Chocolate Orange Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes

For a simple cupcake that tastes great and looks like you put more effort in than you did, these chocolate orange swirl cupcakes have got your back.

I find this chocolate cake recipe always works really well even when it’s vegan as well as gluten free. All I did was add a bit of orange extract to the chocolate cupcake recipe I normally use.

Recipe yields 12 to 13 muffins.

You will need:

  • Stand or hand held mixer
  • Sieve
  • 12 muffin cases
  • Muffin tray
  • Cling film
  • Piping bag
  • #3 star piping tip



  • 80g (6 tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
  • 280g (1 ½ cups) caster sugar
  • 200g (2 cups) plain gluten free flour
  • 40g (6 tbsp) extra dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder (heaped spoon)
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • 240ml tinned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp orange extract


  • 120g (9 tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
  • 375g (3 cups) powdered icing sugar
  • 37ml tinned coconut milk
  • ¼½ tsp orange extract
  • Orange gel food colour

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F gas mark 3)

Bake the cupcakes according to my chocolate cake recipe, I have substituted half the vanilla extract for orange extract, all the ingredients are listed above.

Set aside to cool completely.

Step 2

To make the buttercream chop the hard vegetable shortening into cubes and cream with a stand or hand held mixer.

Step 3

Pour a third of the powdered icing sugar in and mix very slowly until it forms lots of clumps. Then turn up to high speed and beat for a minute.

Step 4

Repeat the previous step until the remaining powdered sugar is incorporated. The buttercream will be stiff at this point.

Step 5

Using any coconut milk left over from making the cupcakes, mix to ensure no separation has occurred and stir in the orange extract. Pour into the buttercream and beat on high for a few minutes until the buttercream firms up and holds its shape.

Step 6

Divide the buttercream in half, placing one portion in a line on some cling film. Roll this over so that the frosting is wrapped up in a sausage shape.

Step 7

Add some orange food colour to the remaining buttercream and mix until the colour is even. Place on some cling film like you did with the uncoloured half and make sure it is the same length. Once rolled up put the two colours together and snip one end.

Step 8

Snip the tip of a piping bag so that the piping tip is held securely positioned in the bag. Place the rolls of buttercream open end first into the piping bag. Twist the open end of the piping bag and squeeze until buttercream comes out the tip.

Step 9

Pipe in a spiral from the centre of the cake to make roses. One colour may come out more at first before the colours pipe evenly.

I’ve briefly touched on how to pipe with two colours here, for a more detailed method including a video click here.

Hope you enjoy making these and thanks for reading.

Published by The Bakery At Home

Amateur baker based in the UK with a sugar addiction and gluten intolerance. Inclusive of as many dietary requirements as possible, because everyone deserves to taste the delicious.

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