The Best Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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The Best Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake resting on a cupcake wrapper

Can we just take a moment and revel in the deliciousness that is this chocolate cupcake?

*reflective silence*

OK, let’s proceed.

Batch of our delicious 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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!

Ingredients for making our delicious Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes recipe
Bowl and spoon coated in DIY Beet Puree

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.

Bowl of Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake batter made with beets

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.

Muffin tin filled with Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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.

Freshly whipped homemade Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting

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.

Plate of our fudgy vegan chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting
Plate filled with our moist Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes recipe
Close up shot of a chocolate cupcake topped with Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Let’s talk cupcakes. These gems are:

Fluffy
Moist
Cakey
Super chocolaty
Perfectly sweet
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.

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with yellow, pink, and turquoise wrappers
Partially eaten Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake

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

Amazing 1-bowl chocolate cupcakes that are undetectably vegan and gluten-free. Fudgy, moist, insanely chocolaty, and topped with sinful chocolate ganache frosting.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Partially eaten Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake on a pink wrapper
4.77 from 147 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 11 (cupcakes)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 2-3 Weeks (unfrosted)
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

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
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 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*

FROSTING:

Instructions

  • 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, salt, and vanilla (optional) 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.

Notes

*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.
*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.

Nutrition (1 of 11 servings)

Serving: 1 cupcakes Calories: 412 Carbohydrates: 54.7 g Protein: 4.1 g Fat: 22.8 g Saturated Fat: 11.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 159 mg Fiber: 5 g Sugar: 38.7 g
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  1. Sam says

    Unsweetened applesauce works GREAT for this recipe. I make it as written, otherwise. This is my go to recipe for any cupcake occasion, and they always get eaten quickly and praised by everyone. I’m making these tomorrow for my son’s 4th birthday party :)

  2. Katie C says

    I’m looking for a vegan cupcake recipe but don’t necessarily need it to be gluten-free. Could I make these with regular AP or pastry flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Belinda, we haven’t tested it as a cake, but think it would work in an 8-9 inch cake pan. You’ll just need to bake for more time, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let us know how it goes!

  3. Kelly says

    I have made this several times and I think they are the best gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes in the world! I use 2/3 cup pumpkin puree plus 1/3 cup applesauce in place of the beat puree. I sub extra almond and gluten-free flour in place of the oat flour. And I always add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. It’s really a shame that is not written into your recipe because it makes a huge difference. This time I forgot that I usually add it, and the cupcakes aren’t nearly as tasty.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Kelly! We’re so glad you enjoy the cupcakes! We agree that vanilla sounds like a great addition. We’ll see about testing and adding it!

  4. Angela says

    I am one of the pickiest human beings on the planet and a recovering junk food junkie. When I saw beets in the ingredients, I must admit, I thought, “Gross, I’m not eating those,” but I made them for a vegan and gluten-free crowd and not myself. But then, I tried one. I wanted another, and another and another… I couldn’t stop ’til they were gone. These are ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! The birthday girl I made them for called them “legendary!!” I would have NEVER known they were vegan and gluten -free. Literally, these are DELICIOUS!!! I got nothing but positive feedback and the leftover frosting was just as big a hit accompanied by just a spoon! Thank you for sharing your fabulous creation!!!!!!

  5. Vipra says

    Hi! These muffins look delicious 😋 ❤️
    Can we make this wothout using gluten free oats as my little one is allergic to oats as well?

  6. Brenda Clemens says

    Another great cupcake recipe!! They taste so good that it is hard to believe that they are egg and dairy free. The cupcake was fluffy and frosting silky smooth. I used avocado oil instead of coconut oil. I bought steamed beets from Trader Joe’s and they worked great.

    My granddaughters have been begging me for cupcakes the past two weeks and they were not disappointed by these!!!

  7. Anita Borrelli says

    Hi Dana, can these be made with real eggs instead of flax eggs? If so, how many eggs would you suggest for one batch? Thanks! Can’t wait to try these.

  8. Carly Jivelekas says

    also, my daughter really wants strawberry chocolate cupcakes? Would a strawberry puree work do you think? Or no? Or do you have a vegan strawberry frosting recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re not sure how the strawberry puree will work in the cupcakes, but yes, we do have a strawberry frosting recipe here! We think that combo sounds delicious!

  9. Maggie says

    I’ve made these cupcakes many times. I cooked the beets in my instapot and they make a great addition to this recipe. Recently though I made my life easier and started using applesauce. My toothpick doesn’t come out clean but they are cooked. Makes 12-14 cupcakes.

  10. Julia says

    I’ve mad this recipe many times–I love it!

    Substitutions I use:
    -Cashew or hazelnut meal in place of almond flour
    -Pumpkin puree in place of beet puree

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo love that! Thanks for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Julia!

  11. Catherine says

    I made this cupcake recipe as written, with a different egg substitute since I did not have flax seeds, these truly are delicious but very time consuming. Make these and you will definitely impress some gf vegans.

  12. Natalie says

    Holy cow these are absolutely delicious. I made these today for my 50th birthday and it was love at first bite. They are fluffy, moist, and oh so chocolatey. I made them exactly as written. These are the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever had in my life. Will be making these for years to come.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed them so much, Natalie! Thank you for the lovely review and HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY! xo

  13. Kathryn says

    Made these cupcakes with the vegan ganache frosting – amazing!!! Never would have known they are vegan and GF! It is a bit of an undertaking (roasting beets to make puree etc), but worth the time if you have it. Highly recommend.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! So glad you enjoyed these cupcakes and felt they were worth the effort, Kathryn. Thanks for the great review!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Autumn, That should work well! You’ll just need to bake longer. Let us know how it goes!

  14. Tenney says

    I’ve been struggling finding a good replacement for almond flour. My little one is really sensitive and potentially allergic. I’d love to make these for his birthday… any recommendations on what else to use and potential ratio changes?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tenney, can he have cashew flour? That would be the next best option! Another option would be hazelnut flour.

  15. Karen says

    Amazing!
    I trust you so much that I didn’t do a trial run!
    Made these for my kids’ birthday celebration! Love that they fit so many dietary restrictions!
    The faint beet smell went away during baking and was super fluffy and moist. I was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t sugary sweet. Pairs beautifully with the frosting.

    Changes/specifics:
    -I quadrupled the recipe. Love the built in calculator. Still had to do some math within the recipe, but it was very clear.
    -Vanilla Original Almond Milk I had on hand.
    -when added baking soda, didn’t fizz but bubbled a bit.
    -For beet puree I bought precooked beets from Costco (4pk) I used 2.75 packages and 1/2 cup watered down orange juice to get 4 cups puree.
    -used Earth Balance.
    -used almond flour instead of almond meal
    -used Just About Foods All Purpose GF Flour, 1 to 1 Baking Flour
    -when making frosting, my choc chips didn’t melt well (put warm milk in metal mixing bowl with chocolate). So I put the mixing bowl in a big pan with water, making a double boiler and stirred while heating until melted. Worked swimmingly 🙃

    Thanks so much, can’t recommend you enough! You had made me a more confident baker!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      LOVE to hear this! Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for sharing your experience, Karen! So glad these were a success!

  16. Rachel says

    I wonder if I could use the pre-cooked beets from the store to save time? (Luv beets brand, I think? Steamed maybe?)

  17. Shasta Raszba says

    Question:
    Step #4 for the cupcakes says “Add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir. It should fizz.” Where are the instructions that describe how to make this almond milk vinegar mixture? I just mixed them together but are they supposed to sit before adding the baking soda? Mine didn’t really fizz much.

    Side note: my cupcake pan must not be the same size as yours, this made 14 cupcakes for me when each cup was filled 3/4 of the way.

    These cupcakes are delish! Moist and hold their shape and so tasty. I made them with the beets, will try applesauce next time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shasta! Thanks so much for the review, so glad you enjoyed! The instruction is in step 2, “Also measure out almond milk and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.” Hope this helps!

      • Shasta Raszba says

        Ah I see it now, thanks! So that means let the almond milk/vinegar mixture rest for 5+ minutes while the flax egg is resting? Or make the flax egg and move immediately to adding the baking soda to the almond milk/vinegar?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Let the almond milk/vinegar mixture rest for 5+ minutes while the flax egg is resting. Once the flax eggs have rested, add the baking soda and almond milk vinegar mixture to the flax eggs. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Holly, we haven’t tried this recipe without almond flour and the texture won’t be the same, but you could possibly try increasing the oat flour in place of it. Any dairy-free milk will work in this recipe as well. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

  18. Nicole gleason says

    Gees la wees!!! Is there anything you guys can’t do? These are phenomenal! Prepared as written, I used the applesauce. I cannot wait to share these with friends! Bravo!!

  19. Joanne says

    My question is whether or not the cocoa powder you used is dutch processed or not? I have ruined too many recipes by using one when the recipe used the other. It messes with the leavening.

  20. Silver says

    Amazing recipe!! :) I grew up eating a non vegan version of these cupcakes and making them brought me right back.. licking the spoon at the end was always my fav part and well, this batter was so good I ended up eating by the spoonful, yummm. The finished cupcake was equally devine! I used the bobs red mill 1:1, did avocado oil instead of coconut and added a tsp of vanilla extract. Sooo moist and delicious!! And the top is perfection! THANK YOU xx

  21. Patty says

    Several years ago, I made these for my husband’s birthday party which had over 100 guests. (It was a milestone birthday). Wanted a vegan gluten-free option along side of the 2 bakery cakes that I had ordered. Wish I had made more. Could not get non vegan and/or gluten tolerant people to stop eating them. They were as delicious as they were beautiful with festive vegan sprinkles on top! Now my non-vegan, beet-hating husband often requests that I make them. They are his favorite! (Mine, too!)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! So happy to hear that everyone enjoys these cupcakes, Patty. Thanks so much for sharing!

  22. Sarbjit says

    I am sorry if this has been asked-but can this be made into a small 4inch cake? thank you in advance.

    Also I have made these as cupcakes before-a little bit of work but totally worth it! I bake a lot and nothing has come close to this recipe. thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe, Sarbjit! We do think that would work, but perhaps with a half batch of this recipe? The bake time would likely be toward the upper end of the range. Check back if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brooke, we would recommend flax or coconut milk for the almond milk + a mix of oat flour, oats and gluten free flour blend for the almond meal. Let us know how it goes!

  23. Patty says

    I stumbled upon this recipe 2 years ago. Had a huge 70th birthday party for my husband, I’m vegan; he’s not. In our mix of friends, they’re some vegans and lots of gluten-free folks. Ordered 2 bakery cakes and made these cupcakes and crowned them with some vegan sprinkles. HUGE hit! So much raving that had to ask people NOT to try them unless they weren’t vegan and/or gluten-free. Everyone loves them, especially me & my husband. Thanks for the best cupcake & frosting ever! Golden unicorn for sure!

  24. Nicole Heskey says

    Made these today for my daughters first birthday. Wow these are so good. Subs I did was 3/4 cup beet and 1/4 applesauce. 3/4 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup AP flour and 1/4 oat flour. Baked for 30ish min. So moist you don’t even need frosting. Another slam dunk recipe by Dana

  25. Karen says

    So good! I make and freeze them, a solo eater, and have one every night :) for dessert during beet season.
    I wanted to share my beet prep tip- that’s what takes the longest and is always such a mess. I use beets from my farmers mkt and there are typically 4-5 in a bunch. I roast all of them at once, then puree in 1 cup batches and freeze.
    I can usually get 2 frozen portions- saves so much time, at least for the next rounds! Thank you!

  26. Amy says

    I made these today for a friend’s 6 yr old birthday. They most certainly were not pourable and the flax egg caused chunkiness. I went bake after the cupcakes were baked and realised I doubled the egg (I only made 6 cupcakes). OMG, what a dumb mistake. I’m sharing this because I can’t stop laughing at my foolishness.

    Otherwise, the recipe was easy to follow, the smell was amazing, and I’m sure they will taste fine once the icing is on.

  27. Cassie says

    I made these for a second time and they were AMAZING! Seriously, my friends said they would never know they were vegan & gluten-free and couldn’t tell the difference between their gluten, butter & dairy filled counterpart so HUGE win for me!!! Only changes I made was I used applesauce instead of beets and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 & baked for 34 mins total. I used the Vegan vanilla buttercream recipe & added some espresso powder and they were pure mocha heaven!!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks for such a lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Cassie! So glad everyone enjoyed! xo

  28. Cassie says

    I love baking and this was my first attempt at a vegan, gluten-free recipe so needless to say, I was skeptical. But these turned out surprisingly delicious… i’m actually shocked how good they are. I subbed applesauce for the beets and baked them for 31 minutes total but sadly they did sink in the middle and were a bit under-baked so next time i’ll do the full 34ish minutes. Luckily sinking in the middle is easily solved by extra icing! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cassie, sorry to hear that happened! What type of GF flour blend were you using? We wonder if that could be the issue, or perhaps the applesauce sub.

      • Cassie says

        I actually used a random AP Gluten-free flour mix we got from a health food store here so not sure what is in it – I knew I should have grabbed the bob’s red mill that was in the cupboard lol!

          • Cassie says

            Amazing! Thanks so much! They got rave reviews from our non GF, dairy-loving friends so definitely will be making again!

        • Barb says

          5 star recipe! Go-to birthday cupcake recipe and frosting is a big win since the cupcakes are not too sweet. Perfectly balanced, moist, perfection! I added a bit more apple cider right before combining with dry ingredients because it had stopped fizzing. Also mine was not thin but fairly thick batter. Turned out great. Little bit shorter in the oven though with dark pans and longer with aluminum pans. I don’t use any liners and they release just fine (pans are unscratched and in good shape though).

          Frosting freezes well if you have any left over. Use for the next batch!

  29. Margot Frazier says

    These turned out delicious – a really light gooey texture considering they’re GF. Make sure not to overbeat. I used my stand mixer and let it go for a few minutes.

    My cupcakes “dome” completely sunk in while baking, and even more after I took them out. I think this is because I beat too much air into them.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Margot, sorry that happened! But we’re glad you still enjoyed them =) Thanks for sharing your tips!

  30. Sue says

    I made these using hazelnut milk, honey, applesauce and substituted coconut flour for the oat flour because these were what I had on hand. I also subbed monk fruit sugar. Even with all those changes they came out really fluffy and so moist. I haven’t frosted them because we try to keep the sugar content low. But I ate one with some heavy cream poured over it (obviously I’m not vegan) and it was amazing. I’m going to try making a vanilla cream from silken tofu to eat with them and see how that works too.

  31. Kinara says

    The texture of these cupcakes is fantastic! So light and fluffy, and the edges got just barely chewy. I used pastry flour in place of the oat and gluten-free, and replaced the beet with applesauce. I topped them with some Miss Jones vegan peppermint frosting that I had on hand. They were perfect!

  32. Laite O’Riley says

    I love making these cupcakes. Cannot believe how moist they are and so tasty. My little boy who has anaphylaxis to wheat, egg and peanuts can’t get enough of them. So easy to make that I prepare them every time he has a birthday party to go to.

  33. Caitie says

    Love this recipe – between my dairy-free best friend and my gluten free self, we can be hard to cook for. This recipe checked all the boxes (even my sister, who is neither vegan or gluten free, loved them). I used applesauce instead of beets and oat milk instead of almond, but those were the only substitutions I made. Moist, fudgy, and rich but not too sweet (that frosting is amazing)!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, love that! We’re so glad everyone could enjoy them =) Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Caitie!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Lucy, we don’t think that would work, unfortunately. The combination of flours here yields the best texture. But you could try subbing GF flour in this recipe.

  34. jill b says

    These are amazing!! OH MY! so decadent and delicious and perfect for parties with gluten free guests.
    The icing is incredible. I had a happy accident where the chocolate chips didn’t quite melt in the almond milk, leaving the icing with tiny chocolate chunks.

  35. Laura says

    These are amazing! I made them with applesauce. The only minor issues- The chocolate chips didn’t melt all the way in the microwaved almond milk so icing was chunky which was a delicious twist but if you’re going for perfect appearance wouldn’t fly. And the almond milk apple cider baking soda mixture didn’t fizz. Don’t know why- maybe because I used a different brand of almond milk? But they were incredible cupcakes- so seems fine. This makes WAY too much icing. You’d have too much if you halve it. Now I’m feeling wasteful to compost it, and may be eating it by the spoonful. I wish I knew in the first place to use the sticks of vegan butter instead of the tub kind, because I had to add so much powdered sugar to make it less runny. And did I say these are AMAZING???

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the helpful feedback, Laura. We’re so glad you enjoyed them. Feel free to freeze the frosting for later use!

  36. Heidy says

    Brilliant recipe, a little bit of work but so worth it, I didn’t have gluten-free oat flour but I replaced it for 1/4 cup GF flour, glad they turned out great, not a fan of gluten-free flour but the almond and beetroot make them really moist ! Yummi! Thanks! So far all your recipes are spot on!

  37. Namita says

    I plan to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 baking blend to make this recipe. Do I still need to use oat flour apart from Bob’s baking blend?

  38. Emily says

    I made a batch of these cupcakes the other day and they were a terrific Halloween treat! I followed the recipe to a T and for some reason they filled 15 cupcake liners (no complaints, though). No beet flavor whatsoever, they were not too sweet and incredibly tender.

    The only issue I ran into was the frosting being too runny – I could have added more powdered sugar, but it was already so sweet that I decided to leave it and use it like a glaze instead. Still a great taste!

    My whole family loved them, so thank you for the recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks for sharing, Emily! For the frosting, make sure to use vegan buttery sticks instead of the kind in the tub. Hope that helps!

  39. Suee33 says

    Made these this morning, seems a lot like the yummy chocolate hazelnut cake recipe, which is the BEST cake recipe ever.

    Question, why 11 – not 12 seems weird?

    Sure these are 100 % Delicious!! Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them! That’s just how many this amount of batter made. If you want to make 12, they may be smaller and you may need to reduce the bake time slightly.

  40. Sarah says

    These cupcakes (and the frosting) are phenomenal. And not just for being GF and vegan. They’re just plain delicious. Rave reviews from everyone, including family members without dietary restrictions.
    I’m becoming convinced that you’re an actual wizard to come up with all of these GF and vegan recipes that are just as good, if not better, than their gluten and dairy/egg containing counterparts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Note: I used Nutiva coconut shortening instead of vegan butter for frosting (it’s what I had on hand) and it turned out very well. I may have eaten some that was leftover by the spoonful…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, so kind, Sarah! We’re so glad you and your family enjoy them! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shannon, You can try swapping cane sugar for coconut sugar, but know that the end result is less sweet and more dense / mushy. We haven’t tried with monkfruit, but it might work. Let us know if you try it out!

  41. Madison Thomas says

    These were so yummy and such a hit!! I garnished with some raspberries which were delicious! Can I freeze the frosting?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Madison! We think freezing the frosting would be fine.

  42. Nathalie says

    OMG, the cupcakes look so delicious:::: but I have a question for you: can I use dates instead of granulated sugar?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nathalie, we haven’t tried it, but it looks like another reader has tried that with success. Let us know if you try it!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          We’re not sure, sorry! You could try asking those who have tried it in the comments. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words (such as “dates”) in the post and comments.

  43. Lindsay says

    These are AMAZING! I am working my way through an elimination diet and needed to make some cupcakes for my son’s birthday. I am an avid baker (using all things full of gluten, dairy, eggs etc), so I’ve been very skeptical of trying to bake anything vegan and GF. However, these were simply divine, and I was amazed. Usually I can bake vegan/GF things and think “Oh, these are good for being vegan and GF…” But not these cupcakes… they are just good period.

    I followed the recipe exactly, except I was short about 2 T of beet puree, so I just added a bit of applesauce to get me to the 1 C measurement. Also, I actually got 13 normal sized cupcakes instead of the 11 that the recipe says.

    I will say, that I didn’t make the chocolate frosting because my favorite icing with chocolate cake is buttercream (so I made a vegan “butter”cream icing) and it was fabulous!

    If you’re wondering whether or not to make these… MAKE THEM. I promise you will love them!

  44. Ashleigh says

    I recently made these Cupcakes and they were amazing, even my 16 year old son, who was sceptical when he learnt they were Vegan had to admit they were delicious!!

  45. Lesley says

    Awesome. Made as is. Only experiment was with cupcake liners vs no liners (greased tin with coconut oil). Found a big difference. The cupcakes in liners were much more moist and deliciously dense. Those without liners were drier and had a tough bottom.

  46. Sunita Nair says

    Just fabulous! Congratulations on creating such an unusual gluten and dairy and egg free cupcake recipe that works so beautifully. Initially I was a bit put off when I saw the ingredient list, but am glad I persevered through having to make my own flours and milk and a couple of improvisations, thanks to local unavailability. The humble beetroot truly shines!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you gave it a try and enjoyed it, Sunita! Thanks so much for sharing!

  47. Betty Hayes says

    I’m not even a cake eater, I am making these for a church event but OH MY! This will definitely be my go-to recipe for both cupcakes and chocolate frosting. They taste like they have pudding in the mix. The flavor and texture are absolutely perfect. I doubled the recipe for the cupcakes but only made one frosting recipe because others reported that there was so much leftover frosting. It was perfect. One batch of frosting generously coated two batches of cupcakes. The doubled batch made 28 cupcakes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Betty! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  48. Alyssa says

    Do you think these would work if I used 1/4 cup more of oat flour and 1/4 cup more of gluten free flour to replace the almond meal? I did that when making your carrot muffins and they were amazing! Hoping those substitutes will work for these too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alyssa, we haven’t tried with those modifications, but it might work! Let us know if you try it!

  49. Melissa Knutson says

    This is the best chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve made successfully at home, vegan/gf or not. Ever. I used Earth Balance, and subbed sunflower seed flower that I whipped up in my blender and hemp milk for the almond flour and milk to make these nut-allergen friendly. They are so moist, I almost always question whether they are done or not…but they always are.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe, Melissa! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  50. Kristi G says

    These were delicious. I made with half maple syrup/half honey and used coconut oil. For frosting, I made with sugar free chocolate chips (Lilly’s), sugar free powdered sugar (Lakonto), and Smart Balance.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Kristi. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  51. Laura says

    Very impressive result, considering it is vegan AND gluten free! Had almost a fudge brownie consistency. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour and also didn’t have enough almond meal, so subbed in some extra flax meal. The only note is that this is NOT a 1-bowl recipe! Between all the prep of ingredients (blending beets, grinding flours, mixing frosting), many, many dishes were used in the process. Also, as noted in the recipe, there was a lot of extra frosting (like many cupcake recipes tend to have). I wish the recipe made less to avoid waste! But overall, very impressed.