Product: Heartland Gourmet Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcake Mix – $5.99+
I have a weakness for new companies and new products that I haven’t seen before. Yes…I admit this freely. Completely. I have a gluten-free product problem. I just can’t resist the urge to buy a product when I see it on a shelf at a store…that I have never, ever seen before.
Such was the case when I went into World Market a couple months back. I was just there to look around. Yep. Just browse. Which, as we have discovered, is dangerous ground for me. Because I normally find something and…yes…purchase it.
And that’s what happened.
There was a beautiful endcap at my local World Market store that contained quite a few gluten-free products. Most of which I had tried. But one simple white box with a tartan border did catch my eye. I had never seen it before. And the company, Heartland Gourmet, was one I never heard of before. But…even better…this particular box was for a Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcake Mix. Mmmm…lemon cake. One of life’s best pleasures is that sweet/tart flavor of lemon baked goods. Hence my obsession with lemon bars, lemon icing, lemonade (LOL!). If it’s lemony…I’m going to try it.
Needless to say…I go a little overboard with baking mixes at times…so this, like a lot of things, sat untouched in my pantry. Until I noted on my ever-helpful pantry list that the expiration date was fast approaching. As I had just polished off my gluten-free brownies last night, I took the opportunity to grab this mix and bake up another sweet treat for this coming week and weekend. And with something lemon…how could it go wrong?
One of the most appealing parts of this mix is how little you truly have to do to it. All I had to do was mix the cupcake mix together with 1/2 cup of oil and 1/3 cup of water. Then, after that is blended on low, in goes three eggs. Mix again until all is well blended, this time on medium, and then put into cupcake pan. Now, the box says this makes 12 cupcakes, but I could have easily gotten 15-18 out of this. Instead, my cupcakes were going to be huge. but…you know…you only live once. I filled my wrappers as full as I dared, then ended up pulling out another pan and putting the rest into one more cupcake wrapper and baking the ‘test cupcake’ that the roomie and I would share.
Into the oven they went for 15 minutes at 350°F. Or…that was the plan. Lo and behold, upon purchasing a thermometer for my oven, I discovered that it won’t stay at a constant temperature. In fact…it can be off by as much as 15-20 degrees at times. And that explains why so many of my baked goods have had to cook for so much longer than the boxes have indicated. Good to know. I actually called my landlord this morning to see about having this fixed. Here’s hoping it happens. So, after a total time of 25 minutes (not the mix’s fault…totally my oven’s fault), I pulled out the cupcakes to give them a little time to cool.
The box actually does come with a recipe for a cream cheese icing…but I’m not big on icing or frosting, so I made a citrus glaze, utilizing powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, a little oil, and some water. Then, before my cupcakes could completely cool, I drizzled each cupcake with the glaze and allowed it to sit. Well…except for the test cupcake. That was unwrapped and drizzled with glaze almost immediately. Then, sliced in half and my roommate and I decided to see if this mix was worth it in the end.
Read my words, fellow blog followers…THIS. IS. DELICIOUS.
The lemon in the cupcakes is there…but it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the cake. It doesn’t take a backseat either. What Heartland Gourmet managed to do was create the ideal balance between the cake-ness and the lemony aspect of this mix…so when it bakes up…it has the perfect level of each. Nothing overwhelms the other.
And here’s another amazing thing…this cupcake isn’t heavy or dense or any of that gluten-free nonsense. Not only was this one of the lightest cakes I have ever had emerge from my oven, it had those little air pockets that regular cupcakes have when they are cooked to an airy, light perfection. I loved that about these cupcakes because after eating a meal, I want a light dessert, not something that I feel I am gorging on. And this definitely takes…the cake. (Forgive me!)
Nutritionally speaking, this mix has it going on. For one thing, the mix itself, when done into 12 large cupcakes, is only 170 calories. That’s awesome for a treat. I also love that this product is fat free and packs a 2 gram protein kick. And this mix also is low on sodium. Remember…this is a cupcake, so while sugars seem high…it’s a treat and should be recognized as one.
As for the company itself, Heartland Gourmet is actually a family operated business is dedicated to putting healthy, wholesome, delicious gluten-free, gourmet and organic baking mixes and kits into the market so that they are simple to put together and easy to bake, giving you more time with your family. You gotta love that sort of commitment and dedication. And I always enjoy helping out a family owned business. They just seem to put more attention and better things into their ingredients and products.
So, a kick of lemon, glazed with a sweet and tart glaze on a light and fluffy cupcake…yeah…this is heaven. Heaven in lemon cupcake form. And I have Heartland Gourmet to thank for it.