My Eclair Cupcakes takes the iconic Cadbury Eclairs toffee and re-work the idea into cake… Light and tender gluten free toffee cupcakes (made with REAL toffee) filled with hidden chocolate ganache. Inspired!
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Eclair Cupcakes (gluten free) – unique and delicious
These Gluten Free Eclair Cupcakes are unique. They were unique when they first appeared on the Blog in 2014… And they are still unique now… Whether gluten free or not.
Inspired by the very iconic toffee sweet filled with chocolate (Cadbury Eclairs), they are as playful as they are yummy. But you don’t actually need any Eclairs to make them. Because they are not bog-standard cupcakes topped with a toffee sweet to make them look pretty… No! These cakes literally take the flavours and ‘structure’ of Cadbury Eclairs and replicate in toffee cupcake form… And trust me… they are really really delicious (as well as being easy to make).
What are Cadbury Eclairs?
For anyone who has not come across or tried Cadbury Eclairs before, they are a British institution… Made from chewy toffee which is wrapped around a centre of milk chocolate, the sensation of eating them is unforgettable. As you munch, the chocolate melts and mingles into creamy toffee-chocolate heaven, in a way you just don’t get when toffee is chocolate-coated.
Of course, like any great sweet creation in a global market, Cadbury Eclairs are now widely available around the world. Sadly however, after Cadbury were bought by Mondelez in 2013, some of the ingredients were changed. And the much-loved toffee from my childhood is no longer the same. Apparently, it was also rebranded to ‘Choclairs’ in India at least…
Creating Eclair Cupcakes to replicate Cadbury Eclairs in cake form
Changed or not, the idea of a cake version that replicates the sweet has always appealed to me… And with that thought, my Gluten Free Eclair Cupcakes were born…
Toffee cupcake Sponge
… Which is made with REAL toffee. The sponge is still light and tender, but also has a slightly sticky texture… The edges a little crisp where the toffee has melted on the sponge and hardened slightly in the oven.
The toffee cupcakes have been cored and filled with…
Yep! Just like Cadbury Eclairs, as you bite through the sweet, sticky sponge, there’s a hidden surprise… A soft, creamy, dark chocolate ganache, that’s not over-sweet and perfectly offsets the caramel-intensity of the toffee cake.
Like I said… Inspired! Eclair Cupcake heaven!
Decoration for Toffee-Chocolate Cupcakes
Because the cupcakes have been cored, they need something to ‘hide’ the cake ‘cap’. But not wanting to ‘unbalance’ the perfection that is the toffee-chocolate cupcake, these Eclair Cupcakes are not decorated with icing, It would (in my opinion) be too much and risks ruining the incredible marriage of flavours already conjured.
So instead, each Eclair Cupcake is simply decorated with a little sprinkle of icing sugar, a large chocolate button to hide the cap and a small triangle of fudge (or toffee).
The alternative option would be to pop a tiny rosette of piped ganache, just large enough to cover the hole. But the choice is yours.
A recipe for Toffee Cupcakes
The recipe for the toffee cupcakes is from a previous recipe for Sticky Toffee Cake (a tray bake) on the blog. Although interestingly, in cupcake form, the sponge baked a little differently… The real toffee it contains remaining stickier and more defined, probably because of a shorter baking time.
The sponge is not only moistened by toffee and golden syrup, but also contains ground almonds (almond meal). This offers a slight nuttiness to the texture, but also helps the sponge to stay fresh.
In addition to the above, the recipe uses a combination of soft light brown sugar and coconut sugar (although light brown sugar alone still works). This throws in some extra caramel notes.
Are these Gluten Free Eclair Cupcakes safe for people with Coeliac Disease?
Yes. Providing you use a good gluten free flour blend and gluten free baking powder, my recipe for Eclair Cupcakes is safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). There are no other potential gluten-containing ingredients.
The flour blend I use is my Gluten Free Alchemist white cake Blend A – recipe shared on my Flours and Flour Blending Page. But alternative gluten free flour blends such as Doves Freee Plain White should work just as well for this recipe.
Can Eclair Cupcakes be made dairy free?
Sadly, this recipe contains a significant amount of dairy toffee, so is not immediately suitable for a dairy free diet. If you are able to source a good soft dairy free toffee however, then the milk, butter and cream can be changed using the usual dairy free substitutions.
How to store and serve Gluten Free Eclair Cupcakes
Because of the cream in the ganache, it is safer to store Eclair Cupcakes in the fridge (in an airtight container). However, bear in mind that this will temporarily ‘firm up’ the sponge. So… To continue to enjoy the cakes at their best, take from the fridge and allow to warm to room temperature (about 45 to 60 minutes) before serving. This will ensure the sponge is slightly squidgy and the flavours are properly defined.
Ready to make Gluten Free Eclair Cupcakes?
So, there we have it… The famous Cadbury toffees revamped and turned into Gluten Free Eclair Cupcakes. Will you make them? If you do, please come back and tell me what you think. I love hearing about my bakes and what happens after they hit the internet.
And there are lots more small cake and cupcake ideas in our FREE Gluten Free Recipe Archives too… Even better, we’ve made it super-easy to search for what you want by making categorised photographic indexes to click and drool. Just shout if you can’t find what you need.
Other toffee and caramel bakes at Gluten Free Alchemist
Eclair Cupcakes (gluten free)
- Two 12 hole cupcake tins
- cupcake cases
- oven + hob
- sharp knife
- cupcake corer (optional)
- 100 g soft light brown sugar
- 100 g coconut sugar or sub with 100g soft light brown sugar
- 200 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA Blend A (see NOTES)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1½ tsp baking powder gluten free
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 200 g unsalted butter cubed
- 200 g golden syrup
- 3 large eggs At room temperature (UK large = Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 2 tbsp milk
- 100 g soft, chewy dairy toffee (not fudge) cut into small pieces
Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 225 g dark chocolate chopped
- 125 ml double cream (US: heavy cream)
- 225 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- icing sugar to sprinkle (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- large chocolate buttons make sure they are gluten free
- fudge or toffees cut into triangles/pieces
- Make the ganache first : Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and melt over a very gentle heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and combined.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely, stirring occasionally. As it cools, the ganache will thicken to a piping consistency. You can speed the firming process by cooling in the fridge, but will need to bring back to room temperature before use. The oil may separate during the cooling process, so it is important to stir intermittently and give a thorough stir through before use.
- Line 2 large cupcake tins with cupcake cases.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Mix together the sugar(s), flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground almonds and salt in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
- Place the butter and golden syrup in a small non-stick saucepan and gently melt over a low heat, stirring continually until liquid and combined. (Do not allow to boil)
- Pour the butter-syrup into the dry ingredients and gently beat with a firm wooden/silicone spoon until combined.
- Beat the eggs and milk together in a separate small bowl and then add to the cake mix. Beat with a whisk until all ingredients are fully combined and have become a thick batter.
- Add the toffee pieces and gently stir into the batter until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the batter into the cake cases evenly (about two-thirds full) and spread with the back of a spoon, to get an even surface.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160 C/320 F/Gas 3, and continue to bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes until the cakes are well risen, spring back to the touch and a knife inserted into the centre comes out more or less clean.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Putting it all together
- When the cakes are cold, core the centre of each using a cupcake corer or knife, being sure to trim and save the central sponge ‘cap’. Be careful not to cut through the bottom of the cakes.
- Use a piping bag or teaspoon to fill the centre of each cupcake with ganache and top with the sponge cap to 'close' the hole.
- Sprinkle the cupcakes with icing sugar.
- Use a small dot of remaining ganache on the top of each cake to stick a large chocolate button and triangle of fudge/toffee (or alternative decoration) to hide the ‘cap’.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container, but bring back to room temperature to soften the sponge again before serving.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist