This one’s for all you chocolate lovers.
I’ve made quite a few cupcakes now, but I think this one might just top the list for the most decadent I’ve made yet. I hope you’re a fan of the chocolate + coffee combo, because these gluten free chocolate espresso cupcakes are decadent enough to make any chocolate lover swoon!
This is the same basic chocolate cupcake recipe I used for my chocolate raspberry cupcakes. When you have a great base recipe, the possibilities are endless! Not only is it easy to swap frostings, but eventually you can start adding additional flavors to the cupcake itself (like dark chocolate or espresso).
It took me three times to get this recipe right. Yeah, that’s a lot of chocolate cupcakes… but my friends and family were happy to help eat them! As a result, I finally found a perfectly moist, fluffy, and chocolatey gluten free chocolate cupcake. This cake is not too dense, not too light, and has a great chocolate flavor without being too sweet.
Now let’s get to the frosting… because the frosting for these gluten free chocolate espresso cupcakes is so rich and chocolatey, you could easily call these “Death by Chocolate” cupcakes. It does take a bit of work and waiting, but I can assure you it’s so WORTH IT.
Ganache is essentially heavy whipping cream and melted chocolate. When you heat the cream and mix in the chocolate, you end up with thick and silky smooth chocolate that’s perfect for frosting cupcakes!
For this recipe, I whipped the cooled ganache to make it a little lighter and fluffier for piping. But if you prefer, you can skip that step! Here are a few other ways to frost these cupcakes without whipping ganache:
- Dip the top of each cupcake in the cooled ganache.
- Let the ganache sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours until very thick, or set it in the refrigerator, then spread it on with a knife.
Keep in mind that if you choose not to whip the ganache to frost, you may have a lot leftover. I don’t see this as a bad thing… since there’s so many things you can do with ganache! Try adding some to your morning coffee, using some to make hot chocolate, or spread on toast or pancakes!
However you choose to frost them, these gluten free chocolate espresso cupcakes are sure to please any chocolate lover!
Love Cupcakes? Try these other gluten free recipes!
Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Ganache
- ¾ cup + 3 Tbsp (~136g) Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ⅓ cup neutral oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup hot water
Whipped Espresso Ganache
- 10oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 10oz heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ tsp espresso powder
- 1 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
- 1-2oz dark chocolate, grated (optional garnish)
Make the Ganache
- Pour the chocolate chips into a large heat-safe bowl, set aside.
- In a small pot over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until its hot but not boiling. Take it off the stove right when small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pot, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Add in the espresso powder and vanilla extract, then let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Slowly begin to whisk your mixture until the chocolate and cream are smooth and combined. This will take a minute or two.
- Let the ganache stand at room temperature for 2-3 hours until completely cooled and thickened. If you are in a hurry, you can try setting it in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until it firms up.
Meanwhile, Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners, and line a second muffin tin with 4 cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I like to whisk several times at a faster speed to aerate the flour a bit (this will help create a slightly lighter cupcake). Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bow, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil until combined. Add the vanilla extract, milk, and yogurt and whisk until everything is totally combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, slowly mixing together until smooth and combined. Add the hot water and whisk for about 10 seconds until smooth. The batter will be fairly thin.
- Fill each of the cupcake liners ½ full (they rise a lot!) and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. They will rise a lot in the oven, but will deflate slightly while cooling. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Finish the Frosting
- Transfer the cooled ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment (you can also use a large bowl and a hand mixer starting on low speed). Turn your stand mixer on medium speed and whip just until soft peaks begin to form, and the chocolate has turned lighter and paler in color. Be careful not to over-whip!
- Frost your cupcakes with a knife, or transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with your favorite piping tip and pipe onto each cupcake. If your frosting is a little too thin or runny to pipe right away, you can place it into the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes first.
- Be careful not to boil your cream, or it may contribute to a grainy frosting once whipped. Similarly, be careful not to over-whip the frosting! Overwhipping can cause it to “break” and you will end up with a very grainy or lumpy frosting that is hard to pipe (it’s still delicious and you can still spread it!)
- If your frosting seems a little too thin to pipe, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. You may have to whip it again if it gets too hard.
- If making cupcakes ahead of time, store the cooled cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature and wait to make the frosting when you are ready to frost and serve.
- I only use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour, which already contains xanthan gum, so I cannot guarantee that your cupcakes will turn out the same if using a different flour mixture. Not all gluten free flour mixes absorb moisture the same way, and they all have different proportions of ingredients used. If using a gluten free all purpose flour mix, I recommend using a 1:1 mix that contains xanthan gum and measure by weight.
- Always spoon and level your flour into your measuring cups! Scooping out your flour with the measuring cup can lead to using too much.
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