Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Three years ago I sat in a little French café, trying to explain to my mom what a blog was and how I planned on starting one despite the fact that I had no experience doing anything like that. Though I am sure at the moment she had no idea what I was talking about, she, as she always is (and it’s the reason why she calls herself “Your Biggest Fan” for her name whenever she leaves a comment) was nothing but supportive and my greatest cheerleader. “That sounds incredible sweetie! What a great way to use your artistic talents.” Or something like that. I’m sure sweetie was thrown around in the conversation, my mom uses cute language like that…makes me just want to squeeze the Skittles out of her.

The tastiest allergen-friendly chocolate cupcake!


I wish I had remembered that moment better because I really had no idea how much I would go back to that one morning and say to myself how if I only knew where that idea would take me. All I had was this leading, call it an inclination or dare I say calling to act upon this crazy thought.

The tastiest allergen-friendly chocolate cupcakes (and so easy to make)!My mom and I talked on the phone about this memory the other month. My mom saying, “Remember that time I came to visit out in California and you were talking about creating a blog where you would post recipes?” We both laughed because what a wild ride life is and has been since then. And now here she is visiting just like she does every year at this time and my COOKBOOK* releases August 5th while she’s here. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be by my side when a rather significant event occurs.

Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Cara Reed

*Shameless plug: You can still preorder Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking for a discount until Aug. 5th and after that, it sells for the standard price. Just click here to lead you to where you can buy it.

I started to browse through my old posts when I first started Fork and Beans and found this one–my very first cupcake recipe. A post filled with my insecurities with whether or not I would ever learn how to bake gluten-free and vegan and a small victory from a successful moment. This photo was actually taken with my simple point-and-shoot camera and I remember the joy I had after this shot that I nailed it and felt like it fully captured what I had wanted:

Cupcakes with Kumquat Frosting

The growth is immeasurable and rather celebratory. That is why I made gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes. And what is even more poetic is that this cupcake recipe is my best thus far. Yet another reason to celebrate.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
With a tasty, tender and moist bite, these gluten-free vegan chocolate cupcakes will fool anyone into believing they are baked with gluten, eggs, and dairy.
Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 12
Dry ingredients:
  • ½ c. white rice flour
  • ½ c. brown rice flour
  • ¼ c. arrowroot powder
  • ¼ c. potato starch
  • ½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 1 c. nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk), room temp
  • ⅓ c. vegetable oil
  • ¼ c. nondairy chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Pour into the muffin tin evenly and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back after gently pressing down.
  4. Remove from the pan and allow to fully cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cupcake Calories: 203 Fat: 9g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 31g Sugar: 14g Sodium: 123mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 2g

The tastiest (and easiest) allergen-friendly chocolate cupcakes!For the frosting:

  • Use an electric mixer and whip up 2/3 c. non-hydrogenated shortening until fluffy.
  • Add 1 c. of powdered sugar at a time until it is combined into the mixture until you have added 3 cup’s worth.
  • Pipe onto the cupcakes.
  • Use Lieber’s sprinkles if you are looking for a good rainbow brand.

It’s funny where a little dream can take you…





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  1. Hi Cara,

    First off I made these and they were FABULOUS! No one could tell they were vegan let alone gluten free. I wanted to try these without the cocoa powder and chocolate for a Vanilla cupcake – do you reckon the result would be good?

    Also have you tried this recipe for a cake rather than cupcakes? I’d like to double it and make a layered cake – wondering if the recipe is OK if doubled.

    Thanks in advance! Love your blog :)

    • One more question! How have you stored these in the past if being eaten 3 days later, room temp or fridge?

    • Double it up for a layered cake, yup! And thank you so much…happy you loved them!

      • Thanks Cara.

        After a perfect first attempt, I tried to make them again today – exact same ingredients, followed your instructions, and the batter was very strange it soaked up the wet ingredients very quickly. I whisked it for only a few seconds and the batter clumped up in the whisk and was falling apart – very dry. I tried this four times today! Since it was so fantastic the first time I didn’t want to give up.

        I always first whisked all the dry ingredients together. I then tried 1) adding the wet ingredients into the dry without combining the wet first. 2) mixing the wet ingredients together and then adding them to the dry ingredients. 3) letting the ACV sit in the almond milk for a minute, then combining it with the rest of the wet, and then into the dry. They all produced the same result – dry clumpy batter.

        I never used an electric beater, just mixed with a whisk, and only for a few seconds before it all clumped up. I made sure that all ingredients were at room temp as well.

        Any idea whats going on? I tried baking them in case and had to be tossed. I had my sister watch me during attempts 3 and 4 to make sure i measured everything correctly…lol, and I did.


  2. These cupcakes look great! Do you think they would be okay to freeze?
    I thought I could make a batch for my son and save them for special occasions at school and such when he can’t eat what the rest of the kids are having.

    • Amanda Ledbetter says:

      We made them and froze them without frosting. When my daughter wants one, I pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds and she’s all set!

  3. Cara, Just wanted to say that I love your site. I learned 16 days before his 8th birthday that my son is allergic to milk and eggs,and is also gluten-sensitive. These cupcakes saved the day! Eighteen days into our GF, DF, EF diets, I am seeing amazing changes in his behavior, attention, and overall mood. I feel better as well. I’ve tried at lest one recipe a day since I found your site. Thank you so much for all you do.

  4. I’ve made these cupcakes twice and both times they turned out great! They’re a good texture AND taste yummy! Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  5. Can I use your flour blend for this recipe? Or just follow as instructed?

  6. Ahhhh! I just got your book in the mail! I can’t wait to sit down and read through the whole thing. It looks so beautiful and I love the binding :)

  7. Congratulations on the release of your cookbook! I’m sure it’s gonna be a great success! :-)
    These cupcakes look so festive and nice!

    Keep up the AWESOME work Cara!


  8. Congratulations Cara!!!! SO happy for you. Keep up the amazing work!


  9. Squee! Cara, I am so happy for you. I can’t wait to get your book in the mail and learn all kinds of gluten free and vegan baking tricks from you. You teach me so much about it all and even though I don’t bake this way often, I feel I am a better baker because of experimenting. I can’t wait to experiment with your book.

    CONGRATULATIONS lady! What a huge, HUGE, accomplishment. And well deserved.

  10. I mean really, you had me at your SNL references and I was hooked. :)

    You’ve found your calling and lucky us we get to be a part of it! You fill our eyes and tummies with inspiration through this blog and now your first cookbook – keep it up! xo

  11. Oh Cara…these cupcakes will be made with joy and love just as soon as the Conscious Cleanse has finished. Until then, I will think longingly of them, as well as all of the other goodies in your cookbook that will soon be in my hot little hands. Thanks, as always, for being so kind and amazing to all of us fellow bloggers and for showing us the way! Congratulations to you, friend!

  12. stephanissima says:

    I’m so happy for you! All your hard work has paid off big time! 😀

  13. congratulations, lady. i’m so happy for you. your cookbook is amazing. and there’s nothing like having your mama’s support. it truly means everything.

  14. Thank you for the lovely cup cake recipe – and congratulations on your book – is it going to be available in the UK do you know??

  15. Congratulations, Cara! So excited for your new book and all the success you’ve accomplished and all that lies ahead! :)

    Also, could these cupcakes be any cuter?!! 😉 Seriously nailed it!

  16. Your Biggest Fan! says:

    Oh my gosh! I’ve been out all day – Aunt Sharon says hi! and just now reading this.
    I remember that day so clearly. You’ve always pressed forward even when it was a struggle and I couldn’t be more proud of you! (BTW, Aunt Sharon’s copy is coming via Amazon and she wants to know how she can get your signature). I’ll see you soon so I won’t go on and on about how amazing you are – YES YOU ARE!!!
    Love you!

  17. Congratulations! I love your blog and have made many of your recipes. Can’t wait for the cookbook!

  18. awesome, again congrats on your cookbook! glad your numero uno fan is here to celebrate with you!
    these cupcakes look so goooood!

  19. Jen Cottrell says:

    We have chatted on FB and you know I am a huge fan! Anxiously awaiting that package to arrive at our door. I actually have a question about these cupcakes – we are actually very odd because we don’t like chocolate over here. Can I take out the cocoa powder? Would I need to replace it with something else? Thanks Cara! I am so happy I found your blog :) Om

  20. You are awesome, Cara! I’m so happy for all of the great things that are happening for you ~ and it’s clearly just the beginning :) xo

  21. oh god i cringe at my earlier photos where everything is clicked with flash and is a glob. :)
    and that sould be a super proud plug for the cookbook! love these sprinkly chocolate chupcakes!

  22. I love you. xoxoxo

  23. I love the very first sentence of this post, trying to explain a blog to your mom :) Wonderful. Thanks for starting it 3 years ago! I appreciate it!

    • haha, Blog: it’s like a foreign word for some of us :)Thank you so much for saying that Megan, I appreciate YOU!

  24. So phenomenal, Cara! Congratulations! I know your book is going to be a huge success. xoxo

  25. What a great post, Cara! It’s so fun to look back and see how far we’ve come. I’m really excited to get my hands on a copy of your new book! xo

    • It is something that I love to do from time to time, especially with posts/photos that I thought were amazing back then and go back and shake my head. Regardless of the quality, it’s the enthusiasm and love for what I was doing that makes me so proud to see how far I have come. Thank you for your sweet comment Amanda! xo

  26. Kar and I love your cupcakes and were happy your visit went well! Guess you should start working on the next book?

    • That’s a good thing because my cupcakes love you and Kar :) Currently working on book #2…fingers crossed!


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