Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Melted Choc Strawberries

16th April 2020
Blog post

My all time favourite gluten free chocolate cupcakes recipe, topped with velvetty buttercream, melted chocolate and a fresh strawberry!! Fluffy, chocolatey and totally gluten free but you’d never know it. How can you go wrong?!!!


I have to say, I’ve tried TONS of chocolate cake recipes but in my eyes, nothing beats this one. It creates a light and fluffy, yet indulgently rich chocolate cake. And it has just the right amount of crumbliness (is that a word?!).

I’m not exactly sure what inspired my melted choc and strawberry topping but I have to say it was a pure stroke of genius from myself 😉 Chocolate and strawberries are always a winning combo but when you put them ontop of my cupcake…heaven.

gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe, topped with buttercream, and a strawberry dipped in melted chocolate

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make my Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes:

Here’s some info about the ingredients and possible substitutions if you need them:

1) Gluten Free Flour

  • Cupcakes: Ideally you need self-raising for the cupcakes. If not, add 1.5 tsp of baking powder to the plain flour.
  • Brand: I like Doves Farm FREEE

(2) Caster Sugar & Light Brown Sugar – The ratio I’ve given is ideal for a slightly sweet, caramel note but you can switch for any combo of caster sugar, light brown sugar or white granulated sugar depending on what you’ve got!

(3) Icing Sugar – no other options here I’m afraid!

(4) “Spread” – Flora – this is my preference for making cakes and buttercream as it makes them light and fluffy and is naturally dairy free but of course you can replace it for any of your preferred brands

(5) Egg – I’m yet to try other options but I’m told flax eggs, chia or even more apple sauce can work! Will try them asap and update this guide 

(6) Cocoa powder – you can use cacao powder but its not as sweet or tasty! If you’re desperate, you can also sub in some hot chocolate powder (ideally one with a high cocoa content)

(7) Chocolate & Strawberries – these are optional so swap for anything you like!


What size cupcake cases have you got?

You can band case into 3 sizes, usually labelled on the box as “fairy”, “cupcake” or “muffin”. You can make delicious cupcakes with any of these sizes! This section will help you to adjust the ingredients quantities and cooking times accordingly

SizeQuantities Required for 12 CakesCooking Time
(1) Fairy Cases – tiny!
Fits about 1-2 tsp of cake mix
Divide all of the cupcake ingredients by 3 (e.g. 3 eggs -> use 1 egg)
For the buttercream, use 100g of icing and 40g of spread
8-10 mins
(2) Cupcake Cases – the regular ones
Fits 1 heaped tbsp of cake mix
As per the recipe belowAs per recipe below
(3) Muffin Cases – big!
Fits 2 heaped tbsp of cake mix!
Times everything below by 1.33
(e.g. 3 eggs -> use 3 x 1.33 = 4 eggs)
20-23 mins

Want to have a “core” in your cupcake?

If you want to have a “core” in your cupcake (i.e. take out the middles and fill with choc spread/jam or whatever you fancy), I recommend muffin cases as they’ll give you plenty of room for your filling without risking the cupcake falling apart!


Right, now lets get stuck into the recipe…

Chocolate Cupcakes with Melted Chocolate Strawberries

My all time favourite gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe, topped with velvetty buttercream, melted chocolate and a fresh strawberry!! How can you go wrong with that?!!!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 210 g spread/butter - I use a tub of Flora original or dairy free
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 75 g light brown sugar - substitute with extra caster sugar if you haven't got this
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder

Buttercream

  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 175 g spread/butter

Topping

  • 12 strawberries - not too big! If they are, cut them in half or chop the bottom off
  • 50 g chocolate - AT LEAST!

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan).
  • Place 12 cupcake cases into your cupcake/muffin tray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butter & both types of sugar until fully combined.
    >You’re looking for the mix to be paler, smooth & creamy! I use an electric whisk for 1 min.
  • Crack all the eggs into a separate bowl & beat together until just starting to froth up, like the picture.
    > Takes 5 seconds. You can use the electric whisk for this too.
  • Add the flour and eggs to the butter/sugar. Whisk together until JUST combined (10 seconds).
    >Don’t over whisk, otherwise you’ll lose the air bubbles & your cake won’t be quite so fluffy!
  • In a mug, mix the 3 tbsp of cocoa powder with 2 tbsp of boiling water. It will form a thick paste.
  • Add the cocoa powder paste to the cake mix and whisk in
    >Again, try not to over whisk. 5 seconds at most.
  • Scrape right around the sides of the bowl and to the bottom, to pick up any excess flour and check there’s no bits of cake mix without the cocoa powder on the bottom of the bowl. Give the mixture one final everything is fully combined. >Still try not to over whisk! 3 seconds at most.
  • Place 1 heaped tbsp of the cake mix into each cupcake case.
    >I find its best to do this using two spoons – one to scoop up the mix and the other to scrape it into the cupcake case.
    >Each case should be about 2/3rd full.
    >GENTLY level each of them out slightly, so the cake mix is spread around the case quite evenly. Try not to get too much around the top 1/3 of the case (this is just to make your end result look extra neat!)
  • Place the cupcakes into the centre of the oven. Bake for approx 17 mins.
    >If, like me, your oven is hotter at the back/front, you might want to very quickly rotate your cupcake tray around halfway during the cooking time to give an even bake.
    >WARNING: Do that quickly and don’t open the door again otherwise you’ll risk your cupcakes not rising properly.
    >How do you know if they’re ready? You’re looking for them to be firm on top but springy to touch and a knife/skewer poked into the middle of the cake should come out relatively clean!
  • Once cooked, leave the cupcakes in the tray for 5 mins to cool and firm up slightly. Then transfer to a cooling rack.

Buttercream

  • Add the butter and icing sugar to a bowl. Whisk until smooth. This will take at least 2 mins. >It should have lightened in colour and look airy/fluffy!
  • How to fix a common compliant: "Mybutter icing was too soft/didn’t hold its shape when piped”. My tip: Once you’ve made your icing, scrap right around the outside of the bowl and gather the butter icing together in the middle. Leave it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 mins. At that point, give it another little mix with a spoon and see how it feels – it should be smooth, quite firm and look like it’ll hold its shape. If not, add a few heaped tbsp of icing sugar and mix again. If its reaaaally firm and looks too tough to pipe, add a tiny dash of milk and whisk again.

Construction

  • Optional but helpful: If you have the time (and room in your freezer!) place the cupcakes into the freezer for at least 10 mins to firm up the buttercream in preparation for the next steps!
  • Melt your chocolate. My preferred method: This is a cheating way of "tempering" chocolate – will keep it shiny and keep its texture once its set again.
    >Add about an inch of water to a saucepan and bring to a simmer
    >Break up 2/3rds of your chocolate and place into a mixing bowl, over the saucepan. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water
    >Stir until melted and then take off the heat.
    >Add the remaining 1/3rd and stir (off the heat) until its all melted too.
  • Drip a small teaspoon of chocolate onto each cupcake.
  • Take a strawberry, dunk it in the remaining bowl of melted chocolate and place onto the top of each cupcake. Hold it for 10 seconds before letting go – this will help it keep in place ontop of your cake!
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