Look no further for the ultimate gluten free chocolate cupcakes recipe. No one will believe these undeniably moist cupcakes are gluten free, and you won’t believe how easy this one bowl recipe is!
Gluten free baking can definitely have it’s trials and tribulations. Many strikeouts and failures occur, especially when starting out. So when you land on a recipe for gluten free cupcakes that exceeds all expectations, you’ll want to share your success!
I’ve tried dozens of gluten free cake recipes and finally landed on two that made me end my searches completely. Moist Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and fluffy Gluten Free White Cake recipes are now my gold standards!
A lot of my readers have asked how to transform these recipes into cupcakes, so here it is! A whole post dedicated to making the best gluten free cupcakes, ideal for parties, birthdays, and entertaining!
If you love these cupcakes, be sure to check out gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe as well!
The ingredient list is simple, with gluten free flour being the only speciality item required. I consider these to be “emergency” cupcakes, because I always have the ingredients on hand!
- All purpose gluten free flour (I recommend Cup 4 Cup brand.)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – Use Dutch processed cocoa for richer chocolate taste.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Milk – regular or dairy free
- Vegetable oil – coconut oil may be substituted
- Vanilla extract
How to make Gluten-free chocolate cupcakes recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed.
- Add regular or dairy free milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add boiling water to the cake batter. Once the water is mixed in, increase to high speed and mix for 1 minute. This helps aerate the batter and make the cake light and fluffy.
- Pour the cupcake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes. Turn the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting with one of the recipes below.
What kind of frosting can be used?
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (as pictured)
- Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Whipped Cream Frosting – regular or chocolate whipped cream frosting
- Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- Peanut Butter Drizzle
- Cream Cheese Frosting
What is the best gluten free flour to use?
Fortunately, there are some great gluten free all purpose flours on the market. However, they all contain a different mixture and combination of starches, yielding different results.
I’ve found Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour to perform outstandingly in all sorts of baked goods, so that is my number one recommended brand. If you are wondering how other brands compare, check out the best gluten free flour guide to see all the test results.
What is the best way to fill cupcakes?
The key when portioning out cupcake batter is to not overfill the tins. Unlike muffins, which rise quickly to have domed tops, you’ll want your cupcakes to be as even and uniform as possible for frosting.
Therefore, I recommend filling the cups one-half to two-thirds full, and no more! If you still have batter leftover, use an additional muffin pan.
Also, use a tool to distribute the same amount of batter into each cup. I use a trigger ice cream scoop because it gets the job done quickly and cleanly, but you may also use a 1/4 measuring cup.
Click here to see the
step-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!
Can I halve or double the recipe?
Yes. This recipe makes 12 gluten free chocolate cupcakes, but it may be halved for a smaller batch or doubled to make 24 cupcakes.
dairy free modification
If you are looking for a dairy free gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe, you’ve come to the right place!
The only recipe adaptation you’ll have to make is replacing the milk with a dairy free milk, such as almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. If you prefer using coconut oil, that may also replace the vegetable oil.
Storing / freezing cupcakes
For best results, serve these cupcakes at room temperature. Although some frostings have to refrigerated, I highly recommend setting the cupcakes out several hours before serving to reach room temp.
Gluten free cakes especially have a tendency to dry out when refrigerated, so avoid storing them in the fridge. If you need to make the cupcakes ahead of time, freeze the frosted or unfrosted cupcakes until shortly before serving.
Freezing Unfrosted Cupcakes: Wrap each completely cooled cupcake securely in plastic wrap. Transfer wrapped cupcakes to a gallon freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to use, remove from freezer bag and thaw wrapped cake at room temperature for 1 hour before frosting and serving.
Freezing Frosted Cupcakes: Place frosted cupcakes on a baking sheet and freeze until the frosting solidifies. Wrap each cupcake securely with plastic wrap and transfer to a gallon freezer bag to freeze up to 3 months.
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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I highly recommend Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk or non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup vegetable, canola, or coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine or, using your paddle attachment on stand mixer, mix until combined.
- Add milk, oil, egg, and vanilla to flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add boiling water to the cake batter. Once the water is mixed in, increase to high speed and mix for 1 minute.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the prepared cupcake tins, filling no more than ⅔ full. (See recipe notes.) Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in pans for 5 minutes. Turn cupcakes onto wire rack to cool completely before frosting with fluffy vanilla or chocolate buttercream.
These cupcakes where a flop, literally and figuratively. Followed the recipe and ended up fith flat, over spilling blobs of brown goo. Waste of expensive ingredients (which were fresh and not outdated) and time.Would have given 0 stars if able. Very disappointed…if you need me, I’ll be cleaning the bottom of my oven!
Sorry, but these didn’t work at all for me. I tried one about 15 minutes after they were baked (just cool enough to eat) and it was a bit dry. The next day they were severely dry (so bad that my husband has to chunk them up in milk just to eat them)! I did not refrigerate them, I just put them in a sealed container. Not sure what happened. I did not fluctuate on the baking time baked them precisely 18 min so not sure if that was the issue. Perhaps I should have checked them at 15 min, but in my humble opinion, as to how they turned out, they need either more oil or applesauce. I used almond milk and coconut oil in making them, as well as a stevia blend. If you have any suggestions let me know. I would like to try them again and see if I can get them to work. I am about 311 ft above sea level in a dryer climate so not sure if that makes a difference or not. If you have any suggestions let me know, as this was an easy recipe that I was really hoping would be good.
Melissa Erdelac says
I’m sorry you had a bad experience with this recipe. I have not tried or tested this recipe with stevia, so that could have been the issue. What GF flour brand did you use? Unfortunately they don’t all work the same and some are heavier than others. You can try adding a few tablespoons less flour to compensate for the dryness.
Holy moly, these are amazing! I used a different icing recipe but the cake itself is great! Doesn’t have a gluten free taste and didn’t require any fancy ingredients. I used “well & good” gluten free plain flour ( in Australia) and they turned out great! I’m not on a gluten free diet but I prefer these over the “normal” cupcakes I made for an event. Thanks so much for sharing!
Yay, Jess! So happy to hear this and thanks for recommending a flour from Australia. I often get this question because the ones I recommend aren’t available overseas. Thanks for taking the time to write!
We have a peanut, soy, dairy, and gluten intolerance/allergies. This is easy and awesome. I’d choose this over any other cake!
I’m so happy you found something that helps you navigate all the allergies. Thanks for sharing!
Lori Taylor says
This is the absolute BEST, creamiest, chocolate buttercream frosting I have ever eaten..No more searching for me! 😋
Melissa Erdelac says
Thanks Lori! I completely agree! This frosting and my vanilla one are my absolute go-tos!