These gluten free chocolate cupcakes are rich, moist, fluffy, spongey and undetectably dairy free. They’re easy to make and the perfect way to satisfy your chocolate craving!
An oldie but goodie Eat With Clarity recipe, but now even better! This gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe is one of the first recipes on the blog, but it was time for a major upgrade. Both to the recipe and to the photos!
These cupcakes are more rich, easier to make, and better than ever. With a fluffy and perfectly sweet sponge and silky smooth dairy free buttercream, this is the perfect chocolate treat for every occasion.
I feel like cupcakes and cakes are desserts that get reserved for special occasions, whereas cookies are an everyday thing, but I’m here to tell you you don’t need an excuse or a holiday to indulge a little!!
These chocolate cupcakes are fluffy, moist, spongey, cakey, chocolatey, perfectly sweet, and all the things a chocolate cupcake should be. They’re both gluten free and dairy free, but if you did a blind taste test, I promise you would have NO idea.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with liners and set aside.
Whisk together all dry ingredients.
Beat in all wet ingredients with an electric mixer just until combined. Careful not to over mix, but make sure all ingredients from the bottom of the bowl are well combined.
Once the batter is ready, use a cookie scoop or spoon and add the batter in 12 lined cupcake tins, filling about ⅔ of the way full.
Add to the center of the oven for 16-22 minutes. Check at 16 minutes and if a toothpick comes out clean, remove from the oven.
They will continue to cook slightly as they sit because the tray is still hot, so careful not to over bake because this will dry out the cupcakes. In my oven, they are generally done at the 18 minute mark, but all ovens are different.
How to make chocolate buttercream
Dairy free buttercream is actually much easier than you would think. Buttercream is essentially a mixture of powdered sugar and butter, so to make it dairy free, all you need to do is use dairy free butter.
You want to use room temperature butter so it’s easy to beat but not too soft, but if yours was in the fridge, microwave for about 20 seconds and you should be good to go.
Add the butter to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Then, beat in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Finally, beat in the milk and vanilla.
I used these large piping tips to get the ruffled look, but you can also take a blob of buttercream on a knife and swirl it around and it’ll taste just the same.
If you are going to use piping tips, the consistency of the buttercream is really important. Too thin and it won’t hold the shape, too thick and it won’t twirl around the cupcake. When in doubt, this video tutorial is really helpful when frosting!
The best flour
There are other GF all purpose baking flours out there, but not all of them are the same blend. You can definitely try using other ones, but it may yield a slightly different result. Whichever you use, make sure it has xanthan gum in the mix.
This recipe does not call for almond flour because I wanted to keep it nut free, but you can try my almond flour chocolate cake instead! It’s just as rich and delicious, I promise!
Do they keep?
Once prepared, these cupcakes will store for about 3-5 days. Keep them in an air tight container at room temperature for best results. Keeping them sealed will ensure these cupcakes stay nice and moist.
If you’re wondering if gluten free cupcakes can be frozen, the short answer is yes! However, you’ll want to freeze them before they are frosted. I do not recommend storing these in the fridge, because gluten free baked goods can dry out if they get too cold unfortunately.
Tips to keep them moist
These gluten free chocolate cupcakes are made extra moist with the help of some hot water, eggs and oil. I used avocado oil but melted dairy free butter also does the trick.
The eggs also helps the cupcakes get nice and fluffy too. These cupcakes will be (and stay) nice and moist as long as they are not over baked!
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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with liners and set aside.
- Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Beat in all wet ingredients on medium speed until well combined, making sure you get all of the dry ingredients from the bottom. the batter will be on the thinner side, but not too runny.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon and add the batter in 12 lined cupcake tins, filling about ¾ of the way full.
- Add to the center of the oven for 18-22 minutes. Check at 18 minutes and if a toothpick comes out clean, remove from the oven. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit, so careful not to over bake because this will dry out the cupcake. In my oven, they are generally done at the 20 minute mark.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- To make the buttercream, beat the room temperature butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.
- Beat in the cocoa powder. Beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar, then beat in 2 tbsp of milk and vanilla. If you want the frosting more chocolatey, you can sub some of the sugar for more cocoa, or vice versa for less chocolate. If the frosting is too thin, beat in a bit more sugar, too thick add more milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Frost with piping tips or keep it simple and use a knife!