The BEST Gluten-Free Mini Chocolate Cupcakes EVER! (filled with Salted Caramel and topped with Salted Caramel French Buttercream)

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The BEST Gluten-Free  Mini Chocolate Cupcakes EVER! (filled with Salted Caramel and topped with Salted Caramel French Buttercream) are a fun way to celebrate a special event. 

The best gluten-free chocolate cake ever! These minis have the perfect texture and tons of chocolate flavor. Filled with salted caramel and topped with salted caramel French buttercream, perfection in a bite. #glutenfree #cupcake #saltedcaramel

This weekend I made the very best chocolate cupcakes. Perfect texture (I mean PERFECT!) Not at all the crumbly gluten-free sawdust I first made when going gluten-free. It brought me back to those days filled with easy glutenous cakes made from a Betty Crocker mix. That good! But gluten-free! (Sorry, I am really enthused about these cupcakes right now.)

I LOVE Alton Brown. If I were to meet any Food Network Star I would want it to be him. There was no one happier than I when episodes of Good Eats became available online. I love learning the science behind the technique.

The best gluten-free chocolate cake ever! These minis have the perfect texture and tons of chocolate flavor.  #glutenfree #cupcake #chocolate

I based my recipe off of AB’s Devil of a Cake recipe. You can watch his video HERE.
He used mostly weight measurements because they are more accurate and will produce the most consistent results. I noted the amounts using normal cups and spoons but if you have a kitchen scale this is the perfect time to use it.

The best gluten-free chocolate cake ever! These minis have the perfect texture and tons of chocolate flavor.  #glutenfree #cupcake #chocolate

Just to go over the top, I filled my minis with salted caramel and frosted them with salted caramel french buttercream. French buttercream is made using egg yolks instead of whites like in an Italian or Swiss meringue buttercream. Light and airy, but so rich and smooth. LOVE buttercream!

The best gluten-free chocolate cake ever! These minis have the perfect texture and tons of chocolate flavor. Filled with salted caramel and topped with salted caramel French buttercream, perfection in a bite. #glutenfree #cupcake #saltedcaramel

If you want to make a meringue buttercream instead you can use the extra whites left over from making the cake. I had extra yolks in the fridge and wanted to try French buttercream since I had never made it before.

To make your life easier, you can everything ahead of time. I would suggest waiting to fill and frost the cupcakes until shortly before you want to eat them. To use buttercream that you have made ahead, bring the buttercream to room temp and then whip with your stand mixer.

The best gluten-free chocolate cake ever! These minis have the perfect texture and tons of chocolate flavor. Filled with salted caramel and topped with salted caramel French buttercream, perfection in a bite. #glutenfree #cupcake #saltedcaramel

So to sum everything up, these cupcakes are AMAZING! Enjoy.

The BEST Gluten-Free Mini Chocolate Cupcakes EVER! (filled with Salted Caramel and topped with Salted Caramel French Buttercream)
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 48 minis
Ingredients
  • For the Cake
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 4 oz cocoa (about 1¼ c.)
  • 10½ oz brown sugar (about 2 c. UNPACKED)
  • 9½ oz rice flour blend(about 2 c.)
  • ½ tsp. xantham gum
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. vegetable or other oil
  • 4½ oz sour cream (about ½ c.)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Himalyan Pink Salt, Fleur de sel, or other fancy sea salt for garnish, optional
  • For the Salted Caramel
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ¼ c. water
  • ¾ c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ½ tsp. salt+
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream
  • ½ c. Salted Caramel, hot
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¾ c. + 2 Tbs. butter, softened (1 stick plus 6 Tbs.)
Instructions
  1. For the Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer mix together the brown sugar, flour, xantham gum,
  5. baking soda, and salt.
  6. In another bowl or large glass measuring cup mix together the oil, sour cream, eggs, and egg yolks.
  7. Add the cocoa mixture to the other liquids and mix until well combined.
  8. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for a few more seconds.
  9. Scoop the batter into lined mini-cupcake tins, about 1½-2 Tbs. per mini-cupcake, or until almost full.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with only a few crumbs, 15-20 minutes. Cool.
  11. Core out a little of the middle of the mini-cupcake and fill with cooled Salted Caramel. Frost with Salted-Caramel Buttercream and drizzle with more cooled Salted Caramel. Sprinkle with a bit of himalayan pink salt, fleur de sel, or other fancy sea salt if desired.
  12. For the Salted Caramel
  13. Heat the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed sauce-pan until the sugar start to turn amber in color. Swirl the mixture to prevent it from scorching but DO NOT STIR.
  14. Once the sugar has turned amber add the butter and heavy cream. Stir and heat over low heat until there are no chunks of undissolved caramel. Add ½ tsp. salt, taste and then add more salt as desired, ¼ tsp. at a time.
  15. For the Salted-Caramel Buttercream
  16. Whip the egg yolks in a stand mixer (or with electric beaters) until very light in color.
  17. While you continue to beat, slowly stream in the HOT caramel. (It is important that it is hot because it "cooks" the egg yolks.)
  18. Continue to beat until the mixture is cooled to room temp (about 80F.)
  19. Add the butter 1 Tbs. at a time until it is all incorporated, waiting for each piece to be incorporated before adding the next.
  20. Continue to beat until the buttercream is smooth. (It could look curdled but should smooth out as you continue to beat it. If it does not smooth out after you beat it for a considerable amount of time, like 10 minutes, you can pull it together by adding a little bit of powdered sugar.)
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Comments

  1. says

    So I absolutely LOVE this idea, but I can’t find a tin like this ANYWHERE!!! I’ve lokeod at Macy’s, JC Penny, Kohl’s, even Michael’s didn’t have them!!! Any ideas on where I can find one???

      • becky says

        Does the salted caramel recipe make enough to fill them, put into the icing recipe and drizzel on top or should you make several batches of the salted caramel?

        I assume that recipe is what you are using for all of it, not some other thing you need to buy?

        • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

          Yes, the recipe should give you enough salted caramel. I just used that recipe, and didn’t buy any salted caramel sauce. You could substitute a a store bought caramel sauce if you wanted to save some time, but I loe making it myself. I think it tastes much better.

  2. Jodie says

    Hi there I was wondering if could substitute the rice flours blend for gluten free all purpose flour. I really want to make theses cupcakes but I’m finding it hard to fine the rice flours

    • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

      Hi Jodie,
      I haven’t tested the recipe with different flour blends, but others may work well I’d be sure to use a rice flour-based flour blend, and not a bean flour based blend. I’d think that most cup4cup gf flour blends would work, but like I said I haven’t tested them. If the blend has xanthan gum or guar gum in it be sure to omit the xanthan gum called for in the recipe. If you try a different flour blend come back and comment what you used and how it turned out so that others can see.
      I buy my flours online, it is what is most convenient for me. I absolutely LOVE Nuts.com, and that is where I’m currently buying my flours. I have also used Bob’s Red Mill which is available at pretty much every health food store, and also online. I always bought it on Amazon. 4 pack of bags and I used the subscribe and save.

  3. Amy says

    Have you tried doing this recipe with regular cupcakes not minis? just wondering on cooking time and if they would work?

  4. kris says

    So i made these today and my butter cream icing, basically tastes like, butter.. did i miss something? i even added about a cup of 10x sugar to try to sweeten it up, but it didnt help. is t here a trick?

    • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

      The frosting recipe here is a french buttercream, which is very buttery and only lightly sweet. It is not your normal very sweet American Buttercream made with tons of powdered sugar. This buttercream is just not an overly sweet frosting.

  5. Dottie Ricketson says

    I’ve never “stuffed” or “filled” cupcakes before – what is best to use on these minis to create the hole that gets filled….without the muffins falling apart?

    • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

      Hi Dottie,
      I used a melon ball tool that I had. It had a tiny scoop intended for hulling strawberries which worked perfectly. You could also try using a piping tip? If you try it, let me know how it works. You could also try cutting a small cone out of the middle of each cupcake with a sharp paring knife.

  6. Dottie Ricketson says

    I typically only review recipes when I love them….but I just want to put out a warning to others. These cupcakes are EXTREMELY labor intensive and, in my opinion, not worth the time and effort. I am a pretty advanced cook and don’t mind putting in lots of time and effort if the end result is amazing….but I didn’t think these were worth it. The cupcakes were a bit grainy (flour mixture) and I did not care for the buttercream frosting…much like someone else said…it tasted and looked like straight butter. But the labor intensive part is poking the holes in the cupcakes and drizzling the caramel into the holes….way too much time and effort for a mediocre cupcake. However, I will say, that many people at my party loved them, they were not my “cup of tea”. I’m not saying don’t make them – just know what you are getting into!!

    • flippindeliciousflippindelicious says

      Thank you for your feedback Dottie.
      This is a recipe that is a lot more labor intensive than most of the recipes that I post on Flippin’ Delicious now. I created this recipe back in my “culinary student with a baby who slept a lot” days, not in my current “sleep deprived busy mom of 2” days.
      As far as the grainyness goes, did you use my flour blend? And if you did what brands of flours did you use to make it? Different flours are milled differently and some brands are not as consistent. I’ve actually been experimenting with some new flour blends recently and have found some pre-made blends that I actually like better than my old standby. I haven’t ever found the cupcakes to be grainy, and the cake is a recipe I make often. I want to pinpoint the problem and figure out why your cupcakes were grainy.

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