These are the Best Chocolate Cupcakes… Super-moist, shamelessly fluffy, dark and melty. With a surprise chocolate hidden in the sponge and topped with rich chocolate ganache, they are incredibly decadent and utterly delicious. Optional dairy free.
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Why are these the Best Chocolate Cupcakes?
These are quite possibly the Best Chocolate Cupcakes I’ve ever made. They are rich, dark, moist and melty. A shameless, fluffy, chocolatey sponge…
Sure, they have more ingredients than many of the more popular gluten free cupcakes on the internet. But every ingredient is there for a reason… And it’s their magic combination which gives these cupcakes a texture which (in my humble opinion) outshines others.
These cupcakes have been tried and tested by more gluten eaters than gluten avoiders. And I can confidently say that they are not only better than many gluten free cupcakes, but are better than many ‘standard’ ones too. This claim is not made lightly. Integrity matters… And having tried way too many gluten free cupcakes and been endlessly disappointed by claims that ‘no-one will ever know they are gluten free’, I really hope I can offer something better.
My Best Chocolate Cupcakes have (an optional) hidden surprise
The best chocolate cupcakes were developed within a period of grumpiness, when only chocolate cake will pull you out of a hole. But sometimes grumpiness needs extra… So, these are gluten free cupcakes with a hidden surprise.
Over the last few years there has been a trend towards people putting sweets into and on top of cakes and bakes. It’s by no means a new idea, but it’s one which has become increasingly popular. In blogger world, I have observed that for some, it also means a multitude of posts with identical recipes other than a different chocolate or sweet interchanged in the mix. Whether topping or hiding in cupcakes or decorating brownies, it all seems a bit of a recipe con. But hey…
Nonetheless, I have (for this particular recipe) followed the crowd and decided to play ‘cupcake bingo’ too. Squirrelled and baked into my best chocolate cupcakes is a hidden surprise… Any mini chocolate sweet will do, but mine envelop either a mini Rolo or a mini Peanut Butter Cup.
Can I make these gluten free cupcakes without a hidden chocolate?
Absolutely! The hidden chocolate or sweet is of course, optional… My best chocolate cupcakes are divine with or without embellishment. But sometimes life needs extra fun and decadence. The choice is yours.
The Best Chocolate Cupcakes deserve ganache!
But why stop at sweetie surprises? These are the BEST chocolate cupcakes after all… And we can make them even more sinful right?
So… These gluten free cupcakes are also slathered with a topping of opulent dark chocolate ganache… A simple combination of dark chocolate and double cream that blends to gooey, silky, glossy perfection!
What ingredients do I need to make the Best Chocolate Cupcakes?
The dry ingredients
To this you’ll add some cocoa for chocolatelyness and ground almonds… If you want to make the best gluten free cupcakes as light and soft as possible, ground almonds are important. Why? Because they bring structure and moisture to the sponge. And that means not only the most perfect texture, but also a longer ‘shelf-life’.
And because the flour is plain flour and gluten free, the recipe adds some raising agents and xanthan gum too. If using an alternative flour blend, just check whether there’s already xanthan gum in it and if there is, leave it out of the recipe.
All cakes of course have sugar… To make these cupcakes deliciously caramelly, they use a combination of caster sugar and less-refined brown sugar. While caster sugar alone is fine, if you genuinely want to make the best chocolate cupcakes, the combination makes a difference.
The wet ingredients
All the wet ingredients used in my best chocolate cupcakes are about bringing perfect moisture and texture to the sponge. There’s eggs and also homemade buttermilk (using milk and a little white wine vinegar) and some soured cream or yoghurt… All of which bring extra baking magic.
And of course, there’s rich, creamy butter too (see below for DF subs).
Why freeze the chocolate sweets?
The recipe advises that the chocolate sweets (if using) are frozen before hiding in the cake batter. This is because the colder the sweets are when they go in the oven, the more likely they are to retain their shape and flavour when the sponge bakes.
Can I make the Best Chocolate Cupcakes dairy free as well as gluten free?
Yes. My Best Chocolate Cupcakes are easy to make dairy free. Simply use a good dairy free alternative to the butter (I recommend Stork or Flora baking blocks). And substitute the milk and yoghurt for a plain (standard fat) option.
For the ganache… make sure to use good quality dairy free dark chocolate and a dairy free cream alternative (full fat tinned coconut milk works well).
Let me know if you make my best gluten free chocolate cupcakes
Here’s the recipe for my best chocolate cupcakes… Let me know if you make them. And please rate the recipe. The Google-god apparently likes ratings… It means other people are more likely to find the recipe too.
And while you’re at it… Why not take a snap of your yummy cakes and share them on social media. Don’t forget to let people know where the recipe came from and tag me in so that I can drool.
Thank you for reading and for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist
Best Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache
- oven + hob
- muffin tins
- muffin cases
- large sharp knife
- measuring jug
- glass/heatproof bowl
- 125 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA Blend A (see NOTES)
- 75 g ground almonds almond meal
- 1½ tsp baking powder gluten free
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 220 ml milk dairy free if needed
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 150 g unsalted butter softened (dairy free alternative if needed)
- 140 g caster sugar
- 80 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 75 ml greek yoghurt or soured cream
- 200 g small chocolate sweets OPTIONAL (Approx weight) – eg. Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Minis or Rolo's or other suitable sweets for cooking inside the cakes
- 230 g good quality dark chocolate chopped
- 185 ml double cream
Ahead of time
- Freeze the chocolate sweets if using. This will help them to maintain shape while cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/220 F/Gas 4.
- Line the muffin tins with cake cases (about 18 medium to large size).
- Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt and cocoa powder, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. (TIP: Weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously). Set aside.
- In a jug, combine the milk with the vinegar, stir and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until light, pale and fluffy.
- Add and beat in the vanilla extract and eggs (one at a time) until you have a smooth, light paste.
- Add and beat in the yoghurt thoroughly until light and well-blended.
- Add the milk-vinegar mix alternately with the flour mix, about a third at a time and fold until smooth and JUST combined.
- Put a spoon of the mixture in the cake cases and then place a frozen chocolate sweet or two (depending on their size) into the middle of the case, gently pushing into the batter slightly (away from the sides).
- Add more cake batter on top of the sweet, making sure it is well covered. Smooth the top of the batter.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until well-risen and the top springs back to the touch. (smaller cupcakes will take less time).
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- Put the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until just beginning to simmer (bubbles round the edges), then remove from the heat.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and push the chocolate below the surface.
- Leave to stand for a minute or two.
- Stir the chocolate and cream gently together until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth, silky ganache.
- Leave the ganache to cool completely at room temperature (do not refrigerate as this will remove the sheen), stirring intermittently.
- Keep a close eye on the consistency as it cools and once the ganache has reached spreading consistency, top the cupcakes with a spoon of ganache, spreading across the surface as you wish with a flat knife.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Best gluten free chocolate Cupcakes shared with
- Cook Blog Share 2021 Week 12 with Lavender & Lovage
- Fiesta Friday #376 with Angie and The Not So Creative Cook
- Full plate Thursday #531 with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- What’s For Dinner #308 with The Lazy Gastronome
- Over The Moon #272 with Eclectic Red Barn and Marilyn’s Treats
- Blogger’s Pit Stop #263
Previously shared with Love Cake with Jibber Jabber.