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Gluten Free Eggnog Cupcakes with homemade eggnog frosting are a sweet holiday dessert perfect for parties with creamy flavors and a bit of spice. A Christmas treat with a favorite festive ingredient!
Easy Gluten-Free Christmas Cupcakes
When you think Christmas baking, maybe you picture frosted gingerbread men and sparkly sugar cookies. Or, maybe you imagine Gluten Free Pecan Pie or Gluten-Free Dutch Apple Pie. But the holidays aren’t all about cookies and pie! These moist and fluffy eggnog cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat to celebrate the season. They taste like creamy, tangy eggnog with a touch of spice and richness. And the whipped eggnog frosting on top is, well the icing on the cake!
Whether you’re hosting a Christmas dinner for your family or bringing a treat to a kid’s holiday party, this is the perfect recipe to return to all season long.
The ingredient list for these gluten-free eggnog cupcakes is short and sweet. You only need one kind of flour and a few pantry staple baking ingredients.
- Greek yogurt. Use plain yogurt, full fat adds more flavor.
- Vegetable oil
- Egg. Make sure the egg is at room temperature before adding it to the cupcake batter.
- Vanilla extract
- Gluten free flour. I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour
- Baking powder
- Nutmeg. If possible, use freshly grated nutmeg for the best flavor.
For the eggnog frosting, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Butter. Choose unsalted butter and make sure it’s softened to room temperature for a light and fluffy texture.
- Powdered sugar. Granulated sugar will give your frosting a gritty texture.
- Rum extract. This is optional but delicious!
How to Make Eggnog Cupcakes
You’ll need a 12-cup cupcake tin, a mixing bowl, and a whisk to make the eggnog cupcake batter. Follow these steps to put the cupcakes together:
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place liners in a 12-cup cupcake tin.
Make the batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggnog, yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk until just combined.
Rest the batter: Cover the batter with plastic wrap and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Bake the cupcakes: After resting, divide the batter between the lined cupcake tin. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost and enjoy!
How to Make Eggnog Frosting
While your cupcakes cool off, make the light and fluffy eggnog frosting. Here’s how to do it:
Beat the butter: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy.
Add the remaining ingredients: Add the powdered sugar, nutmeg, salt, eggnog, and rum extract if you’re using it. Continue to mix until the frosting is smooth.
Tips for Success
Whether you’re a regular gluten-free baker or this is your first time trying gluten free cupcakes, use these tips to make sure yours come out perfectly:
- Make sure you rest the dough for a full 20 minutes. This allows the gluten-free flour to absorb the liquid in the batter.
- The cupcakes are done baking when the tops are set and you can insert a toothpick in the center of one of the middle cupcakes and it comes out mostly clean.
- Wait to frost the cupcakes until they are fully cool. Otherwise, your frosting may melt.
- If the frosting isn’t as thick as you’d like, add more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired texture. It should be smooth but stiff enough to pipe onto your cupcakes.
This buttery and light eggnog frosting is the perfect pairing with the eggnog flavor in the cupcakes. It has a stiff texture that’s easy to pipe with a piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, an offset spatula or a butter knife will also work well.
On top, I like to add a dusting of spice like cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice for a hint of natural color and to enhance the flavors. You could also add holiday sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or coconut for a bit of crunch and texture. Don’t forget some festive cupcake liners. I used the red and green ones from the package below.
How to Store Leftover Cupcakes and Frosting
Store leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Or they will last on the counter in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
You can store any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Let the frosting come to room temperature on the counter before using it to frost your cupcakes or a cake.
Can I Freeze Cupcakes?
Yes! Freeze fully cooled, unfrosted gluten free eggnog cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three months. When you want to serve the cupcakes, let them defrost on the counter for a few hours. Then frost and serve at room temperature.
You can also freeze the frosting. Simply place it in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for up to one month. Defrost the frosting in the fridge overnight, then let it come to room temperature on the counter for a few hours before you decorate the cupcakes. This is a great way to get ahead on holiday baking.
What Else Can I Make with Eggnog?
Since you only need a little over half a cup of eggnog for this cupcake recipe, you may want ideas for what to do with the rest of the container. Sure, you can just drink it. But you can also use it to make more eggnog dessert recipes!
- Slow Cooker Eggnog Granola
- Gluten Free Eggnog Crumb Cake
- Mini Eggnog Cream Pies (try these with Gluten Free Crescent Rolls!)
Gluten Free Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting
For the cupcakes:
For the frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons eggnog
- ¼ teaspoon rum extract , optional
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-well cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggnog, yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk together until just combined.
- Cover the mixing bowl with cling film and allow to sit for 20 minutes. This allows the gluten-free flour time to absorb more liquid.
- Once the batter is ready, fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until cooked through. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Use a piping bag or offset spatula to frost the cupcakes with the Eggnog frosting. Decorate with a dusting of nutmeg or some holiday sprinkles.
For the frosting:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, nutmeg, salt, 2 Tablespoons eggnog, and rum extract, if using. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add additional eggnog or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.
- Immediately frost cooled cupcakes, or store in an airtight container for later use. If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, frosting will keep for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before using. Frosting can also be stored at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.