Gluten Free Cupcakes with Nutella Cloud Frosting

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“You can’t even tell these are gluten free!”

Baking without gluten is notoriously difficult, so this statement made me smile. My sister and her partner are gluten-free so I’m always trying to find something to bake for our family get-togethers. In the past, I’ve avoided gluten altogether by making flourless desserts, such as flourless chocolate peppermint cake.

At our last family party, I was determined to make something with gluten free flour. I picked up a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour and some xanthan gum (I got it in the bulk section of my local food co-op, which is more affordable than getting a whole bag of it). I used a one-bowl chocolate cupcake recipe and replaced the all-purpose flour with gluten free, along with a little xanthan gum.

The result? Perfectly fluffy, chocolatey cupcakes that you can’t even tell are gluten free! And I haven’t even mentioned the frosting yet – it’s like biting into a cloud of Nutella (hence the name). I’ve made my own Nutella buttercream lots of times, which is my most popular frosting to date. I came across Sweetapolita’s Nutella cloud frosting on Pinterest and knew I had to try it and compare the two. I still love my rich Nutella buttercream, but Sweetapolita’s recipe has a nice lightness to it, while mine is a bit heavier. Either way, you can’t beat Nutella frosting!


One-Bowl Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 20-24 cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix until batter is smooth and fill prepared baking cups 2/3 full. Bake around 20 minutes, until tops spring back when touched.

Nutella Cloud Frosting

Adapted from Sweetapolita

Makes enough to frost 12-15 cupcakes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon milk

In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar for a minute until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add the melted (and cooled) chocolate and beat on medium speed until frosting smooth. Finally, add Nutella and beat until well combined. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

37 Responses to “Gluten Free Cupcakes with Nutella Cloud Frosting”
  1. Living The Sweet Life writes:

    This cupcakes reminds me of a chocolate cloud – -it looks so light. Yumm!!
    Living The Sweet Life recently posted Triple Grain Trail Mix Breakfast Cookie

  2. Stephanie writes:

    @Living the Sweet Life – it’s so cloud-like! Definitely a nice fluffy frosting.

  3. Kanan writes:

    wow your cupcake looks awesome.
    Kanan recently posted Chocolate Cupcakes (Egg less)

  4. Kelsey writes:

    Hi Stephanie! I stmbled across your blog via Pinterest. What great ideas you have! I am curious, On this recipe, what is the purpose of Xantham Gum? I have never heard of it being used in “home-made recipes” so also did not know you could also buy it for home use. Thanl you!

  5. Stephanie writes:

    @Kelsey – welcome! Xanthan gum is used in gluten free baking to add volume (and in other recipes as a thickening agent or stabilizer). If you don’t need this to be gluten free, you can use regular AP flour in place of GF flour and skip the xanthan gum all together.

  6. Kelsey writes:

    Thank you Stephanie! I guess it just shows one is never to old to learn something new! I am so looking forward to “following” your blog :-)

  7. Michael writes:

    Just mixed up a batch of these and, as always, I tried the batter before tossing them into the oven… Yowza! The batter tastes like chocolate covered peas. Not what I was expecting. I used the Bob’s red mill all purpose gluten free flour, which has a high garbanzo bean ratio – thinking that might be the culprit. Hope that flavor bakes off! Will let you know!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe though – hoping to find a couple good gluten free desserts for the growing number of people in my life (myself included) going gluten free.

  8. Karen writes:

    You do not have to use Bob’s GF flour, you can use any other flour and some contain xanthan gum. Will still turn out the same with even a better taste.

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  10. Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes « Who needs a diet? writes:

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  11. Crystal writes:

    I found out I am gluten intolerant about a year and a half ago, and since then I have been struggling to find decent sweets.

    I tried your recipe yesterday and OMG! These are the best gluten free cupcakes I have had to date! I, and my gluten eating family, couldn’t get enough of them. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it will be a new staple in my gluten free baking arsenal.

  12. Stephanie writes:

    @Crystal – that’s great! I’m so happy to hear that you loved the recipe. It’s so hard to eat gluten free so I’m glad these cupcakes can add a little sweetness to your life.

  13. Sarah writes:

    I have been gluten free for a while and have really missed cupcakes that I could just whip up at home. I tried a recipe yesterday and they were gummy and terrible, everything that can go wrong with a gluten free recipe. I decided to find a different recipe and came across this one on Pinterest. Simply, its amazing. I definitely know this is the recipe I will go to whenever I need a cupcake fix!

  14. Stephanie writes:

    @Sarah – that’s fantastic! You’re the second person to post a comment like this, so I think the recipe is definitely a winner!

  15. Fabiola Gonterman writes:

    Xanthan gum is great, you can even bake some cake out of it. It is a great for some of use who have gluten allergy. ;*.;.

    Please do find out more about our very own homepage

  16. Fran writes:

    Just wanted to say thank you for the great recipe! We’re gluten free but I also bake and decorate cake as a hobby. Prior to going GF we had become quite the cake snobs so finding a good GF cupcake has been a challenge. I made these today so my son could take one to a birthday party he was invited to (and not be left out of having cake). The entire family of cake snobs voted this the BEST chocolate cupcake we’ve tried to date! We were very impressed with the texture as well as the flavor. The only thing I did differently is I used the sour milk trick since I had no buttermilk and I used warm coffee instead of water (just because I like how that brings out the chocolate flavor). I didn’t use the frosting since I had no Nutella but the cupcake recipe is a definite winner! We can’t wait to try it with a peppermint buttercream. :) And for the record any garbanzo based flour mix has that weird taste when it’s raw. It freaked me out too when I first tried it but it always bakes off. We have a favorite sugar cookie recipe that tastes nasty when raw but once baked you can’t even tell it’s GF.

  17. Erick Cahall writes:

    The gluten-free diet i am taking is quite tasty and so i am much delighted. ‘

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  18. Sas writes:

    I’ve been looking for a gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe for ages so I’m looking forward to trying these. And the frosting sounds very interesting!
    Sas recently posted Laduree tea shop – macarons in Covent Garden

  19. Kath writes:

    Horrible aftertaste of paper. Moist but doesn’t taste good.

  20. april writes:

    Made my first gluten free recipe today and this was it. Would substituting sweet rice flour change the texture? I have never eaten gluten free baked goods so I am not sure if the texture will naturally be different. Of course I know it is different so that might be why I notice it. Thank you for sharing a delicious recipe!

  21. philly writes:

    Love this recipes so much! Have made it a view times, couldn’t really tell that it’s gluten free. Everybody that I share with were amazed. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Crystal writes:

    Can you substitute coconut oil for the canola oil in this recipe?

  23. Bea writes:

    is the bittersweet chocolate bakers chocolate or just regular chocolate?

  24. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Crystal, I’ve never tried using coconut oil and I don’t have much experience in using it as a substitute, so I’m not sure. Sorry I can’t be of more help – let me know if you give it a try.

  25. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Bea, any plain bittersweet chocolate bar or bakers chocolate will work.

  26. Nicole writes:

    Hi I love this recipe so much! If I wanted to adapt it to make it just vanilla what do I need to do?

  27. Michelle writes:

    Can you make these minus the chocolate? I’m making cupcakes for my daughter, but she does not like chocolate. I have the Bob’s Red Mill AP Baking flour and also King Arthur’s. King Arthur’s doesn’t have the bean flours in their mix. Just have read very mixed reviews on King Arthur’s site for the recipe they have posted for yellow cake. It was either loved or a complete flop. I don’t want a complete flop! So I began searching and came across this.

  28. Stephanie Nuccitelli writes:

    Michelle, cocoa is a relatively major ingredient in these, so I don’t think you could just remove it and have them turn out right. I’m going to work on a GF vanilla cupcake but for now, you’ll have to look elsewhere – sorry I can’t be more helpful! Good luck.

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  30. kitty cat writes:

    Just made these to test out gluten free chocolate cupcakes and they came out amazing! my client is going to love these for her daughters birthday! thank you!

  31. Gwendolynn Waasdorp writes:

    I love love love this recipe..
    Broken Arrow Baptist Temple ( the church I attend) has at least 5 gluten intolerant people… including my self, and every time I make them all of the people say that these cupcakes are the very best they had ever had.. thank you for this recipe

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  37. Sam writes:

    I made these for my fiancé and they turned out so absolutely PERFECT! I really can’t tell that they’re gluten free! Thank you so much for sharing!

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