gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes

You can never have too many cupcake recipes. A good, basic vanilla cupcake recipe and a chocolatey, chocolate one are both a must. I’m sharing my most favorite chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream recipe today. It’s also my third and final recipe entered into the Go Dairy Free and So Delicious recipe contest. I’m hoping this will be the winner! I mean, who doesn’t like a moist, delicious cupcake? And it’s a CHOCOLATE cupcake too!

This is the best gluten, dairy, egg free chocolate cupcake recipe around. Stop searching. This is it. I’ve made this chocolate cake batter more times than I can count. You would think my family would be sick of it by now (no way). It’s beyond decadent, has a tender crumb and the buttercream….oh the chocolate buttercream. Light, fluffy and good enough to eat by the spoonful. For your next birthday, celebration or when you just want to bite into an crazy-good cupcake, these will surely do!

gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes

makes 14 cupcakes

chocolate cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups Sarah’s gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup So Delicious Dairy Free unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed oil (or mild flavor oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

chocolate dairy free buttercream

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons organic non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 2 3/4 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons So Delicious Dairy Free coconut milk coffee creamer
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners. Sift together flour blend, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, stir together coconut milk, water and vinegar. Allow to sit for 1 minute to curdle. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.  Slowly whisk in the flour mixture. Beat for 1 minute. The batter will become smooth and start to thicken. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Place cupcakes on cooling rack and cool completely.

To make buttercream, beat together the Earth Balance with shortening for 1 minute in large bowl of standing mixer. Add sifted powdered sugar, cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons coffee creamer and vanilla.  Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add another tablespoon or 2 of the coffee creamer as needed. Continue to beat buttercream until light and fluffy. Place in piping bag with large star tip and frost cooled cupcakes. Best enjoyed within 1-2 days (if they last that long).

Be sure to check out all of the recipe entered into the contest over at the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipes board on pinterest!


  1. Rebekah says

    My little brother is having a birthday party at the beach (we live in hawaii and it's super hot) so I was wondering if the frosting melts in the sun? I want to try to make the cupcakes for him. They look super bomb.

  2. says

    Keep them in the fridge until ready to take them to the beach. Then keep them in the shade. The frosting will get soft so keep them as cool as possible! You can also keep them in a cooler until the party starts.

  3. Anonymous says

    could you make this with out the white vinegar? if not, is there a substitute? also I was wondering if you could substitute the coconut milk with regular milk and substitute cane sugar for granulated/caster sugar

  4. Anonymous says

    Could I make this with a different gluten free flour blend? I have a bag of Bob's Red Mill GF flour on hand already.

  5. says

    Sarah, this is an amazing recipe! I will be making these often. I will also make a cake mix out of this recipe so I can make them in a few minutes. My boys who are gluten and egg intolerant second guessed me when I said they could have these cupcakes, and my brother-in-law who scoffs at gluten free baking ate them and didn't know he was eating "healthy" food:) Thanks a million!!!!

  6. Anonymous says

    These muffins are awesome ! I did make a few substitutions, for my husband who has Crohn's, Celiac Disease, and can only have small amounts of sugar, (also no dairy, but this recipe has none, yay!) It's always a challenge making some recipes work. I used Rice milk, in place of the coconut milk, and olive oil in place of the coconut oil, (too much coconut upsets his digestive system), and used erythritol and xylitol for a sugar substitute. Didn't make the frosting, but these cupcakes are so moist, you really don't need any. I'll be making these often, it's a keeper ! Thanks, and looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Debbie W.

  7. says

    Thanks for this recipe. I just made it and they taste great. But…this frosting was so soupy I added about another cup of powdered sugar trying to get it fluffy and stiff to no avail. I didn't add the cocoa powder so I expected to have to add some more sugar to make up for that but I think I could have added another 2 cups and still not gotten anywhere. I ever chilled it in the fridge and it's still like soup. I've run into similar problems whenever I bake anything vegan: If I make brownies from scratch, or a veganized version of boxed brownies, they turn into a bubbling oily mass of goop. I've tried various egg substitutes (flax, vegg, applesauce) and tried adding 1/2 tsp baking soda to boxed mixes, but they all come out the same. I'm so frustrated because this is probably my 6th failed recipe and clearly it's not the recipe's fault. I'm hoping you might have some suggestions. Thanks for any help!


    • says

      Cat, I'm so sorry you were having difficulties with the frosting! I would try to just add 2 tablespoons of the creamer or milk, and go from there. Sometimes when I buy the Spectrum Organic shortening, it's a bit oily. Let me know if adding a bit less milk helps!

  8. Allison Yamamoto-Sparks says

    This recipe is AMAZING! I've made it twice now and shared it with about 7-8 other people aside from our family who often eats gluten free/vegan baked goods due to our son's allergies, and EVERYBODY loves them! Everyone says that they can't believe they are dairy & egg free, and that it's not regular wheat flour in them. This is my new go-to recipe and most likely I'm going to use it for my son's 3rd Birthday cupcakes! (Sarah's Gluten Free/Vegan Carrot Zucchini cake was his 2nd Birthday cake!)
    Thank you so, SO much for sharing your recipes! I honestly would be lost without them! :)

  9. Mariah says

    How well do these keep Sarah? I'd like to make these on Saturday for Sunday but don't want the texture to be compromised

  10. Nikole says

    Thank you so much for developing this delicious recipe. I have a son with autism, and he is on a very strict elimination diet right now. I was so worried about his brother's birthday, because I didn't know what kind of treat to make for them that would fit in with his diet and still taste delicious. I made these cupcakes exactly according to directions and they were SO DELICIOUS. Our whole family enjoyed them, and also said that if they hadn't known they were allergen free, they wouldn't have even noticed a difference! So thanks for helping make my son's birthday fun and delicious.

  11. says

    This cupcake recipe is delicious. I made them for my daughter's baby shower (she is dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and egg free). I also made "regular" cupcakes. Upon comparison of the two, these were the best! I've used the recipe a number of times now and they always turn out wonderful.
    My daughter is the one who directed me to your website and I am sooo glad. I use your recipes when I make dessert for her and I've never been disappointed.
    Thank you

  12. Sara D. says

    We made these chocolate cupcakes for my sons birthday last weekend and they were the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever had! Everyone loved them allergy free and all!!

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