For all of you chocolate lovers, these decadent Chocolate Cupcakes have the perfect moist and fluffy texture. No one will ever guess they are Gluten-Free! The Chocolate Buttercream is light and delicious, and can be made dairy-free.
Your quest to find the perfect Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake stops here. These moist cupcakes have an unbelievable texture, and are topped with a light and decadent chocolate buttercream. This chocolate cupcake recipe is for all of you who need gluten-free options, but don’t want to sacrifice on taste!
I can assure you, these are the Best Chocolate Cupcakes you will ever eat! As a chocolate connoisseur who makes a living from creating healthier variations of desserts, this one is at the top of the list. After my Paleo Chocolate Cake was such success, I figured we needed a cupcake variation!
As a nutritionist, I love to eat healthy foods, but still enjoy the occasional treat. Chocolate is always my go-to! Since we’re celebrating my 40th birthday this week, I knew it was time to share with you a lighter version of my favorite dessert.
What’s In Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Although this may look like a long list of ingredients, don’t be intimidated! It’s best to combine a variety of flours together to get the absolute best texture.
- Blanched almond flour: super fine and gives us that super moist texture
- Tapioca flour: helps to give the fluffy and spongy texture!
- Coconut flour: absorbs moisture but also gives this cake a yummy flavor
- Cocoa powder: you can also use cacao powder
- Baking soda: will activate our wet ingredients to allow these cupcakes to rise beautifully!
- Sea salt: I can’t make a chocolate dessert without sea salt!
- Eggs: use large eggs at room temperature for best results
- Coconut oil: I love the moist texture this brings to baked goods!
- Unsweetened chocolate: I use bars of a high quality chocolate
- Coconut sugar: this is our only sweetener for the cake, you can also use palm sugar
- Brewed coffee: my favorite ingredient!! Coffee brings out the boldness of chocolate in the best way possible. It does not have a coffee taste in the cupcakes!
- Buttermilk: so much flavor! See below for a dairy-free/Paleo option
- Vanilla extract: you can also use a peppermint extract if you want a festive holiday cupcake
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting ingredients:
- Butter: (palm shortening for a Paleo/Dairy-free frosting)
- Powdered sugar: you can substitute with finely pulsed maple sugar or coconut sugar for a Paleo version
- Cocoa powder: can also use cacao
- Vanilla extract: feel free to substitute with coffee extract or peppermint extract for a different flavor!
- Milk: use a dairy-free milk for a dairy-free option!
Let’s make the BEST Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes!
These come together so easily! To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan (or 2) with cupcake liners. Lightly grease with cooking spray.
- Mix together the dry ingredients: flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt
- On the stovetop, melt the coconut oil with the chocolate, coffee, and sugar. Whisk until smooth and melted, then remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes, then add in buttermilk, vanilla extract, and eggs, whisk until smooth.
- Using a hand mixer and bowl mixer, combine the wet and dry ingredients until no dry pockets remain.
- Pour into the prepared pan, filling each cup 3/4 of the way full. Transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool
- Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, or softened. Beat using an electric mixer, stir in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Now add in the vanilla and milk, continuing to beat until smooth.
- Frost the cupcakes using a frosting bag and decorating tip (optional). Or, you can spread with a knife.
Tips and Adaptations:
- Paleo and Dairy-Free option: you can omit the buttermilk, and use 1 cup coconut milk with 1 tbsp of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. See the frosting section to make a dairy-free/Paleo frosting.
- Flours: I have not made this recipe changing up the flours, so it is hard for me to say how it would work with altering the flours in this recipe.
- Egg free: you can use flax eggs in place of regular eggs.
- Piping the frosting: is not necessary! It just makes them a little prettier. Feel free just to use a knife or spatula and spread the frosting on top.
- Making ahead: These can definitely be made ahead! In fact, you can make ahead a few days, and just wait to make the frosting until the day of.
- Storing: These will keep for up to a week in the fridge, full frosted. Store in an air tight container. You can also keep in an air tight container on the counter at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Freezing: If freezing, it’s best to freeze without the frosting on top.
More Cake recipes you will love:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
These Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes have the most delicious moist and fluffy texture with chocolate decadence! Topped with a Chocolate Buttercream for the ultimate treat. No one will guess these are Gluten-Free!
For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch (flour)
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (measured before melting)
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 2 cups coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 cup butter (softened or at room temperature)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp milk (+ more if needed)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan by lining with cupcake liners. Lightly grease with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt.
On the stovetop, melt coconut oil with the unsweetened chocolate, coconut sugar, and brewed coffee. Stir frequently until smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract to the melted chocolate mixture.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the wet and dry ingredients until no dry pockets remain. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners to 3/4 of the way full.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter until light and fluffly, then mix in powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Continue to beat while slowly adding in the vanilla extract and milk (you may need a bit more milk). Continue to beat until fluffy and smooth.
Spread the frosting on each cupcake with a knife, or use a pastry frosting bag and pipe the frosting on each cupcake.