Gluten-Free & Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

by Maggie on February 4, 2010

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and whether you’re a lover or a hater, it’s a good excuse for chocolate!

I’ve made these cupcakes three times now: once to test them (taste testing is the hardest part of this blogging bit); once for a 30th birthday party (sigh, I wish it was mine); and once for fun!  Callum is three so cupcakes are a welcome treat in his world.

I like these cupcakes because they don’t taste gluten-free or vegan.  They just taste like yummy cupcakes.  So if you’re wondering what to make for your Valentine (or for yourself) here you go!


1 cup plain non-dairy milk (I’ve used organic soy milk or nut milks)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup cane sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or sunflower oil)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or line a cupcake pan with liners.

Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl to create a “buttermilk”.  Let this mixture sit for a few minutes.

Sift together flours and remaining dry ingredients.  It is important that you sift – no one wants a white lump in their chocolate cupcake!

Add vanilla and oil to the soy milk “buttermilk”.  Stir to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches.  Stir just until combined.  Spoon into cupcake pan (3/4 full) and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Test one cupcake with a cake tester or a knife.


*I used a recipe for vegan cupcakes that I found at  CHOW I used their vegan buttercream recipe too.  Yummy is one word.

Do you have a healthy icing recipe that’s sweet and creamy but doesn’t use icing sugar?  Please share your recipe by leaving a comment.  I’m always looking for one and I know I’m not alone.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather February 4, 2010 at 7:29 pm

YUM! Great recipe too. I love Valentine’s Day! I always make my husband something special. Last year, I made a gfree chocolate valentino. This year, we agreed to make sushi and not sure what for dessert. I actually can’t eat chocolate (bummer) but I love the smell and sometimes make my husband stuff with chocolate because I know he likes it.

I have an icing recipe with this cake recipe, but it’s not necessarily creamy.. it’s not like a glaze. It sure does taste awesome though! It may not be best for cupcakes. But I am working on one for cupcakes because my daughter reacts to powdered sugar.


Heather February 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm

oops, I meant it’s like a glaze


Amanda February 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

They are damn pretty.


Shirley @ gfe January 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Wow, girl, you’re on top of your game already getting out a Valentine’s Day recipe! And, such an awesome one at that! 🙂 Do you think you could make 50 of these for my Valentine’s Day party and ship them to me? 😉 Only sorta kidding …



Maggie January 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Haha Shirley, of course I’ll ship them to you. Only 50? And I should clarify – I’m not that on the ball 🙂 This is a post from last year! Just a great recipe that I always fall back on!


Kirsten August 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hey there, I use cashews to make mine. It’s a blend of cashews, coconut oil, salt, lemon juice and I use raw honey but u cld sub agave. Search the Spunky Coconut’s site for her version (I’m on mobile so I don’t have mine at my fingertips). You can dump on cocoa powder to taste to make a choc version too. It’s thin at first but hardens nicely in the fridge- yum!


Maggie August 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Awesome! Thanks Kirsten. That sounds easy enough. You soak the cashews, right? Is it kid-friendly too?


Mei April 29, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Hi Maggie:
I just made those cupcakes today, they are sooooo good… even my husband said they are good (trust me, he doesn’t say anything is good). The only thing is, the bottom of my cupcakes, there is a lots of oil, is that normal? I love your site, and Thank You for all the great cooking. My son has to be gluten free and egg free, so this cupcake is perfect for him. he is only 16 months old, I’m just wondering if it’s ok to give it to him since there is cocoa powder and coconut oil in it. May I ask how old were your kids when they first had these cupcakes?


Maggie April 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

Hey Mei – Thanks for letting me know. I am so happy to hear that your husband liked them too! The oil isn’t normal, I’m not sure what happened. What kind of oil did you use? Did the cupcakes sit for long before going in to the oven? I’m not sure if cocoa powder is okay for your 16 month old (such a great age!), has he had chocolate yet? I’m sure there’s lots of 16 month olds who have had it by that age. Coconut oil is okay, but as with any new food, I’d test it to see if there are any reactions. Liv was probably about the same age as your son when she ate these.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for reading and baking.


Mei May 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

Hi Maggie: I used cococut oil. And my son is fine, I gave him some to try yesterday, and he loved it, so I gave him another one this morning, he ate it so fast. lol…. I put the cupcakes in the fridge, they are a little dry ( kind like a muffin), not as nice as it first come out of the oven. Do you put yours in the freezer? thanks.


Maggie May 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

Oh I’m glad to hear he’s fine! Yay for chocolate 🙂 I do put mine in the freezer – after the second day or so.
Have a great weekend Mei,


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