Learn how to make these most delicious easy Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cupcakes ever! With just 8 ingredients, these are simple to make, fast and also oil-free! You can eat them as muffins and leave off the frosting if you like and they are still very delicious!
VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP CUPCAKES
When a cupcake is so good, it doesn’t need the frosting, you know it’s good. But, come on, it’s a cupcake, so it does need frosting, haha! This recipe is based off of my Vegan Chocolate Chip Cake, but simply turned into cupcakes. So many ask me about making them into cupcakes, that I figured, I better make a full post dedicated to them. Oh my, I like them even better as cupcakes. Cupcakes are just such fun. They are SO light, fluffy and tender and downright delicious. Perfect for kids and birthdays.
Bonus that these are vegan, gluten-free, oil-free (meaning no added oil) and also nut-free! And of course, only 8 ingredients! Instead of almond flour or a nut butter in place of oil, like I typically use, these vegan cupcakes use coconut butter. It gives a slight, but detectably delicious coconut flavor. Additionally, the coconut butter gives a buttery flavor and richness that just doesn’t come from nut butters.
If you avoid coconut butter, I totally get it. It cannot be subbed out, as the recipe is written based off of using coconut butter with the oat flour, so if you don’t want to use coconut butter, make this Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe instead and follow the cupcakes instructions. If you avoid both coconut and nuts, make these Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes instead and sub the coconut milk with cashew milk or perhaps oat milk?
(full amounts and details on recipe card below)
- Superfine oat flour: I use Bob’s Red Mill because it’s superfine. If your oat flour is not fine and is gritty, the cupcakes will be extra wet and dense.
- Tapioca starch: This starch helps bind the cupcakes, give rise and replaces eggs. It also makes them fluffy and moist.
- Baking powder
- Pure maple syrup
- Unsweetened applesauce: This helps to give a lot of moisture to the cupcakes since we are only using 1/4 cup of coconut butter in them.
- Coconut butter: This replaces oil or butter and gives a rich, buttery chocolate chip cookie taste to the cupcakes.
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips: I used the Enjoy Life brand.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP CUPCAKES
Step 1: Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk very well.
Step 2: It is imperative that your coconut butter is properly mixed and melted to a liquid before measuring. The oil and coconut meat separate in the jars, so I like to slightly warm the jar for a few seconds in the microwave, empty it into a separate glass container and stir until fully mixed back up. If the coconut butter is not correctly mixed prior to measuring, the cupcake texture will not turn out right. Please see pics for how the coconut butter starts out after being stored. It is hard and solid. You will want to briefly heat this container, 15 seconds or so, just until soft chunks are able to be mixed thoroughly. If still too chunky to mix into a liquid, heat again for 5-10 more seconds only. Overheating will burn and ruin the coconut butter. Stir the chunks several times until a liquid forms, as pictured. Once it’s a runny, smooth liquid, you are ready to measure.
Step 3: Add the liquids to a separate bowl and stir until well mixed. It will be thick. Make sure to use the scale to hit zero in between each liquid addition.
Step 4: Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir until a moist smooth batter forms, being careful not to overmix, but just until no more visible flour remains.
Step 5: Divide the batter into 12 nonstick muffin liners. I like to use an ice cream scoop for perfectly sized cupcakes and rounded tops. Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen, golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean with no batter on it.
Step 6: Cool completely before frosting. I used my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and topped it with extra chocolate chips for presentation. Oh my heavens, so so delicious. It tastes like vanilla cake, with a hint of coconut and a chocolate chip cookies all rolled into one. SO GOOD. If you avoid oil, use whatever frosting you like .
MORE VEGAN CUPCAKES RECIPES
- Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Ever
- Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes
- Vegan Gluten-free Funfetti Cupcakes
- Vegan Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes
- Vegan Vanilla White Cupcakes (perfect for a wedding!)
*This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy here.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (Gluten-free)
- 1 1/4 cups (160g) superfine oat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill b/c it's superfine. If it's not fine, your cupcakes will turn out more dense and not as fluffy.)
- 6 tablespoons (48g) tapioca starch
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 scant teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (200g) pure maple syrup (or agave)
- 1/2 cup (120g) unsweetened applesauce, room temp
- 1/4 cup (60g) liquid/melted coconut butter (see directions) Use store-bought or my homemade recipe
- 2 tablespoons (30g) warm water
- 1/2 cup (120g) semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy life)
- 2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
- I used this Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, but feel free to use whatever you like. If you want to avoid frosting, these are still really delicious without it, just less fancy.
- I always recommend to use a scale for accuracy when baking, following MY gram weights listed, since we all measure differently. This greatly improves your chance for success and lessons room for error. You never need cups or to compare them to the weights, just use the scale and bowl and make sure to zero out in between each ingredient. My recipes are 100% tested specifically using my exact weights and your results will turn out as mine are pictured this way.
- I use this scale.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a muffin pan with 12 nonstick liners. I used parchment paper liners.
- Add the oat flour, tapioca, baking powder and salt to a large bowl and whisk well.
- It is important to make sure your liquids are not cold, or it will cause the coconut butter to harden while mixing. The oil tends to separate from the coconut meat in the jar and be very hard, and it's imperative that it's mixed thoroughly before measuring. Otherwise, you run the chance of getting too much of just the oil part or just the meaty part, which will affect the end result. So I like to slightly warm up the jar (like 10 seconds) and empty the coconut butter in a separate container, warm up for just a few more seconds if too chunky still in the microwave (5-10) until it is warm and soft enough to stir. It should be soft, but don't overheat the coconut butter or it will burn and ruin it. As you stir it, the warmth will melt it and make it more runny. Stir until completely smooth and runny. Please see pics in the post for reference. After it's runny, then measure the weight 60g.
- Add the syrup, applesauce, coconut butter, warm water, vanilla extract to a separate bowl and make sure to use the scale to hit zero in between each liquid addition. Stir until well mixed. It will be thick.
- Add the liquids to the dry ingredients, as well as the chocolate chips. Use a large spoon and stir the batter until fully moistened and no more visible flour is seen. Do not overmix. Overmixing oat-based batters can cause dense results. The batter should be very smooth and moist.
- Divide the batter into the 12 liners. I like to use an ice cream scoop, as it yields perfect domed tops while baking.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine were done at 18 minutes, but ovens can vary. They should be risen and a nice golden brown color.
- Cool the cupcakes 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool fully before frosting. Store leftover cupcakes at room temperature sealed in a cake dome or large container.