Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes



You’d never guess that these easy chocolate cupcakes have no dairy so they’re perfect if you’ve got an allergy or intolerance. The recipe can also be used to make a 7″ chocolate cake too.

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You'd never guess that these easy chocolate cupcakes have no dairy, so they're perfect if you've got an allergy or intolerance. The recipe can also be used to make a 7" chocolate cake too.

A few weeks ago I received a message from one of my readers saying how much she loved my birthday cake recipe and asking if I could recommend a dairy-free cake recipe for her to bake for her daughter’s upcoming birthday. I consider myself extremely lucky that no-one in my household has a food allergy or intolerance so it’s not something I have to manage on a day-to-day basis, but I know from friends how hard it can be for children who want to be able to enjoy the same foods as others but simply can’t. I therefore jumped at the idea of figuring out a dairy-free cake recipe she could make to help her daughter have a really special day.

I decided to test both my vanilla and chocolate birthday cakes (in case one worked and the other didn’t – although they both turned out really well) and today I’m sharing the chocolate version as in my head I associate chocolate with dairy. It seems difficult to imagine that a really good chocolate cake could be dairy-free, but I can assure you that it’s possible and in all honesty in a taste test I bet you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The only real difference in flavour between my normal chocolate cake and these cupcakes is that dairy-free chocolate is dark, whereas I usually use milk chocolate so it has a richer chocolate flavour.

In fact the differences to the original recipe are tiny…

  • Switch the milk chocolate for a dairy-free dark chocolate (many dark chocolates are dairy-free but a lot contain “may contain milk” warnings so choose carefully).
  • Switch the margarine for Pure Sunflower (I’ve also heard that Vitalite is a good alternative too).
  • Don’t add the milk.

These same substitutions can be made for my vanilla cake too to easily make that dairy-free, as well as my coffee and hidden hearts cupcakes.

I’ve also been busy testing some dairy-free buttercreams and you can find the recipe for my chocolate one here.

You'd never guess that these easy chocolate cupcakes have no dairy, so they're perfect if you've got an allergy or intolerance. The recipe can also be used to make a 7" chocolate cake too.

As part of the recipe testing process I always start with cupcakes (as that way I can make a small batch to avoid waste if they don’t turn out as I’d hoped) and these chocolate cupcakes were so nice I couldn’t resist sharing them. However, if you’d like to make a full sized birthday cake, you could use my chocolate birthday cake calculator to find the quantities you need. Just remember to make the adjustments listed above.

Looking to do more dairy-free baking?

As I said before, I’m no expert in free-from cooking, but through blogging I’ve made some really fantastic friends whose blogs focus on free-from cooking. If you’re after more dairy-free recipes, advice or simply stories to know that you’re not alone in coping with an allergy or intolerance then I’d recommend following some of these ladies…

NOTE – the recipes on these sites are dairy-free (unless stated) at the time of writing this post. As allergies change, so can blogs so please double check any recipes from these sites before baking them if you need them to be dairy free.

I’ve also got a few more naturally dairy-free recipes on here which you can try too…

You'd never guess that these easy chocolate cupcakes have no dairy, so they're perfect if you've got an allergy or intolerance. The recipe can also be used to make a 7" chocolate cake too.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes 12 cupcakes or a 2-layer 7″ round cake

Ingredients

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g Dairy-free margarine (I’d recommend Pure Sunflower as that’s what I’ve tested in this recipe)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 12 cupcake cases

You can find the recipe for my dairy-free chocolate buttercream here.

NOTE – If your cakes need to be dairy-free, please ensure that you check the packs of all ingredients before making these cupcakes as product ingredients can change.

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan.
  2. Put your cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
  3. Grate the dark chocolate (75g).
  4. Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl (150g self-raising flour, 30g cocoa powder, 175g caster sugar, 3 large eggs, 175g dairy-free margarine, ⅛ tsp vanilla extract and the grated chocolate) mix on a low speed until fully combined.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases (I use a  cupcake scoop to help split it evenly).
  6. Put the tin into the oven and cook the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes (or 30-35 minutes for a 7″ round cake). After 20 minutes put a skewer in the middle and check if it comes out clean. If it does they’re done, if not pop them back in for a couple more minutes and check again.
  7. Once cooked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them to cool in the tins for a few minutes.
  8. Remove the cupcakes from their tin and pop them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You'd never guess that these easy chocolate cupcakes have no dairy, so they're perfect if you've got an allergy or intolerance. The recipe can also be used to make a 7" chocolate cake too.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 240 kcal (12%), Fat: 12.2g (17%), Saturated Fat: 4.0g (20%), Carbohydrates: 27.4g (11%), Sugar: 18.3g (20%), Fibre: 1.8g (7%), Protein: 3.7g (7%), Salt: 0.3g (5%)

This is the estimated nutritional information per serving (this is for the cake only and excludes any icing). Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

Free From/Suitable For…

  • Suitable for Vegetarians
  • Dairy-Free
  • Corn-Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free

The ingredients for this recipe are easily available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.

You'd never guess that these easy chocolate cupcakes have no dairy, so they're perfect if you've got an allergy or intolerance. The recipe can also be used to make a 7" chocolate cake too.


I’m sharing this recipe with the following challenges… #FreeFromFridays with Le Coin De Mel and Free From Farmhouse, #CookBlogShare with #CookBlogShare with Easy Peasy Foodie, #TreatPetite with Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer and #WeShouldCocoa with Tin and Thyme.

12 Comments:

  1. Beautiful cupcakes! The icing is perfect, bit of a knack to get a dairy free icing to look like that 🙂 thank you for including me in the post xx

    • Charlotte Oates

      I completely agree about the dairy-free icing, I found I had to beat the baking block/margarine more than I would better to get it really smooth.

  2. These look fabulous Charlotte! And just to let you and your readers know, almost all my recipes are dairy free because my daughter is intolerant (previously allergic) to milk protein!

  3. Ooh yum – they look great! Dairyfree is actually not as complicated as it sounds but it can be so daunting! Thanks for the mention too! x

    • Charlotte Oates

      You’re right about dairy-free (although my success has a lot to do with all the helpful advice I received), it’s a pretty straightforward substitution for cakes. I’ve attempted egg-free and have found that much trickier to master.

  4. Woah – you would never guess those gorgeous little cakes were free from anything – they look amazing…just like all your other lovely cupcakes. How fab for anyone who follows a dairy free diet…I will certainly be bookmarking in case I need to bake dairy free cakes for anyone in the future 🙂 Thanks for linking it up to #CookBlogShare 🙂 Eb x

    • Charlotte Oates

      Thanks Eb, I’m trying to do more free-from cooking simply to understand more about how it works. I’ve had a go at egg-free but realised very quickly that dairy-free was going to be much easier to tackle! I’m going to move on to some gluten-free cakes next I think.

  5. Yummy! And you make your icing look so pretty! #freefromfridays

  6. Stunning cupcakes! You’ve got an amazing result without using any dairy. Thanks for linking up to #TreatPetite

  7. There you go again with your gorgeous swirly icing. I remember being really surprised when I made my first vegan cake as to just how good it is. Leaving out the dairy is so easy now that we’ve so many alternative ingredients at our disposal. I usually use coconut, rapeseed or olive oil as I’m not a fan of margarine. Thanks for sharing with #WeShouldCocoa.

    • Charlotte Oates

      I’ve used coconut oil in scones (with coconut milk instead of regular) before as it tastes really good. I’m yet to try it in cakes but it’s on my list.

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