KnowMom! Recipe: Gluten Free Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes

My daughter loves chocolate and requested that I make chocolate cupcakes for her birthday this year. I wanted to do something fun and different, so I came up with these Gluten Free Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes. I filled the center of the cupcakes with mini M&M’s and made a homemade dairy free chocolate buttercream frosting. These cupcakes were a hit! I will definitely be making these delicious treats for years to come. And like any KnowMom! recipe, these cupcakes can be made with regular cake mix and butter for the frosting. This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite baking ingredients.

What you need to make the cupcakes:


Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix (Pamela’s is my favorite!)
All ingredients listed on cake mix packaging. I always use Carrington Farms Coconut Cooking Oil instead of vegetable or canola oil.
1 bag Mini M&M’s candy
1 TBl Instant Coffee (optional) Starbucks instant coffee works great since it comes in powder form.
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)

*I like to use the instant coffee and the cinnamon to enhance the chocolate flavor. Your cake will not taste like coffee or cinnamon unless you add more than the suggested amount.

What to do:

Gluten Free Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes

Make cake batter following ingredients on packaging.


Line your cupcake tin and divide batter evenly about 2/3 full. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely before moving to the next step.

Gluten Free Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes

Scoop out center of the cupcakes about 1 inch deep. Dump the scoop of cupcake in a bowl and save for later.

Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes

Fill center of cupcake with Mini M&M’s. Be sure you do not fill above top of cupcake line. Once all of the cupcakes are filled take the bowl of center scoops and lightly cover the M&M’s. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

What you need to make the frosting:


1/2 cup melted Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I love Ghiradelli!)
1/2 cup cacao powder (I use an organic cacao powder with maca)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I use Earths Balance Dairy and Soy free butter)
2 tsp vanilla
4Tbl milk (Any milk will work, I made mine with cashew milk.)

What to do:

Cream butter for a few minutes using a mixer on medium speed.
Add melted chocolate chips, mix well.
In separate bowl, sift powdered sugar and cacao powder.
Turn mixer to low speed and slowly add in dry ingredients. Mix well.
Add vanilla and milk. Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for 2-3 minutes.
Test frosting. If you would like a stiffer frosting, add more powder sugar. If you need to thin out your frosting add milk.
Once you get your desired consistency, you are ready to frost your cupcakes.

Gluten Free Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes

Once cupcakes are frosted, garnish tops with M&M’s.

These cupcakes are bound to put a smile on everyone’s face! Enjoy!

Live, Laugh, Love,

2 comments on KnowMom! Recipe: Gluten Free Rainbow Surprise Cupcakes

  1. Stacy
    June 11, 2016 at 4:15 am (1 year ago)

    Hey Kristin! I made these for my son’s fifth birthday and they turned out awesome. The kids loved the “surprise” in the middle. Thanks for the great recipe! Stacy

    • KnowMom!
      June 11, 2016 at 10:01 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Stacy! You’re very welcome. I’m so happy to hear that the cupcakes were a hit! Happy Birthday to your son! Enjoy your weekend. – Kristin


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