Gluten-Free Cocoa Cupcakes with Honey Peanut Butter Frosting

Every now and again, I get an urge to bake something awesome. I was planning a visit to my friend's house for dinner, and wanted to bring something special over.  I realized then that I had yet to make my first cupcake recipe!  Her family tends to pick gluten-free recipes, so I decided now was the time to experiment with some more gluten-free flour.  After all, my Vegan and Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles had turned out so good last time, I knew great things were possible.

I found a vegan recipe for the cupcakes, converting it to gluten-free flour and brown sugar in the batter, and used butter instead of oil.  For the frosting, I wanted to pick something different, and went with a peanut butter version that used honey instead of sugar as a sweetener.  Peanut butter and chocolate meet again.

I started out by pouring the soy milk into a stand mixing bowl, then added in the apple cider vinegar. I set it aside to let the milk curdle, and in a separate small bowl I melted 1/3 cup of butter. I mixed in the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts and beat the mixture. It stayed slightly lumpy, which I was a little unsure about, but decided to keep going and see how they turned out.

In a medium bowl, I sifted together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

I gradually poured the flour mixture into the bowl with the soy milk, mixing as I went to ensure the batter was fully combined.

Next, I poured the batter into the pan lined with cupcake papers and put them in the oven for 18 minutes.

Once a toothpick poked through the center came out clean, I knew the cupcakes were ready to go and set them aside to cool while I worked on the frosting.

The frosting was super easy.  I beat together softened butter, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. It wasn't until after I had added all the ingredients that I realized the original recipe suggested mixing the butter and honey first, then adding in the peanut butter and vanilla. But it still worked out fine!

The frosting stayed thin, so I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes and beat it for another minute until was creamy.

When I frosted the cupcakes, I busted out my cake decorating kit I got as a gift last year.  I scooped the frosting into one of the pastry decorating bags with a tip.

I used the piping bag to apply frosting to the cupcake.

And voila!  Adding frosting wasn't nearly as hard as I expected.  They sure didn't come out perfect, but practice is the best fix.

Well for my first batch of cupcakes, I have to say these turned out pretty amazing.  The cake was moist and full of a great chocolate flavor, and the chunkiness of the butter had no negative impact.  The frosting was my favorite part, though.  With the honey, it had a great amount of sweetness and no extra sugar was needed.  The next day the cupcakes weren't quite as moist, possibly because I kept them in the fridge to keep the frosting fresh.  I brought them over to my friend's and they received all good comments.  Now for the next cupcake...

Gluten-Free Cocoa Cupcakes with Honey Peanut Butter Frosting


For the cupcakes:
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes.   Melt butter in a small bowl.    Add the brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the soy milk mixture and beat well.  In a separate bowl, sift together the  gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually mix into the milk mixture until the batter is well combined.  Scoop into cupcake liners and bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  To make the frosting, beat together the butter, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract until thick and creamy.

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