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Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing is a perfect recipe for beginner or more experienced gluten free bakers. The variations are endless so I hope this inspires you to get baking and be creative.

If you only bake fancy cakes or cupcakes for special occasions then you need a small collection of reliable recipes to do just that. I haven’t tried to make this recipe into a cake but as cupcakes they are the real deal. Light and airy like a cupcake should be with a rich chocolate flavour.

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Baking by Weight or by Cup

Do you struggle with baking? Many people do whether it is baking with wheat flour or gluten free. I wrote this blog post on Baking By Weight which is full of good information for everyday baking at home. Every gluten free flour has a different density but in the end, I write my recipe with cup measurements because that is universally accepted and that is how I cook. But I do have a digital scale and I do weigh the individual flours when I make my homemade gluten free flour mix.

The four flour and starch combination for my gluten free flour mix
Gluten Free Flour Mix -photo credit Jim Little

So my best tip for everyday baking is simply to measuring precisely when using measuring cups. When I watch people bake in my cooking classes the most common error is simply not measuring precisely enough. Fill you cup, hold it level and scrape across the top using a straight edge (a ruler or icing spreader is perfect). I’ve included the weight of each flour in this recipe but I make these cupcakes using the cup measurements and they always turn out.

Replacing Individual Flours

As I began to realize that no single flour can replace the forbidden wheat flour, I warmed up to the idea of baking with three or four flour and starch combinations. This knowledge is valuable for when you run out of a flour or are trying something new. With only a small amount of effort you will learn over time, if you think about that.

I have not tried this recipe using my flour mix and I probably won’t. It has a higher amount of protein and is perfect for muffins, brownies, pancakes, waffles and so much more. For light, airy cupcakes this combination works well and I’m not messing with success. But you can. I encourage you to substitute as you learn and see what happens. I have suggestions for how to do this is these posts:

How To Use A Gluten Free Flour Mix
How To Use A Gluten Free Flour Mix -photo credit Jim Little

Variations for Chocolate Cupcakes

I love tried-and-true recipes that can be varied with different flavourings as much as I love presenting the same recipe in different ways. A basic chocolate cupcake will never go out of style but when foods become trendy it can be fun to experiment. Who knows, you may just create your own favourite recipe.

Here are a few ideas to vary this basic recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes, with or without icing.

  • -Make the coconut-pecan filling from this German Chocolate Cake recipe and simply spread it on top of your cupcakes.
  • -Lemon and chocolate is a delicious combination. Cut the cupcakes in half and fill with homemade lemon curd. Serious cupcake people might buy a cupcake corer, the gadget that helps hollow out the centre of a cupcake. Then fill the hole with lemon curd and cover it up with a piece of part you removed.
  • -How about Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing? Simply pipe cream cheese icing on top of each cupcake using a pastry bag. Drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with a good quality sea salt (this Maldon Sea Salt is my favourite.

Organize For Success – Cupcakes

Every kitchen needs tools. Buy the ones you like and expect most of them to last a very long time. You don’t need the most expensive tools but avoid frustration by purchasing good quality items.

Did you have a chocolate cupcake party or make an interesting variation? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

More Cupcake Recipes

Orange Cupcakes with Orange Icing

A pedestal tray filled with gluten free Orange Cupcakes.
Orange Cupcakes with Orange Icing -photo credit Jim Little

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes -photo credit Jim Little


⅔ cup brown rice flour (72 grams)
⅓ cup white rice flour (35 grams)
⅓ cup tapioca starch (35 grams)
½ cup cocoa (57 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp xanthan gum (optional)
8 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
ADD-INS - 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, crushed candy canes, M&M's or chopped chocolate covered coffee beans
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
⅔ cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
In a large measuring cup combine the wet ingredients and stir.
With the electric mixer set on low add the wet ingredients and continue mixing for about 2 minutes until smooth and shiny.
If using add-ins fold them in with a spatula making sure they are evenly mixed in the batter.
Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Using a metal ice cream scoop with a thumb grip is a good way to enure cupcakes are all the same size and will bake evenly.
Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the pans around in the oven half way through the cooking time to ensure the cupcakes cook evenly.
Place the pan of cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Gently remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the cooking rack to cool completely.
Spread with chocolate icing.
Combine butter, icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor with a metal blade. Blend for 30 seconds.
Add vanilla and milk and blend until smooth.
Using a spatula fill a piping bag with icing. Using even pressure squeeze the piping bag and draw in circles on the top of each muffin starting from the outside edge and ending in the enter.
Alternately you can spread the icing on each cupcake with a smooth spreader.


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