Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 47 mins
Yields 24

Requested at almost every family birthday party, these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes are topped with an amazing fudge frosting! If I had to pick a favorite gluten-free dessert, it would be these cupcakes!
These super chocolaty cupcakes are best made the day before eating, so plan ahead!



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups good quality gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend that contains xanthan)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder *see note
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Fudge Frosting

  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder *see note
  • 3 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 6-7 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract



    1. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
    2. In your mixing bowl, combine sugar, gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
    3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, and 1 cup water. Bring just to boiling, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add to dry ingredients, beat until combined.
    4. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and beat for one minute on low-medium speed.
    5. Pour batter into cupcake liners. I use a large scoop that measures about 1/3 cup batter into each opening.
    6. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs (no wet batter).
    7. Let cool in pan for 4 minutes, then remove cupcakes. Wait to frost until completely cool.

    Fudge Frosting:

    1. Using a medium glass bowl, melt the stick of butter in microwave. Whisk in cocoa powder, then heat for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating with a hand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla last, beating in until mixed well.
    2. If you use this frosting while still warm, it is easily spreadable and has the glossy finish when dried like you see in the photo but can slide off of whatever you are frosting. If you let it cool completely, then it firms up and can be placed into a pastry bag for piping for decorating cakes or cupcakes. The icing can be refrigerated to use later; just microwave 10 seconds at a time, and stir, until you get to the right consistency for piping or spreading.


    Recipe Notes

    As always, be sure to double-check your ingredients for gluten. Feel free to try this with your preferred gluten-free flour blend, but please choose a good quality blend that isn't only rice flour and also avoid blends with bean flours. I usually use Cup4Cup or Gluten Free Mama's almond blend in this recipe, with great success.
    For the cocoa powder, I like to use about 1/2 of dutch-processed or Saco blend cocoa and 1/2 Hershey's special dark cocoa. That is how I achieve a nice dark brown to my cupcakes and icing.
    *You can also bake this as a cake in a 9x13" pan for ~35 minutes or in two 8" cake pans for 22 minutes. Make sure to spray the pans well with non-stick cooking spray.
    © 2013 My Gluten-free Kitchen. All rights reserved.