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Gluten-free Marble Cupcakes Recipe (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe topped with Cadbury’s Twisted chocolate buttons. Best of all, nobody could EVER tell that they’re Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free.

Gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe, anyone? Me, please! They’re the perfect harmony of vanilla and chocolate with a gooey chocolate middle. Who could say no to that?

Gluten-free Marble Cupcakes Recipe (dairy-free option)

Will I ever run out of wild cupcake ideas, variations and flavours? Clearly not.

This one was inspired by a product I found a few weeks ago: Cadbury’s Twisted chocolate buttons (yes, they’re gluten-free!). But when I bought them, I had no idea what I was going to do with them.

Obviously I could have just eaten them, but I always buy stuff ike this for baking!

Then I realised: why not make something based around the whole ‘twisted’ thing? So that’s exactly what I did!

Gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe: What you’ll need…

  • Butter: Salted or unsalted is totally fine (I use unsalted), but whichever you go for, make sure it’s softened first.
  • Caster sugar: Sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it helps to achieve a lovely crisp exterior and helps the cake to form a perfect crumb.
  • Large Eggs: I use large eggs for this recipe, but medium works fine too. If you can’t tolerate egg, check the vegan section of the FAQ for some simple swaps you can try.
  • Gluten-free self-raising flour: I use a simple commercial blend from the free from aisle in the supermarket. If you can’t find a blend like this where you live, you can always make your own using my gluten-free flour recipe.
  • Gluten-free baking powder: Not all baking powder is gluten-free so make sure you read the ingredients list first!
  • Vanilla extract: The better quality yours is, the better your buttercream and vanilla sponge will taste!
  • Xanthan gum: This helps to bind the cake crumb together so it doesn’t become crumbly, replacing the gluten that would otherwise do the same job.
  • Cocoa Powder: Ideally sieve before using or it can be quite lumpy.
  • Milk: Any milk will do, and of course, you can use dairy-free milk if needed.
  • Icing sugar: You’ll need this for the buttercream as caster sugar won’t work here.
  • Chocolate spread: I use a simple store-bought chocolate spread (like the kind you’d spread on toast) or Nutella.
  • Cadbury’s Twisted Chocolate buttons: The perfect finishing touch! They did inspire this recipe after all. You can find them down the confectionary aisle in the supermarket with all the sharing bags.
Gluten-free Marble Cupcakes Recipe (dairy-free option)

So here’s the fun part for me: describing what my gluten-free marble cupcakes taste like!

The sponge is a wonderful marbled combo of vanilla and chocolate that’s soft, light, fluffy and sweet. Of course, who could miss a generous dollop of creamy chocolate spread in the middle?

Then, it’s all topped with a two-tone, marbled vanilla and chocolate icing – which is easier to make than you think! It’s fluffy, sweet and dangerously more-ish.

And obviously, I had to finish them with a twisted button for the ultimate finishing touch. Cupcake perfection, I say!

Gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?

It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!

Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.

Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).

Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.

How do I make this recipe dairy-free?

Yes, with a few simple swaps!

Can I make your gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe vegan?

Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.

Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements in the cupcakes, so each of these = 1 egg.

  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba – water from a can of chickpeas. Make sure you whisk it up until frothy before adding.
  • Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce.

I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below.

Is this recipe low FODMAP?

Yes! If you use lactose-free milk, lactose-free chocolate spread (ensure it’s low FODMAP!) and omit the Cadbury’s Twisted chocolate buttons, one cupcake would be a safe serving size for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.

Gluten-free Marble Cupcakes Recipe (dairy-free option)

Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free marble cupcakes?

Certainly not! You will need a good quality muffin tray, so here’s a link to the one I use.

Of course, you will need a piping nozzle and piping bags if you want to finish them like I have in the photos. I use the 1M star nozzle in this set to pipe cupcakes and piping bags like these.

Can I use gluten-free flours like almond flour or coconut flour to make this recipe?

Certainly not using this recipe. This recipe uses gluten-free plain flour which is easily available in supermarkets here in the UK.

If you can’t find it where you live, you can always make your own using my gluten-free flour recipe.

The reason you can’t use flours like almond or coconut in this recipe is because gluten-free plain flour is a blend of lots of different gluten-free flours and starches.

So to ditch a carefully made blend and try to substitute them all for ONE flour… it’s just not going to work!

Do I need weighing scales to make your gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe?

In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any my recipes without them. One of the worst things you can do in any recipe is alter the quantities by mistake or on purpose.

(unless you know what you’re doing of course)

Why? Well, you’re sort of just gambling with the recipe and praying that it turns out ok, don’t you think? And I’ve generally already done the hard work there for you, so you don’t have to do the guesswork with measurements!

A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities so I wouldn’t mess around with them unless you really know your stuff. I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.

Gluten-free Marble Cupcakes Recipe (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe: Tips for perfection!

  1. Spoon an even amount of cupcake batter per cupcake case – that way, they’ll all bake at the same speed.
  2. Use the large end of a piping nozzle or cupcake corer if coring your cupcakes, but don’t core them too deep! You’ll need to leave some of the base to support the filling.
  3. Don’t overdo the baking powder, or it can make your cupcakes sink in the middle. Be careful when measuring it out!
  4. Allow your cupcakes to fully cool before piping on the cream or buttercream – it will melt otherwise!
  5. To create the marble buttercream effect, you can always… put the chocolate buttercream in one small piping bag and the vanilla piping bag in another (no nozzle required – just cut a 1.5cm opening). Then, prepare a larger piping bag with a star nozzle and insert both smaller piping bags into the larger one. Your buttercream will come out perfectly and it’s a little cleaner!

Gluten-free Marble Cupcakes Recipe

Gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe – a vanilla and chocolate sponge topped with marbled buttercream. Nobody would know they're Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free.
Keyword gluten-free baking, marble cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 591kcal
Author Becky Excell


  • Here’s the muffin/cupcake tray I use.


For the cupcakes:

  • 225 g unsalted butter softened (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 220 g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder sieved (ensure dairy-free if necessary)
  • 2 tbsp milk use dairy-free milk if necessary

For the buttercream:

  • 200 g unsalted butter softened (use Stork hard margarine if dairy-free)
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 25 g cocoa powder sieved
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk optional, to loosen the buttercream – use dairy-free milk if necessary

The Rest:

  • chocolate spread use dairy-free milk if necessary
  • Cadburys Twisted Chocolate Buttons


  • Preheat your oven to 160C Fan /180C and prepare a cupcake / muffin tin with 12 cases.
  • Cream together your softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add your eggs in one at a time, mixing in between each and add your vanilla extract.
  • Add your flour, baking powder and xanthan gum and mix until combined, then split your mixture equally into two separate bowls.
  • Mix together your cocoa powder and milk (it should be a paste, but add a little extra milk if too dry) and add to one of the bowls. Then, mix to combine briefly.
  • Spoon alternative dollops of the chocolate and vanilla mixture into your cases until two thirds full, then use a skewer to swirl the colours together. Bake for about 22 minutes until cooked through.
  • Allow to fully cool before coring the centre of each cupcake and filling with a tsp of chocolate spread. I use the wide end of a piping nozzle to do this, but a cupcake corer works best. Just ensure you don’t go too deep so there’s still sponge to support the filling.
  • For the buttercream, beat your softened butter in a large bowl until pale in colour, then add your icing sugar and mix once more until combined. Split your mixture into two separate bowls.
  • To one bowl add ½ tsp vanilla extract and to the other bowl add 25g cocoa powder. Mix both in thoroughly. If the chocolate buttercream (or vanilla) are too thick, just add a tsp of milk and mix in.
  • Grab a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and slap the chocolate icing on one side of the bag and the vanilla icing on the other side. Placing the piping bag into a tall pint glass makes this job easier! Pipe onto the top of the cupcakes and finish with a twisted chocolate button.

Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free marble cupcakes recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!

Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!

Thanks for reading,

Becky xxx

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