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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