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Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Fluffy & Moist Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes are topped with vanilla buttercream. This is such an easy recipe, even if you’re not used to baking gluten-free.

a chocolate cupcake in a navy polka dot liner with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

Easy Gluten Free Cupcakes

I’ve taken my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and turned it gluten-free. These are moist & fluffy with a subtle yet decadent chocolate flavor. I absolutely love how easy this recipe is, and it comes together in just a few simple steps.

I topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream, but you could easily pair these with any frosting of your choosing. If you want chocolate frosting, I suggest this chocolate cream cheese one, or these would also be great with peanut butter or Oreo frosting too.

Baking gluten-free can be intimidating if you’re not used to it. However, I find it’s easier to do these days thanks to a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour. This allows you to still enjoy a dessert without worrying about purchasing a bunch of different flour alternatives.

If you are looking for a gluten-free vanilla cupcake, I’ve got you covered there too.

a cupcake laying on a wrapper with a bite taken out of it

Ingredients & Substitutions

For the Cupcakes

  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil– gives these cupcakes a tender crumb
  • Eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sour Cream- keeps these cupcakes super moist. Greek or plain yogurt is the best substitute.
  • Measure for Measure Gluten-free Flour– lots of notes about this below
  • Cocoa powder- I love Hershey’s special dark but any cocoa powder will work
  • Baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Brewed hot Coffee– don’t worry, these cupcakes don’t taste like coffee, but this brings out the chocolate flavor. Milk is the best substitute.

For the frosting

  • Unsalted butter- this recipe calls for cold butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream- milk is the best alternative
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
overhead of glass mixing bowl with vanilla buttercream

How to Measure Gluten Free Flour

For the best results, I always recommend using a kitchen scale when baking. Over or under measuring the flour can affect the end results of the cupcake. When it comes to working with gluten-free flour, not all flours are equal weights by the cup. By that, I mean that 1 cup of King Arthur flour is not equal to 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill, so it’s important you check the packaging to see how they indicate the measurements by weight. Otherwise use the spoon and level method to measure the flour.

Choosing the Right Flour

You’ll want to be sure that you’re choosing a measure for measuring gluten-free flour that includes xanthan gum. This means that 1 cup of all-purpose flour is easily replaced with 1 cup of gluten-free flour. My preferred brands are either King Arthur Flour (my favorite one!) or Bob’s Red Mill.

Not all gluten-free flours include xanthan gum, but it’s important that you choose one that does. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase an extra ingredient and figure out how much to use.

a black measuring cup with flour

5 Simple Steps to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat the oven & prepare the pan

Combine wet ingredients: Beat together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Then add the sour cream and mix until combined.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and coffee: In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and sift together. Alternating adding add half the dry ingredients with half of the coffee and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate. Repeat until all ingredients are added.

Fill the pan: For evenly baked cupcakes, using a large cookie scoop, filling each liner 2/3 full.

Bake and Frost.

For more tips on making my favorite buttercream, I recommend this tutorial.

overhead of cupcake pan with baked chocolate cupcakes

Can I Make This Into a Cake?

Yes! That is the best part about this recipe. You can make a 9×13-inch cake by adjusting the baking time to approximately 25-28 minutes. This could also be used to make a layer cake.

How to Store Frosted Cupcakes

Frosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If you live in a hot or humid environment, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. For best results, serve at room temperature.

3 stacked chocolate cupcakes, the top one is unwrapped with a bite removed

5 More Ways to Use this Reicpe

Swap out regular chocolate cupcakes for these gluten-free ones in these recipes for more variations

A pink cake stand with chocolate frosted cupcakes in navy blue polka dot wrappers
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a close up of a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


You’ll love these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting. They’re so moist and fluffy!


For the cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (118 ml) sour cream
  • 2 cups (328g) measure for measure all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) natural cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cup (296 ml) brewed coffee

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cup (339 g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 6 cups (780g) powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ (12 ml) tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color. Next mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Alternating adding half the dry ingredients with half the coffee, mixing until combined. Repeat until all ingredients are added. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the batter from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 14-16 minutes. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter is very fluffy.
  2. Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar.
  3. Finally, increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. Pipe these cupcakes with a large piping tip and top with sprinkles.


  • Sour Cream- substitue with Greek or plain yogurt is the best substitute.
  • Cocoa powder- I love Hershey’s special dark but any cocoa powder will work
  • Brewed hot Coffee– don’t worry, these cupcakes don’t taste like coffee, but this brings out the chocolate
  • Measure for Measure Gluten-free Flour: Be sure this includes xantham gum in the flour. I recommend King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill. If you are making these uses a kitchen scale, double-check the packaging for the specific weight measurements for flour. For instance, KAF is 41g for 4 tbsp or 1/4 cup vs Bob’s which is 37g for 1/4 cup.
  • If you are baking for someone with had a gluten allergy, please check all your ingredients to ensure they’re gluten-free.


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 374
  • Sugar: 42g
  • Sodium: 140mg
  • Fat: 17.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 55g
  • Fiber: .9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 56mg

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2 thoughts on “Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. These cupcakes are so so good! I used Bob’s Red Mill brand flour and made sure to measure out all ingredients with my kitchen scale. They were not dry and crumbly like most gluten free ones from the store.

    I made them for my son’s birthday so his Grandpa with celiacs could have some cake too. After a few bites Grandpa had tears in his eyes from being included and from eating a cupcake that tasted not only “normal” but delicious! Thank you for being apart of this special memory!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      This is such an awesome story Abby, thank you so much for sharing my recipe with your family. I am so glad his Grandpa was able to partake.