Moist, light and airy, these gluten free milk chocolate cupcakes are chocolatey but not too rich. Perfect for every occasion.
Do you think milk chocolate is for wimps, that these milk chocolate gluten free cupcakes can’t possibly satisfy? This recipe might just have the power to change your mind about milk chocolate. It’s not fool’s gold! It’s real chocolate – just with milk.
This is the perfect cupcake for holiday decorating or any sort of celebration. It’s not too rich and not too sweet, so it can handle some serious frosting and other decorations and fanciness. Here, I made a simple ganache-style milk chocolate glaze, which is always a safe choice.
What makes milk chocolate different than other chocolate?
When I bake with melted chocolate, I typically specify dark chocolate. I’m not a chocolate expert, so when I get questions about what “dark chocolate” means as an ingredient, I limit my response to the explain the sort of chocolate I’m referring to. It might be different for different recipe developers.
Dark chocolate is any chocolate that contains little or no milk. It’s typically just cacao solids, sugar, and some sort of emulsifier to help maintain the texture of the chocolate.
The greater the percentage of cacao in dark chocolate, the more bitter the chocolate. The highest percentage I would generally use in a recipe is 75% cacao. Typically I use 70% Scharffen Berger dark chocolate.
Terms like “semi-sweet chocolate” and “bittersweet chocolate” are often used interchangeably, and frequently contain more sugar, less cacao. Like anything else, there are better quality varieties, and worse quality varieties.
Descriptive names for chocolate like these are like clothing and shoe sizes. There’s absolutely no definitive standardization that everyone agrees upon.
Milk chocolate contains milk solids, and generally has more sugar and less cacao. Most adults will say that they don’t like it, but then if you offer them a Hershey’s kiss, they won’t refuse. Don’t be a hater.
I don’t typically bake with milk chocolate since it’s more sweet and has a less pronounced chocolate flavor and aroma. But these milk chocolate cupcakes are kind of like nursery food to me (in a good way!), like a perfect vanilla cupcake. Pure nonthreatening comfort. Like a bowl of pastina.
Can you freeze these cupcakes?
Yes, you can definitely freeze these cupcakes. I recommend freezing them after they’re baked and completely cooled, but before you glaze them. The glaze freezes well, but it doesn’t set hard so it will stick to whatever you wrap the cupcakes with for freezing.
Just wrap the cooled cupcakes very tightly to prevent freezer burn. Do not store cupcakes in the refrigerator for more than a few moments if you’d like to speed up the setting of the glaze. The refrigerator tends to dry out baked goods.
Ingredients and substitutions
Since these are milk chocolate cupcakes, and milk chocolate is by its nature dairy-containing, it’s really hard to make these cupcakes dairy-free. Instead, I’d recommend making our perfect gluten free chocolate cupcakes recipe, which is already naturally dairy free.
There are two eggs in this recipe. That’s the high water mark for how many eggs I recommend trying to replace in any recipe.
Try using one “chia egg” for each chicken egg (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). Pay attention to the consistency of the batter, and add up to 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water more if the batter seems too stiff.
Whenever you’re making substitutions, it’s especially useful to watch the in-post how-to video so you can attempt to mimic the consistency of the batter in the recipe made as written. If you’re not seeing a video, you must turn off your ad blocker or the video won’t play. It’s the right thing to do anyway, since the content is free but I don’t get paid anything if you don’t view any ads.
I used Hershey’s milk chocolate bars in this recipe. You’ll need 6 bars for both the cupcakes and the glaze. Hershey’s also sells larger baking bars, but they’re not available everywhere.
If you’d like to make more traditional, dark chocolate cupcakes, please see the link above for my perfect gluten free cupcakes. That’s what you’re looking for.
You could also use milk chocolate melting wafers in this recipe. Ghirardelli sells those in a bag. They also sell a milk chocolate baking bar.
Baker’s brand sells milk chocolate for baking. I don’t know how readily available it is, though.
Gluten Free Milk Chocolate Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
4 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (See Recipe Notes)
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Better Batter)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
4 tablespoons (20 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (150 g) sour cream, at room temperature
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the glaze
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (See Recipe Notes)
1/3 cup (2 2/3 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
Milk chocolate: Each standard Hershey’s milk chocolate bar is 1.55 ounces. Three bars will yield a bit more than 4 1/2 ounces of milk chocolate, so you’ll need 6 bars for both the cupcakes and the glaze. Hershey’s also sells larger baking bars, but they’re not available everywhere.
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with greaseproof liners and set it aside.
Place the chopped chocolate in a small, microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 60% power for 1 minute. Remove and stir until melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave again for 30 seconds on 60% power and stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, and then the melted chocolate, and mix until just combined. The batter should be relatively light and fluffy.
Fill the prepared muffin cups full, smoothing the tops with wet fingertips. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 22 minutes). Allow the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the glaze. Place the chopped chocolate in a small heat-safe bowl or measuring cup with a wide open mouth. Heat the cream until simmering in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat, and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow the ingredients to sit undisturbed for at least 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to begin to melt. Mix until melted, smooth, and glossy. Allow the glaze to sit until it begins to thicken. Dip the top of each cooled cupcake in the glaze, allow excess glaze to drip off, and place the cupcake, right side up, on a wire rack or parchment lined baking sheet to sit until the glaze is set (about 30 minutes). You can speed up the process by placing the glazed cupcake in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Originally published on the blog in 2012. Cupcake recipe unchanged (glaze recipe added); text mostly new; photos and video new.