Gluten Free Chocolate Spice Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

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Dietary: Gluten-Free, Kosher, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, Tree-Nut Free, Vegetarian

Rich cocoa and spices dress up these little gems that start with a box of Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix.

Prep: 10 min
Total Time: 35 min
Yield: 24 cupcakes


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk 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 it resembles small pea-sized crumbs. Add eggs, buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice and molasses. Start mixing on low speed, then increase to medium. and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans filling each cup ½ to 2/3 of the way full. Do not overfill. Bake 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. 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.
  • Best eaten the day they are made, but will keep covered in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

       Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

  • In a medium bowl cream 1-1/2 cups softened butter with electric mixer 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.