Chocolate Cupcakes

18 Nov

Another weekend, another birthday party. November babies are taking over the world! Ok, well at least my social calendar. I don’t mind one bit though, it gives we the chance to celebrate my friends and make delicious treats.  I made these cupcakes for my own birthday a couple weeks ago – it was partially my way of avoiding a cake and candles and a group of people singing to me. That just makes this introvert feel awkward.  But of course, I also wanted to have a birthday treat with no gluten.

I was delightfully surprised by how light and fluffy these cupcakes are. The texture reminds me of the chocolate cake my mother used to make when I was a kid. My mother’s chocolate cake was very popular and was even featured at my wedding. Yes, my mom made my wedding cake. No regular wedding cake either – a steampunk cake. You rock mom! Anyway, back on track.  I haven’t had a delicious light and fluffy cake in a long time. Prior to going gluten free I was using spelt flour, which made a denser cake. So these delicious delicate little cupcakes were a long time coming and a great reward for learning to bake gluten free.

The original recipe calls for one cup of coffee. Since I have a handy dandy fully automatic espresso maker, I didn’t mind this at all. But upon making these for a second time, I have come to the conclusion that the coffee doesn’t really add to the flavor. With the cost of organic fair trade coffee being what it is, I think I’ll substitute the coffee for milk or soy milk next time. I will likely warm the milk ahead of time so it will blend well with the cocoa. Who knows, I might even switch it up and prepare this cake in a pot on the stove, the way my mother’s cake is made. I will update as experiments continue. The November birthday rush is coming to a close, which winds down my experimenting opportunities for cupcakes. But I wanted to post this recipe sooner rather than later, which is why you’re not getting the final recipe here. Still this is a darn good recipe.


  • 1 cup hot coffee (or warmed milk, see above note)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice flour
  • 3/4 cups corn starch
  • 3/4 cups tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, starches, baking soda, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Sifting if necessary,  which I almost never find it is. Set aside.

Stir hot coffee (or warmed milk), cocoa powder and hot water together until smooth. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Stir in the eggs one at a time. Once your eggs are added and fully mixed in, add your vanilla.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture to your butter mixture finishing withthe cocoa mixture.

Once all your ingredients are added, scrape down your bowl then mix on medium high for 2 minutes or until smooth.

Let the batter stand for 10-15 minutes while you prepare your baking pans* and tidy your workspace.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a disher scoop fill your muffin tins to about full.

Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes. Note: that is the cooking time required for mini-cupcakes. The original recipe calls for cooking cakes for approximately 40 minutes for 8-9″ cake pans. Either way, the cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool these for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you let them cool too long, they may stick to the pan, too little time and they may break apart.

Yield: 3, 8-9″ cakes or approximately 60 mini cupcakes.**


*When making cakes, I like to line my pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper. I also use a little grease directly on the pan to make positioning the paper easier (it gives the paper something to stick to). I do not flour the parchment after greasing it, though I do know some that do. If you are not using parchment, always grease your pans and then dust them with flour so they will not stick. Note: for extra decadence try dusting your cake with cocoa rather than flour. For cupcakes use paper muffin liners, I do not find it necessary to grease my non-stick muffin tray on top of using the liners.

**Yah, 60 is a lot!! This recipe can be halved. I currently have a bunch in the freezer because I cannot transport them all to my friend’s birthday party. I will write back to let you know how they are after being frozen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: