Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

BakingKid-friendlyGluten-FreeVeganCupcake

These gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Banana Cupcakes don’t shy away from the chocolate! They’re easy enough to tackle on a weekday, but also special enough to warrant a celebration.

Photography Credit: Megan Gordon

Growing up, my mom always made her famous chocolate potato cake for each of our birthdays. I know, I know: it sounds very odd, but the truth is you never actually tasted the potato and it really just ensured that the batter was super moist, which I probably never appreciated as a kid but certainly do now.

These days when birthdays arise in our household, I’ve found my own tricks to achieve a really moist, super chocolatey cake and cupcakes. This recipe uses one of our son’s favorite foods: bananas.

If you’ve got an overripe banana laying around and some gluten-free flour in your pantry, you’re well on your way to making these delicious allergy-friendly cupcakes. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free—always a winner for class parties when your kiddo or any of their friends have dietary restrictions.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

PICK THE RIGHT GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR

In this recipe, I use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum (I like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend). The xanthan gum acts as a binder in baking recipes, helping give structure to your gluten free baked goods. Check the ingredients in your flour blend, and if it doesn’t contain xanthan gum (or another binding ingredient like guar gum or psyllium husks), I recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to ensure success.

WHICH COCOA POWDER TO BUY

Most cocoa powders will be naturally vegan in the sense that they’d rarely contain any dairy or egg-based ingredients, but it never hurts to double check. I always keep Trader Joe’s unsweetened cocoa powder in stock at home and used it for these brownies.

MAKE-AHEAD CUPCAKES

If you’re baking these for a party or special gathering, the good news is they’re even better the second (and third) day, so feel free to tackle them in advance to make life easy on the day of the party. You can even frost them the day before and store at room temperature until the party—one more thing you can check off your to-do list!

MORE ALLERGY-FRIENDLY SWEETS

Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

If your gluten-free flour blend does not contain xanthan gum in the ingredients, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the recipe.

Note that the FDA does list coconut as a tree nut, though many people with tree nut allergies are fine with coconut. If you're not sure if the person or people eating your cookies has a tree nut allergy that includes coconut, check with them before making this recipe, or substitute another fat in place of the coconut oil (we recommend butter if there are no dairy allergies, or vegan EarthBalance if there are).

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (240g) gluten-free flour blend (see Recipe Note)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (30g) unsweetened dairy-free cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or other your oil of choice), liquid at room temperature
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature (use decaf if you’d like)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 batch Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare the pan: Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2 Mix the dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.

3 Mix wet ingredients: In a separate medium mixing bowl, mash the banana with a fork or potato masher, and add the coconut oil, cooled coffee, vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Whisk until combined. (There may be small chunks of banana in the mixture, which is perfectly fine.)

4 Mix the cupcake batter: Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir thoroughly to combine using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Portion out the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each almost to the top.

5 Bake cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back ever so slightly when pressed in the center. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

6 Frost cupcakes: Once cool, frost cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting.

7 Serve, or store: Cupcakes can be served immediately. Cupcakes can also be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days if unfrosted, or for 2 days once frosted.

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Megan Gordon

Megan Gordon is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Simply Recipes. She's the author of Whole Grain Mornings and her blog, A Sweet Spoonful, focuses on healthy seasonal cooking and baking.

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7 Comments / Reviews

No ImageGluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Liz

    Do you know if these cupcakes will work with all purpose flour?

    • Megan Gordon

      Hi, Liz! I haven’t tested them with regular AP flour so I can’t say for sure, but my guess is they’d work just fine. Good luck, and let us know how they turn out!

  2. Iga

    Amazing results! Thanks, I will make them again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Larry Hemnert

    I made these cup cakes for my wife and pregnant daughter in law. I used ancient grains gluten free flour, (added binder), organic raw cane sugar, and they came out primo.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Cathy Watson

    Thank you for this recipe! I cook for sixty members of a college sorority with a handful of vegans and a dozen women with various food allergies. Finding recipes for their meals and treats is challenging. This recipe, with the frosting was easy and came out great. They loved the cupcakes. I will be making these again for sure!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. josie

    in the comment it mentions potato flour…..can it be used instead of Bob’s Gluten Free Flour mix???

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Josie! Emma here, managing editor of Simply Recipes. No, we don’t recommend using potato flour in place of the gluten-free flour mix. You need a mix of flours, plus xanthan gum, in order for this recipe to work.

Gluten-Free Vegan Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Banana CupcakesGluten-Free Chocolate Banana Cupcakes