1-2-3 Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free)


If you’ve ever craved chocolate I’m going to tell you a secret. You can whip up seductively rich chocolate cupcakes in a few minutes.  No fancy techniques and minimal skill required.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’ve heard that before.  But if you stick with me, you will see.  People will be beg you to make these cupcakes for them.

This is what I call a dump and mix recipe.  All the ingredients get tossed into one bowl, mix away and then bake.

Don’t believe me?  I dare you to give them a try. I promise that this will become your go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes.

Notes: This recipe was adapted from one I used to bake back in my college days called Wacky Cake.  It was perfect at the time because it requires few ingredients, no mixer, and best of all, no eggs!  I never seemed to have eggs or butter on hand (back when I ate dairy) so this recipe was a lifesaver. Apparently I haven’t grown up because I still make it far too often!

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (for best results, use this one)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum (I use a corn-free variety of xanthan gum from Authentic Foods)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (if you are vegan, make sure to use vegan sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil of choice (canola, melted coconut oil, safflower or light tasting olive oil will all work)
  • 1 cup brewed coffee or water

Makes approximately 10 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place all ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes (start your mixer slowly so that you don’t slosh the ingredients).  You can also mix this batter by hand.

Divide the batter evenly into the muffin papers so that they are two-thirds full.  I use a spring-loaded ice cream/batter scoop for this task.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back a bit when gently pressed with a finger.

Cool, frost and serve.  Once cooled these freeze well and can be thawed at room temperature as needed.

Creamy Chocolate-Mocha Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1- 10 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Mini Chips which is also vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter if you eat dairy)

—>  In a saucepan, combine all ingredients.

—>  Cook over low, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted.  Continue stirring until it comes together into a smooth, shiny mixture.

—>  Remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl.

—>  Cool frosting in the fridge, stirring thoroughly every 15 minutes.  Chill until thick enough to spread.  Approximately 1 1/2 hours.

13 thoughts on “1-2-3 Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free)

  1. It’s a good thing I don’t live close to you….I would be 10 lbs heavier for sure. I’m going to try these – I’m all about dump and stir!

    • I knew that you of all people would love the dump and stir thing!! Since you don’t have to be gluten-free, feel free to substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour and drop the xanthan gum. The only other tip is don’t overmix. We don’t have to worry about that with gluten-free batters. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks! My little boy was begging me today for cupcakes! Once again you have came to our rescue. I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done without your blog these past few months. Thanks to you I am not afraid to try to make things. I made chocolate candies today for the kids who were begging for Reese’s peanut butter cups..only nut free, soy free, corn free and gluten free oh, and of course Caesin free, Lol! Thanks for showing me that it is possible!

    • Thank you for your comment! I wish you could see the smile it put on my face. I KNOW how wonderful it feels to delight a child with food allergies with a special treat. My son always says, “and I can even eat it!” That’s why I keep posting. Your chocolate candies sound like they were a hit! Did you use sunflower butter? Take care, Terris

  3. Just made it tonight since all of my flour has arrived, and they are wonderful!! I am so excited to try more recipes! Thank you so much!

  4. Hi! This was a fantastic and easy recipe. I do have one question as I am still new to GF V baking. They came out great and light at first but then got heavy and dense as they cooled and sat at room temp. Is that normal? I did have to add about 1/4 more water as my mixture didn’t seem to come out thin enough. Either way they still taste great, just curious if there were any other hints or tricks to try and keep them light. Thanks again for the great recipe!

    • Hi Lisa, I’m so happy that you got a chance to try the recipe. I love troubleshooting results, so I’m happy you shared your outcome! Regarding the consistency of the batter, I think my note about it being fairly thin was misleading so I plan to change that in the recipe. Sometimes gf cake and brownie batters seem thick and almost gelatinous before baking due to the xanthan gum. In fact, they can be tough to spread with a spatula. This cupcake recipe yields a batter that is thin (relative to that) but fairly similar to a regular wheat cake batter. I hope that all makes sense! Anyways, I’m thinking that if you try again, don’t add additional water and just try it as written. I have never had them turn dense and heavy upon cooling. Since there are no eggs in the recipe, that extra water may have been too much for the amount of baking soda and leaded to a bit of collapsing of the internal structure when cooling. Also, if you do ever want to add more water to a batter, make sure to increase the baking time because slightly underdone cupcakes or muffins can collapse upon cooling. Good luck and thank you for taking the time to comment!

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