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.
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…
- The Intolerant Gourmand
- Glutarama – All recipes are gluten-free and recipes published since August 2016 are egg-free and dairy-free too.
- Dairy Free Kids
- Free From Fairy – Most of Vicki’s recipes are dairy-free but do double check the ingredients list to make sure. She also has her own brand of wholegrain gluten-free flour which I’d recommend for your gluten-free baking.
- Le Coin De Mel – Mel shares a wide range of recipes but also has a comprehensive dairy-free section created for her daughter’s food allergies.
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…
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Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- 175 g caster sugar
- 175 g 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
- 75 g dairy-free dark chocolate
- 12 cupcake cases
- Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan.
- Put your cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
- Grate the dark chocolate (75g).
- 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.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases (I use a cupcake scoop to help split it evenly).
- Put the tin into the oven and cook the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes (or 30-35 minutes for a 7″ 2-layer 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.
- Once cooked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them to cool in the tins for a few minutes.
- Remove the cupcakes from their tin and pop them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.
Free From/Suitable For…
The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Tree Nut-Free
- Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free