Can we just take a moment and revel in the deliciousness that is this chocolate cupcake?
OK, let’s proceed.
These cupcakes are my golden unicorn.
I have been trying to make a vegan gluten free cupcake for quite some time now but couldn’t quite get it right. Finally, I prevailed.
Maybe the vegan gluten free baking heavens parted and granted me favor.
Maybe it was the dancing I did while they were in the oven.
Or maybe I finally crafted the perfect mix of carefully measured ingredients.
(Likely the latter.)
Either way, I finally cracked the code and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this recipe with you guys!
The recipe may include more than my usual 10 ingredients by just a handful, but it only requires one bowl!
And in case you haven’t noticed, no fancy equipment is required as I do all my baking with basic equipment, including a hand held mixer! We keep things old school around here. Plus, have you seen the counter space I’m working with? Where would I put a stand mixer?! Oy.
I think the magic is in the beet puree and blend of gluten free flours.
Beet puree not only adds an amazing magenta color to the batter (that disappears while baking), but extra moist texture and a ton of amazing nutrition benefits like vitamins A, B, C, magnesium, fiber and folate, just to name a few.
As for the gluten free flours, I’ve found that gluten free baking requires a mix of dry ingredients. In this recipe, that included a blend of cocoa powder, almond meal, gluten free oat flour, and a gluten free flour blend. I tested the recipe with two blends, so see the notes for details! In my experience, the blend makes all the difference.
I was so pleased when I pulled these out of the oven and saw how fluffy and perfect they were, just like regular cupcakes. The only thing left to do was frost them with a thick, fudgy, chocolate ganache frosting! Whoa mama.
This frosting (made in the same bowl!) requires just four ingredients, 30 minutes and is insanely delicious. Super thick, fudgy and fluffy atop these insanely moist, delicious cupcakes. I plan on frosting everything with this ganache from here on out.
Let’s talk cupcakes. These gems are:
Undetectably vegan and gluten free
After sampling these myself I couldn’t believe my taste buds! I’d struck gold. So I tested them on some friends who all agreed they were incredible.
I had a hard time naming them so I’ve decided to call them what they are: The Best Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes! But seriously, more like the best cupcake I’ve ever had. Yep, I said it.
If you try this recipe, you must let us know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, share it on social media, or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We LOVE seeing what you guys bake up. Cheers and happy cupcake eating!
- 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp (9 grams) flax seed meal + 5 Tbsp water)
- scant 1/2 cup (115 grams) Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almond Milk + 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (73 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
- 1/3 cup (77 grams) cane or granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (63 grams) melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 1 cup (~243 grams) beet puree (or sub butternut squash, applesauce, or another hearty fruit puree with varied results)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
- 1/2 cup (59 grams) almond meal (finely ground)
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) gluten free oat flour
- 3/4 cup (100 grams) gluten free flour blend (*see notes)
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 1 1/4 cup (230 grams) dairy free dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) vegan butter, softened and cut into Tablespoon-sized slices
- 1 1/4 - 2 cups (~150 - 250 grams) powdered sugar
- FOR BEETS: To roast beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, drizzle 2 large beets with oil of choice and wrap in foil. Bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour, or until a knife slides through easily. Peel away skins by rubbing foil around and it should shed off easily. Add beets to a food processor or blender and add 1/4 cup liquid of choice (I like a mix of water and orange juice). Blend until creamy, smooth and pourable, scraping down sides as needed. Otherwise, sub another fruit puree, such as applesauce, with varied results.
- FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 11 muffins with paper liners, or lightly grease. Also measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.
- Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir. It should fizz.
- Add the sugar, maple syrup and almond milk mixture to the flax egg and beat to combine. Then add beet puree, melted coconut oil, salt and mix.
- Add cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour and gluten free flour blend and beat to combine. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect. If too thin, add a little more gluten free flour blend + cocoa powder. It should resemble a thin batter that’s pourable.
- Divide batter evenly between muffin tins (should be enough for between 11), filling 3/4 full.
- Bake for 29-34 minutes or until puffy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let rest in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then remove and let cool COMPLETELY on a cooling rack. Don’t try to sample early because they need to fully cool or they tend to stick to the wrappers.
- FOR FROSTING: Add almond milk to your rinsed out mixing bowl from earlier and microwave for 1 minute. (Alternatively, heat in a saucepan until just simmering and then transfer back to mixing bowl.)
- Immediately add chocolate to warm milk but don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.
- Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add softened butter and cover. Let rest untouched for another 10 minutes to meddle.
- Use your mixer to beat the mixture together. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix again, and place in fridge to set for 20-30 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you tip it and it’s slow to move.
- Remove from fridge and beat again. If it’s still too thin, add another 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. I found that chilling for a total of 20 minutes and adding 1 3/4 cups total powdered sugar was perfect.
- Frost cupcakes generously. You’ll likely have leftover frosting (unless you’re like me). Sprinkles, mint leaves, or fresh raspberries would make the perfect garnish.
- Will keep well-covered at room temperature for several days, though best when fresh.
*I tried this recipe with both the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Blend and my go-to gluten free blend and while both worked well, the Bob’s 1:1 blend yielded a narrowly superior cupcake.
*Frosting inspiration from Eats Well with Others
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 cupcake very generously frosted.