Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Made With Garbanzo Bean Flour - My Best Gluten-Free Cupcakes To Date | Cupcake Project
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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Made With Garbanzo Bean Flour – My Best Gluten-Free Cupcakes To Date

Ignoring the sweet and salty roasted chickpeas on top, these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes made with garbanzo bean flour and frosted with chocolate hummus are indistinguishable from the chocolate birthday cupcakes that you’ve had a thousand times – with the smell of smoke still lingering in the air from recently made wishes for ponies and Disney vacations.  The rich chocolate frosting (a step up from the typical turn-your-mouth-blue-“butter”cream) might give partygoers a small hint that something was different, but it’s unlikely that they would think about it any longer than the birthday girl did to rip open the princess outfit she’d been waiting for.  These gluten-free cupcakes aren’t special or spicy, and they don’t have a unique earthy finish; they taste like classic all-American chocolate birthday cake. Sometimes, gluten-free or not, that’s just what you want.

Tips on Baking with Garbanzo Bean Flour

These gluten-free chocolate cupcakes all started with an email from reader and Facebook fan Beth Davis.  She asked if I had any recipes using garbanzo bean flour.  I didn’t, but I sure was up to the challenge!

Garbanzo bean flour is a common ingredient in Indian food, where it is called besan flour.  I found a very helpful article by Kay Miranda on on baking with besan flour that I used in creating my recipe.  The article explains that besan flour leads to heavier cakes than all-purpose flour and suggests some ways to compensate:

  1. “Sift the flour twice before adding it to any baking recipe to increase air surrounding the flour. This incorporates more air into the recipe, making lighter baked goods.”
  2. “Increase 1 tsp. of baking soda to 1 1/2. This helps create lighter texture with the soda bubbling through cooking.”

Even if you don’t use my recipe, I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful if you choose to convert your own recipe to gluten-free with garbanzo bean flour.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

My only complaint about this gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe is that the cupcakes didn’t dome (some even sunk a bit after cooling) and the ones that I filled too high got thin, crusty tops.  I believe that this happened because they were too light to support the weight of a dome (see my FAQ on collapsing cupcakes).  I was willing to deal with a few fallen cupcakes for the sake of such a light gluten-free cake.  No one will ever see the top of the cupcakes anyway since they will be slathered in frosting.  To ensure that your cupcakes don’t overflow, be sure to only fill the liners halfway.

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4.6 from 5 votes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Made With Garbanzo Bean Flour

These gluten-free cupcakes aren't special or spicy, and they don't have a unique earthy finish; they taste like classic all-American chocolate birthday cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword garbanzo bean flour cupcakes, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 30 cupcakes
Calories 134kcal
Author Stef


  • 2 3/4 cups garbanzo bean flour sifted twice
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix in eggs, vanilla, olive oil, and milk until just combined.
  • Mix in water.
  • Fill cupcake liners just halfway.
  • Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until the top bounces back when lightly touched.


Chocolate Hummus Frosting and Roasted Chickpea Topper
You can frost these cupcakes with any of your favorite frostings. However, for extra chickpea fun, I highly recommend frosting with chocolate hummus and topping with roasted chickpeas just before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Made With Garbanzo Bean Flour
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 127mg5%
Potassium 160mg5%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 35IU1%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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30 comments on “Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Made With Garbanzo Bean Flour – My Best Gluten-Free Cupcakes To Date”

  1. Zibusays:

    Thanks for the tips on using chickpea flour! I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more fiber and protein so this is great.

    I do have a small question – in your recipe you 2 3/4c. flour, sifted twice – do you mean we are measuring it first and then sifting twice (as this will greatly affect the final volume of flour, I want to be double sure that I am interpreting it correctly)?

    I’m a big fan of weighing as much as possible to avoid confusion and excessive cup-washing!

  2. Stefsays:

    I measured first and then sifted. Sorry for any confusion.

  3. Stefsays:

    Zibu – I hope that you didn’t try to make this yet. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I left the boiling water out of the recipe. I just added it.

  4. Would it work to use another type of gluten free flour? I’m struggling finding it in stores and I’d like to make these this weekend. Can I use oat flour instead? Any tips/ suggestions?

  5. Debsays:

    As long as your going gluten-free–go the whole way and use the HimalaSalt pink salt from Sustainable Sourcing (here’s their website: ). They have their own facility, so no danger of nasty cross-contamination!! Gotta love THAT!

    Anyway, thanks for an absolutely delightful recipe.

  6. Robynsays:

    I’m going to share these with a friend who has a gluten-sensitive child. They sound delicious!

  7. This is great, I have a friend who’s daughter is on a gluten casein free diet. I’m always looking for ways to bake for her and have it taste good. I can’t wait to try this, with one minor alteration to get rid of the milk.

  8. Deidresays:


    I’ve recently had a break through with gluten free baking about using sourcream instead of milk – it’s made my gluten free cakes super moist and delicious instead of really dry like most gluten free baking I’ve tried. Thoughts?

  9. Kristisays:

    I just bought some garbanzo bean flour for the first time, and this is the recipe I’m going to try out! Looks so so good! :)

  10. Have you ever tried an egg substitute with these?

  11. Janice B.says:

    Do you have any more ideas for cupcakes using Garbonzo bean flour?
    Made these for a co-worker with Celiac and she loved them, but would like to make some other flavors.

  12. A little late to this post but I’m trying these tonight (for our grain-free dog actually). I used carob instead of chocolate and reduced the sugar. My question is about the batter. How thick/thin is it? Mine was thick brownie consistency before the water and very thin after. I did scrape the bowl to make sure the mixer mixed it all in. These are in the oven now so I’ll see how they turned out!

  13. Amysays:

    Do you think I can substitue Almond Milk for the whole milk? I need to make this Dairy Free as well. Can wait to try it though!

  14. Unknownsays:

    I made these last night and they turned out really good! They were best warm and dried out quickly. However I put them in a sealed container overnight and they moistened up again. I also made a glaze with Dutch cocoa powder, water and honey and would frost them warm next time.
    I also substituted coconut milk for the whole milk.

    I have two questions:
    1. What is the purpose of the boiling water added last? Does it do something to the chickpea flour?
    2. Did you happen to experiment with adding the water directly to the flour and letting it soak for an hour or two and then add that to the rest of the ingredients? I ask this question because I make another recipe using chickpea flour where I soak the flour for two hours, skim off any foam and then proceed on. It is not a dessert recipe however.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. Alisonsays:

    I made these with coconut milk- they were great!

  16. Anonymoussays:

    Can I substitute the olive oil with coconut oil, by any chance? Or, is it too light?


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    Showcase your cupcakes’ individuality by creating works of art using cupcake tree stands or displaying them on decorative tiers.
    – make list of secure, gluten-free foods: beans, seeds, nuts, fruits, rice.

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    • Mackenseysays:

      I made these today for our chickpea golden spoon party! They taste amazing and I made the chocolate hummus. I added some milk to thin it out and added some extra cocoa. It tastes amazing, Hopefully I win! I have pics if you want to see them.

  19. ZippityDoodahsays:

    I just made these cupcakes. They turned out really well. I was afraid because the batter smelled and tasted very bean-ish. But after baking, they taste great! Especially once I topped them with some buttercream frosting. We recently found out that my husband and one of my kids both have a wheat sensitivity. With my son’s birthday just around the corner, its so nice to have a great-tasting, wheat-free birthday treat option. Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. Bellagunnsays:

    Good news everyone, this recipie works wonderfully well veganized!

    My roomate subbed enerG egg replacer and SOdelicious barista style coconut creamer for milk and the results were fantastic, the cupcakes were level across the top (as was expected) but they *DID NOT SINK*!

    Very light and fluffy with just a hint of crustyness, we topped them off with orange flavored icing.

    I think this would make excellent baked doughnuts or little bundt cakes, it came out of the pan easily without cupcake paper and was very sturdy/ able to be eaten out of the hand w/out a plate.

    Best birthday ever!

    THANK YOU seriously, you have no idea how awesome this is, I haven’t had a decent bit of cake in over 3 years

    I have mast cell disease that developed in 2011 with multiple food triggers, no wheat or animal products…….. I’m not supposed to have chocolate either but life without chocolate is just not worth it to me ;)

  21. Aprilsays:

    I made these vegan with the use of flax seed (vegan eggs), almond milk, and semi sweet chocolate chunks and they turned out grrrrrrrrrrreat! My family members (who are far from vegan) LOVED them! I’m having gluten sensitivity issues and this recipe was a life saver for me! Thanks for the great recipe!

  22. Emilysays:

    Thank you for the scrumptious recipe. I made the following modifications and they came out wonderful!
    1.Double the # of eggs, separate and whisk whites until stiff but not dry. Set egg whites aside and fold into batter as the last step before baking.
    2.Substitute neutral-tasting oil for olive oil, e.g. avocado oil.
    3. Can substitute any milk (e.g.,almond milk or flaxseed milk) for regular milk.
    4. Substitute 1/2 quantity of buttermilk for boiling water.
    5. Mix wet ingredients together well before adding to dry ingredients.
    6. Make only 1/2 recipe to fill a dozen muffin cups!
    7. After filling batter, sprinkle tops with decorative sugar crystals and unsweetened coconut flakes and bake as directed.
    8. No need for any frosting-they are the perfect sweetness as-is.
    8. It is true that the weird taste of the batter completely disappears after baking. These keep well (if you can restrain yourself from gobbling up).

  23. Carolynsays:

    5 stars
    These turned out brilliantly! Great recipe, thank you for sharing. Will def make again :)

  24. Burgandisays:

    5 stars
    I made these today and they came out wonderfully!
    I substituted aquafaba for the eggs, so delicious coconut milk beverage for the whole milk, avocado oil for olive oil. I used 1 cup of coconut sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup. I frosted with store bought vegan vanilla frosting. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

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