Many of our guests have specific dietary concerns, like gluten sensitivity, or vegan/vegetarian lifestyles. Some are just trying to cut back on heavily processed foods. With a huge bag of organic Meyer lemons from Rita’s tree inspiring us to action, we whipped up some gluten-free lemon mini cupcakes as a Spring treat for ALL of our guests can enjoy. They were a big hit at a recent Wine & Cheese Hour!

We decided to modify a great recipe we found with ingredients already on hand, and made fresh cream frosting with Meyer lemon juice. For an added Spring touch, we used a food processor to crumble gluten-free ginger snaps on the tops of the cakes (“fresh dirt”) and lime zest (“grass”). We hope you enjoy these at home, and please share any gluten-free recipes you would like to see us try here at Raford!

Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Mini Cupcakes


  • ½ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (we used XO Baking Co.)
  • ½ cup rice flour or almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • zest from a whole Meyer lemon and juice from half of it

Channeling Martha Stewart!


  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in one bowl (flours, salt, baking soda, zest).
  • Whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl (eggs, oil, honey, juice).
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the other bowl until just combined.
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each liner and even out as needed.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.
  • Insert a toothpick into a few of the muffin centers to check for doneness: toothpick should slide cleanly out of the cupcake center.
  • Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Gluten Free Lemon Frosting


  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar (make sure it’s made with corn starch)
  • 2-3 tablespoons half & half
  • a drizzling of more freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice


  • Whip butter and cream cheese together using a standing mixer with the paddle attachment: whip together at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add sifted sugar to icing on slow speed, gently increasing to medium speed for 5 minutes.
  • Mix in other ingredients and continue mixing until smooth, fluffy, and creamy.
  • Use a small spatula to spread frosting onto cupcakes before adding the “dirt” and “grass,” or pour into a pastry bag and use piping tips.

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