The Perfect Cupcake + A Birthday Celebration

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cupcakes | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI am grateful. I am fortunate. I am blessed. This weekend I celebrated Levi’s 7th birthday with family, friends, and all of his buddies. Doing what he loves; playing football, eating bean and rice burritos, and running around being the king of the world. Those in Newton, CT. are dealing with loss, unimaginable sadness, and most likely are in shock. They are not going to see their children celebrate their 7th birthday. How tragic. What a senseless loss.

#Gluten Free Cupcakes supporting the #NYGiants | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comAll weekend I embraced my children, told them I loved them 1000 times, and found gratitude in the small stuff. My kids are NY Giants fans. So these cupcakes represented their favorite team. Levi, luckily opted for a simple celebration at the park, with a handful of his favorite people. The energy amongst the parents was quiet, the party was subdued. Could not have asked for anything more.

Celebrating 7 years | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comA few candles, his brothers by his side, and his three grandparents sang him happy birthday. The rain stayed away and allowed us to enjoy the moment.

Levi parties with those he loves | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comA game of football, some organized relay races, and capture the flag is all a group of boys really need. Our hearts go out to those who have experienced this loss. Levi’s 7th birthday will forever be remembered for my boy who grows more empathetic everyday and for those, in Newton, CT., who have captured our nation. Even President Obama shed a tear.

Pray for Newton, CT. | @Susan Salzman |



The Perfect Gluten Free Cupcake


for the cupcakes:
4 ounces | 114 grams | 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted, organic butter
6 1/2 ounces | 180 grams | 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons organic, pure cane sugar
2 large, organic eggs
3 ounces | 80 grams | 1 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
3 ounces | 80 grams | 1/2 cup millet flour
2 1/2 ounces | 70 grams | 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon almond meal
1 ounce | 30 grams | 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

for the butter cream
16 ounces | 456 grams | 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4  – 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, pulp removed
1 teaspoon. pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons whole milk


for the cupcakes:
• preheat oven to 350*. line muffin tins with 2″ paper liners. place on two parchment lined jelly roll pans. set aside.
• in a medium bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients. set aside.
• in the work bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar until combined.
• add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each egg. add vanilla bean paste.
• add the yogurt and mix until all ingredients are incorporated and you no longer see any white streaks in the batter.
• with the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well.
• using a 1/4 cup ice cream scooper, place batter into prepared liners.
• bake 18 – 22 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes come clean.
• let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

for the butter cream:
• mix the butter until very creamy (about 3-5 minutes).
• split the vanilla bean down the middle.  with a pairing knife, scrape out the seeds from the bean. add them to the creamed butter and mix, pulsing slowly(save your pods and throw them in a jar of sugar. I keep vanilla sugar on hand it is a great way to dress up any dessert).
• add the sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you get the consistency that you desire.
• add the milk and vanilla.
• I like a thicker butter cream, so I tend to use more sugar and less milk.
• frost the cupcakes with a pastry tip of your choice or an off set spatula.
• enjoy!

I doubled this recipe to make 30 2″ cupcakes.

The Urban Baker /

More Gluten Free Baking around the Web:
Christmas Cookies – Boulder Locavore
Chocolate Berry Almond Gratin – La Tartine Gourmande
Triple Berry Crisp – Tartelette
Maple Glazed Chocolate Walnuts – Gourmande in the Kitchen

Showing 18 comments
  • Allison [@AllisonnTweets]

    Great post, Susan. It sounds like Levi had a wonderful birthday.

  • HeatherChristo

    Oh Susan. waaaahhhh!! I held my little girls all weekend too and fawned all over them and tried to turn the news off at every turn so they couldn’t hear what had happened and shatter their innocence. Every moment is precious. Happy Birthday to Levi, and thank you for sharing this gluten free cupcake recipe 🙂

    • Susan

      Heather – I cannot even open my home page on the internet. Seeing some of those sweet, innocent, adorable faces just makes me weep. I am so confused by the whole thing and I just cannot wrap my head around it. Yes, we all must enjoy the moment, the little thing, and not take all of it so seriously!

  • Maria

    What a fun birthday celebration!

  • nh

    I’m confused by your measurements. You list “3 ounces | 80 grams | 1 1/4 + 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt” is that…1 and 1/4 CUP?? There is no indication of the unit of measurement.

    You also list “3 ounces | 80 grams | 1/2 cup millet flour” but how can that be 3 ounces or 80 grams if the Greek yogurt is also 3 ounces or 80 grams but a different amount all together in, presumably, cups??

    • Susan

      Thanks for calling me out on my edits. It is so hard sometimes being a one-woman show. Yes, it is 1 1/4 cups of greek yogurt – which I have edited. In terms of the measurements, the yogurt is a wet ingredient which has more weight and volume to it. The millet flour is a dry ingredient and generally, 1 cup of “most” dry ingredients/flours equates to both 140 grams or 5 ounces. I am searching for a scale that will give me the ml weights and measurements for wet ingredients – which is a more accurate way of measuring. I hope this clears up any confusion.

  • Nancy@acommunaltable

    This sounds like the perfect birthday celebration!!! I still can’t wrap my head around this either..and doubt I ever will. Truly makes one appreciate all we have….

  • marla

    All so beautiful Susan!!! Happy b’day to your son 🙂

  • Aimee

    Such a great post. As a new mom of twins, I spent most of the weekend on the verge of tears and enjoying every moment with my precious babies. Happy birthday to your son, and thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Susan

      Hi Aimee – it is somewhat of a wake up call for all of us. It’s so easy to loose our patience and really the small stuff just doesn’t matter. Enjoy your babies and happy holidays!

  • Amanda

    Happy belated birthday to your sweet boy! Great recipe and thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Deliciously Organic

    Happy Birthday to Levi!

  • Esi

    Happy birthday to Levi. Glad you were able to have a nice celebration in spite of what is going on in our world.

  • El

    Happy birthday Eli. Hug the stuffing out of him!

    • Susan

      Thanks, El…Love that quote, “hug the stuffing out of him”!

  • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

    Happy Birthday to your sweet Levi! Nothing could have been more poignant or special than that celebration. xx

    • Susan

      Thanks, Barbara. In spite of the recent events, it was a quiet, but great celebration.

  • Reply

    Wishing a very Happy Birthday to Levi, it sounds like it was a wonderful day filled with lots of love family and friends.

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