Courtesy of Debbie Adler.
| February 6, 2014

Creamy chocolate soaked in rich pinot noir topping a fluffy cupcake? Oh yeah: And they're vegan and gluten-free. 

READ: The Basics Of Gluten-Free Baking

Debbie Adler of Los Angeles-based vegan bakery Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes, love her sweets, but having a son born with multiple food allergies has made her more conscious about creating desserts that won’t cause health concerns.  And when it comes to treating herself, Adler happily indulges in freshly baked cake just like the rest of us.

RECIPE: The Ultimate Gluten-Free Lasagna

“I use to whine a lot during the week, until Friday came, but now I just add wine to my chocolate cupcakes and Friday comes rather quickly,” says the recipe developer and self-proclaimed “biggest nosher” of her shop.

RECIPE: Nicole Richie's Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies

“You should try it,” she says. “It’s like having your very own cupcake vineyard right in your kitchen.”

READ: The Truth About Vegan Diets

How do Adler’s boozy red wine and chocolate cupcakes taste so good without a generous serving of sugar? Her dish features rice milk, a yummy blend of coconut nectar and vanilla extract for a sweet-meets-nutty flavor, as well as cranberry puree to give the cupcakes their signature ruby red coloring. Avocado also gives the chocolate frosting a creamy consistency without the extra calories.

RECIPE: Gluten-Free Lentil Crumble With Coconut

“If you don’t have cranberries on hand you can also use raspberry puree or beet puree to ‘pinken-up’ the frosting,” suggests Adler.

READ: Caprese-Style Flourless Chocolate Cake

It’s even better when savored with leftover red wine, but chances are it will already be in your chocolate.



  • 12 standard-size paper baking cups
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain rice milk
  • 1/4 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/4 tsps. sodium-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. guar gum
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1/3 cup vegan, soy-free plain yogurt (Adler uses So Delicious coconut milk yogurt)


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper baking cups.

2. To make the cupcakes, mix together therice milk, wine and apple cider vinegar in a 2-cup measuring cup.

3. Whisk together the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.

4. Add the grapeseed oil, coconut nectar, vanilla, and stevia to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Next add the rice milk mixture and stir until it is absorbed and the batter is smooth. Stir in the yogurt until well combined.

5. Pour the batter into the measuring cup, as the spout will make it easier to pour the batter into the cupcake tin without spillage.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about two-thirds full. Bake the cupcakes for 16 to 17 minutes, or until they bounce back slightly to the touch. Rotate the cupcake tin from front to back halfway through baking.

7. Transfer the cupcake tin from the oven to a wire rack and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting


  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 Tbsps. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsps. mashed avocado
  • 1 cup powdered erythritol
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


To make the chocolate frosting, mix together the coconut nectar, coconut oil and avocado in a medium-size bowl. Add the powdered erythritol, cacao powder, warm water, stevia, and salt and stir until smooth and well incorporated

Pinot Noir Frosting


  • 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. coconut nectar
  • 3/4 cup powdered erythritol
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pinot noir
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cranberry puree
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt


To make the pinot noir pink frosting, microwave the coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds. Add the powdered erythritol, pinot noir, cranberry puree, and salt. Stir until smooth and well combined.

Assembling Your Cupcakes

Frost the completely cooled cupcakes with the chocolate frosting. Place a dollop of the pinot noir pink frosting on top. Keep unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap and freeze them for up to 3 months. Leftover frosting keeps in the fridge for about 4 weeks if stored in an airtight container.

Calories: 190 each.