Gluten Free Key Cupcakes | New Home

Before lockdown, my boyfriend and I bought our first house, eek. It took a while getting the place sorted but we were finally ready to have a housewarming, I took a long time writing this up so this was still before quarantine. Regardless, no housewarming is complete without cake! My first thought was these cakes need keys, and the inspiration that came to me was a Harry Potter style key, so these could also be made for a Harry Potter party or even a 20’s themed murder mystery.

Gluten free cupcakes topped with a chocolate key

I had enough planning on my plate, so I wanted quick and easy to make, so in the end the hardest part of the cupcakes was piping the keys. An added bonus is that they are simple to make vegan, as long as you check the dark chocolate you use doesn’t contain dairy.

You will need:

  • Heatproof bowl over a pan
  • Baking paper
  • Piping bag
  • #1 round piping tip
  • Key template (optional)
  • Small food brush
  • Stand or handheld mixer
  • 12 muffin cases
  • Muffin tray
  • Piping bag
  • #3-star piping tip



  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp cold water
  • 80g (6 tbsp) 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
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • 240 ml tinned coconut milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • 120g (9 tbsp) vegetable shortening
  • 375g (3 cups) powdered icing sugar
  • 37ml tinned coconut milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • 100g dark chocolate
  • Edible gold dust (check your brand is gluten free)

Step 1

Start by preparing the keys so that they can set while you bake the cupcakes. To do this roughly chop the dark chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continuously stir until the chocolate has melted, then allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring it to a piping bag with a round #1 piping tip.

Check the temperature of the piping bag of chocolate before use to ensure you don’t burn yourself, then test piping a line to see if it holds its shape, if not let the chocolate cool further.

Step 2

Tape a sheet of baking paper to a flat surface across the corners of the baking paper. Freestyle the piping or print this key template and slide it under the baking paper to trace with the chocolate piping bag.

Allow to cool completely before brushing with gold dust.

Prepared chocolate keys dusted with gold

Step 3

Bake the chocolate cupcakes according to this recipe. Allow to cool before making the buttercream.

Step 4

For the buttercream beat the vegetable shortening until light, then add the rest of the ingredients. Beat very slowly until incorporated, then whisk at a high speed for 5 minutes.

Step 5

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a star #3 tip. To pipe the rose, hold the piping bag upright over the cake and pipe in a swirl starting from the center.

Place the chocolate key on top to finish.

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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