and keep. The final result was the perfect mix of spicy and sweet and fruity, plus I had enough cake and frosting ingredients left to make a batch of absinthe cake bites (with this recipe) so you’re getting two recipes for the price of one today.