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:

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
Partially eaten Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake on a pink wrapper
4.78 from 150 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



  • 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*



  • 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.


*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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My Rating:

  1. Alicia says

    I’ve used this frosting recipe multiple times and it is hands down the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever had. I’ve used it on cupcakes and layer cakes — it spreads beautifully on a cake & I usually struggle with that! It tastes amazing and is not overly sweet but just rich and smooth. As the recipe is written, the frosting is enough to frost a 2-layer 9″ round cake BUT I recommend doubling just because it’s SO GOOD! I haven’t actually made these cupcakes yet but I’m sure they’re amazing :)

    • 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!

  2. Sarah Pekacz says

    Hi There
    These look amazing! My partner is vegan and GF but can’t have oats. What could I substitute instead of the oat flour? Thanks :)

  3. Teressa says

    This is a birthday tradition at our house. And now that my third baby is 1, she gets to enjoy the face/cake smash with these deliciously moist cupcakes. I hate cupcakes but I LOVE these. Bless you Dana.

  4. Simrun says

    I first tried the recipe as written wasn’t a fan of the slight beet flavour I got (probably didn’t roast the beet enough). I tried again but this time changed it up a bit. I used the same base but used pumpkin puree instead and added a bit of cinnamon instead of chocolate. Turned out really tasty. My point is that this is a great gluten free base recipe that you can tweak to make different cupcakes. My family couldn’t even tell these were gluten free!

  5. Laura Beth says

    You’re right– I’ve craved these since the first time I made them. They’re so tasty but don’t leave you with a sugar crash or too-heavy feeling. When I made them I didn’t have the beets, so I added a bit more oil. I ground oats in a coffee grinder until they were fine for my oat flour. Due to my adjustments my cakes were a teensy bit drier than spot-on perfect, but they were still excellent and yes, craveable. The frosting is uber yum, and we added sprinkles which were fun.
    Thanks for this!

  6. Tonya says

    These turned out great! I used Bob’s GF AP Flour and store-bought applesauce, and I do think I can taste the applesauce (no one else said anything though). The frosting definitely makes the cake! I just used chocolate chips and Earth Balance butter from the tub. My batch made 12, and a couple of them were actually a little overfilled.

    • CB says

      Can this recipe be made into a cake? If you’ve tried it should I double the recipe to fill two cake pans?

      I’ve made the cupcakes previously for my daughter’s bday and they were such a hit a friend of mine wants me to make a cake for her daughter.
      Thank you!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so glad you enjoyed the cupcakes! We haven’t tried this is as a cake, but we think it would work. We would recommend scanning the comments to see what others have tried. Let us know if you try it!

  7. Melissa GC says

    I would’ve rated this as 10 stars if that were an option. SO GOOD! Finally a GF cake that seems impossibly GF. I don’t normally like frosting but I could make this chocolate ganache frosting and eat the whole thing with a spoon. It’s not cloyingly sweet like so many frostings that I cant stand. Thanks Dana! Once again you nailed this recipe. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this!

  8. Brittany Beck says

    If I were to make a bunch of mini cupcakes with these (easy to eat at work for people!) any suggestions on how long they’d cook?
    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hey Brittany, we haven’t tried it, but another reader mentioned making mini cupcakes and baking for 17 minutes. Hope that helps!

  9. JD says

    I’ve never made this recipe but it looks amazing!! I can’t wait to make it!! I’ll be making 49ers cupcakes for the Super Bowl and I can’t wait for all of my friends to try them. I don’t know how you make the cakes and cupcakes without them getting super dense. You have to tell me how you do it. Please email me soon! Please send me more recipes like this! Thx doll!! ?

  10. Heather says

    Hi, I was wondering if I could sub out the cane sugar for more maple syrup or honey. If so, how much? Can this recipe also be made into a layered cake? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Heather, we think that would work! Maybe try 1/2-2/3 cup maple syrup or honey. If too moist, you can try compensating the added liquid with a little extra cocoa powder and mix of the gluten free flours. We haven’t tried a layered cake, but it should work- just bake longer. Let us know if you give it a try!

  11. Judy says

    Help please! I am intimidated by how to measure the “1 1/4 cups chopped” chocolate for the frosting. Wouldn’t that depend on the size of chopped pieces? Please would it be possible for you to tell me how much chocolate to use by weight instead ? Or do I chop it to the size of chocolate chips before I measure?
    Usually your recipes are perfectly easy, always anticipating any problems that might arise, but here I am left confused and really appreciate some guidance . Thank you! Judy Fox

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Judy, it shouldn’t make a huge difference. The weight measurement is 230 g. Hope that helps!

  12. Annie says

    This was my first ever gluten free and vegan recipe. These are really delicous and moist cupcakes!! I substituted applesauce for the beet puree, the GF flour blend for the oat flour, and used an alternate frosting, but maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to try the frosting. I just ran out of time. It took the milk a lot longer to curdle with the AC vinegar than I expected, since the milk wasn’t at room temperature (maybe add that to the notes?). After it finally did, adding the baking soda produced no fizz. So I got nervous. I added a few drops of lemon juice and then it fizzed. Maybe using a different brand of almond milk made a difference? I used Silk. Thanks so much for the recipe. I will definitely make these again, since my family has 1 vegan so far (me), a couple of gluten free people—and nearly all of us are chocolate-lovers!

  13. Fran says

    This was the first time I made these wow! Really good! I was afraid they w/b dry but far from it.
    Could this be made into a cake using a spring form pan? I’m thinking of this for an easy transport. Thanks for another great Vegan GF reciepe. :0)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Fran! We haven’t tried it in a spring form pan, but it should work. Let us know if you give it a try!

          • Fran Procum says

            Hi Sarbjit,
            I used a regular size spring form
            Cake pan. I’m sure that you could do little ones, too I haven’t tried that yet.
            I was looking for a covient way to carry them for a 3 hr drive
            Let me know how yours turns out
            Fran :0)

  14. Jean says

    Made with Bob’s Red Mill GF mix. Turned out awesome! I think next time I’ll add 2 oz melted bittersweet chocolate cuz I like my cake extra dark and chocolately.

  15. Lisa says

    Delicious! The only problem was that the toothpick never came out clean, so I kept putting them back in the oven for a LONG time. At least double the time. I wish I hadn’t because it’s okay to have a moist inside, and cooking them so long made the outsides hard and the tops a little fallen. Still edible. After cooling, the soft insides formed up a bit anyway. So next time should I take them out on time before the tops fall, even if the toothpick is not clean?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So it is it a little crumbly on the toothpick, that’s OK. But if it’s wet or sticky on the toothpick, bake longer. Does that make sense?

  16. Sussi says

    Omg!!!!! Went vegan 2yrs ago and non gluten 3yrs ago. Don’t get to have many cakes etc. These are the best cupcakes period ! I made them with applesauce and so moist and chocolaty! I put a packet of Starbucks instant coffee in the icing… these were bar none the best I have ever had..tasted by 4 others (3 conventional eaters) said the same *Best they ever taste. Thank you!?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can always try swapping cane sugar for coconut sugar, but know that the end result is less sweet and more dense / mushy. OR you can sub stevia to taste and add more dry ingredients as needed to compensate the wetter texture.

  17. Kristi Inabnit says

    I’m not the Vegan/Plant Base Diet Earter, but my Son & Wife are. So when we have Birthdays or Family gathers I’m continuely asked to make these cupcakes. I LOVE them myself, and everyone in the family is always suprised when I tell them they have Roasted Beets in them. Truely the BEST ever!

  18. Grace says

    I’ve been searching for a vegan choc cupcake recipe and after multiple testings, this recipe was the best rated for texture, taste and consistency. The only thing I changed was using Dutch processed chocolate powder, 1/2 TSP of vanilla extract. I also made a vegan white chocolate buttercream. Thanks for an amazing recipe!!

  19. Misa says

    Thank you! These cupcakes were a huge hit at my daughter’s birthday party. Several party-goers preferred to them to the traditional (wheat & egg) cupcakes. I substituted apple sauce for beet puree and used baking powder egg substitute rather than flax egg, but would never have been able to do it without your recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Misa. We are so glad to hear they were a success! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  20. Hi says

    I have almond flour and gluten free flour blend. The almond flour I’ll be fine instead of the almond meal, right? What do I do since I don’t have the oat flour?

  21. Caro says

    Fantastic recipe!
    I had to adapt the recipe to account for food intolerances so used ground hazelnuts instead of almonds, unsweetened hazelnut milk instead of Almond Breese and GF flour instead of the oat flour. I also used veg oil instead of coconut oil and apple puree instead of beet puree.
    When I added the apple cider vinegar to my hazelnut milk it didn’t seem to react in any way so just before I stirred the milk into the “egg” mixture I added about the same amount of vinegar again. It still didn’t curdle or fizz but when I then added the apple puree it fluffed up beautifully.
    All of the vegan/gf and non vegan/gf in my family LOVED the cakes, they were really light and fluffy.
    For the frosting I used a soya based vegan cream cheese, melted dark chocolate and icing sugar to taste and just beat them together and it worked really well.
    Really excited to try some of your other recipes now, thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Victoria, we haven’t tried that, but it will probably work! Let us know if you give it a try!

  22. Lynda says

    Dana my husband and I love this recipe so when he asked for a chocolate cake I just used this recipe and put it in a buttered / floured cake pan and cooked it on 3:50 oven for 30 minutes and it can out prefect after letting it cool for half an hour.

    Thanks again,


  23. JJ says

    Wow! So very yummy! These were my slight modifications because I tried to use what I had on hand: I subbed organic palm sugar for the cane sugar and mixed 1/2 cup beets plus 1/2 cup pears. For the frosting I used whipped coconut cream with a little cocoa powder and a few drops of clear stevia. Compliments from vegan and non-vegan taste testers. Thank you.

  24. Danielle says

    I made this recipe with 2 real eggs. It is so amazingly moist. The beet gives the chocolate a great depth of flavor and a rich color. You have to try these!

  25. Christina Whittaker says

    Made as instructed and loved, loved, loved by my GF Vegan family and non-GF vegan family!! Whew! So nice to have a recipe that works well for everyone. Best compliment is from my husband who has asked for more and *does not ever like* the taste of GF. Thank you ❤️❤️

  26. Nadia says

    Hi, I’m excited to try your recipies. I was wondering if I could just replace the gf flour with plain flour since I don’t have to worry about gluten?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work, but we haven’t tested it that way! Let us know how it goes and/or check other readers’ comments who’ve done the same!

  27. Shannon says

    I have made these cupcakes 3 times now and I have to say THEY ARE AMAZING! I’m gluten free, dairy free and have tons of food issues. The only thing I changed is the frosting’s vegan butter (I can’t have canola which is in ALL the vegan butter around here!). I sub Spectrum palm shortening instead and it works like a charm. I also use my own flour blend which is similar to King Arthur’s gluten free flour mix, so I imagine the cupcakes would work well with the King Arthur’s blend too.
    I also wanted to say a quick but heartfelt thank you for all your other wonderful recipes too! With so many food allergies and intolerances I have difficulty finding recipes I can make as written. Minimalist Baker is my go to site if I’m looking for something new. Thank you for all your hard work. I really appreciate it. ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for the lovely review and kind words, Shannon! We really appreciate it! xo

  28. Melissa says

    I’m so excited to make this recipe as I love the GF Vanilla Cake. I’m wondering if I can make this into a cake instead with the baking time being longer or if I’d be better to just adjust the vanilla cake recipe with some cocoa based on the non-gf chocolate cake recipe of yours.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

  29. Cyndi turner says

    Hey my name is Cyndi I have recently found out I am gluten and dairy intolerant. And if that isn’t enough I react to almonds and cashews. My question is what can I use in this recipe in place do almond milk and almond meal. Can’t wait to try… Also what to do to make this into a big fat yummy cake. Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cyndi, we would recommend using a mix of oat flour, rolled oats and gluten free flour blend to compensate for the almond meal. For the almond milk, another non-dairy milk (such as rice milk). Here is our recipe for gluten-free Chocolate Cake. Hope that helps!

  30. Kathy says

    I brought these to a party and they turned out delicious- moist and very chocolatey. One guest ate three.

  31. Dottie says

    Can I possibly give this recipe 10 stars?!! No? Well it certainly deserves a 10 star rating! In short, these are AMAZING! I have very selective, very suspicious teenagers in my house, especially if they see me scouring the internet for recipes and then baking right afterwards (this site is always in my top 5 for recipes). If I am being honest, I am quite a lazy baker so I used organic canned beets which I rinsed and threw in my vitamix to make a sinfully smooth puree. I did not have oat flour on hand so I took just plain oats and threw them into my spice grinder to make my own oat flour, easy-peezy. And because I am a lazy baker I threw all this loveliness into a sprayed bundt pan instead of cupcakes. And….It. Was. FABULOUS! I did not even make the frosting b/c it was so lightly sweet and moist I didn’t feel like it even needed it, and now one at my house was the wiser! This is definitely a keeper! Thank you Minimalist Baker!!

  32. Mandy says

    Hi there. Do you have any suggestions for baking these at high altitude? I live at 8,000 feet and they all just sank in the middle. :( Thank you!

    • Olivia says

      Mine all sank too but we are not at high altitude.
      I found it perfect to fit more frosting in though :) which was perfect since I am a frosting addict and this frosting is amazing!!! :)

  33. Jeri says

    Made these tonight and finished 2 cupcakes straight off! For vegan and GF, they were moist, light, chocolatey and just what I needed!
    I used applesauce instead of beet puree (easier) and half/half of GF flour blend and almond flour to sub the oat flour. Added two more tablespoons of almond milk as it didn’t look wet enough, and got 12 large cupcakes from the mixture. Also made a lactose-free cream cheese frosting with just cream cheese and icing sugar, a nice balance for the sweetness of the cupcake. Super happy with how they turned out, and the rest have been frozen so I don’t eat them all at once!
    Thanks for the recipe, Dana .. looking forward to trying many more!

  34. Juliana says

    So I love this recipe, it makes the best cupcakes! However I would really really love to use this as a cake recipe! I have tried many many times making this recipe as a cake (i lost count) but does this recipe only work for cupcakes and not a cake? Sometimes it turns out okay but a lot of the time it “collapses” a little in the centre after taking it out. Do you think this recipe has too much moisture for a cake (i use applesauce not beets), am I not cooking it long enough (6″ pans x2 , 180c, 45 minutes), does it need more levening? As I mentioned I really would love to use this recipe in particular. But I dont want any more sunken cakes! advice much appreciated! thanks

  35. Natalie says

    I’m wondering if there is a reason mine did not rise as much.l as yours did and what I need to add for next time. I still have. A lot of batter left so maybe I can add a little more but I know baking is more precise than that so just want to know for next time. Thank you!

  36. Amber says

    Hi Dana, I’m going to try making these for my 6 year old kindergarten class. I’m assuming but just want to be sure, there is no trace of beet flavoring whatsoever in the cupcakes, the beets really just add the moisture? Thanks!

  37. Laura says

    Wow! I admit, I was skeptical but these were amazing! I made these to take to the millions of birthday parties my kids have been invited to so they could have a fun treat to eat while their friends enjoy the regular cake. I tried one last night and they were delicious! If you did not know they were gluten-free and vegan, you would have no idea. My only question is – can I freeze the frosting? Thanks for a great recipe!

  38. Tamra Marie Falk says

    Hi, I made these for my nephew’s wedding reception. There are many guests who are gluten-free and I wanted them vegan for myself. They were a huge hit. Though they clearly looked home-made everyone loved them over the regular pretty cupcakes. The homemade quality was on me, not the recipe.

    I used my go-to frosting recipe from the ultimate vegan chocolate cake. I was so pleased that many people at the reception had options. One woman came up to me and said that she doesn’t eat gluten and her daughter, a baby, doesn’t eat dairy. She was excited to enjoy a dessert and not risk an adverse reaction. My niece who made the “regular” cupcakes said many people told her how delicious the vegan gf cupcakes were and she had to say, through gritted teeth, that she did not make them! Thanks for your good work.

  39. Bernadette says

    Overall pretty good but the frosting was runny. I used Earth Balance and 2 c sugar. I had a little left over frosting and froze it and it never froze solid. The cakes had a slight bitter aftertaste.

  40. Lilly says

    excellent moist vegan gluten free cupcakes and I had used apple souse instead beets and for frosting I didn’t use milk. what I did, just melted chocolate and when got cooled mixed it with vegan butter. I had used Melt butter, it’s not salty

    thank you Dana for another excellent recipe :)

  41. Lynda says

    I made these cupcakes and infused them with a healthy version I found of Bavarian cream for our anniversary. They were delicious. We are already going to make them again and we found a Wilton tip 230 to infuse the Bavarian in the cupcake beautifully.

    Thanks so much Dana,


  42. Astrea says

    Fun Saturday night activity: making these cupcakes! I love the beet purée the most. Do you have any suggestions for other uses of the beet purée? I ended up with 2 extra cups leftover bc the beets were gigantic. I guess I could throw it on my salads?
    I had just enough of all ingredients to double and a half the recipe, making about 34 cupcakes total. I used coconut sugar, a maple agave sweetener, vegan butter, and definitely used a fresh squeezed orange in the beet purée. Woo! Delicious although I’m still waiting for the final batch to cool from the oven. I’ll be frosting them tomorrow a.m. for the birthday boy. Thank you Dana!

  43. Lidia says

    just pulled the cakes out of the oven!!
    I wanted to share that I followed the recipe to a tee, and put it in a 9 inch cake tin. Turned out brilliantly. I made 2, but instead of doubling the batter I just made 2 separate batters in two separate bowls.
    I LOVE the deep red batter mixture, was almost hoping it would stay that color, but it looks like a wonderful chocolatey cake (not so bad!).
    These are for a birthday cake, so I think I’ll wait until the day of the party to make the frosting.
    Thanks again DANA!!

  44. Lidia says

    Hi! These are currently in the oven and am swooning over the super chocolatey smells!
    I have a question regarding the frosting:
    I don’t have powdered sugar, do you think I could use Coconut sugar in the frosting or will it be too granulated? Or maybe maple syrup? But worried it’ll be too runny. Any advice?
    THANK YOU!!!! And honestly, thank you for all these amazing recipes, I am obsessed. I have a vegan hubby and me and babes are gluten free, so win-win for us all!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm I would highly recommend using powdered sugar as coconut sugar would be too granulated, and maple syrup wouldn’t work. Sorry!

      • Lidia says

        Actually I ended up using maple syrup and then adding organic corn starch to dry out the frosting. It worked and all our non vegan/gf friends GOBBLED up the cake! I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of it, it was devoured!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes that will work! Check the comments above as others have had success with this.

  45. Brittany says

    I just made these yesterday, I subbed applesauce for the beets (because I had it on hand) and they were a HIT. Like SO moist and delicious and the icing was ridiculous. I love when people second look the “vegan” foods ?

  46. Sally says

    Hi! I have your cookbook and I’m looking to make your vanilla cupcakes for work. This recipe is relatively similar. I’m vegan, someone else is GF, AND another person is nut-free…any recommendations on substituting almond meal?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sally! I would recommend using a mix of oat flour, rolled oats and gluten free flour blend to compensate for the almond meal!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would recommend freezing the cupcakes without the frosting! They should keep for up to 2 or 3 weeks.

  47. Christi says

    I am allergic to flax; is there another vegan egg equivalent you recommend? I would really love to try these cupcakes!

  48. Kelly Kulhanek says

    Ok. I just served these for New Years. Fist time baking gf and I was very skeptical because the batter seemed pretty grainy going into the oven. But OH MY GOD these came out amazing. I made flax and almond meal, and oat flour by grinding in a coffee grinder. I added 1/4 cup peanut butter to the frosting. They were so moist and perfectly smooth even though they seemed a little rough going into baking. Thank you Dana, hit of the party!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rachyl! Try upping the amount of liquid sweetener (maple syrup or agave) and compensating the added liquid with a little extra cocoa powder and mix of the gluten free flours! Hope that helps!!

  49. Maraika says

    Hi. Made the cupcakes exactly (I think) according to the recipe. I seem to have a problem knowing if it is baking POWDER or baking SODA (which in Australia is also called Bi-carb Soda) . I had a failure the first time as I used Soda as in Recipe but this time I used Powder and again cupcakes did not rise. I used Beetroot puree but last time used Butternut Squash. Please help me be successful a 3rd try :(

  50. Liz M. says

    I tried this recipe for the first time and I doubled it. It didn’t work! They didn’t cook in the middle and they sank. The texture was all wrong. Do you think I should not have doubled the beet purée?

    • Maraika says

      Liz, if I was making a double recipe I usually make up exact same recipe but in 2 separate bowls. As if I am doing 2 batches rather than a double batch. Not sure why this works better but it could be that some ingredients should not be doubled????

  51. Urana says

    Hands down our favorite recipe, ever! We’ve been celebrating birthdays and holidays with these delightful cupcakes for a year now. Thanks so much!

  52. Maraika says

    Just a FYI for the Australians trying this recipe – The Baking Soda referred to in the ingredient list is known as Baking POWDER not Baking SODA (also known as Bicarbonate of Soda). Bicarb does not fizz in the milk mix. Good tip from Minimalist Baker to mention that it should fizz. And 1 1/2 tea of Bicarb is a lot !! So after my 3rd try changed it to the Baking Powder and it does Fizz ! But the cupcakes did not rise using just Baking Powder. I guess I did something else wrong :(:(

  53. Abigail Stewart says

    I made a practice batch of these a few days ago. My daughter’s birthday party is this weekend and I have a vegan+gf family coming and wanted to have cupcakes for them. I am not vegan but I am gluten and dairy free so it just about amounts to the same for baking. Here is my experience.

    1) I used whole-ground flax seed. It didn’t seem to bond all that well, although it didn’t seem to make much difference in the final product. I may try a flaxseed that is not ‘whole’ ground.

    2) This is the first time I’ve used Earth Balance and it seemed to work nicely. I don’t always love coconut oil for baking since it seems to work great for some things and not so much for others.

    3) My mixture did not fiz when I added the baking soda to the milk and vinegar. Don’t know if that’s a problem or not.

    4) I used applesauce because I didn’t want to go through the trouble with the beets.

    5) I appreciated that grams were shown because I like using my scale for baking. However, the grams and the C measurements did not sync up for several of the ingredients, especially the cocoa powder. 60 grams of sifted cocoa powder was nearly 1 C, not 1/2. I went with the grams as much as I could to stay consistent.

    6) I absolutely love your flour blend and I was surprised you recommended the Bob’s Red Mill but I went ahead and used that, it seemed to work great.

    7) For the frosting: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and am definitely going to try a bittersweet chocolate next time. The texture was great but the it was way too sweet and just tasted like chocolate chips.

    8) Overall I thought the final product was quite good. The texture was moist and fluffy. Yes, I could tell they were not just regular cupcakes but they were enjoyable in and of themselves. I also found them more satisfying that regular. I could eat just one and be happy with that. I was very impressed they were g/d/e-free.

    9) The cupcakes tasted even better on day 2. I kept the frosting separate and when it warmed up to room temperature the next day it tasted a lot better.

    10) I took the cupcakes to a bible study to get opinions from non-food-allergy people and they all really liked them. Win!

    Final verdict: will definitely be making these again with just a couple of tweaks; mainly using a darker chocolate for the frosting.

    I would probably suggest double checking the grams vs. C measurements.

  54. Kay says

    I made these cupcakes for my friend’s birthday and they were UNREAL! I made an accidental mistake though and did 3/4 c oat flour AND 3/4 c of 1:1, so after panicking, I mashed in half a banana and a bit more coconut milk (that was another substitution) and they were INSANE!!!! SO GOOD. For the frosting I used vegan becel and everyone at the party went wild for these cupcakes. Will be making again and again.

  55. Cheryl says

    Amazing! I subbed more all purpose flour for the almond meal and they were still so moist, maybe a little more dense but still delicious. For the frosting I used coconut oil instead of vegan butter and it was perfect. Will be making these again!

  56. Sarah says

    Followed the recipe to the letter (weights, not volumes) using the maple syrup and coconut oil options and I have to say that these were not my favorite.

    Putting it together wasn’t too awful. It was a little more work than a quick one-bowl non-vegan, non-gluten-free cake, but a whole lot less than a standard white or sponge cake.

    The taste was more or less fine. These are indeed not too sweet, which is good for something that’s getting frosted. Honestly, they didn’t taste like too much of anything beyond cocoa.

    The texture, however, was not terribly good. For me, vegan gluten-free cakes tend to fall into one of two categories: super dry or super wet. These were of the super wet variety. The texture got a lot better over the day that I let them sit out (which is pretty typical of vegan, gluten-free cakes), but the insides were still sticky, kind of like a dense, wet brioche. I tried cooking some longer (like WAY longer), but that just dried out the outsides: the insides stayed wet and weird.

    Still, this recipe wasn’t any worse than the typical vegan, gluten-free cake. The cupcake thing is the problem: when a cake comes out weird, I can usually fix it by splitting the layers thin enough and adding some ganache or vegan mousse between the layers. Cupcakes are kind of unforgiving, though, because you can’t futz around with the cake/filling ratio too much: you can core and fill them (which I ended up doing), but you can’t take out too much or those suckers aren’t going to be leaving the wrappers no way no how.

    Overall, I won’t make these again, but they weren’t the worst vegan, gluten-free cupcakes I’ve ever made: they’re just not what I’m looking for.

  57. Kim says

    Hi. Is there a way of getting around or substituting the oat flour? I know you can get gluten free certified oats but there is a protein in them that is so close to that in gluten that coeliacs like myself will still get the same reaction as eating gluten.

  58. Karin says

    What is best to replace GF ?
    I am living on a small island and not easy to get ingredients…
    I use a lot Chickpea Flour ? Or Almond Flour ?

  59. Emily says

    I made this as a sheet cake — I doubled the recipe and made an 11×7 cake and had extra batter for 6 cupcakes with plenty of frosting for both. The cake was seriously fudgy and delicious — whoa whoa whoa. I would recommend sifting the flours as well as the cocoa as my Bob’s Mills gf flour seemed to leave little bits that didn’t quite blend in. Also, I was a little short on beet puree and used some canned organic pumpkin I had on hand with no issues. I left the frosting in the fridge too long and it got too hard, and it never quite got the right consistency after that but it did taste wonderful! Thank you for a great recipe!

    • AJ says

      I’m curious if you used Bobs GF 1:1 in blue bag or GF All Purpose in red bag? I have the All Purpose on hand & would like to make these!! Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kayla! You can use all-purpose flour if you prefer! Check the comments for tips.

  60. Frances says

    I made these a few years ago for my girlfriend’s birthday. We had just started dating, and she’s allergic to dairy, eggs, soy and wheat…but also has the biggest sweet tooth ever (she went to baking school before she realized why she was sick all the time and had to drop out!). ANYWAYS. Pretty sure these cupcakes sealed the deal on our relationship. ;)

    I asked her what she wanted for her birthday this year, and she said, “those cupcakes you made for me with the beets”. So here I am, in the kitchen, reminiscing and licking every spoon. Thank you for making all our dietary restrictive dreams come true!

  61. Amy says

    Hi, These look perfect for my daughter’s birthday. Is the beet flavor strong? She is not a fan of beets.

  62. Robbi Sanders says

    I have to say that I was hesitant about making these, but so many of our family members now have modified what they eat, so I had to try them. There was only one person out of the seven people that tried them that did not care for them…my husband. But all the others, including myself, absolutely loved them. I have to tell you there was some these are so good dancing going on! So, thank you for a great, healthy alternative to chocolate cupcakes.
    Can they be frozen? I have some extra beet puree….

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Robbi! So glad to hear they were a hit! You can freeze them for up to 2 or 3 weeks (I’d recommend freezing without frosting!)

  63. Cindee Levow says

    I made these yesterday for a party. These are hands down THE BEST CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES I have ever eaten. Despite the fact that they are gluten free AND vegan! Thank you!

  64. Cheryl says

    These look so good!
    I am new to gluten-free and vegan baking. Just curious why there is such a difference in baking time in comparison to regular cupcakes? I typically bake regular cupcakes for 18 minutes at 350°.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Cornstarch or arrowroot starch will work! Add a little, mix and then add more as needed!

  65. Heather says

    What size cupcake wrappers should I buy to make 11 again? I forget. I’m making a slew of them for my daughter’s birthday party because she still raves about them from the few I made her last year!

  66. Sheila says

    I made these cupcakes…..very delicious and moist! I am going to try making with apple sauce or canned pumpkin as the beets were a little time consuming ? The frosting was very good but mine was more of a thick glaze and I did use two cups of icing sugar? Maybe less liquid next time? Anyway thanks for the great recipe!

  67. Jessica says

    I used mashed banana instead of beets and they turned out AMAZING! I took them out with just a bit of residue on the tooth pick to allow them to carry over cook in the hot tins, a method I would recommend to prevent the dreaded dry cupcake:) Topped them with peanut butter buttercream and my family gobbled them down!

  68. Katharina says

    Very delicious! I didn’t have cupcake forms ,so decided to use the same batter but make brownies instead. Worked out perfectly! I replaced the sugar with dates and added some cranberries and desicated coconut.
    Super yum!

  69. Sandy says

    I made these at my daughter’s birthday party for a friend who was gluten free. Let me tell ya…. these were the moistest cupcakes I have ever tasted! EVEEEER!!!! I always use this recipe when I’m in the mood for chocolate cupcakes now :-)

  70. Allie.M says

    Hi Dana,

    So I tried this recipe twice last night. :( Neither worked. I live in Australia and even ordered the 1:1 flour you recommended and the oat flour, from the States! Both batches were dense, and flopped when I took them out the oven. Looked all fluffy, but then sunk. The first batch I mixed with the hand mixer the whole time, and thought that was the problem. So the second time I mixed in the dry ingredients by hand. But same problem.

    Any tips or suggestions as to where I went wrong?


  71. Ev scannell says

    Wow!!! Am I dreaming or am I in chocolate heaven? I feel sorry for those who can eat gluten and would never run across this recipe. Thank you for developing this wonderful recipe. I think I love you. Ev

  72. Anni says

    Dear Dana,
    First I have to tell you that this recipe (and many others) look simply amazing!!! I also made many of your recipes and they were always such a hit. :)
    My only – quite big – problem here is that I haven’t found any vegan butter options in Hungary so far. :( How should I make the frosting then?!
    I am baking the cupcakes now and I am quite worried what kind of frosting will I put on my poor cupcakes top…
    Please help me!
    Many thanks!

  73. Susan Holbrook says

    Hi I like your style:) I’m not vegan so do u think regular eggs are ok? If not, I can work with the flax eggs:)

  74. Nancy says

    I just made these and they’re cooling. I have a suggestion. When a recipe is pretty long, so that when you print it out the ingredients & quantities are on one page and the directions are on another, it would be really helpful to gave the quantity of the ingredient repeated in the directions. I found myself flipping from one page to the other constantly while making these – something I don’t usually encounter when using a recipe. Thanks, they smell delicious as they’re cooling – and I struggle finding a single recipe for a family of vegetarians, vegans and a GF! Especially a dessert – awesome!

  75. Maria says

    I have blanched almond flour, but not almond meal (which is more coarse). Can I use the almond flour or anything else instead? I was trying to avoid having to go to the grocery to buy yet another flour or meal. Excited to try this recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! I am not totally sure as I have not tried it! If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

  76. Lily Szeto says

    It’s a homerun! Recently found out my toddler is lactose-intolerant and I’ve tasted enough mediocre vegan cupcakes that I was eager to give this a go. You did it again Dana! Chocolatey, flavourful, extremely moist and not as sweet as conventional cupcakes. I just made these as per your instructions and my husband and I can’t get enough. So grateful that those with food allergies can enjoy good food!

  77. Maude says

    Hi Dana,
    Could I make those without the chocolate ie. to make them vanilla cupcakes? What should I put instead? I want to make those for my daughter’s first birthday but she cannot have chocolate or any caffeine as she has a rare heart condition… thanks!!

  78. Ashley says

    We made these tonight for a birthday dinner and they were awesome! So delicious and decadent. The only thing I would do differently is take them out earlier. I kept waiting for the toothpick to come out “clean” but it never happened, so I feel like they got a little bit dryer than they should have. But awesome recipe. We had them with the frosting plus a peanut butler drizzle from this recipe…and a selection of homemade dairy ice cream and coconut bliss salted caramel vegan ice cream. With PB drizzle on that too. UNREAL.