These gluten free chocolate cupcakes have a rich and moist cake with a silky smooth vegan ganache frosting pipped on top. It's like chocolate heaven in every bite! Made dairy free and paleo friendly.
Chocoholics, rejoice! These insane gluten free chocolate cupcakes are a true dream come true. With a light cake base and a rich chocolate ganache frosting, these are some seriously luxurious cupcakes!
Each cupcake is like a mini piece of my popular Blackout Paleo Chocolate Cake. Think fluffy dark chocolate cake smothered in a creamy chocolate frosting. If you need yet another reason to run to the kitchen to bake a batch, they can be made in one bowl!
- Dietary features - gluten free, dairy free, and paleo friendly
- "Lightened up" version of the classic chocolate cupcake
- Soft and fluffy texture
- Kid friendly
- Almond flour + Tapioca flour - Combining both almond flour and tapioca flour provides the ultimate texture for these gluten free chocolate cupcakes. If needed substitute both the almond flour and tapioca flour with 2 cups gluten-free oat flour.
- Eggs - Room temperature is best. This recipe will also work with flax eggs to make these cupcakes vegan.
- Vanilla - Believe it or not, vanilla extract actually elevates the chocolate flavor in this recipe.
- Coconut milk + Apple cider vinegar - The combination of full-fat coconut milk and apple cider vinegar is also known as "vegan buttermilk". We use it in this recipe to help our cupcakes rise when baked. If desired, substitute any dairy-free milk like almond or oat.
- Warm coffee - This is the secret to a rich deep chocolate-y flavor. Make sure the coffee is warm, not scalding hot, which is what helps to "poof' the cacao. No, your cupcakes will not taste like coffee. If needed, you can also use warm water.
- Chocolate chips - These dairy-free dark chocolate chips are my go-to. Any type of chocolate chip will work in these gluten free chocolate cupcakes.
- Coconut milk - Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk in this recipe.
Step by step directions
One of the best parts about this recipe is that all you need is one bowl and a hand or stand mixer.
Step 1 : Prepare the chocolate ganache frosting
Prepare the icing first so it has time to chill. Heat the coconut milk in a pot over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir with a rubber spatula. The warm coconut milk will melt the chocolate chips while mixing. Continue to mix swiftly until all of the chocolate chips are melted.
Once all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is silky smooth, pour it into a small bowl. Place a layer of cling wrap over the bowl, make sure the cling wrap touches the chocolate mixture, and place it in the fridge to set for at least an hour.
Step 1 : Prepare the "vegan buttermilk"
This step is simple. Just stir in the apple cider vinegar into the coconut milk and set aside.
Step 2 : Beat the eggs with the coconut sugar
In a mixing bowl or with a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla until creamy. The mixture should thicken up slightly.
Next, add the coconut milk mixture to the bowl and continue to mix to incorporate.
Step 3 : Add the dry ingredients
Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and baking powder to the bowl and mix until no flour clumps remain. Be careful not to over mix this step. The batter will be slightly thick at this point.
Step 4 : Fold in the warm coffee
Finally, fold the warm coffee into the batter. This will thin the batter out quite a bit. This step is best done with a rubber spatula or whisk.
Step 5 : Fill cupcake liners
Place cupcake liners into the cavities of a muffin tin and fill each one almost all the way full. Remember, these are gluten-free chocolate cupcake which means they won't rise as much as traditional cupcake so we can fill the liners up pretty full.
I like to use a large cookie scoop for this step as it's easiest and ensures each cupcake will be about the same size.
Bake in the oven until the gluten free chocolate cupcakes have risen. Let cool completely before topping with icing.
Step 6 : Pipe with frosting
After the icing has set and the gluten free chocolate cupcakes have cooled, fill a pipping bag with the ganache frosting and pipe onto the tops of each cupcake.
To store these gluten free chocolate cupcakes, transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dry area. The fridge is best. I like to line them up in a baking sheet and place a lid over top if it will fit. If not, use cling wrap around the baking sheet. It's not air-tight but it will help prevent some air from drying out the cupcakes.
They will keep for 4 - 5 days out on the counter and a week when stored in the fridge.
- Don't over-mix your batter. Cupcake batter should be a tad thinner than cake and brownie batter. When adding the dry ingredients to the mixture, just give it all a couple big folds to incorporate the flour.
- Test the "doneness" of your cupcakes with a toothpick. Because every oven is different, I recommend testing if your cupcakes are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of one. If it comes out clean, your cupcakes are done!
- Let cupcakes cool before icing. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Because we use a vegan ganache frosting with a coconut milk base, it can easily melt if we aren't careful. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before pipping with icing.
- Store in the fridge. Again, due to the ganache frosting, these cupcakes are best stored in the fridge (or in a cooler area). Kitchens can get warm throughout the day and if the cupcakes are left out on the counter the icing may begin to soften.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, if needed substitute both the almond flour and tapioca flour with 2 cups gluten-free oat flour.
This recipe can be made entirely nut-free by swapping out the almond and tapioca flout with oat flour as stated above.
This couple be a number of reasons. First, make sure you don't over mix the batter. This is probably the number one cause for sunken cupcakes. Secondly, make sure your baking soda and baking powder are still good. Here is how you test that. Cupcakes that don't rise could also be due to an uncalibrated oven (aka the temperature age is not accurate). If you think this is the case, I recommend getting an oven thermometer to place inside to double check.
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Gluten free Chocolate Cupcakes with Dairy free Chocolate Ganache Frosting
For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 ½ cup dark chocolate chips
For the Cupcakes
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 eggs - sub. flax eggs if vegan
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil - melted and cooled
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ⅔ cup tapioca flour
- ⅔ cup cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup warm coffee - or warm water
For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- First prepare the icing so it has time to chill. Start by heating the coconut milk in a skillet over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Once simmering, pull the pot off of the element. Add the dark chocolate chips and stir until melted. The mixture should be smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and place a layer of cling wrap over the bowl, make sure the cling wrap touches the chocolate mixture, and place it in the fridge to set for at least an hour to thicken.
For the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare the "vegan buttermilk" by mixing together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla together until light and creamy. Add the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar and beat again to incorporate.
- Fold in the almond flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, baking powder, and baking soda until no flour clumps remain. Be sure not to over mix this step.
- Pour in the warm coffee and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.
- Use a cookie scoop to pout the batter into a cupcake tin lined with liners and bake for 15 - 18 minutes. Let cool before icing.
- Once cool, fill a pipping bag fitted with a star tip with the chocolate ganche. Swirl the frosting on top of each cupcake. Store in the fridge until ready to enjoy.