Gluten Free Chocolate Spice Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

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These Gluten Free Chocolate Spice Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting are fantastic. In fact, they taste so good that our family and friends didn’t even know they were gluten free until we told them. Bonus: these delicious treats start with a box of Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix. It doesn't get much easier.


  • 1 box Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. orange zest, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. molasses, mild flavored
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


In a large mixing bowl, whisking the cake mix, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg together until well combined.  Add 1/2 cup softened butter and mix with an electric mixer until the butter resembles small pea-sized pieces among the dry ingredients.  Add the eggs, buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice and molasses next, beating slowly at first and then increasing mixer speed to medium and mixing until the batter is smooth, about 2 minutes.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper cupcake cups and divide the batter evenly into both pans filling each cup ½ to 2/3 of the way full. Do not overfill.  Bake the cupcakes in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a cupcake.  Transfer baked cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. 

While cupcakes are cooling, make vanilla frosting by beating 1 1/2 cups softened butter in a medium sized bowl until light and fluffy.  Add in cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt and beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. 

When cupcakes are cool, cover them generously with vanilla frosting, either with a pastry bag and tip or with a butter knife.  Use holiday sprinkles if desired.

Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are made, but will keep covered in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Original recipe by Holly

Makes approximately 24 cupcakes Print this Recipe

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