Easy to make gluten free and vegan galaxy cupcakes are filled with a ganache chocolate surprise and topped with dairy free vanilla buttercream. Yum!
Blast off and make these outta this world delicious gluten free and vegan galaxy cupcakes! Filled with a rich chocolate ganache and topped with dreamy dairy free buttercream, these cupcakes are fancy enough to impress anyone but simple enough that anyone can make them!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, nightshades, tomatoes, and more
These cupcakes are soft, moist, fluffy, and totally bursting with chocolaty goodness thanks to the secret ganache filling.
In the mood for more chocolate recipes? Check out these gluten free + vegan raspberry chocolate cake, gluten free sheet cake, or gluten free and vegan mint chocolate cupcakes!
Why You’ll Love These Cupcakes
- Easy to make and decorate
- Rich chocolate flavor
- Super festive for birthdays, special occasions, or holidays
- Gluten free, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Top 9 friendly
What’s great about this recipe is you only need a few grocery store items that come together quickly to make these cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
- Flour: You can use either all purpose flour, cake flour, or your favorite gluten free 1:1 flour blend. I really like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure gluten free flour. It bakes up beautifully and has no graininess.
- Cocoa Powder: For this recipe, I used natural unprocessed cocoa powder. If you have Dutch processed cocoa powder, that can make these cupcakes even richer and sweeter.
- You’ll also need: Applesauce, sugar, neutral oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flaxseeds, dairy free milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla.
For the ganache:
Dairy free ganache is actually super easy! You just need chocolate chips and a few tablespoons of the dairy free milk of your choice! For these cupcakes, I used canned full fat coconut milk. However, you can also use soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk.
For the Frosting:
The frosting is based on my vegan vanilla buttercream that uses vegan butter, powdered sugar, dairy free milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
To make the different colored frosting, I used cocoa powder and Unicorn Superfoods food powders. You can also use Watkins Natural Dyes.
If you are avoiding nightshades, make sure you check out my nightshade free gluten free flour blend.
If you are avoiding food dyes, you can use a natural food dye to color these cupcakes. I used Unicorn Superfoods. Watkins Natural Dyes also makes a great dye free food coloring.
If you are avoiding corn, make sure that your powdered sugar, baking powder, and vanilla extract are corn free. You can check out my favorites on my shop page.
For the full instructions complete with recipe measurements, please see the recipe card below.
These cupcakes are made in 3 major steps. First, making the cupcakes. Next, make the chocolate ganache filling. And finally, make the buttercream frosting on top.
Line a cupcake tray with paper liners and set it aside.
Sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the dairy free milk with apple cider vinegar and let it rest for a few minutes to make a vegan buttercream. Then add the sugar, oil, vanilla, applesauce, and flaxseeds.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Whisk together for a good minute to fully combine.
Transfer the cupcakes to the pan, filling each with about 3 tablespoons of batter.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick pulls out clean. Let them cool for 5 minutes in the hot pan and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Make sure they cool completely before frosting!
Making the Chocolate Ganache
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the chocolate chips and dairy free milk of choice. Melt together, stirring frequently. When the chocolate is almost melted, remove it from the heat and stir continuously until the chocolate is fully melted. Set aside until ready to fill the cupcakes.
Using a teaspoon, carve out a little hole from the top of each cupcake. Using a spoon, fill each cavity. If you have some overflow of ganache, just use the back of a spoon to spread it on top of the cupcake. Repeat with each cupcake and set them aside to frost.
Making the Galaxy Frosting
Add the room temperature dairy free butter to a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Mix on high for 5 minutes or until it is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and a spoonful of milk. Mix this on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Then, mix on high again for 5 minutes.
Separate out into 4 bowls and add your food coloring. Mix them together.
Onto a piece of plastic wrap, add rows of each color of frosting. Then, roll it up like a sushi roll and place it into a piping bag with a 1M tip.
Use a piping bag to frost them, starting from the outside and working up to make them like the ones in these photos. Add sprinkles on top and enjoy!
Tip! This makes a lot of frosting! You can easily halve the frosting recipe if you are not piping giant mountains of frosting on top.
Yes! Make the cupcakes up to a day in advance and leave them unfrosted on the countertop in an airtight container. The frosting can also be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use. Allow the frosting to sit on the countertop for 15 minutes to help it become easier to work with.
How to store
As they are filled and frosted cupcakes, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. After that, gluten free cupcakes begin to dry out.
Tip! Have leftover cakes? Freeze them and save for making into cake pops!
You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes after baking and cooling by wrapping and storing in a freezer safe container and keeping frozen for up to 2 months. Allow the cupcakes to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before frosting and serving.
More cupcakes to love
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- cupcake pan
- cupcake liners
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoon
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- Piping bags
- Star tip 1M
- Sauce pot
- 1 cup dairy free milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup oil
- 2 tablespoons applesauce unsweetened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed ground
- 1 ¼ cup flour use gluten free or all purpose or cake flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life
- 3 tablespoons dairy free milk
- 1 cup dairy free butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons dairy free milk
- Pinch salt
- Food coloring of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/160°C. Line or spray a 12 cup cupcake tray and set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: Gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Make vegan buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine the dairy free milk with apple cider vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the wet ingredients: Dairy free milk mixture, sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and flaxseeds.
- Combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
- Bake. Add 3 tablespoons of batter to each cupcake. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the hot tray for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Cool completely before filling or frosting.
- Mix. In a small sauce pot, combine the chocolate chips with dairy free milk. Melt together over low-medium heat, stirring frequently. This takes about 4 minutes on my stove. When the chocolate is almost fully melted, remove from the heat and let the residual heat melt the remaining chocolate. Let cool and set aside until ready to fill each cupcake.
- Fill. using a teaspoon, remove a spoonful of cupcake from the top of each cupcake. Fill with the cooled ganache. If there is a little overflow of ganache, spread it on top of each cupcake.
- Mix together. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the dairy free butter on high for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Mix on low until the sugar is fully incorporated, then mix on high for an additional 5 minutes. The frosting will be very voluminous.
- Color each bowl. Divide the frosting into 4 bowls. Color each one with your choice of food coloring.
- Make the swirl frosting. Place each color vertically onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the entire thing like a sushi roll and place into a piping bag that has been fitted with a 1M piping tip.
- Frost the cupcakes. Generously frost each cupcake. I like to rotate the bag with each cupcake to get a different swirl on each one. Top with sprinkles if desired. Enjoy!
- Allergy Substitutions
- If you are avoiding nightshades, make sure you check out my nightshade free gluten free flour blend.
- If you are avoiding food dyes, you can use a natural food dye to color these cupcakes. I used Unicorn Superfoods. Watkins also makes a great dye free food coloring.
- If you are avoiding corn, make sure that your powdered sugar, baking powder, and vanilla extract are corn free. You can check out my favorites on my shop page.
- How to store
- As they are filled and frosted cupcakes, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. After that, gluten free cupcakes begin to dry out.
- You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes after baking and cooling by wrapping and storing in a freezer safe container and keeping frozen for up to 2 months. Allow the cupcakes to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before frosting and serving.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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