Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

 One of the best things in this life just so happens to be chocolate cake, and this gluten free chocolate cake is no exception to being one of the greatest blessings in this world. Soft, tender, moist, and oh-so chocolatey with a lovely swirl of the best ever mocha buttercream to complete this home run of a cupcake. 

If one were to ask me what my favorite cake flavor is, I might have to say chocolate cake. Although, I have so many close seconds, and thirds. Chocolate cake just seems to be on a different level and so much can be done with it. So many flavor options. Chocolate + mint, chocolate + peanut butter, chocolate + raspberry, chocolate + caramel, chocolate + cherries, chocolate + hazelnut, chocolate + chocolate, oh.. chocolate + coffee, and I mean.... the list is absolutely endless, because I will try almost anything with chocolate. 

When I first had to go gluten free, over 8 years ago, I started trying countless gluten free chocolate cake recipes. Some were awful and dry, while some were just okay. However, when I tweaked several recipes to get to where this one is - I knew I had made it. 

I haven't made any adjustments to this recipe in over 3 years. So, I believe that speaks for itself. This cake is not one bit gritty or gummy. It's bouncy, tender, and moist. It's not dry, and it's certainly not tasteless. It's phenomenal.

It's so good that I was confident enough to present it to celebrity judges when I competed on Food Network's Halloween Wars Season 12 in the fall of 2022. I still sit in awe when I think of what the judges said about the cake when they tasted it. The comment that stuck out most was from Eddie Jackson, former NFL Football Player and winner of Next Food Network Star, "this is the best cake of the season." 

One of my closest friends asked me to make some cupcakes for her wedding shower / wedding reception here in North Carolina, following her wedding in Indiana, and I was stoked to be able to piece together some really fun cupcake flavors for her. Her and her husband picked this chocolate cupcake with mocha buttercream - this combo makes a complete showstopper.

Ingredients Needed for Perfect Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

- Gluten free flour: I always use a gluten free flour that does not have xanthan gum, so that I can control how much goes into each recipe. My favorite store-bought xanthan gum-free blend is this King Arthur All Purpose flour. 

- Xanthan gum

- Cocoa powder: Always use unsweetened, and I used natural cocoa powder for this - not dutch processed.

- Baking powder

- Baking soda

- Granulated sugar

- Salt

- Eggs, room temperature

- Milk, room temperature

- Vegetable oil, or canola oil

- Hot boiling water, or hot coffee

What Gluten Free Flour Blend is Best To Use?

- I always use a blend that does NOT contain xanthan gum. I prefer to control the amount of xanthan that is added, according to what I am intending to make. Each baked good requires a different amount of xanthan gum based on the desired result on texture and taste. Sometimes mixes, like Bob's Red Mill "One for One" and others that already contain xanthan gum can result in a texture that is undesirable. The amount of xanthan gum needed depends on the recipe and what type of baked good we are making. A recipe for cookies might need more xanthan gum than a recipe for a fluffy, tender cake. 

However, if you have a gluten free flour blend on hand that contains xanthan gum, you can give it a try. Just do not add any more xanthan gum in addition.

- Here are a few xanthan gum free blends: King Arthur All Purpose, this blend from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, and a slew of other blend recipes that are out in the internet world.

How to Make Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), combine the flour, xanthan gum, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, sugar, and salt.

3. Add the eggs, milk, and oil and mix to combine. 

4. While mixing, slowly stream in hot water or coffee. Mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl. The batter will be very thin.

5. Scoop batter into the cupcake liners and only fill halfway, otherwise they will overflow and then sink.

6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow to cool and frost with the icing of your choice. Enjoy!

Other Gluten Free Recipes to Try

- Gluten Free Biscotti are such a delicious treat and so easy to pull together to impress a crowd. I love putting dried blueberries, orange zest, and pistachios in mine, but biscotti is so versatile. 

- Can't decide between cake or cookies? Well, you don't have to. These Gluten Free Coffee Cake Cookies are the perfect collaboration of the two. They're soft, tender, and packed with flavor. They taste just like coffee cake, even down to the streusel topping. Come on, yuuum!

- Disguised as a snack, breakfast, or even dessert - Blueberry White Chocolate Protein Bites are the perfect (gluten free) bite that is packed with protein and nutrition, not to mention, they're ridiculously delicious and sooo easy to throw together.

- Need a simple and fast road trip snack? These Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats are THE solution and will keep yourself and the kiddos happy. It's a no-brainer. 

- Rhubarb and coffee cake were just made for each other. You'll see just why when you try out this Rhubarb Coffee Cake that's gluten free.

- Are you a cake lover like me? These Gluten Free Pistachio Cupcakes are the best treat. They have the most perfect, soft, tender texture and are packed with yummy pistachio flavor. Feel free to pair them with the buttercream of your choice, but I love a good Fresh Blueberry Buttercream.  

made the recipe?

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