Gluten Free Black Forest Cupcakes Recipe

It is funny how my mind works – places, events and people are entwined and woven together with food in my memories. Take these gluten-free cupcakes for instance. I came up with the recipe as homage to my dear friend Christiane, a beautiful German woman who now lives in London. For every birthday or special occasion Christiane would make her grandmother’s recipe for Black Forest Cake, a lovely combination of chocolate, cherries and cream. We may live miles apart now but one bite into these cupcakes and I am right back there with my friend sitting in our favorite coffee shop sharing cappuccinos, one of her outrageous stories and lots of boisterous laughter.
The recipe for these cupcakes is just one of 150 gluten-free dessert recipes in my book Simply…Gluten-free Desserts. The book is about more than recipes though, it is about friends and family, little stories and snippets, memories linked with food. It is also a primer on how to bake gluten-free as I walk you through each recipe. And just to top it all off there is a recipe for a pastry-quality gluten-free flour you can make at home, ensuring your desserts are not just “good for gluten” but just plain good!

My hope is that this book will inspire you to create beautiful, gluten-free desserts and more importantly to create some cherished memories of your own.

Here is a little preview.

Black Forest Cupcakes



½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1½ cups milk
1 – 14.5 ounce can red tart cherries – drained
1 -10 ounce jar maraschino cherries – drained and liquid reserved, use divided


1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated dark chocolate for garnish



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert paper liners into the cups of 2 standard muffin pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time until each egg is fully mixed in, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and milk to the creamed butter, starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the milk, half the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl well with a large spatula.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup, add 3 of the red tart cherries to each cup then top with 2 more tablespoons of batter. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until springy on the top. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.

With a toothpick, poke 6 or 8 holes in each cupcake. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of reserved maraschino cherry liquid onto each cupcake and let it soak in. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.


Whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of reserved maraschino cherry juice. Beat until stiff.

Frost cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry and some grated chocolate.

Makes 24 gluten-free cupcakes.

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

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