Whiskey Sour Cupcakes

I have found my passion for baking again. Now that I’m starting to get a handle on gluten-free flours, I am really excited to launch some new baking projects with flavours one typically doesn’t find in their desserts.

For celiacs, there is some debate on how safe whiskey is. It has to do with how much of the starch is converted to alcohol, and if it meets the 20 ppm standard for foods considered to be safe. I tolerate it just fine, unless I’m having a particularly celebratory night, in which case how I feel after could be equally attributed to a hangover!

Anyways, back to baking. One of my favourite fancy cocktails is the whiskey sour. Often times bars don’t have a great selection of sipping whiskeys, so a whiskey sour is a good mixed drink if the selection isn’t very tempting. I can also attribute my love of whiskey to gradual introduction by a slow combination of the whiskey sour and occasional sips of the Hubby’s expensive, peaty whiskeys.

I thought the combination of lime citrus and earthy whiskey would lend itself well to a cupcake. When combined in one bite, the spice of the cupcake and the tang of the frosting are a delicious pairing. The combination of flours used results in a moist, bubbly mixture that I was surprised to find in a gluten free combination. The cake texture and flavour had rave reviews from all tasters!


1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup tapioca or potato starch

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp xantham gum

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup applesauce

1 1/2 milk

1/2 cup whiskey

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

nutmeg and cinnamon to taste

For frosting:

I used a basic buttercream recipe such as this one. Replace the traditional vanilla with either 2 tsp lime extract or the juice of 2 limes.


Let all ingredients sit out until room temperature. This is especially important for the eggs. Room temperature ingredients rise more quickly when introduced to heat. Since it is hard enough for non-gluten batters to rise, this step is important to allow for as much rising as possible!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients, minus the sugar in a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter, eggs, and sugar together until thoroughly mixed and light at fluffy. Add the dry ingredients gradually, and then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Spoon into a muffin tin with liners, filling each cup 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

For frosting, cream the butter and sugar, and then gradually add milk and lime until the frosting reaches desired consistency and flavour. This will be a bit of a trick, as you don’t want the frosting too watery or too sweet. I found it easier not to chill the frosting, but as you can see, my frosting technique leaves something to be desired! Garnish with some lime zest or fun sprinkles.


2 Comments to “Whiskey Sour Cupcakes”

  1. Sounds delicious! Excellent photo too 🙂
    I’m hoping to make gluten free scones in a few weeks. Any ideas for a good flour combination or commercial gluten free flour product?

    • Thanks Marcia! I haven’t personally made scones yet, so take this advice with a grain of salt. I usually try and use a 2:1:1 mix of a rice flour (I think sweet rice flour would be good for you), a starch (tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot flour), and a meal-weight flour (sorghum flour, coconut flour, almond flour). I did have some scones that used only two: brown rice flour and sorghum flour, so that might be worth a try. Just remember that the texture will be a bit wetter, so don’t try and make the texture exactly the same as with regular flour, or else it will end up a bit too dry!

      Another tip I discovered as an egg replacement for vegan cornbread: mix soy milk (or regular milk) and a touch of apple cider vinegar together, and let set until the milk curdles a little bit. Then whisk in flax seed, so that it whips up a bit. It seems to create a chemical reaction that adds air. This can be helpful with gluten free cooking because without gluten you miss that reaction that creates fluffiness.

      Good luck!

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