Food-free chocolate cupcakes

‘Food free’ is a label we invented for a very restricted diet one of our relatives was forced to endure for a few months: no gluten, no egg, no dairy, no legumes, no nuts, no spices. It’s pretty limiting, especially if there’s a demand for, oh, a birthday cake for a child. We still have food nicknamed the ‘food-free something-or-other’ from those days.

These are our food-free cupcakes. We had to find them for something special last week, and they got such a good reception we’ll definitely keep making them. They’re soft and crumbly, and they take only minutes to mix, and a few more minutes to bake. I hope the Fiesta Friday crowd loves them just as much

We use brown rice flour, which means they really are very soft, so you’ll need the cupcake paper for them. There’s no way you’d be able to make it as a single cake. Well, you could, but the slices wouldn’t last the distance from whole cake to server to plate to fork to mouth without losing a few crumbs on the way. That said, our latest event had lots of little kids, and they really, really, really love them. If that’s not a vote of confidence for something we call ‘food free’, I don’t know what is.

A food-free mini cupcake - no wheat, no dairy, no egg

A food-free mini cupcake – no wheat, no dairy, no egg

Food-free chocolate cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 mini cupcakes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 110 ml of milk (soy milk, oat milk or dairy milk) (just under ½ cup)
  • 30 ml vegetable oil (2 non-Aussie tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 cup of brown rice flour (100 g)
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • icing: ½ cup of icing sugar, 1 tablespoon of cocoa, up to 1 tablespoon of hot water

Before you start

  1. Read the directions before you do anything. You really do need to.
  2. Turn on the oven to 160 degrees C (325 F). It’s one of those times pre-heating matters.
  3. Take out a mini-cupcake tray and put in 12 mini-cupcake cases.


  1. Mix together the milk, oil and lemon juice together.
  2. In another, larger bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb soda.
  3. Very quickly, pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them together briefly, then quickly pour the mixture into the cupcake cases.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Once they’re cooked, take the out of the oven and let them cool while you make the icing.
  6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa together, then slowly add just enough water to form a slightly runny icing. Ice the cakes, and decorate with hundreds and thousands (sprinkles), grated dark chocolate, or whatever else you have on hand.


The timing is critical. This isn’t one of those cakes you can throw together and go and answer the phone halfway through. Once the liquid and dry ingredients meet, you have to move quickly to get those little, soft, light and airy delicate wonders.

You don’t have to use brown rice flour. You can use the same weight of gluten-free flour if you want.

Source: This gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free chocolate fairy cakes recipe was the inspiration.

A food-free mini cupcake - no wheat, no dairy, no egg

A food-free mini cupcake – no wheat, no dairy, no egg

39 thoughts on “Food-free chocolate cupcakes

  1. Awh, I can’t tell if they were just on the restricted diet for awhile or ever, but I love using superfine brown rice flour over regular rice flour if you’re making these again. I find rice flour to often times be too course. Either way these look delicious!

    I read your comment to Melissa, and my family eats all of my desserts, but they also eat their own gluten-filled, dairy-filled, bonded together with eggs ones too. (They don’t have celiac disease, or the same food allergies as me either). But, I think it’s so sweet that you posted an allergy-friendly recipe! 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend, and happy FF!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I suspect it was superfine brown rice flour I used – it’s a bit gritty, but in a nice kinda way. it’s turned out to be fantastic for baking.Just as well, it;s the one our health food shop sells. Thanks for dropping in. Great to meet you at Fiesta Friday.


      • You too! It definitely could be! I’ve seen it in health food shops and wegmans, but not whole foods. The finest flour I think I’ve ever used is teff, but that’s because teff is fine, and it doesn’t work well in most baked goods (more breads and the like). And, I’m not sure if its the different finenesses, but when I make my own flour blend it seems the finest (except if one of the grains is very coarse).


  2. Wow, these look amazing. It always amazes me how you can make a food without using all that stuff. I should try it sometime. I bet it is pretty rewarding when everyone can enjoy them without breaking their own “rules.” Thanks for sharing!!!!


    • Probably a bit of both? The issue is that the lemon juice reacts with the baking powder and bicarb to release the gas that makes the cupcakes rise. If you take too long, you’ll lose all the gas before they go in the oven, and then you’ll have little not-so cupcakey cakes.


  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #28 | The Novice Gardener

  4. “food free” did make me chuckle, they do look amazing – I didn’t think cake that was free of everything could look so tasty! I will have to bookmark this for if I need to bake for my friends with dietary restrictions!


  5. Ooo DEGF cupcakes 🙂 That’s Dairy. Egg. Gluten. Free. which most posts on my blog are! 🙂 I definitely need to make these… I have a couple of DEGF chocolate mudcake recipes on my blog but cupcakes are trickier! Thank you for the recipe and the yummy looking cakes! 🙂


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