something for everyone [recipe: gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes]

I'll share these vanilla cupcakes with blueberry frosting as soon as I'm sure they're good. 🙂

It’s not surprising that my kids aren’t the only ones in their preschool who have food sensitivities. We’ve been asked not to send peanut butter any more. There are kids who are allergic to eggs and dairy, and another whose family is vegan. So when my dudes’ birthday came a couple of weeks ago, I was determined to bring in a treat that all the kids could enjoy. I suppose I could have cut watermelon into cutesy shapes, but really? sometimes you just want some junk food. Cupcakes, say. With my Babycakes book in one hand and the internet in the other, I dove in.

I didn’t think that first round of cupcakes were that great–the cake itself was just passable, and the frosting was weird. Plus, they weren’t particularly pretty. But the kids liked them and the teachers were impressed. They passed my name on to the family of one of the other food allergy kids, someone whose birthday is this week. And that mom asked me to make the cupcakes for her kid’s birthday. You know, for pay, like I fantasize about doing when the politics of public education are dragging me down. Whee! My latest round of gluten-free, vegan cupcakes was much better. I didn’t make enough vanilla to try a whole one myself, but I’ll try again soon. On principle I don’t want to bake without butter if I don’t have a reason to, but if I can figure out how to make a really satisfactory vegan GF cupcake then a few more experiments will be well worth the time.

Here’s the chocolate cupcake recipe:

  • 1 2/3 cups gluten free flour blend (my current round of all-purpose blend has more soy than is probably ideal; next time I’ll use more millet)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup gluten free cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (any mild flavor is fine)
  • 1 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (or grease and flour and grumble about the non-existence of a GF baking spray).
  2. Wisk together dry ingredients, being sure to get rid of any lumps of cocoa powder.  Stir in wet ingredients and beat until smooth.  Batter will be fairly thin.
  3.  Fill baking cups about 3/4 of the way.  You may have enough for a couple of extra cupcakes.  Bake 26-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then on rack/plate. 
  5. Frost cupcakes after they have cooled completely.


  1. Using wisk attachments to a mixer, beat together 1/2 C vegetable shortening (butter would be better) and 1/4 C cocoa powder until shortening is fluffy and no lumps remain in cocoa powder
  2. Beat in 2 C powdered sugar, again until no lumps remain; the mixture will be stiff
  3. Thin to desired consistency with soy milk–I needed about 1 T.

About Lissa

I love bread, cake, cookies, pasta and all other forms of wheat. One of my twin boys has celiac disease. We'll make it work. As of spring 2011, I'm the mother of one 1-year-old and two 2-year-olds. I'm a full-time math teacher and full-time parent, a liberal feminist with a traditional streak, an above-average cook but not a foodie, a native midwesterner and happy Seattleite. I'd love to feed my family local, organic food, but I'd also like to pay the mortgage.
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1 Response to something for everyone [recipe: gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes]

  1. j says:

    I saw a substitution chart swapping olive oil for butter. What about coconut oil for butter?

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