These rich and moist gluten-free chocolate cupcakes are so easy to make and topped with a smooth dairy-free chocolate frosting. They’re so good it’s impossible to tell they’re gluten-free!
Super moist gluten-free cupcake recipe
There’s something about a double chocolate cupcake that hits differently…. it could be my favorite dessert! I love classic chocolate cake, too, but there is something fun about cupcakes. And these gluten-free, dairy-free cupcakes are perfectly moist and soft, decadent with chocolate, and indulgent. They’re topped with the most delicious vegan chocolate buttercream, and every bite melts in your mouth.
That said, I think the best thing about this recipe is that you CANNOT TELL they are gluten-free. I told my dad, brother, boyfriend, and friends up to the test, and, wow, no one could tell they were gluten-free. That’s how soft, moist, and rich these cupcakes are!
Best of all, these cupcakes are so easy to make. You don’t need to be a professional baker to make these insanely moist chocolate cupcakes. The steps are simple, and the ingredients are straightforward—no funny business.
I cannot wait to hear what you think about these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes! They seriously taste better than any store-bought cupcake I have ever eaten, and that’s saying a lot because I have had my fair share over the past 25 years.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Moist & Fluffy: They are super moist, rich, decadent, and indulgent.
- Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free: These rich, moist chocolate cupcakes are gluten-free and dairy-free.
- Healthier Ingredients: These gluten-free chocolate cupcakes are made with oat milk, coconut sugar, and gluten-free flour.
- Serve a Party: Easily double this recipe to make 24 cupcakes.
- Easy Recipe: Beginner-level bakers can make this recipe.
- Kid-Apprived: You cannot tell they are gluten-free; the texture is amazing.
- Frosting Options: You can use this rich dairy-free chocolate frosting or this traditional vanilla buttercream!
- Make-Ahead: Perfect for busy schedules and special occasions!
- Try this gluten-free almond flour chocolate cake next!
These extra moist gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting are easy to make with the simplest ingredients. Here is a list of ingredients so you are prepared. Remember the measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card!
- Oat Milk: Use for dairy-free buttermilk, offering creaminess and extra moisture. Options include almond, cashew, or 2% cow’s milk.
- Lemon: Add a dash of fresh lemon juice to “curdle” oat milk, creating dairy-free buttermilk.
- Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour: Essential for gluten-free cupcakes; Bob’s Red Mill is a recommended choice.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Choose Ghirardelli’s or Hershey’s for the richest chocolate flavor.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: You need both rising agents to help the cupcakes rise.
- Salt: A touch for the perfect sweet and salty combination.
- Eggs: Two eggs contribute to the cupcakes’ structure and rise.
- Granulated Sugar: A blend of white cane sugar and coconut sugar for sweetness.
- Coconut Sugar: Similar to light brown sugar, it adds sweetness and enhances moisture.
- Coconut Oil: Melted coconut oil replaces butter, providing moisture. Substitute with melted vegan butter or regular butter.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds a subtle and flavorful touch to the cupcakes.
- One batch of dairy-free chocolate buttercream frosting – so so so good!
How to make gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with frosting
These gluten-free double chocolate cupcakes are perfect for all occasions and are super easy to make. Any level baker can make them! Here are step-by-step directions with pictures for visual reference:
First, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.
Then, mix the oat milk and lemon juice together and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to make dairy-free buttermilk.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Ensure a smooth mixture by removing any clumps and set aside.
Then, in another medium bowl, whisk together the oat milk mixture, eggs, granulated sugar, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla until combined.
For the smoothest batter, sift the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk until just combined. Avoid overmixing.
Next, fill each cup with batter until about ½ to ⅔ full. Do not overfill, or the cupcakes will spill over the edges.
Finally, bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for 20 minutes.
Let your gluten-free cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
Expert recipe and baking tips:
- Precise Measuring: Ensure accurate measurements by spooning and leveling both the cocoa powder and gluten-free flour. Avoid over-packing to prevent dry cupcakes.
- Sift Cocoa Powder for a Smooth Batter: Sift the cocoa powder into the dry ingredients to achieve a velvety batter. Cocoa powder has a tendency to form clumps, and sifting ensures the removal of any lumps, resulting in a consistently smooth and delightful cupcake texture.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Use room temperature oat milk and eggs to prevent longer baking times and potential flattening or sinking. Cold ingredients straight from the fridge can affect the cupcakes’ texture.
- Check Baking Soda Expiration Date: Confirm that your baking soda has not expired or been open for over six months. Expired baking soda will lead to sinking cupcakes.
- Avoid Overmixing: Be cautious not to overmix the cupcake batter. Overbeating can eliminate air bubbles, causing the cupcakes to sink. Mix until just combined for optimal texture.
- Proper Cupcake Tin Filling: Only fill cupcake tins 2/3 of the way to prevent sinking, flattening, or spillage.
- Cool Cupcakes Properly: Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This gradual cooling helps maintain their structure and prevents potential collapsing.
Easy ingredient substitutions:
Here is a list of the best ingredient substitutions for this gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe. To keep the original taste and texture, only change 1 or 2 ingredients. This way, you preserve the essence of the original recipe!
- Oat Milk: Substitute with almond, cashew, or 2% cow’s milk.
- Lemon: Use apple cider or white vinegar.
- Granulated Sugar: Adjust the ratio of white cane sugar and coconut sugar based on preference.
- Coconut Sugar: Substitute with light or dark brown sugar.
- Coconut Oil: Replace with melted vegan butter or regular butter. You could even try olive oil.
How to frost and decorate your gluten-free chocolate cupcakes:
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to pipe and frost homemade chocolate cupcakes for a home baker:
- Wait for Cupcakes to Cool: Make sure your cupcakes are completely cool before starting the frosting.
- No Piping Bag: No piping bag? No worries. Use a butter knife or spoon for a basic, fuss-free application. Gently spread the frosting on each cupcake, ensuring even coverage.
- Piping Bag: Spoon your frosting into a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip. Hold the piping bag with one hand and gently squeeze to pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Experiment with swirls or simple patterns to add a decorative touch.
- Decorating: Finish off your cupcakes by adding a sprinkle of chocolate shavings, chocolate chips, or sprinkles — you can even use fresh berries for an extra burst of flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best cocoa powder to use for chocolate cupcakes?
The best cocoa powder for chocolate cupcakes often depends on personal preference, but high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powders like Ghirardelli, Valrhona, or Hershey’s Special Dark are popular choices. These brands offer a rich and intense chocolate flavor.
What is the best gluten-free flour for baking?
I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour. It is the most similar to regular all-purpose flour. Do not use coconut flour or almond flour.
Can I turn these cupcakes into a cake?
Absolutely! To turn these cupcakes into a cake, grease and line an 8-inch or 9-inch cake tin, fill it with the batter, and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Can I use vanilla frosting on these chocolate cupcakes?
Yes! Try this incredible healthy vanilla buttercream recipe.
Why did my cupcakes sink?
Cupcakes sink for many reasons; here are a few: (1) you overfilled the cupcake liners, (2) your baking soda or baking powder was expired, (3) you opened the oven door too soon and let the hot air out, or (4) you overmixed the batter. All of these issues are preventable!
Why are my cupcakes flat?
If your cupcakes are flat, you probably overfilled the cupcake liners with too much batter. Only fill them about two-thirds of the way full.
Can you freeze cupcakes?
Yes! You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 2 months. Just let them cool to room temperature, then store them in a freezer-safe bag. When you are ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and enjoying!
How long can you store frosted cupcakes?
Frosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days in an airtight container. These cupcakes are frosted with dairy-free chocolate buttercream so that you can store them at room temperature. However, if you pick another frosting that contains perishable ingredients, such as cream cheese or whipped cream, store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.
How to store chocolate cupcakes:
For best results, store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or for 2-3 days at room temperature. If storing in the fridge, let the cupcakes come to room temperature for 10 – 20 minutes before enjoying.
If you love this recipe, try these gluten-free desserts next!
- Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
- Dairy Free Chocolate Frosting
- Peanut Butter Truffles
- Dark Chocolate Almond Bark
- Best Healthy Snickerdoodles
- Flourless Brownies
- Oat Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oat Flour Brownies
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 batch dairy-free chocolate frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.
- Mix the oat milk and lemon juice together and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make sure all the clumps are removed, and then set it to the side.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the oat milk mixture, eggs, granulated sugar, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla until combined.
- To guarantee the smoothest batter, I recommend sifting the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk just until JUST combined. Do not overmix.
- Fill each cup with batter until about ½ to ⅔ full. Do not overfill or the cupcakes will spill over the edges.
- Bake 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for 20 minutes.
- Make Frosting: Meanwhile, make 1 batch of dairy-free chocolate frosting.
- Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely to room temperature before frosting. Top with chocolate or colored sprinkles, if desired, and store in leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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