After finding these gluten free desserts, I realized I was missing one of my favorites – cheesecake! So I decided it was next on my list, and I re-created one of my favorite (and one of the most popular recipes I’ve posted) – salted caramel cheesecake cupcakes! And they are just as delicious gluten free, so naturally I have to share!
Similar to my brownies, I used cornstarch as a substitute for flour. Cornstarch works well as a gluten free alternative for desserts that are very dense, like cheesecake or brownies, but not necessarily for cakes or muffins that need to rise. When using cornstarch, take the amount of flour the recipe calls for and divide it by two. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, you can use 1/2 cup of cornstarch instead.
Always mix the cornstarch separately with the other dry ingredients, and beat a little bit more than usual with the wet ingredients to prevent the cake from getting grainy.
For these cupcakes, I like making them into mini, bite sizes and skipping the shortbread completely. You have the option to make them into regular size cupcakes (this recipe makes 24) and using the crust (below). You can also always refer to the regular (non gluten-free version) here. ENJOY!
Step 1: Shortbread crust (optional)
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup butter
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
3. Combine cornstarch with sugar. Mix until blended.
4. Add the egg and butter and mix.
5. Press the mixture in each cupcake liner to make crust.
6. Put pan in oven for about 10 minutes.
7. Allow crust to cool while making cheesecake mixture. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Cheesecake (recipe adapted from Cooking Classy)
4 (8 oz) packages Philly cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch until well-blended.
2. Add softened cream cheese to a separate mixing bowl and pour sugar mixture over top. Blend mixture using a mixer on low speed until smooth. If you don’t have a mixer, you can also do this using a whisk (with some extra effort).
3. Mix in eggs one at a time and blend on low speed.
4. Add vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream and mix until combined.
5. Pour mixture in cupcake pan, filling each one to nearly the top.
6. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes (be careful to not overbake – if they begin to crack, they are overbaking).
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.
Step 3: Salted Caramel Topping (recipe from Cooking Classy)
1 1 /2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp salted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1. In a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan, heat sugar and water over moderately high heat. Whisk constantly to dissolve sugar.
2. Once the mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow the mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color (about 5-7 minutes – it should have a thick texture)
3. Once the mixture reaches a dark amber color, add butter and whisk until the butter has melted. Remove saucepan from heat.
4. Wait 3 seconds, then carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Allow caramel to cool several minutes then pour into a glass container to cool.
5. Once the sauce is cooled, use a spoon to top cupcakes.
6. Sprinkle sea salt on the caramel topping before serving.