Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
It’s the perfect time of year for some fabulous sweet treats! These chocolate orange cupcakes are an absolute dream. They taste like the holidays, and they are so fudgy, gooey, and delicious. Best of all, they are gluten free! Every time we make them, I have to give them away so quickly so I don’t eat them all. Seriously, they are too good!
What Goes into the Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
These chocolate orange cupcakes start with my favorite secret weapon ingredient in the kitchen. If you’ve been following along for a while, you probably already know what I’m talking about. My secret weapon is California Prunes!
If you’re skeptical at all, just trust me on this one. Prunes are a magical ingredient in the kitchen. I’ve used them to enhance so many different dishes from sweet to savory. They make the flavor of a dish pop in a brand new way, not to mention how good they are for our bodies. California grows 99% of the country’s prunes, and for good reason. The climate and growing conditions are absolutely perfect for prunes. The result is an incredible, delicious product that I always have in my kitchen.
I love finding ways to incorporate CA prunes into my desserts especially, because it adds some great nutrients to your sweet treat. They are packed with fiber and antioxidants, and they bring sweetness without any added sugar. It creates a more balanced treat that leaves you feeling great after you indulge.
In addition to California Prunes, this recipe also includes:
- Coconut oil
- Gluten-free flour
- Cocoa powder
- Coconut sugar
- Fresh orange juice
- Orange zest
These beautiful ingredients result in an incredible, not too sweet, fudgy chocolate orange cupcake.
How to Make Your Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
Start with all of your classic cupcake prep! Preheat oven and prepare a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
This chocolate orange cupcake starts with your California prunes. Pour warm water over the prunes to cover and let them soak to soften. Remove the prunes from the water and add them into a food processor. Pulse until the prunes are completely chopped. While you’re pulsing, slowly add the coconut oil. This process creates a jammy ingredient that will bring a moist and fudgy texture to the cupcake.
Then break out the standing mixer! Add your dry ingredients and mix on low to combine. Next, you’ll add the buttermilk, coconut sugar, eggs, orange juice and zest, and vanilla. Finally, add the prune mixture. Keep mixing until it is fully incorporated. Finally, fill each cupcake liner with the chocolate prune batter.
Place into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Top your chocolate orange cupcakes with your frosting and enjoy! Warning: it is going to be VERY difficult to only have one!
If you make this chocolate orange cupcake, rate and review it below. I can’t wait to hear what you think. If you’re looking for more fun, sign up for our Friday Favorites newsletter, and follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok!
This blog post is sponsored by California Prunes.Print
These gluten free chocolate orange cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat! They are easy to make and so fudgy and delicious.
For the cupcakes:
- 3/4 cup California pitted prunes
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, see note
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate frosting:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole milk
Make the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a small bowl add your California prunes. Pour warm water to cover and let them soak to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the prunes from the water and add into a food processor. Pulse until the prunes are completely chopped. Still pulsing, slowly add the coconut oil. Using a spatula, remove the prune and oil mixture and put in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or in a standing mixer, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Mix over low to medium speed just so the dry ingredients fully combine. Still on medium low speed add the buttermilk, coconut sugar, eggs, orange juice and zest, and vanilla. Then add the prune and oil mixture. Increase speed to medium high to high and continue to mix until all is incorporated. Using a 1/3 cup as a guide, fill each cupcake liner with the chocolate prune batter.
- Place into the oven and bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Make the chocolate frosting:
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the butter and mix over medium speed. Sift the powder sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix over medium low speed. Still in medium low speed, add the vanilla, pinch of salt and milk. Mix until all is incorporated. Using a spatula, clean the sides of the bowl and mix one last time over medium high to high speed.
- Using a butter knife or a small spatula, frost the cooled chocolate prune cupcakes and enjoy!
If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1 cup of whole milk and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir and set aside until it slightly thickens, for about 5 minutes. And there you have it, you just made homemade buttermilk!
Keywords: chocolate orange cupcakes, gluten free cupcakes