Moist and airy, nostalgically deep and dark, and perfect in every way, you'll never need another chocolate cupcake recipe after you try this one.The magic texture comes from a fascinating chemical reaction between the acidic cocoa powder, baking soda, the hot coffee, and vinegar. Topped with a delicious maple buttercream frosting, what more could you ask for in a dessert?

Chocolate Cupcakes With Rich Maple Buttercream [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot espresso, or hot brewed coffee
  • 1 cup canola oil, or other neutral oil such as sunflower
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, plus 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup non-dairy margarine, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk, if needed


To Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until very well combined. The batter will be relatively thin, but it should look dark and make ripples when you lift the spoon out of the batter.
  3. Fill each liner with about 2/3 full. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake bounces back at your light touch.
  4. Cool on baking racks for a few minutes, before carefully turning over and cooling completely.

To Make the Frosting:

  1. Using a hand, or stand, mixer, beat the vegan margarine on medium speed, for several minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, beat to combine. Add the vanilla and 1/2 cup more powdered sugar and beat again to combine.
  2. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar, tasting as you go along until it is where you like it. Add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup and the non-dairy milk, if needed.
  3. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes in desired shape.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 8232 | Total Carbs: 1265 g | Total Fat: 370 g | Total Protein: 23 g | Total Sodium: 6290 g | Total Sugar: 1023 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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