Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe | Moist, Chocolatey, and Vegan

Yields: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18-22 minutes

Ingredients – Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, soy, oat all work well)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour (ensure it includes xanthan gum)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients – Frosting (Choose One):

  • Simple Vegan Chocolate Frosting: 1 cup vegan butter (softened), 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup plant-based milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Style Frosting: 1 cup vegan cream cheese (softened), 1/2 cup vegan butter (softened), 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Instructions – Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Whisk wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the plant-based milk, apple cider vinegar, oil, pumpkin puree, sugar, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Combine dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Mix batter: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined (don’t overmix).
  • Bake: Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool: Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Instructions – Frosting (Choose Your Style):

  • Simple Vegan Chocolate Frosting: Beat together butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Slowly add plant-based milk until desired creamy consistency is reached. Add more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting if needed.
  • Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Style Frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Frosting Your Cupcakes:

  • Once cupcakes are completely cool, use a knife or piping bag to frost as desired.
  • Feel free to add sprinkles or other decorations.


  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your wet ingredients are at room temperature for the best results.
  • Pumpkin Puree Substitute: If you don’t have pumpkin puree, use an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce.
  • Flour Matters: Using a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour specifically designed to replace wheat flour is important.
  • Don’t Overbake: Check your cupcakes early, and remember that a toothpick with a few moist crumbs is okay; overbaked cupcakes are dry.


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