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Gluten Free Cupcakes with Buttercream Succulents!

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Continuing in the tradition during self-isolation of baking my feelings, today I made some gluten free cupcakes with buttercream succulents! Lest you think I put out the effort to make the cupcakes from scratch, I must tell you they came from a mix. We can only do so much, right? 😉 [HERE] is the gluten free chocolate cake mix I used. However, I did make the delicious buttercream from scratch, and it tastes divine! Did you know I used to bake wedding and birthday cakes to help put my husband through pharmacy school? Click [HERE] to check out a few of my favorite creations! This buttercream recipe is my favorite, because it isn’t overly sweet. If you whip up a batch for the next time you bake YOUR feelings, let me know what you think!

My Favorite Buttercream Recipe

1 C. unsalted butter
4 t. vanilla extract
4 C. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 t. salt
4 T. milk

DIRECTIONS:
Starting with room temperature, softened butter, cream until smooth in a mixer. Add confectioner’s sugar gradually, beating until fully incorporated. Next, add salt and vanilla. Add milk and beat for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add 1/2 T. of milk at a time if consistency is too thick.

Next, I added a few drops of gel food coloring to a few bowls of buttercream in different shades of succulent green plus pink and white for accents. Whenever I’m piping flowers or leaves, I like to leave the colored buttercream a little under mixed or streaky, because this creates variegated coloration much like you’d find on real succulents, flowers and leaves!

Another tip for creating realistic colors is to load up the piping bag (or sandwich baggie in a pinch!) with more than one shade of a color. When the buttercream is squeezed out, the colors create multidimensional, realistic flowers and succulents, rather than being just one note.

gluten free cupcakes with buttercream succulents
gluten free cupcakes with buttercream succulents

I used multiple different piping tips and first practiced on a dinner plate to get the shapes and flow of the succulents I wanted to create. If you’d like to try your hand at buttercream decorations, I found an inexpensive starter kit [HERE] that should be useful to you! And now that I’m done baking my feelings, I’m off to eat some gluten free cupcakes with buttercream succulents!
❤️ERIN


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  1. So pretty! I can’t wait to be able to do more creative baking once I have more time and my youngest gets a little older.

  2. Lisa says:

    Is my kitchen just SUPER hot? I NEVER add milk to my buttercream because I feel like it always makes it too runny. I see all of these recipes with milk and I wonder why I’m odd? 😂

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hm, it might be! I’m in Oklahoma and keep the thermostat around 69-70 if that helps! I use the milk to control the consistency in order to be able to push the buttercream through the piping tips. If it’s too thick, the bag will burst!

  3. Tiffany says:

    Oh my gosh! These are adorable!

  4. Elise says:

    These turned out so great Erin!! I’m not sure if you ended up letting your girls help or not😜 but either way I hope it was a cathartic experience!!

  5. Dodi says:

    Going to try!!! Can you freeze the extra? Best way to thaw it?

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      The extra buttercream? I’ve never tried freezing it actually! I just store in airtight container in the fridge.

  6. Elise says:

    Love these so much Erin, you are so talented! I’m not sure if you ever let the girls help you with these😜 but I hope it was a cathartic experience for you either way!

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