Best-ever GF, CF Chocolate Cupcakes

I really mean that.  Best.  Ever.  You may remember last year when I made cupcakes for the Princess's class, with the orange and black icing?  This year, I left out the chocolate, and went with green/purple.  I'd wanted some gummy spiders or something for the tops, but left it till today to shop for them and could find any.  So, nonpareils, it is:

Cute, are they not?  But the real story is the cupcakes themselves.  They're so soft and moist, you'll never miss the gluten OR the dairy.  Now, on first read, this recipe might look a little scary.  Why all the cocoa powder?  What with the yogurt?  It can be difficult to find even baking chocolate that has no dairy and has not been processed on equipment that may have processed dairy.  So I went with all cocoa powder.  Just for the record, if you ever need to, you can make a chocolate/cocoa conversion.  Each 1 oz square of baking chocolate (unsweetened) can be replaced by 3 Tbsp cocoa and 1 Tbsp oil or butter.  So this recipe has something like 8 oz of chocolate.  Easy, right?

The yogurt and vinegar both help (along with the acid in the cocoa) to react with the leavening and create the right texture.  Since this as an oil-based recipe, rather than a butter cake, the cake is very moist and tender.

Best-Ever Gluten Free, Casein Free Chocolate Cupcakes

3 c. Fancy Flour Blend, other GF AP flour OR
1/2 c. millet flour
1/2 c. sweet rice flour
1 c. white rice flour
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
1-1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 c. cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. brown sugar
6 oz non-dairy Greek Yogurt style-fermented coconut or almond milk
1-1/2 Tbsp white vinegar + enough almond milk to make 1-3/4 c.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cupcake liners into cupcake pans.  (This recipe makes 36-42 cupcakes... be prepared.  Or you can make 24 cupcakes and one 8 or 9 inch layer)

In a bowl, sift together flour, guar gum, baking powder, soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, then add canola oil and coconut oil.   Add vanilla.  Mix until combined.

Add sugar and brown sugar, mixing well.

Beat in yogurt.  I used coconut-based yogurt.

Combine vinegar and almond milk.  Stir.  Yes, it's going to look curdled.  Trust me.  Really.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture.  When all ingredients are combined, beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes, till smooth.

Portion into cupcake liners with a 2 oz disher.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Almond Buttercream

1/4 c. dairy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance
1/2 c. shortening (such as Spectrum)
1 tsp almond extract
1 lb. powdered sugar (about 4-1/2 c.)
1/4-1/2 c. almond milk

Cream together shortening and margarine.  Add about 1 c. of the powdered sugar and beat well.  Add almond extract.  Continue adding powdered sugar and almond milk alternately until all sugar is incorporated and frosting is of a soft, pipable consistency.  Tint as desired.

These are really fabulous cupcakes.  And I'd bet you can take them out in public and no one will even know what's missing!


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