Go Back Email Link

Gluten free chocolate orange cupcakes

These easy chocolate orange cupcakes are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and vegan friendly!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 12 cupcakes


Chocolate orange cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange zest (plus up to 2 tbsp more)

Chocolate icing

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (plus up to 1/2 tsp more)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Use a zester or grater to zest the oranges. We generally use 6 tbsp of orange zest (this is equal to 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) for a strong orange flavor. If you prefer a more mild orange flavor, you can use 4 - 5 tbsp of orange zest.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk all of the wet ingredients together in another large mixing bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients little by little, mixing as you do so. Stir the batter until there are no large clumps left in the batter.
    The orange zest can be added into the wet ingredients or mixed in after the dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients.
  • Add cupcake liners to the wells of a muffin tin then fill the wells of the muffin tin with cupcake batter. Fill the wells no more than 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full.
    The cupcake batter will rise as it cooks. If you fill the wells more than 2/3 of the way, the cupcakes will overflow and may sink in the middle.
  • Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 20 - 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
    We recommend turning the oven off, propping the door open, and letting the cupcakes cool in the oven rather than taking them right out of the oven when they are done. If the cupcakes cool too quickly then they may sink in the middle.
  • Melt the coconut oil and mix all of the ingredients for the chocolate icing. The icing will spread best when it is warm but the cupcakes have started to cool.
    The icing should be smooth and easy to spread. If your icing is thick and lumpy, add more coconut milk to the icing 1/4 tsp at a time until it becomes smooth.


Orange zest. We add 6 tbsp of orange zest to our cupcakes to give them a sharp orange flavor. If you want your cupcakes to have more of a mild orange flavor, you can use 4 tbsp or 1/4 cup of orange zest instead. 
Xanthan gum. If your gluten free all purpose flour blend does not contain xanthan gum or a similar replacement for gluten then you should add around 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour.
Tips for measuring flour. We recommend measuring flour by spooning the flour into a measuring cup then leveling off the flour with a butter knife. This is the most consistent way to measure flour. If you dip your measuring cup into the bag of flour, it will compress the flour and you will end up with extra flour.