Cupcakes and Muffins · Fiesta Friday · Gluten-Free

Chocolate Cupcakes with Simple Chocolate Buttercream (GF)


I have to admit that there are few recipes I love so much I would call them go-to recipes. But these cupcakes are in that group. I made them once at the last minute to take to a friend’s house, and since then have fallen in love with their simple to cook nature and how soft and fluffy and rich with chocolate flavour these cupcakes are. Out of all the recipes I have tried from the Every Day Art of Gluten-Free these cupcakes have also required the least alteration. I am still working on the original chocolate glaze as I found the original recipe wasn’t thick enough for me, and didn’t set how I liked. But in the meantime I have had a lot of fun whipping up a batch or two of these cupcakes. You would think from how rich the chocolate flavour is that I used actual chocolate in them, but no! Something about the secret ingredient keeps these cupcakes moist and helps bring out their strong flavour potential. You might be surprised to find out that the secret ingredient is none other than mayonnaise!

Putting mayonnaise in cakes might seem unusual, as people are often quite shocked when I tell them that mayonnaise is what makes these cakes so moist. But it works. It really does work. I love these cupcakes because they are so moist, so fluffy and that they are very versatile. The original recipe used the batter to make a double layer, super delicious, double chocolate cake. But I prefer to make these into cupcakes and have even given making the famous Hostess Cupcakes a go. These cakes do very well with a little bit of cream piped into them, as it helps break up the intense chocolate flavour. However, I also discovered last night that other people aren’t quite as weak to sweets or chocolate as me and were all too eager to slather on the chocolate frosting and chow down!

So for a simple, but delicious treat for this Fiesta Friday, I present these chocolate cupcakes!

Adapted from The Every Day Art of Gluten-Free’s

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Makes: up to 2 dozen cupcakes, Prep: 15-20 mins for cupcakes, 15-20 mins for buttercream, Cook: 25 mins


  • 2 1/4 cups/264g cake and muffin blend (*see note)
  • 2 cups/440g packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup/83g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tbsp and 1 tsp/40g cornflour
  • 1 1/4 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups/360ml milk
  • 1/2 cup/120ml olive oil, or a neutral flavoured oil
  • 1/2 cup/120ml mayonnaise (make sure it’s gluten-free)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups/320g icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup/50g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • ¼ cup/60ml milk or cream

NOTE: The cake and muffin blend is made of 320g sorghum flour, 304g glutinous rice flour, 144g potato starch, 120g brown rice flour and 44g potato flour. I always leave out the gums like xantham or guar guar.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan-forced), and line two cupcake tins with patty pans.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients for the cupcakes in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed and no lumps of brown sugar remain.
  3. Add in the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. This mixture will be extremely wet.
  4. If your mixing bowl isn’t all that good for pouring, you can tip the mixture into a jug. It makes it easier to distribute between the patty pans.
  5. Fill each patty pan about 3/4 full, anymore than that and you’ll have cupcakes spilling over and sticking to the tin.
  6. Pop the trays in the oven and bake for up to 25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into their centres comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. While the cupcakes are baking you can prepare the buttercream, as this saves on prep time. In your bowl, beat the softened butter until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the other ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
  8. Once combined you should turn the mixer up to high and beat it for a good couple of minutes to ensure the icing sugar is dissolved. If you’re worried about it getting too soft you can pop it into the fridge while the cupcakes cool. But you will need to let it come back to room temperature before using.
  9. You can either use a knife to spread the buttercream on the cupcakes, or prepare a piping bag with your preferred piping tip. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, then either serve, or pop back into the fridge.

20 thoughts on “Chocolate Cupcakes with Simple Chocolate Buttercream (GF)

  1. It’s amazing what one ingredient can do to a recipe and sometimes it really surprises us. They look so delicious – I could eat one with my coffee this morning! Thanks for bringing these to Angie’s Fiesta Friday party 🙂


    1. I found it really interesting too, especially since I’m not used to such runny cake batters But for some reason it’s just fantastic in these cupcakes, and brings out their flavour even more. I suppose it’s similar to adding sour cream or yoghurt. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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