My Go-To Birthday Treat: Dairy, Egg, Nut and Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
This recipe is so special to me. It was the very first allergy-safe recipe that I ever tried, and it was given to me by the only food allergy mom who I knew at the time of my oldest son's diagnosis. I'll never forget how I felt when my sweet friend handed me a photocopied page from what has since become one of my favorite allergy-safe cookbooks, The Divvies Bakery Cookbook; it was like she was handing me a golden ticket, a little glimmer of hope that I might be able to make life feel normal for my little boy. That may sound dramatic, but that is exactly how it felt to me.
The other thing that makes this recipe so special is that it is SO good! These cupcakes are so delicious and versatile. People can't believe that they are dairy and egg-free, and these little gems are absolutely perfect without the gluten, too. I've made them for every occasion imaginable and decorated them accordingly (I've made everything from baseball and monster truck cupcakes to the pretty ones in the picture below that are decorated with strawberries and chocolate chips). Use this recipe as a base, and get creative - you'll never go wrong!
Dairy, Egg & Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour (I use King Arthur's Gluten-Free Baking Mix when making these g-free)
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 or 24-mold (if you want mini cupcakes) cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together until well combined. In a larger bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and water. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix until very smooth, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with the spatula to ensure that everything is well incorporated. The batter will be more watery than most cupcake batters.
Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full and cook cupcakes for approximately 25 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through cooking to ensure even baking. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
The perfect cupcake deserves an awesome frosting, and this vanilla version fits the bill. The best part about the frosting - it's the place where you can really have some fun! Mix-ins like fruit preserves, chocolate sandwich cookies, Sunbutter, or even maple syrup can absolutely transform this vanilla base into something super special. Get on your creative chef's hat and have FUN with this!
Vanilla Frosting Recipe (also from Divvies)
1 1/4, plus 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 chilled dairy-free butter (I use Earth balance brand, soy-free version)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (soy, rice or hemp milk will all work great)
Combine the 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl with a stand or hand mixer on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go. Continue beating for approximately 1 minute. Add the non-dairy milk and continue to mix. With the mixer running, add remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you'd like, and beat for an additional 4-5 minutes, until creamy. Chill frosting in refrigerator until it is set and cupcakes are cool enough to frost.
For more on Divvies' cookbook that features this recipes, The Divvies Bakery Cookbook, click here.