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 topped with dairy-free chocolate buttercream.
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4.5 from 2 votes

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.
Active Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 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
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g dairy-free dark chocolate

Extras

  • 12 cupcake cases

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

You can find the recipe for my dairy-free chocolate buttercream here.
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.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.
Keyword: Chocolate Cupcakes, Dairy-Free Cupcakes

Nutritional Information

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.4g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 12.2g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 120mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 18.3g
Any nutritional information shown is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

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.

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
  • Dairy-Free
  • Tree Nut-Free
  • Peanut-Free
  • Sesame-Free
  • Soya-Free
  • Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free
  • Lupin-Free

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.

21 Comments:

  1. I tried to make these just now. It ends up as a huge clump of dry mess in the mixing bowl. Is the margarine meant to be melted? Because it didn’t say anything about melting it, and now I just have giant chunks of margarine and powder filling the inside of my whisk. All the comments are talking about how great these look, but has anybody actually successfully made these according to the recipe??

    • I’m sorry to hear that they didn’t work for you. The margarine shouldn’t be melted, but it should be soft (if you use pure sunflower then it’s usually soft enough straight from the fridge but if your fridge is on the colder side you could leave it out for a little while to come up to room temperature). You should also use a beater attachment (or wooden spoon if you mixing it by hand) rather than a whisk as the fine wires of a whisk aren’t strong enough to beat the ingredients together, instead, you will just find that the mixture tends to get stuck in the middle (as you experienced).

      Also, can I just check you added the eggs? You mentioned you had clumps of margarine and powder in the whisk, but you didn’t mention the eggs (which would add a lot of moisture and make beating everything together much simpler).

      • Hi Charlotte, I went back to it and used an electric beater, but the consistency was still a lot like frosting and was going to be hard to get into the cup cake moulds. I had used Nuttelex margarine from the fridge (yes I had added the eggs already btw). Anyway I ended up adding some almond milk to make the mixture a bit runnier and then just cooked them a bit longer. They came out pretty good. Thanks.

        • I glad they turned out OK in the end. It’s possible your eggs were at the smaller end of eggs size range then the mixture could be a bit stiffer. I’m glad to hear that a bit of almond milk sorted the problem.

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