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Moist & Delicious Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting!

So I have posted a few gluten free recipes now, but I have had loads of requests for a chocolate cupcake/cake one! Similar to my Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cake, Double Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies, Gluten Free Brownies and my Gluten Free Carrot Cake – im sure you guys will LOOOOVE this one!

Obviously thought it was time to oblige (and I had a request from my friend) soooo hello new recipe! I sort of went along the lines of my Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes and used the tactic of custard powder. And it worked! YUM!

Now, if you haven’t seen my Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes recipe, I use the Birds’ custard powder as it lightens the texture, but binds it better. This is because I find that regular recipes where they have just been swapped for gluten free flour are quite crumbly and can be dry, and the custard powder stops this! And don’t worry, you can’t taste custard.

The Birds’ one is made with maize/corn flour so its safe for coeliacs, but its always best to check as I don’t know what it’ll be like in other countries for example.

However, if you can’t access custard powder, the cupcakes are still delicious without the powder – I just prefer them with, it makes the cupcakes so yummy and binds the sponge to better replicate a ‘regular’ sponge.

I decided to try something a little different with the frosting, and was inspired by my Christmas Yule Log recipe, as it uses real chocolate in the frosting, compared to cocoa powder.

If you don’t want to use real chocolate, then my Chocolate Cupcakes recipes use cocoa powder! Either way, this is delicious. I LOVE using dark chocolate in my cupcakes – using the butter and sugar lightens it so it doesn’t taste like dark chocolate at all, its just delicious, sweet and creamy. Yum.

I personally use Doves Farm gluten free flour as its available in most supermarkets at a relatively cheap price! I have heard that there are better ones, but I’m pretty happy with this one so far – and to me, these are just as tasty like this! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist & Delicious Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting!
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Category: Cupcakes
Type: Cupcakes
Keyword: Chocolate, Gluten Free
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling and Decorating Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 180 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs (beaten)
  • 150 g gluten free self raising flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 50 g custard powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 2 tbsp whole milk

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 100 g dark chocolate (melted)
  • 125 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 225 g icing sugar



  • Preheat your oven to 170C/160CFan and line a 12 hole muffin tray with large cupcake cases/muffin cases – leave to one side for now.
  • Cream together the unsalted butter and caster sugar with an electric beater until smooth.
  • Add in the beaten eggs, gluten free self raising flour, cocoa powder, custard powder & vanilla bean extract, and beat again for about 20-30 seconds on a medium speed (it really doesn’t take too long, you don’t want to overheat the mixture! Add a spoonful of whole milk at a time if the mixture is too stiff, so its a good cupcake consistency.)
  • Spoon into your cases (Use a cookie/ice-cream scoop so that the cupcakes are even!) 
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (I baked mine for 17 minutes) or until cooked through! Leave to cool for about 2 hours on a wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Melt your chocolate over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave in short bursts in a microwave safe bowl, then leave to cool.
  • Beat the softened unsalted butter until smooth – this can take a couple of minutes.
  • Add the icing sugar to the unsalted butter and beat well until it is combined making sure the icing sugar is fully incorporated until moving on!
  • Once all of the icing sugar and unsalted butter is combined, keep on beating the frosting, but add the cooled and melted chocolate into the mix and beat again for a few minutes until light and fluffy! 
  • Decorate your cupcakes however you wish (I use lots and lots of sprinkles!) – and enjoy!


  • I buy my cupcakes cases from Iced Jems - here!
  • I use Doves Farm gluten free flours for my day-to-day GF baking as its more readily available then other more expensive (and better ones).
  • You can also buy cheaper ones, but I’d recommend this brand if you can find it, as its the best supermarket one that I have found!
  • If you are GF you will already know this – but if you are baking for anyone else who is GF, then check the ingredients on everything you use, most custard powders are GF as far as I am aware - they tend to use maize/corn flour which is safe!
  • These cupcakes will last in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze them for up to 3 months!


Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.


  1. Dawn on November 21, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    Hi Jane, I have used your recipes for many bakes that have all been very successful and a huge hit with everyone who tastes them 🙂. I would like to make these dairy free also so would like to know if they would work if I replaced the milk with a dairy free alternative such as almond or coconut? I’ve never used them in baking so am not sure, what do you think? And also I’m guessing swapping normal butter for the stork vegan block would work too?

    Many thanks. X

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 24, 2023 at 11:02 am

      I would use the flora plant block as a sub for the butter, and yes a touch of almond or soya would work well for the milk! x

  2. Kelly on July 10, 2023 at 9:44 am

    Hi how can I make this vegan too? How much oil and white wine vinegar should I use in place of the eggs? Thanks!

  3. Kelly on July 9, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Jane – absolutely love all your bakes. I’ve made your vegan vanilla cupcakes zillions of times. How can I make this egg free please?

  4. Karen on June 2, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    5 stars
    Just baked the sponges, first time making gluten free, turned out surprisingly ok, but just wondering about the sprinkles, every make I have for decorating chocolate cupcakes seem to contain gluten! Which ones do you use?

  5. Alesia on April 16, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    Mine are completely raw at 160 fan after 20 min – I’ll try baking longer, but don’t understand why.. I’ve never done cupcakes and with regular cakes this hasn’t happened

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 17, 2023 at 2:07 pm

      Hiya! This definitely sounds as though your oven isn’t at the right temperature – it may be worth investing in an oven thermometer to check! Hope this helps! x

  6. Benjamin on February 7, 2023 at 6:21 am

    Hi, could I substitute the caster sugar for golden caster sugar?

    • Jane's Patisserie on February 10, 2023 at 12:03 pm

      Yes absolutely you can! Enjoy! x

  7. Elle on September 12, 2022 at 10:24 am

    5 stars
    My wedding cake baker told me he’d used custard powder in our GF wedding cake, and I didn’t believe him! Just wondered: can I tweak this recipe to make choc orange cupcakes? Would I just add 150g of chocolate orange, as per your Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes recipe? Thank you in advance! xxx

    • Jane's Patisserie on October 6, 2022 at 3:18 pm

      Hiya! Terry’s is not coeliac safe – I would recommend just adding 1 tsp orange extract! Hope this helps! x

  8. Rebecca on August 5, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Hi, if I was to make just 6 cupcakes, I use half the ingredients but now many eggs should I use? Thanks

  9. Maia Rose on July 15, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Can you make these without an electric whisk?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 25, 2022 at 11:47 am

      Yes absolutely you can! Enjoy! x

  10. Christina on March 8, 2022 at 6:06 am

    Hello. Looking for a gluten free and dairy free cupcake recipe – vanilla cupcakes. I cannot seem to find one. Any help with ingredients/measurements would be appreciated. Always use your recipes for my baking so don’t want to look else where. Thank you!

  11. Jan on November 27, 2021 at 4:20 pm


    I’ve made the frosting with dark chocolate and when I went back to it it was soooo hard?? The chocolate has obviously hardened. Is this right?

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 30, 2021 at 11:06 am

      Hiya! Yes – if you’re using proper chocolate in buttercream don’t let it sit before piping! x

  12. Nickie on January 14, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Jane, this is by far the best gluten free recipe I have tried taste wise but have you an6budeas why they would peel away from the cases. This normally happen if the mixture is over eaten but the second batch I folded in by hand and it still happened with a few.

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 15, 2021 at 8:35 pm

      This to me usually means they are under baked – or they are cooling too quickly or they are sweating in the storage box they are put in (and sometimes its just the cases themselves depending on the type)!

  13. Gillian Reid on November 5, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Hey! I wondered if it’s best to use xanthan gum or custard powder or both? Love all your recipes so looking forward to making gluten free for the coeliacs in the family 😊

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 5, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      I would use one or the other – xantham gum is the probably the most common way! x

  14. Ailise Doyle on June 23, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Hi Jane can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean extract. If so how much?

  15. Emma on May 24, 2020 at 7:19 am

    Hi Jane, I’m a massive fan of yours and you’re my go to website for all my baking recipes 😊 As a few others have mentioned, I’d like to use this for a 6 inch triple layer cake. Do you think I would need to add xanthem gum, as I know you use it in your other large gluten free cake recipes? Thanks x

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      Hey! Yes I would use the xantham gum – I would double the recipe and split between three six inch tins! x

  16. Julia on January 28, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Jane,
    I made these for a friend who is coeliac and she said they were the best she has ever tasted. I loved them too, thanks again for the great recipe. I wondered what some of your favourite gluten free recipes are or any tips for adaptions of other recipes that have turned out well for gluten free? Thanks!!

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 29, 2020 at 8:52 am

      Basically the general rule is just straight swapping for GF ingredients – sometimes though I advise adding in xantham gum – have a look at my GF/DF chocolate cake for tips!

  17. Rebecca Huddleston on October 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Jane, i want to use the gluten free recipe, but put reeces in the middle and peanut butter frosting, like your peanut butter cupcake recipe. Do you think the cake mix will be ok with a Reeces in the middle. Thanks Bec

  18. Jane's Patisserie on June 21, 2019 at 9:10 pm


  19. Gemma on January 26, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Added chocolate chips to these muffins. Very tasty. 😋

  20. Sam on March 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Hi Jane, I love your page and use your recipes a lot!! I have been asked to bake a giant chocolate cupcake for my friends son who is coeliac. Would this recipe be suitable do you think? Thanks
    Sam x

  21. Emma Parrett on March 10, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Hi jane! The recipe looks great… do you think this can be used for a chocolate cake instead of cupcakes ?

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 11, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Hiya! Yes it can, I use the batch of cupcakes as one layer in an eight inch cake, so double for a two layer cake! x

    • Emma Parrett on March 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you!!!

  22. Amanda Marshall on September 2, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t have the custard powder in my cupboard but wondering if for now I would use cornflour. As a person who is gluten free, I’ve used cornflour in some of my recipes, so that’s what’s making me wonder if this would work. X

    • Jane's Patisserie on September 2, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      You could do! You can also just leave it out if you wanted as it only firms the cupcakes up a little 🙂 x

  23. Dani on March 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    These sound delicious and would love to use this recipe for a birthday cake. What size tin and baking time would you recommend? Not used custard powder in gluten free baking before so looking forward to seeing the difference it makes!

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 11, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      I would use one batch of cupcakes as one layer of a cake, baked into an 8″ tin. So double and split between two tins. I would bake for 20-25 minutes. It’s hard to say really as it is gluten free, but have a look at it at about 20 minutes and check with a skewer and such! Let me know how you get on! xx

  24. Just Jo on April 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    About to make these Jane – will report back!

  25. Kristy on April 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    These look just amazing!

  26. Kristy on April 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    These look just amazing!

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