I’m not usually a cake mix kind of girl. But sometimes mixes really come in handy, especially when I’m pressed for time. There are plenty of gluten-free cake mixes on the market, and I’ve tried several with mixed results. But my hands-down favorite gluten-free cake mix is made by Kyra Bussanich of Kyra’s Bake Shop in Portland Oregon. I confess that she is one of my dearest friends in the world, but I don’t believe that causes me to lose my objectivity.
My favorite of her boxed mixes (there are three–chocolate, vanilla and snickerdoodle) is the snickerdoodle. It is light with a tender crumb and tons of spicy cinnamon flavor. I used it today to make these amazing spice cakes with pumpkin swirl cream cheese frosting. They are TO. DIE. FOR. The frosting pretty much tastes like pumpkin cheesecake. I added a little nutmeg, ginger and cloves to kick up the cake mix a just touch. And you know what? These two belong together. Seriously.
I know that many of you are probably wondering where you can get your hands on these mixes…you can buy them directly from Kyra’s Bake Shop, and also I’m giving away a set of her mixes to one lucky reader! But wait, there’s more! I’m also giving away a copy of Kyra’s new cookbook, Sweet Cravings, to another lucky reader–because I firmly believe that EVERYONE should be able to experience the joy that comes from Kyra’s baked goodies, even if you don’t live anywhere near Portland.
How do you enter? Simply click on the Rafflecopter below. Don’t miss your chance to win a set of Kyra’s mixes or a copy of her new, awesome and 100% gluten-free cookbook, Sweet Cravings.
- 1 package of Kyra's Snickerdoodle Cake Mix (or one package of gluten-free vanilla cake mix plus 2 teaspoons of cinnamon)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops orange food coloring, if desired
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (or according to package). Prepare the mix according to package directions and stir in extra spices. Spoon the batter into a paper-lined muffin tin, filling each about ⅔ full. You should have 1 dozen cupcakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or according to package), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your mixer and beat to combine. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth. Remove from mixer, place in one side of a large zip-top bag (fitted with a large star piping tip if desired) and set aside.
- Clean the mixer bowl, then add the cream cheese and pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add a drop or two of orange food coloring, if desired and mix to combine. Spoon the frosting into the other side of the large zip top bag next to the plain cream cheese frosting.
- If you haven't already, snip off a corner of the bag and carefully twist the top of the bag to force the frosting down in the bag.
- Pipe (or swirl) the frosting decoratively over each cupcake. Chill until ready to serve.