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 4 ingredients and 30 minutes, and it’s 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
& Simply AMAZING
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!
The Best Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1/2 scant cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax eggs)
- 5 Tbsp water (to make flax eggs)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup cane or granulated sugar
- 1/3 scant cup maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
- 1 cup beet puree (or sub butternut squash, applesauce, or another hearty fruit puree with varied results)
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
- 1/2 cup almond meal (finely ground)
- 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend*
- 1/2 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 1 1/4 cup dairy free dark or semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (softened and cut into Tablespoon-sized slices)
- 1 1/4 – 2 cups powdered sugar
- FOR BEETS: To roast beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C), drizzle 2 large beets (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) 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 // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). 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 (190 C) and line 11 muffins (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) 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 by mixing flaxseed meal and water 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, and 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, 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 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), 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 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) 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 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- 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.
*Adapted from / inspired by my Vegan Double Chocolate Beet Muffins.
*Frosting inspiration from Eats Well with Others
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with a generous amount of frosting per cupcake.