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August 17, 2014 | by  | in Food Online Only Opinion | [ssba]

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes (Dairy-free option)

This cupcake recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks – Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. The author, Harry Eastwood, has taken the idea of carrot cake and extended it to try many different types of baking with vegetables. She also found that rice flour tended to work better with the veggies than regular flour, so most of her recipes are “automatically” gluten-free!

This recipe for chocolate cupcakes is now my go-to cupcake recipe, and is nicer than any other chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve tried in the past. The cupcakes themselves are also dairy-free, and I’ve included two recipes for the frosting. If you like this recipe I highly recommend checking out Eastwood’s book.


• 3 eggs
• 180g sugar
• 250g peeled and finely grated carrot
• 2 tablespoons strong coffee (or boiling water)
• 120g rice flour
• 50g almond flour
• 40g cocoa
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 100g chocolate chips


• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for five minutes until the mixture is quadrupled in volume and extremely fluffy.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
• Whisk the carrot and coffee into the mixture.
• When they are fully incorporated, add the flour, ground almonds, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Beat with an electric whisk or fold with a wooden spoon until well combined.
• Fold in the chocolate chips.
• Spoon into prepared muffin trays lined with paper cases, so the mixture reaches four fifths of the way up the sides.
• Bake for 25 minutes.
• Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then at room temperature for at least half an hour before icing. Make the icing while you wait.

> Optional alternative: Add an extra 50g chocolate chips if you don’t want the icing or won’t  have time to ice them.


• 100g butter
• 100g icing sugar, sieved
• 2 tablespoons boiling water
• 50g cocoa powder, sieved

Dairy-free Buttercream:

• 3 3/4 cups (about a pound) icing sugar
• 1/2 C vegetable shortening, softened
• 3-4 tablespoons dairy-free milk (e.g. almond, rice or soy milk)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 1 tablespoon cocoa

Gluten-free Chocolate Mudcake (Dairy-free option)

Take the recipe for the cupcakes above (without the chocolate chips) and bake in a 24cm cake tin for 35 minutes at 180°C/350°F. Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then at room temperature for at least half an hour before icing. Make the ganache while you wait.


• 150g milk chocolate
• 150g dark chocolate
• 85ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream

Dairy-free Ganache:

• 300g dark chocolate
• 85ml (1/3 cup) coconut cream

Method – ganache:

• Place chocolate and cream/coconut cream in a medium heavy-based saucepan over very low heat. Stir frequently, and remove from heat when the chocolate has just melted and the mixture is smooth. If necessary, allow the ganache to cool slightly at room temperature to obtain a spreadable consistency.


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