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Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream- Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Not only are these chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream delicious, they are topped with a rich but light dairy free peppermint buttercream that is perfectly festive for the holidays. No one will ever know that they are also gluten free and dairy free! The light and fluffy, but moist chocolate cake is paired perfect with a homemade peppermint buttercream that will melt in your mouth. These delicious cupcakes are sure to impress everyone during the holidays, even those who are not gluten free or dairy free.

This post chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream post contains affiliate links. Living Freely Gluten Free makes a small percentage of any order made through these links. This helps to cover the cost of the website and ingredients to keep bringing you delicious but simple recipes. Thank you for your support.

You can top them with a cut peppermint stick, or Red Bird Candy soft peppermint puffs to make them the perfect dessert to display at a dessert exchange, party, pot luck, or even as gifts.

gluten and dairy free chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream

I am always looking for a simple yet festive treat to pass around to family and friends to enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa. These chocolate cupcakes with dairy free peppermint buttercream will be the show stopper for any gathering.

Gluten and dairy free chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream

We are finally 98% done decorating for Christmas this year. We traveled to California for Thanksgiving this year. Our typical schedule is to fully decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. Since we were not home it took us a while to get everything out, sorted, organized, and then decorated. I needed to purge some of the really old and slightly broken items and make a list of the new things we needed.

Gluten and dairy free chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream

Every year we usually put up a fake tree and we have had this fake tree FOREVER. I bought it on a Black Friday deal when we were in our 20’s and its been on its last leg for a while now and I knew this year I didn’t want to use it. For some time now I wanted a new and nicer fake tree that actually had some thickness to it. My husband however really wanted to do the traditional Washingtonian thing and go cut a tree down. I wasn’t fully on board with this idea for several reasons…

  1. It’s always raining here and I didn’t want a wet tree in the house.
  2. It’s always raining here and I didn’t want to go tromp through the forest and mud in the rain.
  3. Real trees are super messy and I remember cursing at the last one we got on the daily as I picked up the needles that seemed to fall every 5 seconds and then scrubbed the sap off of the floor.
  4. I was 100% convinced we would have a “Griswold Christmas” in which a creature would come flying out of it and I would lose my mind.

Regardless of those reservations, I put on my big girl pants (and the wrong shoes) and went. It ended in disaster for several reasons and we left purchasing a tree from the tree farm that had already been cut down. It is a little too big for my tiny space I had planned, but it is pretty and I am very happy with it none-the-less. We will never forget this adventure, that’s for sure.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream

My husband went a little crazy with decorating outdoors. We grew up with single mothers and didn’t have a lot. My husband especially. He really likes to make up for it now, so I have to let him do his thing from time to time. I had to reel him in a bit as he started to attempt turning our house into the North Pole. We made a decent compromise and our house looks lovely. It’s wonderful to see the joy in our children’s eyes and the excitement they have for it. I am thankful to have a husband who loves to do these things.

So, now that the house is bustling with Christmas cheer it is time to start baking! I was beyond excited that Red Bird Candy wanted to collaborate with me! I have been eating their peppermints since I was a child. When I found them again as an adult, I was overjoyed that their candy was allergen free. I am always excited to share candy with the kids that is safe for all of us.

Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream


Are you ready to make chocolate cupcakes with dairy free peppermint buttercream now? Here is how you make them…

When you make the cupcakes, the method might seem different to you if you haven’t followed one of my cake recipes yet. Please do not fret, this is a method that is tried and true and it makes the most amazing and delicious moist cakes. Boiling water with sugar is an old school method. Don’t skip it, because it is well worth waiting for the water to cool.

It’s also very important that you use an amazing Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend. I have been using the same blend for the past 6 years and I swear by it. It never lets me down and everything always comes out perfect!

For the dairy free peppermint buttercream you will want a good Peppermint Extract. If you plan to pipe the frosting make sure that you crush the peppermint candies very well. If they are too chunky they will not fit through a piping tip. You can simply just spread the frosting onto the cupcake with a knife and then you will not need to worry about the size of the candy chunks.

Other than that, these cupcakes are simple to make and incredibly delicious. The dairy free peppermint buttercream is the true start of this recipe. Serve them with hot cocoa and you will be the star of the show. Happy Holidays!!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream

These moist and delicious cupcakes topped with dairy free peppermint buttercream will melt in your mouth. Everyone will love these. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Dairy Free Peppermint Buttercream, Easy gluten free cupcake recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 18 Cupcakes
Calories 352 kcal


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Dairy Free Milk I use Coconut
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy Free Butter
  • 2 TBSP. Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBSP. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder

Peppermint Buttercream

  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 tsp. Dairy Free Milk I use Coconut
  • 1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
  • 3 TBSP. Crushed Peppermint Candy


Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

  2. Boil the water in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of sugar for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

  3. With your stand mixer on medium speed, blend the remaining cup of sugar with the vegan butter and melted coconut oil. 

  4. Add the dairy free milk and the cooled water/sugar mixture to the mixer. 

  5. Turn the mixer on low speed. Add the eggs, vanilla, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, and GF all purpose flour. 

  6. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes scraping the sides halfway through. The batter should have a pudding like consistency. 

  7. Pour into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. Fill each cupcakes 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting. 

Dairy Free Peppermint Buttercream

  1. In a mixer cream butter and shortening.

  2. Add powdered sugar, peppermint extract, and dairy free milk. Mix for 3 minutes on medium speed and allow it fluff up. 

  3. Add crushed candies and allow them to blend in by mixing for 45 seconds. 

  4. Frost cooled cupcakes. 

Recipe Notes

If you plan to pipe the frosting make sure your candies are crushed very well. Big pieces will clog the piping tips. 

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 352 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Sodium 276mg12%
Potassium 128mg4%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 240IU5%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you like this recipe then you will love all of the recipes in my cookbook! There are over 100 gluten free and dairy free recipes that are simple to make with easy to find ingredients.



Need more holiday recipes that you will love? I’ve got you covered…


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Recipe Rating


  1. thiese cupcakes sounds delicious and i am a big fan of cupcakes and red bird peppermint candy too hope i win some,and thanks for the chance

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Hi Jeff! Thanks for entering. Good luck!

  2. Such beautiful cupcakes – perfect for my office potluck next week – I love how they work for people with most allergies!

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you! Everyone will love them at the potluck!

  3. Angela Melocoton says:

    I Loooove me some red bird peppermint puffs.

  4. They look beautiful and delicious ?!

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Thank you Brandy!

  5. perfect for anything! i love them 🙂

  6. Jamielynn says:

    Am I missing the eggs in the recipe above it does not seem to have egg in this recipe however in the instructions to prepare the eggs are added into mixer ……

    1. livingfreelygf says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. When I merged my website a few months back some of the changes I made did not save. It’s fixed now. The recipe calls for 2 eggs.