Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes

29th June 2021
Blog post

My Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes are the perfect combination of chocolatey rich with a little coffee hit. Indulgent but also light and fluffy AND totally gluten, dairy free but you’d never, ever know it.

Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes are my new thing. I’m obsessed. Now, I’m usually an eggs for breakfast kind of girl, but these little beauties have me converted. The fact there is coffee in there makes it a perfectly acceptable breakfast, right?!

Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes
Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes


Here’s everything you need to make my mocha 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) Coffee Granules – Espresso powdered coffee is the best for my “Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes”. It has the consistency of something like icing sugar or caster sugar. Its perfect because you can add it straight to the buttercream, without the edition of boiling water or something to dissolve the coffee. This is the one I use…

imageOfProduct id = 11752011

If you do go for a regular instant coffee, when you make the buttercream, just mix the coffee with 1 tbsp of boiling water to dissolve it before adding to the butter and icing sugar. I’ve added this as a tip in the recipe to remind you!

Chocolate Handles – a little extra!

To make them look like little mugs of coffee, I made some chocolate handles to rest on the side of my cupcakes too.

Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes

This is a really easy little extra. You just need:

  1. Place a piece of baking paper onto a baking tray/chopping board – something that is flat and will fit into your fridge.
  2. Melt approx 75g of chocolate for 20 handles (I recommend making more handles than you have cupcakes incase any break).
  3. Use a teaspoon to drizzle “3” shapes onto a sheet of baking paper
  4. Place into the freezer for 20 mins to firm up.

I recommend putting the handles on at the very last minute. Because they are so thin, they are quite fragile at room temperature… but so worth it!!!

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…

Gluten Free Mocha Cupcakes

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time17 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Course: Dessert



  • 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
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2.5 tbsp instant, ground coffee


  • 250 g spread/butter
  • 450 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant, ground coffee


Making the Cakes

  • Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan).
  • Line your cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  • 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.
  • 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 mins.
  • Add 1.5 tbsp of cocoa powder and 2.5 tbsp coffee to a mug. Add 50ml of boiling water to the mug and mix together until smooth.
    >I think the boiling water helps to bring the coffee flavour alive in the cake so I wouldn't miss this step!
  • Add the contents of the mug to the butter/sugar mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  • 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!
  • 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.
    >Make sure you scrape right down to the bottom of the bowl and around the sides so everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • 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!)
  • Bake for approx 17 mins.
    >You’re looking for them to be firm on top but slightly springy to touch and a knife/skewer poked into the middle of the cake should come out relatively clean!
  • Transfer to a baking tray and leave to cool thoroughly before moving onto the next step.


  • Whisk together the remaining butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and coffee until smooth (takes at least a minute).
    >If your coffee isnt powdered like icing sugar/caster sugar consistency, you'll need to dissolve it in 1 tbsp of boiling water. Leave it to cool for 5 mins before mixing into the butter/icing sugar.
  • Pipe onto your cupcakes
    >If you're not confident with this, there's tons of YouTube videos you can watch but my tip is to start by making a circle round the outside, then slowly circle in, overlapping half of the the existing circle of buttercream.
  • Sprinkle with a little extra cocoa powder and the EAT THEM ALL!!!
Print Recipe

One more picture… how can you resist?!!

Want some more cupcake recipes?

How about Jammy Dodger Cupcakes? Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes?

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