I’ve noticed that there’s a certain kind of recipe that appeals to me when I’m feeling particularly devoid of inspiration – those periods when I find it hard to muster up the enthusiasm to do anything other than order a pizza for dinner.

For some reason, it’s normally some form of cake that captures my imagination rather than a brownie or cookie or anything else that I usually like to eat/bake. The cake itself is generally golden brown, laced with vanilla and with a tender crumb. It tends to have a simple ingredient list. I think part of the appeal is the knowledge that I already have everything that I need on hand. It shouldn’t require too much effort or fancy equipment either. Nothing is more likely to discourage me from turning the oven on than the thought of having to wash up multiple bowls or lug my food processor out of the cupboard.



As soon as I saw the golden milk cake that Sara posted a couple of weeks ago, I knew that it was just the recipe that was going to pull me out of my current kitchen funk. It arrived in my inbox on a Friday morning and it was all I could do not to leave the office immediately and head home to make it. I managed to hold out until the end of the day and, that evening, I was rewarded with the most fragrant and delicious cake that I’ve eaten in a long time.

I’ve made a few small tweaks to Sara’s recipe to make it gluten free but other than that, the recipe is pretty much hers. The first time I made it, I used my mini bundt pans but the version I’m sharing here is in cupcake form, topped with a luscious mascarpone cream and a few berries because I’m pretty sure that it’s illegal not to do so at this time of year.

If you don’t know Sara’s blog, you’re also in for a real treat. She does the most fantastic illustrations (I have several of the prints from her ‘Commute‘ series which I adore) plus she recently documented the day she spent eating pizza in her hometown of Lebanon, PA. How can you not love this girl?



golden milk cupcakes with whipped mascarpone cream {gluten free}

Yield: 12 - 18 cupcakes

As soon as Sara posted this recipe, I knew that I had to make it asap. It's really my perfect kind of cake - rich and butter-y with a dense crumb but still somehow light enough that it's possible to eat three or four at once. I generally can't resist eating one as soon as it comes out of the oven; the heady smell is so intoxicating. This type of cake is traditionally known as a hot milk cake but I much prefer Sara's name for it!


    For the cupcakes:
  • 90g (3/4 cup) rice flour
  • 30g (just under 1/3 cup) ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour (corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 100g (just under 1 cup) unrefined sugar of some description
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 55g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • For the frosting:
  • 240ml (1 cup) double cream, at room temperature
  • 225g (1 cup-ish) mascarpone, at room temperature
  • Icing sugar, to taste
  • Berries, for decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F and line a cupcake tin with paper cases. My liners were really small hence I got 18 cupcakes out of the mix but with a more substantial liner, you'll be closer to 12.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the various flours, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In another bowl - or the bowl of a stand mixer - beat the egg, sugar and vanilla for 5 - 10 minutes until light and frothy. Fold in the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. In a small pan over a low heat, melt the butter and then add the milk. Bring it up to the boiling point, stirring to make sure that it doesn't scorch. When the milk is ready, take it off the heat and slowly pour it into you batter, folding it through until combined. You'll have a fairly think and pourable batter.
  5. Divide the batter between the paper cases and fill each about 3/4 of the way up but no more than that unless you want your cupcakes to end up looking a mess. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden and firm. They'll rise in the oven but will sink a little as they cool. No worries.
  6. When they're cool, whisk together the cream and mascarpone until thick. It won't take long and if you beat it too much, the mixture will curdle due to the relatively high fat content. Add sugar to taste (I find the cupcakes on the sweeter side so prefer to go light in the sugar in the frosting but it's up to you).
  7. Dollop the frosting on top of the cupcakes and add a few berries for decoration. Job done.


Cupcakes barely adapted from Sara's golden milk cake

Tagged with →  
44 Responses to "golden milk cupcakes with whipped mascarpone cream {gluten free}"
  1. Dom says:

    how adorable are these… so pretty x

  2. Lovely! I adore these little beauties!

  3. Thank you soooo much for the sweet words and for sharing your gluten free version of this cake! They look lovely. I wonder what my grandmother would say if she knew that I shared her recipe online and then my friend in London made them and shared her cupcake gluten free version of them … The world is a crazy place! xoxo

    • kathryn says:

      I love that this recipe has such a history about it. It makes me so happy to have made something that generations of your family have made too; so special and thank you for letting me share them! xo

  4. What adorable cupcakes! I saw the golden milk cake too, it really did look awesome :)

  5. Skye says:

    Oh my goodness, Kathryn – these are just gorgeous. And I love the mascarpone topping – inspired! And so exciting to find Sara’s illustrated blog – so beautiful and original! Xx

  6. I know exactly how that feels like, but for me those lazy days come in the shape of pasta with tomato sauce, and the kitchen-mood-rescuer is usually meant to be some sort of exquisite and impossible cooking/baking project.
    These cupcakes look adorable and extremely yummy, and if you say the batter is good, I’m definitely gonna give it a try :)
    Have a nice week

  7. How beautiful! I love that you frosted the cupcakes with mascarpone. Genius! This sounds amazing!
    xx Sydney

  8. These cupcakes are so cute and I love the name of them. The backlighting of the photos gives these cupcakes a gorgeous glow! Love your photography, girl :)

  9. I love that cake is your go-to. For me, it’s quick bread..which can totally translate to quick cake pretty easy too :) This flavour is lovely!

  10. Amanda Paa says:

    i fell in love with that recipe when i saw it too! sara is such a kind, talented woman. and kudos for sharing this lovely gluten-free version of her cake with us. i’m going strawberry picking this weekend and it seems they would go atop these just perfectly. xo

    • kathryn says:

      Isn’t Sara just the best? I definitely think freshly picked strawberries would be the very best way to top this beautiful cake.

  11. These are so beautiful Kathryn! So dreamy looking. Hopefully these helped lift your mood in your inspiration slump (how could they not?!) and that you’re doing awesome. And if not. Maybe a second batch? ;)

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Jessie. And I won’t tell you quite how many batches I’ve made/consumed over the last few weeks ;)

  12. I have been in a bit of a kitchen funk lately, too. Some days all I want to do is steam a bunch of vegetables, drizzle tahini over it, and just have that because I feel so lazy and uninspired. These cupcakes sound and look ridiculously good, and I did a quick hop over to Sara’s blog. Thanks for sending me her way- all her illustrations are absolutely beautiful!

    • kathryn says:

      Lazy + uninspired totally sums it up for me. I think I’ve just about come through the other side of my funk now – I hope you make it through yours soon too!

  13. Abby says:

    These photos are so, so beautiful, Kathryn. What cute little cupcakes! <3

  14. These are perfection, Kathryn. So summery and lovely. And basically I’m immediately on board with any dessert that mentions dairy in the title. Yum!

    Ps. Sara is so wonderfully talented! Her drawings are such a treasure.

  15. Hi Kathryn, I love that these little beauties are gluten-free. I can relate with how a picture or recipe of a sweet delight sparks my cooking mojo. What it is about those picture-perfect morsels that makes me wanna make ’em? I suppose it’s because it’s a win-win…I get to make something irresistible and I’ll be able to stuff my mouth in the end..lol

  16. Erica says:

    Absolutely love Sara from Cake Over Steak, and this recipe is just amazing! I love your addition of mascarpone cream, what a perfect topping for such a golden cupcake. Absolutely appropriate for summer too :)

  17. Oh my, I love what you did with Sara’s recipe! I’ve been salivating over that cake, too, ever since I saw it on her blog. Love the fresh fruit on top!

  18. Medeja says:

    Yummy! They look beautiful! I love mascarpone cream.

  19. They look adorable and super cute
    I will check Sara’s blog, sounds promising :)

  20. Sometimes simple is best, right? These little cupcakes look so beautiful, it’s hard to imagine them needing anything else! :)

  21. No joke, I’d like to jump into that second image from the bottom. Stunning shot! These little guys sound utterly delicious. Will have to give them a try soon! x

  22. I was so excited when I saw you made Sara’s cake gluten-free – yay!! Well done. If my entire kitchen was not in boxes I’d be making these right now. Soon! xo.

  23. Renee Kemps says:

    I’ve got exactly the same thing, but with chocolate (chip) cookies! Haha. These look adorable! Cake, cream/mascarpone and fruit is always a good combination(:

  24. I have never read Sara’s blog, but it looks awesome! As do these little cupcakes. So cute and so delicious looking! I am so making these for my friends birthday this weekend!

  25. Erika says:

    Omg Kathryn. These look DANGEROUSLY simple. Particularly because I’m the same way as you–when cravings hit, it’s often a tender-crumbed cake–and even though I’m a chocolate fiend, my cravings have been more and more frequently for vanilla cake! Yup, these are dangerous. Did you see Sara’s post on her wedding cake recipe?! For a minute, that’s what I thought you were posting and I was like HOW DID SHE MAKE THE RECIPE SIMPLE?! As I recall, there’s lots of whipped egg whites/various complicated steps for those cupcakes, but they sound SO GOOD. Someday…

    Also, I forgot how stunning your photography is. It’s just so bright and warm and welcoming–totally gorgeous. I can’t tell you how much I’m digging the soft light on these cupcakes!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *