Gluten-free snowman cupcakes recipe – yet another festive bake that’ll put a smile on your face! Best of all, nobody could EVER tell that they’re Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free.
Gluten-free snowman cupcakes recipe, anyone? On top of a chocolate cupcake sits fluffy white chocolate buttercream, a white chocolate covered gluten-free ‘Oreo’ and a little desiccated coconut snow. And of course, you don’t need to worry about them melting!
Just so you know, by popular demand, the main snowman in my batch is now named ‘Vanilla Ice’ by all you lovely folks on Instagram ?
And I think that’s a very fitting name indeed!
As much as I’d love to throw out phrases like ‘why do we never get FUN gluten-free cupcakes like these?’ or ‘why have I NEVER seen gluten-free cupcakes like this available to buy?’, I’ll instead focus on what’s important…
… exactly what you’ll need to bake these yourself!
Gluten-free snowman 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 cupcakes to form a perfect crumb.
- Medium Eggs: I use medium eggs for this recipe, but large 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 – my go to is FREEE. 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!
- Cocoa Powder: Ideally sieve before using or it can be quite lumpy.
- 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.
- Vanilla extract: The better quality yours is, the better your buttercream will taste.
- Icing sugar: You’ll need this for the buttercream as caster sugar won’t work here.
- White chocolate: Any will do, but as usual, the better quality it is, the better it’ll taste
- Gluten-free ‘Oreos’: You’ll find these in supermarket free from aisles – here’s them in Tesco for example.
- Desiccated coconut: This is essentially optional but it does add a lovely snowy finishing touch and tastes amazing with white chocolate.
- Gluten-free sprinkles: I used these for the buttons on the snowman which finish them off nicely. Not all sprinkles are gluten-free so check yours first, please!
- Black writing icing: These come in little tubes and are easily available in supermarket baking sections.
- Orange fondant icing: Of course, I used a little of these for the noses and stuck them down with a little spare buttercream.
So here’s the fun part for me: describing what my gluten-free snowman cupcakes taste like!
The sponge is delightfully chocolatey, soft, light, fluffy and sweet. Something that I very rarely find when I eat a cupcake that I haven’t baked myself!
Then, they’re topped with a generous blob of whipped white chocolate buttercream. I absolutely love the combo of chocolate cake and white chocolate icing!
But perhaps the best part is that homemade enrobed gluten-free ‘Oreo’ which is perfect for a snowman’s face! And of course, it just generally tastes delightful too. The desiccated coconut works so well with the white chocolate also!
Gluten-free snowman 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?
Easily, with a few simple swaps!
- Use Stork hard margarine instead of butter.
- Ensure your cocoa powder is dairy-free.
- Use dairy-free white chocolate.
- Ensure the gluten-free ‘Oreo’ you use is dairy-free too – most are!
Can I make your gluten-free snowman 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?
Unfortunately, as this recipe uses gluten-free ‘Oreos’ which haven’t been tested, this recipe isn’t suitable for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
What did you use to decorate the cupcakes?
I used three simple finishing touches that go a long way! Best of all, you’ll easily find them in supermarkets.
If you can’t find these specifically, just use what you can find!
- For the buttons: Sainsbury’s Coloured Confetti
- For the nose: Orange fondant or use these carrot decorations and chop the green bits off with a sharp knife
- For the eyes and mouth: black writing icing
Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free snowman cupcakes?
Certainly not! You will need a good quality muffin tray, so here’s a link to the one I use.
I also use 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 FREEE gluten-free self raising 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!
Gluten-free snowman cupcakes recipe: Tips for perfection!
- Spoon an even amount of cupcake batter per cupcake case – that way, they’ll all bake at the same speed.
- Don’t overdo the baking powder, or it can make your cupcakes sink in the middle. Be careful when measuring it out!
- Once you’ve made the cupcake batter, bake it ASAP. The rising power of the baking powder will degrade quickly, resulting in denser, less risen cupcakes.
- Allow your cupcakes to fully cool before piping on the cream or buttercream – it will melt otherwise!
- Create your snowman face a little higher than you’d expect. The very bottom part will be slightly submerged in the buttercream.
Gluten-free Snowman Cupcakes Recipe
For the cupcakes:
- 200 g butter softened (use hard margarine if dairy free)
- 200 g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 165 g gluten-free self-raising flour I use FREEE
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
For the buttercream:
- 150 g butter softened (use hard margarine if dairy free)
- 300 g icing sugar
- 125 g white chocolate dairy free if necessary
For the snowman’s head:
- gluten free ‘oreos’ / cookies and cream biscuits
- 200 g white chocolate melted (dairy free if necessary)
- orange fondant for the nose
- black writing icing linked in FAQ section, for the eyes and mouth
- gluten-free circular sprinkles linked in FAQ section, for the buttons
- desiccated coconut optional, for a snowy finish
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat your oven to 160C Can / 180C and place cupcake cases into your cupcake tin. I sprinkle a little rice into each hole before the case as this helps reduce unwanted moisture.
- Cream together your softened butter and sugar using an electric hand whisk. Do so until lighter in colour and fluffier in texture.
- Gradually add your eggs (I whisk briefly in between each addition) and mix in.
- Sift in your flour, cocoa, baking powder and xanthan gum and then mix with your electric hand whisk until combined.
- Spoon your mixture into your cupcake cases and place in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool very briefly in the tin, then move the cases to a cooling rack.
For the buttercream:
- To make your buttercream, place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don’t have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
- Melt your white chocolate (I do this is the microwave), put to one side to cool whilst making the rest of the buttercream.
- Add your icing sugar gradually to the butter (I do this in two stages). I mix each addition of icing sugar for around 3-5 minutes before adding the second half.
- Now add in your melted, cooled white chocolate mix for a couple of minutes to combine. It should be the right consistency at this point. If you think it’s too thick you can add a couple tsp of milk – it needs to be pipable. If too thin you can add more icing sugar.
For the Snowman’s head:
- Dip each of your gluten free ‘oreos’ into the melted white chocolate and place onto a cooling rack to fully set. I place each biscuit onto a fork above the bowl of melted chocolate and then spoon the chocolate over to coat.
- Once set draw on eyes and mouth like a snowman (and a nose if you have the right colour writing icing) and make a triangle out of orange fondant and stick it to the face using a tiny amount of the buttercream you’ve already made.
- Transfer your white chocolate buttercream into a piping bag you don’t need a nozzle just cut a hole (about 2cm) in the bag. Then pipe your buttercream on top. If you’d prefer you can spoon the icing on – just make it look like a snowman’s body!
- Stick the snowman’s head into the buttercream so it’s nicely positioned.
- Sprinkle over some desiccated coconut if you wish so it looks a bit like more snow flakes. And add some colourful sprinkles for the snowman’s buttons. Repeat till you have a gang of snowmen!
Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free snowman 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,
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