In search for a tasty dessert that will please both the kids and adults? Look no further than this rich chocolate cupcake recipe topped with a creamy raspberry-infused buttercream frosting. This recipe gets rave reviews and will be one you make time and time again. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
These chocolate cupcakes are one of the most requested recipes I make and with good reason, everyone loves cupcakes!
So often I’m asked to bring dessert, and so often I feel stuck on what to make. Then I remember this recipe and all is good in the world again.
From bake sales, to children’s birthday parties, to a fun picnics or patio get-together, this gluten-free dessert takes the (cup)cake!
In this post, I’ll share how I make these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes so you can easily recreate this recipe at home.
I’ll also show you how to get a rich, creamy raspberry-infused buttercream frosting that elevates this dessert to new heights.
You’ll need a few basic baking ingredients to get the perfect cupcake, and of course, it all starts with the flour.
If you find me baking at home, chances are you’ll see me using my trusty Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour. It works so well that I rarely stray from it these days.
You’ll also need a good, unsweetened cacao powder or cocoa powder. I’ve been using this brand with good success.
You’ll also need baking powder, baking soda, Kosher salt, butter (or vegan butter alternative), sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk (or dairy-free milk alternative – see below for easy dairy-free swaps).
How to Make the Cupcakes
You’ll first want to sift together the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I find that cacao powder often has clumps in it, so sifting is always a good practice before baking to ensure a smooth, even batter.
In a bowl attached to your standing mixer, you’ll want to cream together your butter and sugar. Mix it until it’s light and airy before adding the eggs and vanilla.
Once your wet batter is well combined and creamy, you’ll add half of the flour mixture, mix well, then add the milk and the rest of your flour mixture. Keep mixing until the batter is smooth and there are no clumps.
You’ll then want to fill each of the cupcake cavities with about 3/4 cup of the batter. This recipe makes about 18-20 cupcakes.
Bake the cupcakes in a 350º F pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
You’ll want to fully cool the cupcakes before frosting them, otherwise the frosting will melt.
How to Make the Buttercream
While the cupcakes are cooling, go ahead and make your raspberry buttercream frosting.
Beware, this frosting is quite delicious and addictive. I found myself anxiously awaiting the opportunity to lick the bowl the entire time!
You’ll want to start with a completely softened stick of butter. I usually take the butter stick out of the fridge while I’m making my batter, and just let it sit on my countertop for a few hours before making the frosting.
You’ll then want to cream the butter in your standing mixture until it’s light and fluffy. Then you’ll add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, salt and raspberry preserves.
You can use any gluten-free jar of raspberry preserves or jam you have, or even use strawberry, apricot or whatever flavor your heart desires. I chose the raspberry preserve because it tastes incredible and looks beautiful with the fresh raspberry garnish on top.
Your buttercream should be creamy and light. If it’s runny, you’ll need to add more powdered sugar. If it’s too stiff, add just a touch more heavy cream until the consistency is just right.
Finally, use a butter knife or small spatula to generously smear the frosting on top of each cooled cupcake, and garish with a fresh raspberry on top.
How to Store Cupcakes
These cupcakes last and taste great for several days after baking. Sometimes gluten-free baked goods degrade after just a few hours, but these stand the test of time.
Store any unused cupcakes in a ziptop bag in your fridge and enjoy them for 1-3 days after making them.
You can also freeze them and take one out to defrost about an hour before you want to eat it. This is ideal if you’re making a batch to send in school lunches, or to send to school on days where there is a birthday party and you need to send along a gluten-free treat for your son or daughter to ensure they’re included in the festivities.
Making It Dairy-Free
This recipe converts into a dairy-free recipe easily with a few basic swaps.
Butter: Instead of butter, use a dairy-free butter. Earth Balance is a brand I often find myself using often, and the company makes vegan “butter” sticks. You can get the vegan “butter” sticks on Amazon or Whole Foods.
Milk: Instead of milk, use a dairy-free “milk” alternative such as almond milk or soy milk. I have been enjoying cashew milk of late and find it offers a creamy texture that works well in baked goods and mixes well in my morning coffee without separation.
Heavy Cream: Heavy cream will make your cupcake frosting thick and creamy and I definitely recommend using it. However, if you’re making this recipe dairy free, omit the heavy cream and simply use a dairy-free milk, like cashew milk. If the frosting is too runny, simply add a bit more powdered sugar to adjust accordingly.
Taste and Texture
These gluten-free cupcakes have the best texture. They are light, cakey and chocolate-y, just as a cupcake should be. They are also moist and hold together well without crumbling. Even gluten eaters won’t be able to tell they are gluten free.
The frosting is out of this world delicious. It’s not only bursting with tasty raspberry flavors, but also the frosting is perfectly sweet and oh-so-creamy.
This adaptable recipe will help make birthday parties, picnics, potlucks, and bake sales extra special.
You can, of course, add any flavor frosting you like, such as a fudge frosting, or even a store-bought frosting. Add sprinkles, nuts or any topping you desire. You can’t go wrong with this versatile recipe.
If you love using your cupcake and muffin tin, you’ll love these recipes too:
Light and Fluffy Cassava Flour Cupcakes – This cupcake recipe is made with grain-free cassava flour, which works well as a swap for wheat flour in many recipes. I know you will love these moist and tender yellow cupcakes.
Gluten-Free Banana Walnut Muffins – This popular recipe on Good For You Gluten Free is infused with wonderful banana flavors. It’s moist and tender – yum!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins – If you’re feeling all the feels of fall, don’t miss out on my moist and soft pumpkin muffin recipe. This recipe is a favorite in the fall.
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes – I make these cupcakes for my birthday every year and they never disappoint. I use fresh beets for color and added nutrition.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
- Cupcake pan
- Cupcake liners
- Standing mixer (or handheld mixer)
- 1 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour or other 1:1 gluten-free flour blend*
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- 3 tbsp softened butter or vegan butter alternative
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk or dairy-free milk alternative
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter softened to room temperature
- 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp heavy cream**
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
- 18 fresh raspberries optional, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line cupcake tin with 18 liners. Set aside.
- Sift together flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a bowl attached to your standing mixer, add butter and sugar and mix on high until creamy and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on low until combined.
- Add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture and continue to mix batter on medium speed until well combined.
- Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full. The batter should fill about 14-16 tins.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Completely cool cupcakes before frosting.
- In a bowl attached to your standing mixer, beat softened butter for 1 minute. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low. Add heavy cream, vanilla, salt, raspberry preserves, and remaining powdered sugar and continue to mix on low until well incorporated. The buttercream should be creamy and stiff. If it's runny, add more sugar. If it's too stiff, add more heavy cream.
- Use a butter knife or spatula to add frosting on top of each cupcake, and top with a fresh raspberry garnish (optional).