We celebrated a birthday this week! Our little miss Abbi turned 6, which I still can’t believe. These past 6 years have flown by so quickly.
When Abbi was about 2 years old we switched her to a completely gluten-free diet (you can read Abbi’s story in detail here, including information on her symptoms and how we discovered it was gluten). Every birthday party since then has become easier as I’ve gotten a better handle on gluten-free baking.
I’ll let you in on a little secret though: I hate baking cupcakes. Well, okay… used to hate baking cupcakes. Every gluten-free recipe I tried would fail; I can’t even begin to guess how many cupcakes met our trash can over the years. It’s kind of embarrassing.
Finally though, I managed to create a delicious gluten-free and xanthan gum-free chocolate cupcake the whole family loves.
You can certainly frost these cupcakes with whatever frosting you like, but for Abbi’s birthday, I wanted to do something super special. Our girls never get to eat marshmallows, mainly because of the amount of sugar in them. For birthdays though, I’m definitely okay with making an exception.
These Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting were so much fun to make, and toast (I got to play with the kitchen torch)!
The frosting will surprise you. It’s very light and sweet, but not overly sweet (the recipe makes a lot of frosting, so the 2 cups of organic cane sugar goes a long way, vs. a normal frosting recipe that uses 3-5 cups of powdered sugar).
In any case, the cupcakes were a huge hit – especially with the birthday girl!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
For the chocolate cupcakes:
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup millet flour
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons psyllium husk powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened (or ½ cup ghee & ½ cup coconut oil)
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup coffee, cooled (or water)
- 2 eggs
For the marshmallow frosting:
- 8 egg whites
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the chocolate cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and line a muffin tin with 20 paper liners.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the vegan butter and the organic cane sugar.
- Add the unsweetened applesauce, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, coffee, and eggs, and mix until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, psyllium husk powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. It’s okay if there are a few lumps.
- Divide the batter between the 20 paper-lined tins, filling each about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center of a cupcake, comes out mostly clean (a few loose crumbs is okay). Really watch these cupcakes during the last few minutes of baking. If baked too long, they will be a little on the dry side. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
To make the marshmallow frosting:
- Fill a medium sized saucepan with an inch of water and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
- Mix the egg whites, organic cane sugar, and cream of tartar in a medium to large sized heat-safe mixing bowl (whatever size works best to nest on top of the saucepan, without touching the water).
- Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan, and whisk constantly until the organic cane sugar dissolves and reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and carefully transfer the contents into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Whisk on low for 30 seconds and gradually increase speed to high. Whisk for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until stiff glossy peaks form.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Immediately place the frosting into a piping bag with a ½ inch star tip and frost cooled cupcakes.
- Use a kitchen torch to carefully toast the marshmallow frosting.
Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.
Fluff your flours, starch, and cocoa and then use a spoon to sprinkle the flour into the measuring cup. Use the back of a knife to scrape off the excess and level off the cups.
FYI - The marshmallow frosting recipe makes a large amount, so feel free to liberally top your cupcakes (even more-so than what I have pictured).
Add ⅓ cup of chocolate mini chips to the cupcake batter if desired.
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Charlotte Moore says
Oh my these look so delicious. Cute as can be too.
Thank you, Charlotte! 🙂
Oh, I so need to make these!!!! Thank you!!! Do you think I could use a flour mix and add the psyllium? Otherwise, it will have to wait until I buy all the flours.
You’re very welcome, Connie! Maybe a mix would work – I’m afraid I can’t give you a firm answer on that on since it would really depend on the blend. I’ve worked this recipe out just right so the cupcakes will stay moist. 😉 You might have to experiment a bit if you’re up to it!
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
She is so, so cute, and those cupcakes look divine! Your Toasted Marshmallow Frosting is simply brilliant! And I know what you mean about cupcakes. It’s hard to find one/create one that really passes muster. Glad you’ve created this recipe for all of us! 🙂
Thanks again for sharing Abbi’s story of healing with us, too. It’s such an important story to tell and will help so many! I love, love, love that she’s so, so happy and healthy now!
Thank you so much, Shirley! 😉 I try to share Abbi’s story whenever I get an opportunity. I hate to think other families are struggling – not knowing. It makes me sad; it was such a hard time for us. But, on a positive note, I’m also happy our Abbi is so happy and healthy, and growing stronger every day! She is such a joy! 😉
Joanne Peterson says
These are gorgeous cupcakes! (I’ll be substituting carob for the cocoa since we have caffeine sensitivities.) The swirly frosting is so professional looking! The process for the frosting reminds me a little of seven minute frosting.
My husband has teased he would like to use power tools in the kitchen. He’ll get a kick out of hearing about using the kitchen torch.
Laura @PetiteAllergyTreats says
Wow, Megan! These are just gorgeous! Abbi is one lucky girl to have these for her special day. And great job with the blow torch! I might have burned the house down… 😉
Well, shhh…. don’t spread it around, but my husband was supervising me. LOLOL!!! 😉
Do the cupcakes have a coconut flavor with the use of the coconut milk? I would love to try this recipe for my own birthday in a few months (1st b-day since having to go gluten free) but I can’t stand the flavor or smell of coconut. Any suggesting for an alternative to the coconut milk?
It’s very little coconut milk – 1/4 cup. You won’t be able to detect it at all.
Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Cooking & Creating says
These are so delicious looking! And what a precious picture of your daughter. I love celebrating the birthdays of my sons, it’s so fun to make their days super special!
Michelle @ My Gluten-free Kitchen.com says
I need to make this marshmallow frosting! I’ve never had one before, and I’ve never played with a kitchen torch either!
Do you ever bake by weight? I always convert your recipes into grams, based on the package weight measurements with good results. I just always wonder how different they would come out with your gram measurements.
I don’t – it seems like so much effort to me to try and use my kitchen scale. I’m sure the measurements would be more accurate, but for convenience, it’s easier for me just to use my measuring cups. 😉
Have you ever tried to make this into a cake? I am trying to find a good recipe for a wheat-free cake, and this looks amazing. Would love to know if you think it would work, and also if I would need to double the recipe or if this would fit a 9×13 (or a couple 8-inch round) pans. Thank you!
No, I’ve never tried to make this into a cake so I’m not positive it will work, but my guess is that it’d be fine. I’d add an extra egg and try out a 9×13 pan. Just watch your baking time (you’ll have to experiment with how much time it needs). You want a few loose crumbs when you do a toothpick test. Any more time and it might dry the cake out. Please let me know if you try it!
It turned out delicious! I ended up using extra dark cocoa powder for part of it (because I ran out of my regular) and loved it even more. I used 1.5 recipes to fit a 9×13 pan, and did 4 eggs. Will make this again, thank you!
That’s wonderful to hear! Very happy it turned out well for you, Amanda. And thanks for letting me know the results!
How long did you bake it for? Thanks!
The baking time is included above in the baking instructions! 😉
I tried this as a cake tonight. It turned out great. I cooked it in a 8X8 with one extra egg and only half a cup of coconut shortening instead of one cup. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. Love your recipes. I can always count on them.
Wow!! I’m so happy it turned out well for you! I’m surprised it worked with half the shortening!
Thank you for using psy husk! I am so used to guessing but it is so nice to know that this recipe and others that you have posted will work! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!
You’re so welcome!! 🙂
Absolutely beautiful! Your cupcakes look pretty awesome, too.
Kaneez Farid says
Can I use all coconut oil instead of 1/2 ghee and 1/2 coconut oil??
That’s a great question, Kaneez. Without trying it, I’m not sure if it will work. I’d imagine it would, but you just might have to try it.
I using your recipe to make cakes and cupcakes for my sister’s wedding shower. How far in advance have you made the cupcakes and how did they last? I’d like to make the cake ahead and frost it the day before. Do you have any thoughts or experience? They are delicious, by the way!!’
Hi Melissa, I’m so glad you enjoy them! I’ve made the cupcakes 1 day prior to whatever event we’re having and they held up great. I wouldn’t recommend making them any further in advance though (than 24hrs).