Vegan Chocolate Valentine's Cupcakes are perfect for the special day or any celebration! They are gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free and rich in chocolate flavor and moist texture. They are fluffy and so easy to make with just 8 ingredients!
1tablespoon (15g)non-dairy yogurt (I used the SoDelicious coconut yogurt)
natural red food color powder or drops (I use TrueColor powders)
As always, I recommend highly to use a scale to prevent room for error. Especially with gluten-free baking. This recipe has a couple of odd measurements to get the perfect result, so it's much easier to just weigh each ingredient before adding to the bowl. Make sure to zero out before adding each ingredient. You don't compare the weights to cups, just simply follow the weights listed, using the scale and bowl, no cups needed, as this is exactly how the recipes are tested and made.
If making the red icing, you can either add the filling like I did by using this same pan or if making regular cupcakes, you can just drizzle the icing on top like a glaze. Simply whisk together the icing ingredients until very smooth and add just a touch of food coloring/powder until it reaches the color you like. It can be made pink or red depending on how much you add.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and spray well the heart pan with nonstick spray. OR line a muffin pan with 7-8 parchment liners. They rise A LOT while baking.
To a medium bowl, add the brown rice flour, starch, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk well.
To a large bowl, (you need a large since you’ll be adding the dry ingredients to this bowl of wet, not the other way around) add the coconut milk and chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. Whisk the mixture well until 100% melted and smooth.
Whisk the cocoa powder into the chocolate milk mixture until completed dissolved and smooth. This may take a minute.
To the bowl of liquids, slowly add the dry ingredients a small amount at a time, whisking each amount in. Using a large whisk helps. Do not worry about over-mixing here, you want it smooth. Gluten-free batter is ok to mix longer. Once the batter is very smooth and completely mixed, divide it into 6 (if using the heart pan I used) or 7-8 regular muffin pan cupcakes. I used about a 1/4 measuring cup of batter for each for the muffin pan. This amount will yield perfect size cupcakes every time. They will rise almost double.
Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick is clean. Mine were perfect at 19 minutes using a regular muffin pan, but if using the deeper heart pan, they are more like 20-21, but ovens can vary. So, make sure you go by the toothpick, not the time. A few DRY crumbs are ok, but not wet sticky batter.
Don’t be tempted to eat while warm, as they will taste under-baked since they will still finish cooking as they cool for the next 30-45 minutes. Use patience. Remember, these are gluten-free and cooling them is super important. I found a good hour to be the perfect result.
Regarding the coconut milk: It is really important to use a high quality coconut milk. I always recommend the Thai Kitchen brand because it is always smooth and creamier than other brands. If yours is too watery, then you will end up with more dense/deflated cupcakes. This can't really be subbed with another milk or it would completely change the texture and moisture.