These gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes are the perfect easy dessert to make for your next party! The cupcakes are so tender, and the berry frosting is the perfect finishing touch. These allergy friendly treats are great for a bridal shower, graduation party, or birthday celebration.
We are in the middle of berry season, so I thought it would be nice to share a recipe with a pretty frosting dyed with blueberries.
Any season is a good season for cupcakes, but these are extra summery with the addition of the pastel frosting. If your child has food allergies, you may want to make a batch of cupcakes and freeze them individually. Many food allergy parents do this so that they always have a safe treat available to send to school with their child.
These chocolate cupcakes are a standby in our house, but this time, instead of vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, I made a simple frosting and used blueberry juice instead of dairy free milk to get this purple/pink shade. I think these are both delicious and festive – perfect for a bridal shower or baby shower!
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I made these with Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, and I was very happy with how they turned out. These gluten free cupcakes are tender, moist, and not gummy. You can experiment with your favorite flour blend, or try my recipe for homemade gluten free flour.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – We like Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread, but any of their spreads or baking sticks will work well in this recipe.
- Powdered Sugar – Wholesome Sweeteners makes corn free powdered sugar, which is what we use. You can use any brand that works for your dietary needs.
- Berries – You can use any type of berry you like to tint frosting. Simply puree the berries, and then strain them through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp or seeds. Use strawberries for a pale pink, raspberries for a deeper shade of pink, and blackberries for a darker purple.
Tips for Success
- Although it takes a few extra minutes to strain the berry juice, you don’t want to skip this step, as it makes the frosting nice and smooth.
- Be sure to use parchment paper wrappers for gluten free cupcakes. They never stick! Sometimes regular paper wrappers will still stick to the cupcakes, but I don’t have that issue with parchment.
- Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before trying to frost them.
I don’t recommend a grain free flour like coconut flour, almond meal, or cassava flour for baking vegan cupcakes or muffins. In general, grain free flours work best with eggs, because they help bind the flour, and also increase the amount that the baked goods will rise. Without eggs, using grain free flour results in flat, dense, heavy baked goods.
No, that won’t work for this recipe. You need to make the batter right before you want to bake the cupcakes.
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Watch the video below to see how gluten free cupcake batter should look and feel:
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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Berry Frosting.
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend Namaste Perfect Flour Blend works well for cupcakes.
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup organic coconut oil (measure when solid) You can also use melted vegan buttery spread, or another neutral tasting oil.
- ⅔ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
For the frosting:
- ½ cup vegan buttery spread
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 Tablespoons blueberry juice Use about ¾ cup of blueberries to get this amount of juice
- 24 blueberries for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with parchment paper liners.
- Measure ⅓ cup of coconut oil and put it in a large mixing bowl. Microwave for about 15-20 seconds until it is melted.
- Add the sugar and unsweetened applesauce to the oil and mix on low speed. Add the vanilla extract, water, and vinegar, and mix until smooth and combined.
- Add the gluten free flour blend, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix on medium speed until smooth. You can also stir by hand if you prefer. A mixer is not required.
- If the batter seems too thick, add more water. Some gluten free blends really absorb the liquid, so you will have to use your judgement to adjust the amount of liquid.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about ⅔ full.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 19-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan.
- Repeat with remaining batter (you will have enough for 2 or 3 more cupcakes).
Make the berry frosting:
- Place the ¾ cup of blueberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little water if needed. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Use a spoon to press the pureed berries against the strainer and extract the juice. You should get about 2-4 Tablespoons of juice.
- Cream the vegan buttery spread in a large bowl. Add a little bit of the sifted powdered sugar, and a little juice.
- Continue adding more powdered sugar and more juice while mixing on low speed until you get a spreadable consistency.
- Spread or pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Top with a few fresh blueberries.