Finding the best gluten-free cupcakes can be a delicious journey, but nothing quite beats a homemade cupcake.  

There are more options in stores, such as Whole Foods gluten-free cupcakes, as well as mixes from a wide variety of sellers.

However, making a cupcake from scratch allows you to make it just the way you like.  

Gluten-Free Cupcakes

Especially if you have celiac disease, or other dietary restrictions, create cupcakes at home to ensure that they fit your diet plan. 

We bring you a recipe of easy gluten-free cupcakes you will love, fit with a gluten-free chocolate frosting to match.  

Chocolate Muffin Cupcakes Gluten-Free

How to make gluten-free cupcakes

Sometimes, gluten-free cupcakes can be dense, dry, or have other issues with their texture that result in subpar good creations.  

When learning how to make gluten-free cupcakes, there are a few tips and tricks that can go a long way in creating a better texture and the cupcakes taste like they came straight out of a bakery.  

How to avoid cupcake explosion?  

 One of the main reasons for a cupcake explosion is due to the oven being too hot or unevenly heated. What happens when your oven is too hot is that the cupcakes form a crust around the top too quickly.  
When a crust forms on the top of the cupcakes too quickly, the batter inside is still cooking and rising, resulting in a pointy top cupcake, or a cupcake explosion.

You can fix this problem by following oven temperatures on cupcake recipes closely.  
Perhaps, use a thermometer to check the internal oven temperature, and be sure to not overheat your oven before putting your cupcakes in.  

How to avoid cupcake sink? 

Cupcakes can sink for a variety of reasons, the main one being that the batter was overmixed. This happens due to too much air being put into the batter, resulting in deflation once the cupcake cools.

Old baking powder can also cause this issue. If the baking powder is too old, it may not react as desired with the cupcake mix. Lastly, do not open your oven too much, especially in the beginning of the bake.

Letting too much hot air out of the oven can greatly reduce the temperature, resulting in your cupcakes collapsing.

How to keep gluten-free cupcakes moist?  

Often, cupcakes can dry out easily due to lacking fat content, which is mainly responsible for moistness in baking. 

Using buttermilk or real butter can help this problem. If you are using a milk alternative, make sure it is high in fat.  
Lack of moisture in cupcakes can also be caused by over-baking them, which can be especially difficult to tell on chocolate cupcakes. 

There is also a method of adding xanthan gum to your cupcake flour, as it helps with the thickening and moistness of cupcakes.  

How to tell when a cupcake is baked?  

One common trick is taking a toothpick, skewer, or slim/small knife and putting it in the center of the cupcake. If the tool comes out clean, then the cupcakes should be finished cooking.  
You can also test if cupcakes are done by taping the tops of the cupcakes gently with your finger. If the mix springs back, that means they are done cooking.  

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake

What flour should I use for this gluten-free cupcake recipe? 

For this recipe, we recommend using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend because it mixes and bakes in a very similar way to wheat flour, making it easier to recreate the flavor and texture of common cupcakes.  
While technically, you could use any one of the following flours to create cupcakes, gluten-free flours work best when mixed together.  

Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour

Gluten-Free Flour Choices to make cupcakes 

  1. Rice Flour (brown rice, white rice, sweet rice): Rice flour is well adapted to be used in baking, especially in cakes and other sweet products. It works best in combination with other flours.  

  1. Oat Flour: Works well for baking, but if you use it as a replacement, be sure to measure for weight as opposed to volume, since oat flour is much lighter than wheat flour.  

  1. Potato Flour: This flour can thicken and create a denser texture, so it is best used in combination with other flours.  

  1. Almond Flour: Almond flour works well as a 1-to-1 substitute in most baked items and works well for both savory and sweet bakes, but you may need to use more egg to bind the mixture.  

  1. Buckwheat Flour: Works well in baking and acts similar to wheat flour. Though it is heavier, so mixing at least half of the mixture with a different flour will result in a lighter texture.  

  1. Cassava Flour: This flour is perfect to use in bakes where you want an airy texture and can work as a 1-to-1 substitute, but it is lighter than wheat flour and absorbs more liquid, so mixing it with a heavier flour is recommended.  

  1. Tapioca Flour: This flour generally works well to create a crisp and chewy texture in bakes, and binds ingredients well, making it a good alternative to xanthan gum.  

  1. Sorghum Flour: This flour works well because it a very similar texture to that of wheat flour, but often it needs help binding in bakes, so xanthan gum is often added.  

  1. Amaranth Flour: While it works well in baked goods, it is recommended to use it only up to 25% of the total flour mixture to achieve the best texture.  

  1. Teff Flour: Similar to amaranth flour we recommend only substituting about 25% with teff flour, however, the flavor does pair well with chocolate.  

  1. Arrowroot Flour: This flour works well in baking, but because it has the tendency to thicken mixtures, which could lead to stodgy, dense textures, it is best to mix it with other flours.  

  1. Corn Flour: This one can make the cake crumb incredibly soft but can also make a cake very dense and grainy if too much is added, as it does not rise. We recommend mixing corn flour with others.  

  1. Chickpea Flour: An incredibly dense flour, it works well for creating sturdy bakes but should be mixed with other flours to create a better texture.  

  1. Coconut Flour: This flour does not bake the same as other gluten-free flours, especially as it tends to absorb more liquid, which can dry out bakes, thus it is better to use in a mix of flours.  

  1. Tigernut Flour: Works well in baked items, however, it tends to be sweeter and can vary the outcome of bakes due to its high fiber context, making it best to mix with other flours.  

  1. Hemp Flour: Similar to corn flour, hemp flour does not rise and can create a granular texture. Plus, it is very hearty, and protein-filled, so using a bit of it in a mix can improve nutrition.  

Gluten-Free Flour Choices

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake Recipe 

Servings: 24 cupcakes per mix 
Prep time: ~15 minutes 
Cook time: ~23 minutes 

Nutrition facts per cupcake (with frosting):  

Gluten-Free Cupcakes Nutrition Facts

Equipment Needed: While you will only need a bowl, stirring spoon, and standard cupcake tin, we recommend using a stand mixer.

It makes the recipe easier to make, and you can eliminate lumps without overmixing. 

Ingredients for cupcake 

  • 2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour  
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder  
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder  
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 cup milk  
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract  
  • ¾ cup boiling water (to activate the cocoa) 

Ingredients for frosting 

  • ½ cup butter 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract  
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar 
  • ¼ cup milk  

If you want to create vanilla frosting instead, simply replace the ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder with ½ cup of powdered sugar.  

Gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe instructions  

  1. First, you will want to preheat your oven to 350°F or 180℃. Be sure to wait until the oven has reached this temperature before putting the cupcakes in the oven. Prep two 12 slot cupcake tins with paper or foil liners and set aside.  

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt). You can also sift the ingredients through a sieve to achieve a smoother consistency.  

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients

  1. Add in the wet ingredients with the exception of the boiling water (oil, eggs, milk vanilla extract), then mix until just combined. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Mix

  1. Next, pour in the boiling water and gently stir until combined.  

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Forms

  1. Spoon the batter evenly into the cupcake wells. We recommend filling the wells about ¾ of the way full.  

Gluten-Free Cupcakes In Tray

  1. Bake for between 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out cleanly. 

  1. Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, allow them to rest in the tin for about 5 minutes to allow the mixture to solidify. Allow the cupcakes to cool until at least room temperature before frosting.  

How to make the frosting?  

Gluten-Free Chocolate Batter

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract until it is creamy.  

  1. Add the cocoa powder and beat until the mixture is combined.  

  1. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and milk, switching off between the products and beating it as you go.Keep adding the sugar in can create a smoother texture and reduce graininess that can occur when the mixture is combined all at once. 

  1. Use additional milk and/or sugar to adjust the consistency of the mixture to your liking.  

Once the cupcakes are completed, store on a plate and wrap with foil to make it more airtight.

If available, use an airtight container to store your cupcakes, as this helps them save better and prevents them from going stale for longer.  

Can I make these cupcakes dairy-free? 

To create gluten-free dairy-free cupcakes from this recipe, you will need to make a few changes, starting with the chocolate. Make sure you pick a cocoa powder that does not contain milk ingredients.  
You must also then pick a dairy-free milk, such as almond milk, as well as dairy-free butter, such as margarine.  

Can I make these cupcakes vegan? 

To make these into vegan gluten-free cupcakes, you will first need to follow the steps above to make the mixture dairy-free.

After this, you will need to find an alternative to using egg, such as egg replacer, smashed banana, or applesauce.   

To turn this recipe into gluten-free vegan vanilla cupcakes instead of vegan gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, simply remove the ¾ cup cocoa powder and ¾ cup boiling water from the recipe.  

Gluten-Free Cupcakes Vegan And Dairy Free

Mix up your cupcakes! 

Mixing in different products can change the flavor of your cupcakes drastically to suit whatever you are going for.

Here are some great ideas to mix up your cupcake derived from this recipe.  

  • Chocolate chips: Add anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup of chocolate chips (dark or semi-sweet recommended) to the batter and bake normally.  
  • Berries: Forest fruits (blackberry, blueberry, etc.) and chocolate are a match made in heaven.If you choose to add fruit to your cupcakes, be aware that the berries will add moisture to the cakes, so it is recommended to reduce the amount of milk or boiling water in the recipe.  
  • Gluten-free nut cupcakes: Almonds and walnuts in particular work great in baked items. Be sure to chop the nuts fine enough so they will stay suspended in the mixture and not sink to the bottom of the cupcake.  
  • Gluten-free lemon cupcakes: If you plan to add lemon to the mix, we recommend removing the chocolate (cocoa powder and boiling water) from the mix, as the two flavors tend to fight each other.Simply add about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and some lemon essence, or ¼ of lemon juice to the mix. 

  • Gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes: To create a pumpkin cupcake, we recommend removing the chocolate flavoring (cocoa and boiling water) and adding 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree to the mixture. For better flavor add 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.  
  • Gluten-free mini cupcakes: If you want your cupcakes to be mini, use the same mix, but only bake for around 9-15 minutes.  

Make your Frosting Dairy-free and Vegan 

To make your frosting for your cupcakes dairy-free or vegan requires just a few substitutions in the mix.

First, you will want to use dairy-free milk, such as almond milk. Next, you will need to find a butter replacement, such as margarine or dairy-free butter.  
Conveniently, this dairy-free alternative recipe is also vegan! You can also mix up your frosting by adding sprinkles, chocolate chips, fruit, berries, nuts, and more.  

FAQ: Gluten-Free Cupcakes 

Are gluten-free cupcakes healthier than foods containing gluten? 

In short, no. Even though it is gluten-free, it is still a cupcake, which contains a lot of sugar and carbs.  

Are Sprinkles cupcakes gluten-free? 

Yes, the company does produce some gluten-free flavors.  

Gluten-Free Cupcakes With Sprinkles

Final Thoughts 

Cupcakes are a great addition for any picnic, birthday party or just to surprise a loved one.

Even though they shouldn’t be consumed frequently, every once in a while, it is a good idea to add a bit of sweetness to your life.  
If you are gluten intolerant just follow the steps and advice we mentioned and you still will be able to enjoy tasty cupcakes, without any change in flavor. 

You can also check out these other great gluten-free cupcake recipes: 

Gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes
Gluten-free red velvet cupcakes 
Gluten-free strawberry cupcakes 
Gluten-free banana cupcakes  
Gluten-free sugar free cupcakes 

Want to learn more about being gluten-free and find great new recipes?

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