These gluten free black velvet cupcakes taste & feel like they were made with a full gluten mix. Soft, tasty, perfect for Halloween cupcakes!
I MISS that recipe, now that I have to stay away from gluten. They’re moist black velvet cupcakes - the perfect Halloween cupcakes - with the distinct flavour of my favorite red velvet cake.
Anyway, I decided it was time to tweak and update my original red velvet cupcakes recipe so that I could have some of those fantastic black cupcakes, myself.
FOMO often leads to success, in my kitchen. LOL!
Anyway, the update went FANTASTICALLY - I ended up shocking myself with how good they are.
I mean, they were great before. With this updated cupcake recipe? They’re pretty much indistinguishable from box mix cakes.
... and I’m talking about the full gluten, regular box mixes.
Now... I have no idea what happened, but they’re soft and delicious even straight out of the fridge.
Check out the video I took, having decided that I needed EVIDENCE of the achievement:
For someone that’s supposed to be low carbbing at the moment, I ate an embarrassing amount of those cupcakes. It doesn’t count if it’s for work, right?
Anyway, with spooky season - and Halloween parties! - coming up, I’m thrilled to share this cupcake recipe with you today!
If you’re familiar with my gluten-free baking, you know that my ingredients lists can be a little more intense than some, but that it’s absolutely worth it.
This is what you’ll need in order to make this recipe:
Gluten Free Flour Ingredients
As with all of my gluten free recipes, I developed this one from the ground up, u the gluten free flours that would work best - in the right proportions - to ensure a great flavour and texture.
This gives me a lot of control over the recipe, AND it ensures a consistent result for anyone following this recipe. That’s just not the case for using premix “all purpose” gluten free flour mixes.
When it comes to gluten-free baking, no all purpose flour is really great at being all things, for every recipe. I like to choose the flours and proportions based on what I need it to do - rise, structure, moisture retention, browning, crisping, etc.
In addition to those, the “flour” mix used also requires:
Simply put, it “fool proofs” this recipe, adding and retaining moisture in a way that is reminiscent of full gluten boxed cake mixes. Don’t skip this ingredient!
As for the cocoa powder, regular cocoa mix works fine - it’s what I used here - but if you can get dark Dutch-process cocoa powder (a black cocoa powder), you can definitely use that!
Note: Unlike most of my baking recipes, there is no Xanthan Gum in this one.
That’s not an omission - between the flours used, the pudding powder, egg whites, and the structure required? It just doesn’t need it.
The Remaining Cupcake Ingredients
As for the more basic ingredients, you’ll need:
Unsalted butter (Can sub vegetable oil if you prefer)
Pure vanilla extract
Black Food coloring
1. When it comes to black food dye, I prefer to use a black gel food coloring, rather than a paste or liquid.
Specifically, I recommend Americolor (what I used when I was in the USA), or ChefMaster (Which is the option more readily available here!). The black is just FAR more intense, and is so much better to work with. It’s black velvet, afterall... not grey velvet!
Together with a bit of cocoa, this is the easiest way to ensure a really black cake - and rich black color for the frosting!
2. If you do not have buttermilk, stir 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into the milk, and let sit for 5 minutes.
While I usually use traditional cream cheese frosting with any - velvet cake, I tend to use one of two other recipes:
American Buttercream - the common icing sugar frosting, or
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream ... when I’m feeling bougie.
I’ll use them as-is for white frosting (gluten free mummy cupcakes!), dye it bright colours for “Monster” cupcakes (info further down in this post), or dye it black for a simple swirl on top of these cupcakes.
The best way to get a deep color with black frosting is to use a small amount of cocoa powder in the frosting, before adding the black food colouring.
Additionally, black frosting tends to deepen in colour after a few hours.
The more you know!
How to Make Gluten-Free Black Velvet Cupcakes
The Full recipe follows at the end of this post, this is the pictorial walk through.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Line 2 muffin tins (12 regular sized cavities in each muffin tin) with cupcake liners.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), set aside.
Use a good amount of food colouring to tint batter VERY black, set aside.
It is very important that the bowl and mixer are very clean, and that no egg yolk gets into the whites. Any grease or yolk will prevent the eggs from whipping up properly.
Gently fold whipped egg whites into the main batter, until all of the “white” disappears. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as you go.
Divide batter among prepared muffin pans. I like to use a cookie scoop to spoon the batter into the cavities.
Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and cake springs back – about 20-22 minutes.
Allow cupcakes to cool to cool to room temperature, before decorating. You can use a wire rack if you like.
For Black Frosting
Once the frosting has come together, add cocoa powder. Beating to combine.
Add a copious amount of black gel food coloring, mix until fully combined.
Frost your cupcake as desired, enjoy!
Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes
This recipe can make elegant cupcakes when just piped with a swirl of very black frosting, but the possibilities go so much further than that!
Using a gluten free black velvet cupcake base is PERFECT for all manner of Halloween cupcake designs. A few ideas:
Gluten-Free Mummy Cupcakes
This is a very simple design to make, and whips up in just minutes!
Wilton has a few that would work well, it's just a matter of your taste.
Anyway, use the non-serrated side of the tip to pipe random lines on your cupcakes, leaving a little space for eyes.
Pipe a couple dots to act as glue, and secure a couple Candy Eyes in place.
Done and done!
Gluten Free Monster Cupcakes
I used 3 different star tips that I randomly grabbed from my set, it really doesn’t matter which style you use, just be sure to use a standard size, rather than one of the large, cupcake stars.
Starting in the center of your cupcake, place the tip close to the surface of the cupcake and squeeze a bit out, gently pulling away as you ease off on the pressure.
Repeat this in a circle around the original piped star, continuing outwards towards the edge of the cupcake, trying to avoid leaving any space between the stars.
Once you’re done, place a couple (or more!) Candy Eyes in the frosting.
Other Decorating Ideas
I asked a few fellow bloggers for their favourite Halloween cupcake ideas that this recipe could be used for, and they did not disappoint!
Check em out (Along with a couple more of my own!):
More Halloween Ideas
If you're still considering ideas for gluten free Halloween recipes and such, be sure to check out my:
Bacon Wrapped Mummy Meatloaf
Bloody Eyeball Halloween Punch
Deviled Eggs, Halloween Style!
Glazed Halloween Popcorn
Gluten Free Mummy Jalapeno Poppers
Gluten-Free Mummy Dogs
How to Carve a Pumpkin Like a Pro
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Gluten Free Black Velvet Cupcakes
- 1 cup Light buckwheat flour
- ⅓ cup Sorghum flour
- ¼ cup Cocoa powder
- ¼ cup Coconut flour
- ¼ cup White rice flour
- 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3 ½ oz Instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 Large eggs separated
- 1 ⅔ cups Buttermilk
- 1 cup Butter melted
- 4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Black food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Line 2 muffin tins (12 regular sized cavities in each muffin tin) with cupcake liners.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Carefully separate eggs, placing yolks in the dry ingredients bowl along with buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
- Use a good amount of food colouring to tint batter VERY black, set aside.
- In a – very clean – mixing bowl or stand mixer, whip the egg whites on high speed, until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold whipped egg whites into the main batter, until all of the “white” disappears.
- Divide batter among prepared muffin pans.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of batter comes out clean and cake springs back – about 20-22 minutes.
- Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean - about 20-22 mins .
- Allow cupcakes to cool to cool to room temperature, before decorating. You can use a cooling rack if you like.
- Prepare either Swiss meringue buttercream or American buttercream, following the applicable recipe.
- Once the frosting has come together, add cocoa powder. Beating to combine.
- Add a copious amount of black gel food coloring, mix until fully combined.
- Frost your cupcake as desired, enjoy!