Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Frosting

Fall has started to creep down the alleyways of the Chicago. Leaves have been spotted playing excitedly on the streets from my bay window.  And so the first weekend of fall began. Starbucks decreed it with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and it was the right weather for boots to be taken out of storage. I wanted to create something that reminded me of fall.  I wanted something that told me all the stories of the holidays rushing upon us, but with a twist (No worries, the Apple Pie Cupcake is coming soon).

I got the idea from a gift that from Sweden my boyfriend received last Christmas: chocolate infused with orange. Sweet chocolate covered with a savory orange kiss. That was what I had been craving.I realize this is not a conventional association of fall, however, the orange frosting set against the almost black chocolate stirred up childhood images of Halloween.

So without further ado, the wheatless wanderer presents a ghoulishly sweet treat sure to create a hit at any haunt or stir up a memory during the holiday season: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Frosting.


chocolate cake

Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free all purpose baking flour
  • 2/3 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11/4 cup almond milk
  • 2/3 cup hot coffee



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 7 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • Orange food coloring (I mixed 4 drops of yellow with 2 drops of red)

The Creation of the Cupcake:


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and pick out some festive liners to add a stylish touch.
  2. In a mixer (you can also use a bowl), mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt  together.
  3. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and almond milk to the mixer (bowl) and mix until combined.
  4. Slowly pour in the hot coffee to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed in the mixer for 1-2 minutes.  If the batter looks too thick, add more almond milk. The texture should be fairly liquid.
  5. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middles comes out clean.
  6. Remove cupcakes from oven and the let cakes cool completely before frosting.
  7. Make frosting.

The Creation of the Frosting

  1. Cut butter into cubes and put into a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  2. Add 4 cups of the sifted confectioners sugar, orange juice, vanilla and orange extracts. Mix for 5 minutes or until the frosting comes together.
  3. Add the rest of the confectioners sugar and mix again on low speed for 10 seconds. Add 2 drops of red food coloring and 4 drops of yellow food coloring. Mix on high for 2-3 minutes or until all is combined.
  4. Take a piping bag or plastic bag and  fit it over a large measuring cup. Scoop the frosting into the bag. If it is a plastic bag then cut a hole in the corner when all the frosting is in the bag.
  5. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes when they are cooled.
  6. Top each cupcake with festive decorations, whether that be an orange slice or sprinkles with the kids, this cupcake is sure to please everyone’s taste buds!


Recipe adapted from Bake for Coffee.

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I am a writer, photographer and travel of the world.

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