I've used rice flour in a few recipes now but I must say this has been my most successful endeavor to date. Although I've been striving for that perfect cupcake texture for a long while now, none have come remotely close to these – I almost jumped up and down with pleasure when I bit into one; moist, fluffy, crumbly, lush. Nothing beats the feeling of triumphing in the kitchen especially when it comes to baking. Bonus points for the lack of soy (both in the cake itself and in the frosting) and the sheer effortlessness of which these can be made.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup xylitol or vegan sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp white wine or cider vinegar (vegan)
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup vegan sunflower spread
  • 2 cups vegan powdered/icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • splash of coconut milk


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa, xylitol, salt, bicarb and baking powder into a large bowl. Lightly mix with a spatula to incorporate the ingredients.
  3. Add the water, coconut milk, vanilla extract, oil and vinegar to the dry ingredients and gently fold using a spatula until everything is thoroughly combined. The batter will be fairly thick.
  4. Line a muffin tray with six large cases and fill each one half way. Put immediately into the oven (ensuring it is at 350 Fahrenheit).
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. In the last ten minutes I turned the tray around to make sure they were all evenly baked. Insert a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean they are ready. Allow to cool completely before icing. I let them cool for ten minutes in the tray before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  1. Combine the sunflower spread and 1 cup of the sugar using a spatula.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, coconut milk and remainder of the icing sugar and whisk until light and fluffy using a balloon whisk. You can use immediately or refrigerate until needed.
  3. Take about a 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting and combine with a heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder using a spatula.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing – I went for a size 30 star effect one.
  5. When the cupcakes are completely cool frost each one with the vanilla frosting using a spatula. Here is a helpful video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtzYFcl6nHw
  6. After each one is frosted pipe a little rosette onto each one – off center looks so much better and cuter in my opinion.