Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Red Currant Filling


Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Currant Filling

This post is basically a one-stop shop to finding a sweet Valentine for that special someone. Since google analytics tells me y’all are about 88% women, by special someone I mean: you. Treat yo’ self! With a gluten-free double chocolate cupcake with raspberry red currant filling, a hand-forged bracelet, and a book about love. (For the other 12% of you, take notes.)

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

If I could mail the dark chocolate cupcakes to you without them turning to cake mush, I would (mostly because I’m finding it hard to resist eating one for dessert after every meal). But unfortunately I can barely get from the kitchen to the table without spreading frosting on the wall.

You know how you find sand everywhere after the beach? That’s me with chocolate frosting. Note: this is also how you get ants.

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Currant Filling

So instead, I’m tickled pink to be sharing this love-filled collaboration with two locals from my hometown.

The first is my future sister-in-law Alexis whose debut novel Love & Other Theories just hit the shelves on NYE. (See how I lied in the sidebar —> and called her my sister-in-law? Future-sister-in-law just doesn’t have the same ring). The book is a young adult fiction about a group of girls who have developed theories for avoiding heartbreak by following the wisdom of Marilyn Monroe: “A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe, and leaves before she is left,” until it all falls apart their senior year.

Even though Alexis spent several family vacations tucked behind her laptop writing the book, she didn’t let us read it until she had an advanced reader copy in hand. No one could put it down. We passed it around the family so ferociously that by the time it got to me, the pages were warped and earmarked, showing our love through its wear.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream

I invited Alexis over here for a quick interview to learn about the theories, characters, and the witty girl behind them. So here goes:

How did you come up with the theories and did they change as you wrote the book? Have you ever tested any of the theories?

The theories evolved after the characters. In earlier drafts of the book, they were just implied. As the story developed and it became clearer what these characters believed, and the creed they were living by when it came to boys and dating, then I was able to spell out the theories.

I never went by these theories when I was growing up, though my friends and I did have one rule about dating that we took very serious. It was: always order penne pasta on the first date. (Fitting for this blog!) It’s the easiest dish to eat and you don’t have to worry about being messy—the last thing you want to think about on a first date, right? Funnily enough, on my first date with my fiancé I ordered fish tacos. Possibly the messiest thing on the menu! Like most dating theories/rules, the penne pasta rule was meant to be broken. 

Are there parts of any characters you see in yourself? While you were writing, did you ever think of yourself as one of the characters?

I didn’t think of myself as one of the characters. When I write, the characters are so distinctly individual to me, so I never feel as though there’s too much of me reflected in them. Now that the story is done though, I can see different things about the characters that I can relate too. Melissa’s motto: Better paranoid than sorry. The way Aubrey tries hard to balance studying and partying. Danica’s laid back attitude.

There’s a quiz that tells you your dating style in relation to the characters of Love and Other Theories—if you’re curious!

How did you get into writing? What were some of the first things you ever wrote?

I’ve loved writing since I was very young. My first writing partner lived across the street—we were in elementary school. We wrote and illustrated our own picture books, then sold them to our parents. In middle school it was pure luck that I met someone who not only liked writing as much as I did, but also liked Jurassic Park as much as I did. We wrote several versions of what would probably be referred to today as Jurassic Park fanfiction. And, of course, our Jurassic Park stories always starred Leonardo DiCaprio. I also rewrote Cruel Intentions at age thirteen, adding several words of conversation between Annette and Sebastian because as it was written, I wasn’t convinced they were really in love.

Who is your TV character spirit animal and why?

Definitely Rachel Green from Friends. Growing up I always copied her hair. She loves fashion and if I had to do something other than writing, my dream job would be to work as a buyer, like she did. I also always, always, always wanted to date a paleontologist. My dinosaur fascination stretched beyond Jurassic Park, though I never wanted to take any of the science courses required to be a paleontologist, I just wanted someone to tell me the inside scoop on the latest dinosaur discoveries.

Here’s where I’ll butt in to say that my brother – not a paleontologist – works for Sierra Nevada and learned everything he knows about dinosaurs from the Flintstones. BUT he did take Alexis to a dinosaur exhibit once, and when they first started dating, he even tagged along to paleontologist lectures (scoping out his competition?).

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Currant Filling

While I don’t live by a set of theories about love, this hand-forged cuff from Amy Waltz Designs has my life motto spelled out inside: “EAT CUPCAKES.” Words to live by, guys.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Currant Filling

Especially when cupcakes taste as rich, tender, and moist as these. Wearing it around my wrist reminds me that one of these cupcakes after dance class “replenishes your chocolectrolytes,” as Alanna puts it.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Currant Filling - Gluten-Free

Anyone else think frosting is often a way to mask a boring dry cupcake? Usually, enjoying a cupcake is almost as much about the frosting as it is the cake. These cupcakes are not that. We’ve got frosting on them because that’s what makes cupcakes pretty, and a fruit-filled cupcake would look silly without some buttercream to cover up the berry pit, but these cupcakes are strong enough to stand on their own.

I know because that’s how I’ve been eating the leftover cupcakes all week. The cake is light and fluffy, but rich and moist, and it bites down with the same soft tenderness of a traditional bakery cupcake. To make the cupcakes extra special, the raspberry red currant filling gives a sweet tart surprise, but feel free to fill with any jam you want, or to leave them without if you prefer. Topped with chocolate buttercream, these double chocolate cupcakes are a lesson in indulgence indeed.

Alexis’s book is described as “equal parts bite and romance,” so I think this indulgent chocolate cupcake with a berry filling fits the bill. Plus, chocolate is her weak spot.

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day Book & Bracelet Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post. Amy Waltz Designs has generously given me the bracelet pictured here and are providing the bracelet for one reader. As always, the opinions expressed here are solely my own. 

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Red Currant Filling
Yields: 12 cupcakes
  • 3 tablespoons oat flour* (**for non-gluten-free version, see note)
  • 3 tablespoons millet flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or tapioca flour
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch-processed)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk or (Scant ⅓ cup milk + ½ tablespoon white vinegar)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1½ tablespoons safflower oil (or vegetable oil)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Rodelle's organic vanilla)
  • ¼ teaspoon chocolate extract (I use Rodelle's chocolate extract. if you don't have chocolate extract, you can just add ¼ teaspoon more vanilla extract)
  • ⅓ cup hot water
Raspberry Currant Filling
  • ¼ cup raspberry jam
  • ¼ cup currant jelly
Chocolate Buttercream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened non dutch-processed)
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure chocolate extract (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin (or two) with 12 liners.
  2. Whisk the oat flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, oil, vanilla extract, and chocolate extract together until smooth. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir lightly.
  4. Pour the hot water into the dry ingredients and mix until completely smooth, scraping up the sides and bottom to completely incorporate.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter among the 12 lined cupcake cups, filling no more than half full (these cupcakes rise quite a bit)
  6. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
  7. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the filling and frosting.
  8. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a small round cutter or the back of a pastry tip to punch out a hole in the center of each cupcake and fill with jam.
  10. Pipe chocolate buttercream over the top and serve. (Optional: garnish with currants)
Raspberry Currant Filling
  1. In a small bowl, mix the raspberry jam and currant jelly together until smooth.
Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the cocoa/sugar mixture to the butter, alternating with the milk and beating until smooth.
  4. Add the extract and mix until light and fluffy. If the buttercream is too soft, you can either add a tablespoon of more sugar, or continue beating while holding an ice pack against the bowl to chill it a bit.
*I grind my own oat flour by pulsing gluten-free oats in the blender or food processor until fine, then sifting out any large pieces.
**For non-gluten-free version, replace the oat flour, millet flour, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum with ¾ cups all-purpose flour

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  1. These cupcakes are wonderful, Sarah! I love all the chocolate in them and that filling sounds to die for. These are simply gorgeous for Valentine’s Day!
    We plan to just take it east for Valentine’s Day. We are big celebrators of the holiday. Everyday should be an expression of love toward your significant other, not just one day a year.

  2. laura says:

    that recipe looks amazing! I would swap the berries for raspberries. I totally agree about frosting often covering rubbish, dry cakes. Very disappointing.

  3. June Burns says:

    Probably going to make some cake for Valentine’s day :)

  4. Min says:

    How awesome is this!! Congrats to your sister-in-law!! I can very much relate to this : better paranoid than sorry. And I shall def replenish my chocoelectrolytes (brilliant!) with these cupcakes. I can’t call myself a true cupcake lover since I tend to scrape off the icing (most of the time). It works since that’s the part Tim loves ;). Now filling? that I def cannot stay away from!!

  5. Simply stunning! My husband and I are spending Valentine’s Day snowboarding in Vermont. I’m going to want a whole plate of these when we get back!

  6. Girl, you have really outdone yourself with these cupcakes – they’re gorgeous, and I want to eat like 50 of them RIGHT NOW!

    For Valentines Day I’m technically going to be eating cheese fries and watching Princess Bride with Dan at a local cinema, but I’m going to pretend our Disney trip later in the month is a super belated V-Day celebration, OK?

  7. Dane H. says:

    I’m not a huge sweet person normally, but these look amazing! If only my girlfriend liked chocolate…

  8. These are so beautiful!!! I bet they taste amazing too. I can never seem to find currants, but when I do I know what I am making.

    • Me neither! I’d never seen them at the market before and they were calling out to me with their bright red color. Since I use store-bought currant jelly in the filling, you can make these even without fresh currants and just top them with raspberries instead:)

  9. Sarah, these cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous! I love currants! and hey, any chance to win that gorgeous hand-forged bracelet and a book about love. (Wow! your future sister-in-law wrote a novel?!) that’s huge! he and the hubs are going out for V-day but a few days earlier. . b/c we’re smart like that.

  10. BC – we wold always hit a restaurant in the city, now AC – we celebrate at home, and we love it – and this year I see us celebrating with these cupcakes, seeing as how i love with three serious chocolate lovers

  11. Erin R. says:

    Well, I’ll probably sleep in since it’s on Saturday this year. (We’re not big Valentine’s people.)

  12. Congrats to your sister-in-law!! you guys are lucky to have each other ;) those cupcakes look divine!

  13. Congratulations to your sister-in-law for writing a book! What an amazing accomplishment! I’ve added this book to my reading list. These cupcakes are simply beautiful. Love the red currants!

  14. Ragini says:

    loved the idea of the book and your enthused intro.
    So, since I am librarian at the county library system, I got a few copies ordered.
    Thanks for all the lovely recipes you post.

  15. What an appropriate cupcake to pair up with your sister-in-law’s treasure of a book. Congrats to here and this cupcake looks divine.


  17. So I guess I’m part of the 12%, huh?! Hahaha. Totally loving the raspberry currant filling… never would have thought of that flavor combo. AND super cool about your sis-n-law writing a book! When she’s big and famous she has to invite you to all her swanky parties, right?

  18. Love that bracelet and it seems like a perfectly reasonable life motto to me. ;) Your cupcakes look gorgeous, btw. I love those fresh currants on top…

  19. Gah, so many awesome things going on in this post! Your (future) sister-in-law’s book actually sounds really interesting and like a fun read. Fingers crossed I win the giveaway and that your cupcakes get magically delivered along with it (hah, wishful thinking) :P

  20. I don’t have Valentine’s plans yet, so let’s hope the husband is coming up with something!

  21. Sarah says:

    With my husband, drinking good beer and sharing a delicious Upper Crust cake (this is what we do every year) !

  22. Amanda Paa says:

    this book, this post, those cupcakes! i could really use a new fiction read to give my brain a little rest. how exciting for your future sister-in-law. and the bracelet totally speaks my language. on valentine’s day i will be at in an indoor farmer’s market, then watching brian play hockey. yes, they scheduled a game for that day, men. :) hope you enjoy the night with your sweetheart!

    • Yeah! This is such a fun read- I hope you enjoy it! The indoor farmer’s market sounds like a lovely start to V-day (Brian better treat you reallll nice for spending your V-day watching him play hockey;)

  23. We are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a perfect-for-us date! Burgers and ‘The Theory of Everything’ because we are both huge science lovers. Then we’re going to get ice cream and drive to the spot where we finished our first date. Two years and going strong :)
    Can’t wait to read this book!

  24. Holly says:

    The cupcakes look amazing

  25. These cupcakes are absolutely stunning! And congrats to your future sister in law!

  26. Yay, congrats to your future sister-in-law for writing a book! So cool! These cupcakes are gorgeous! Love the red currant filling!

  27. Bobbie says:

    “Replenishes Chocolytes” that’s the best thing I’ve read! This is a great V day package, and I imagine how sweet it would be for anyone to win all of this. The book sounds interesting, btw! You are in a family of creatives I tell ya!

  28. Sheri says:

    I need a bracelet to remind me to eat cupcakes! And I’ve read this book, love it!

  29. Sini says:

    These cupcakes are real beauties! And surely delicious as well.

  30. Fabulous giveaway, Sarah! Thank you for this opportunity! Your photography makes me pause and gawk… and drool… and gawk some more. It’s so early, but never-mind that. I could sink my teeth into these cuppies right now while wearing that beautiful bracelet and reading your sister in law’s book. I could just chock it up to inhaling my daily chocolectrolytes and being fancy. Even if I don’t win (although I’ve had some luck lately ; ) ), I’ll be heading over to Alexis’ Etsy shop and surprise myself with a little Valentine’s day love! *This is how I celebrate Valentines day!* What beautiful work! I need frequent reminders to eat cupcakes anyway. Thank you, Sarah!

  31. There is seriously so much fun stuff going on in this post! How awesome that your sister-in-law wrote a book! And these cupcakes are pretty much perfect-o. I LOVE that currant filling! So creative. :)

  32. These are wonderful! I actually have family coming to town next weekend, so I’ll be with them. Nothing romantic (because that would be weird!), but hopefully there will be chocolate involved!

  33. I totally need to read this book!! Preferably while eating these GORGEOUS cupcakes and wearing your jewelry. Basically I want to be you. I promise to feed the cats?

  34. Jennifer C. says:

    How fun! These cupcakes look yummy!

  35. Holly E says:

    We are celebrating with dinner and a movie.

  36. Annie says:

    just being with the husband ;) yayy Alexis! so excited for you!

  37. Love the book, love the cupcakes (so pretty), and really love you photos!

  38. Amy L says:

    I am fairly newly single so likely spending it with my 8 year old. Unless my soulmate shows up on my doorstep. I’m told he’s quite close but haven’t spoken outside of dream. lol

  39. Your pictures are a joy to the eye. Simply superb photography and big congrats to your “future’ sis in law!! Great job girl!

  40. Ohh and no special plans for vday yet but I will make sure I make lot of sweet treat for hubby!!

  41. These cupcakes are making me swoon.. they look so sweet, dark and delicious – and all that frosting, just WOW!

  42. Oana says:

    Look at these beauties. They’re so delicate. I can only imagine how good they taste with that luscious frosting!

  43. Sadly (or not!) I have no plans! Just me :P

  44. Julie Raye-Rod says:

    a nice night out with my boyfriend.

  45. Equal parts bite and romance – that’s the best description I’ve ever heard for anything! I want to somehow say that everyday.

  46. Julia says:

    I just ordered the book! I can’t wait to receive it and dive in. I <3 Marilyn Monroe, and your future sister-in-law sounds like one cool gal! Will let ya know how I like the book.

    Deez cupcakes. I need them all.

  47. Sarah, these are GORGEOUS! You always have such a way with photos and food. Teach me your secrets! And yes, flour and cocoa powder are like the sands of the kitchen. And dark chocolate too. How do I end up with stuff in my hair, down my shirt, on my slippers?… Sigh. I’m just cool like that, I suppose. ;) Pinned!

  48. Such beautiful little cakes and your photographs are amazing!

  49. This recipe looks like the perfect indulgence for a rainy Saturday (home alone) with a cozy throw and a stack of one’s favorite DVDs. Happy Wednesday :)

  50. Girll, you’ve outdone yourself EVERY time I get the chance to check in on you!!! These need to be on a window display…and red currant is so amazing. Wish there were more desserts with that flavor in the States! Also, what an interesting novel topic that is. :D I’m not much into novels anymore, but I like how this pretty much sums up the things that many humans do subconsciously…leaving before getting hurt, etc.? Very interesting, indeed!

  51. Aleksandra says:

    I honestly can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks so interesting!

  52. Phi says:

    Where is your gold flatware from? I can’t find any ANYWHERE that are reasonably priced! :(

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