Gluten Free Dr Pepper Cupcakes

When you fancy a sweet treat, Dr Pepper ticks that box. Even better if it’s in cake form.

However if you don’t love Dr Pepper simply replace it with cola.

This recipe yields 12 cupcakes.

I actually made these cupcake size rather than huge muffins for once!

You will need:

  • Stand or handheld mixer
  • Sieve
  • Muffin tray
  • Cupcake cases (not muffin)
  • Piping bag
  • #3 star tip


  • 435ml Dr Pepper


  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 40g (3 tbsp) vegetable shortening
  • 140g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 100g (1 cup) plain gluten free flour
  • 20g (3 tbsp) extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • ¼ tsp almond extract


  • 80g (6 tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
  • 250g (2 cups) powdered icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Cherry food colour

Dr Pepper

First things first, you need to prepare the Dr Pepper. Boil the drink for 20 – 30 minutes or until it is reduced to about a third of your original volume. This means we can add more of the flavour without adding as much liquid to the cake batter or buttercream. You will need 145ml once reduced, 120ml for the cake batter and 25ml for the buttercream.


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 170°C

(325°F Gas Mark 3)

Combine the ground flaxseed and water, then chill for 15 minutes while the oven preheats. Give the flaxseed mixture a stir, it will be ready when it forms a egg-like consistency.

Step 2

Cream the vegetable shortening and sugar together with a stand or handheld mixer.

Step 3

In a separate bowl, mix together the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and xantham gum. Sift into the vegetable shortening and sugar then combine with a spoon or spatula. Once mostly incorporated, rub together with your hands until the dry ingredients have a sand-like consistency, with no large lumps left.

Step 4

Whisk together 120ml or reduced Dr Pepper, almond extract and flax-egg.

Pour half the liquids into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Then add the rest of the liquids in two steps, scraping down the sides and beating between additions. Finally turn up to high speed and beat for a minute.

Step 5

Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, or until the cases are ¾ full. If you have extra batter make another cake rather than filling them more, or the cakes may overflow when they rise.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Set aside to cool completely. I often pop them in the fridge after 5 minutes, to ensure they will be cool by the time I’ve made the icing.


Step 1

Cream the vegetable shortening until light and fluffy, then scrape down the sides.

Step 2

Add the powdered icing sugar, almond extract and 25ml of reduced Dr Pepper. Beat on low speed until the icing sugar is combined.

Step 3

Turn the speed up to high and beat for 5 minutes to ensure your buttercream is light and will hold it’s shape when piped.

Step 4

Stir in the cherry food colour or purple with a tiny bit of red food colour if you don’t have a cherry colour. Beat until the colour is even.

Step 5

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a #3 star tip. Pipe a small bead in the centre of a cake to support the height of the buttercream. Then pipe in a circle around the bead spiraling up to the centre and end with a final squeeze before stopping the tension. Repeat until all the cupcakes are iced.

I left a small uncovered edge to the cakes, this helps keep a good ratio of cake to icing since the height can make it icing heavy. Especially as Dr Pepper makes this even sweeter than my regular icing.

Step 6

Finally place a cola bottle sweet on top for decoration. I used Free From Fellows sugar free cola bottles as they are vegan as well as gluten free. You can be less selective if you aren’t making these vegan.

These are best served fresh but will last up to 5 days in the fridge.

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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