are you guys ready for yet another family birthday post? i know you’re up for it. yesterday marked the end of hooley family birthday season, while zauner family birthday season starts later this summer. woo! and if you’re keeping count, you’ll know that yesterday belonged to my brother patrick (but we call him patyick).
my baby brother turned twenty-five yesterday. you’ll notice i didn’t say little brother, because he has literally never been smaller than me. we are only thirteen or so months apart, and when he came home from the hospital, he was taller than me and weighed almost as much. even with that, i still thought he was my own personal babydoll. i was a one-year-old who thought she was going to take care of a giant infant herself. i called him “my baby” for a very long time, and would always ask if i could “hold my baby?” or “feed my baby?”, which i’m sure my mom and dad thought was hilarious.
i have a history of being extremely bossy towards patyick. like, THE bossiest. i think it stems from thinking i was his mother? that’s a theme i hope to dig into in therapy one day. i forced him into musical performances with me on the daily, and was a total micro-manager when it came to performance direction.
“no, you don’t come out yet!” “no, stop dancing like that, stand still and sing!” “no, keep that tutu on we are doing a ballet!”
i also really liked to play house with him, but my version of house was me being the mom, patyick being the dad, and since my dad went to work everyday, i would make patyick a plastic breakfast, then send him off to work in the closet. and only i knew when the workday was done. i think i once made him stay in there so long that he fell asleep on the vacuum. THE BOSSIEST!
that all ended when he realized he was bigger and stronger than me, although he never got me back for all the grief i put him through. which is why he is such a great brother. he just rolls with the punches and asks for another jellybean if things don’t go his way, like when he got four sisters instead of that brother he asked for. i love my brother a lot, he’s such a good man, and gets better and better every year. someday he will live in saint paul near us, and then life will get really fun! i hope twenty-five is the best birthday yet patyick, thanks for being my life-size babydoll for the last quarter century!
my brother recently found out he has a lot of food sensitivities. for the next year or so, he has to be on a gluten-free, potato-free, dairy-free, egg-free diet. yikes, right? don’t fret too much, he should be able to add back in dairy and eggs after a year if all goes well. but for the time-being, he is pretty limited to fruits, veggies, rice and proteins, which can get pretty boring. so i thought for his birthday i would make him some cupcakes that he could actually eat.
this was my first foray into gluten-free baking, and these actually turned out WAY better than i thought they would. they are a little sticky (because of the rice flour, i think the sorghum flour would have a different effect), but taste delicious! and come on, these are for sure the healthiest cupcakes you’ve ever heard of, right? i KNOW!
for the cupcakes:
- 1 C. white rice flour (the original recipe called for sorghum or brown rice flour)
- 1 C. tapioca starch
- 1 C. organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. gluten-free cornstarch (the original recipe called for xanthan gum) (what?)
- 1 C. vanilla coconut milk
- 1/2 mashed banana + 1/4 tsp. baking powder (to replace 1/4 C. or 1 egg)
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp. bourbon vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. whisk flour, starch, and dry ingredients together. add in non-dairy milk, banana mixture, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice. beat until smooth, but don’t overbeat. use an ice cream spoon to spoon into cupcake tins. smooth tops with a wet finger. bake until firm and dome-shaped, which in my crappy oven took about 23 minutes, but could be anywhere between 18-25. let cool for about a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack so the cupcakes don’t steam on the bottom.
for the frosting:
- 2 C. powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2-3 Tbsp shortening (the original recipe called for vegan butter, but you could use regular butter too if you don’t need dairy-free)
- 2 oz. cold coffee
- 1 tsp. bourbon vanilla
starting with a small amount of coffee, beat in the sugar, cocoa, shortening, and vanilla. add more liquid if needed. beat for about two minutes, until smooth. add more sugar if you need to stiffen it. chill the frosting for about an hour before use.
don’t frost until you are ready to serve. if you need to frost a bit beforehand, pop the frosted cupcakes in the freezer for a while before taking them out and allowing them to warm up for about ten minutes.