Peppermint Ganache Cupcakes {Gluten Free}

I know . . . you can’t wait to see the recipe for the incredible gluten free peppermint ganache cupcakes . . . but first, I need to tell you why my site looks a little different today:

Peppermint Candy Cane Bark is the star in these Gluten Free Peppermint Cupcakes filled with Peppermint Ganache {Yummy Christmas Dessert Recipe for the holidays!}

It’s the first day of my 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Series!

Please welcome Devin, from Nom Yum & Free!  Devin is a wife and full-time working mom of a 4-year son and 1-year old daughter. If that isn’t enough, she spends (what should be her sleeping) hours creating yummy allergen-free recipes to share with others.

*Since this post was written, Devin’s blog was hacked and has been taken down. I have unlinked her links to her blog so that they don’t take you to Never Never Land. The links to her social media still work. We’ll miss Devin’s great recipes, but you can still find her yummy gluten free peppermint ganache cupcakes right here.

Nom Yum & Free has pages of allergy-friendly mouth-watering foods and beautiful baked treats inspired by Devin’s love for her daughter even more than her love for eating. After a midnight scare (when her newborn’s eyes swelled shut), Devin learned that her daughter had multiple food allergies. She created Nom Yum & Free when she had difficulty finding many safe (but yummy) foods to eat without causing repeat allergic reactions in her nursing daughter.

Take it away, Devin:

I am so excited to not only have the honor of helping kick off’s 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Series and Group Giveaway event with a gluten free Christmas treat recipe, but also to be part of this week’s Gluten Free Monday – one of my favorite food allergy friendly recipe linky parties! – Devin @ Nom Yum & Free

Gluten Free Peppermint Ganache Cupcakes

Delicious gluten free peppermint ganache cupcakes with peppermint bark topping. Yum! {} #peppermint #glutenfree #christmas

In the Christmas spirit and because I LOVE cupcakes, I am sharing a wintry fresh recipe for peppermint candy cane cupcakes with chocolate peppermint ganache filling. Beyond just being gluten-free, this recipe is vegan and free of the top 8 most common food allergens (gluten, dairy, egg, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish). This allergy-friendly Christmas cupcake unites a soft moist vanilla cupcake (with a hint of peppermint), the wintery cool of a homemade chocolate peppermint ganache filling, and a light melt-in-your-mouth buttercream frosting with fresh bursts of candy cane flavor.

For added Christmas décor, top your cupcakes with a delicious, easy-to-make allergen-free chocolate peppermint bark. What makes this the perfect Christmas cupcake? It easily adapts to the wishes of all your holiday guests! Everyone from the ultimate chocolate lover (e.g., my mom who would love a chocolate peppermint ganache-filled cupcake with a bit of cocoa powder in the batter) to those who wouldn’t touch chocolate with a stick (e.g., my son whose favorite is sans filling but loaded with candy cane buttercream) will enjoy the many combinations.

Amazing chocolate peppermint candy cane cake pops! Yum.

Easily convert this recipe to yummy allergy friendly stocking stuffers!

If you prefer smaller, stocking stuffer sized treats, use this recipe to make fun to eat chocolate peppermint candy cane cake pops! (I will share the simple steps to make these allergen-free Christmas treats on a stick on Nom Yum & Free in the next few weeks, so be sure to LIKE my Facebook page or FOLLOW me on Twitter so you don’t miss out!)



  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour mix (like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 pinch xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground sea salt
  • 1 cup dairy free, soy free milk (vanilla or “Nog” flavor recommended)*
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract
  • (optional – 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate cupcake)

* For even more holiday flavor, I have even used ⅓ cup So Delicious Nog mixed with ⅔ cup of So Delicious vanilla coconut milk.


Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350° F. Whisk together flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (For the ultimate chocolate lover, you can add 2 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder to make a chocolate cupcake.) Set aside dry ingredients mixture. Stir lemon juice into milk and set aside (coconut milk should curdle some). Set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together flax seeds and water. Heat mixture on stove over high heat until it begins to boil. Then, lower temperature to medium high heat and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Cooked mixture will resemble the texture of egg whites. Set aside.

Use a hand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed to beat together oil and sugar until fluffy (about 1 minute). Beat in vanilla and peppermint extracts. Add flax seeds mixture in 2 parts, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add milk mixture. Then add flour in 3 parts, beating well after each addition until batter is combined. Use a spatula to scrape sides of bowl after each addition and make sure ingredients are well combined.

Use a medium cookie scoop to fill each cupcake liner about ⅔ to ¾ of the way full. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick entered in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove muffin pan from oven and let cupcakes cool in pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then remove cupcakes from pan and place on cooling rack to cool completely.

Delicious gluten free peppermint ganache cupcakes with peppermint bark topping. Yum! {} #peppermint #glutenfree #christmas

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache


  • 6 regular natural peppermint candy canes** [will be enough for ganache and icing]
  • ½ cup dairy-free, soy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life)
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup dairy free, soy free milk (vanilla flavor recommended)
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract

** IMPORTANT: Be sure to check candy cane labels or with the manufacturer regarding allergens. I used naturally flavored Spangler candy canes, which are top 8 allergen free but have dye and report to have a “trace amount” of soy oil (with all proteins removed) in the lubricant in its cooking kettles. Next time, I may try these natural, dye free, allergen-free candy canes available online.


Lightly crush candy canes in a blender or food processor. Reserve about 2 ½ tbsp. of roughly crushed pieces and flakes, and set aside for garnishing finished cupcakes. Puree remaining candy canes into super fine flakes – powder.

In a small saucepan, warm milk on medium-high heat. Once milk begins to boil, remove from heat and, immediately, stir in chocolate and maple syrup with a plastic spatula until smooth. Add 3 tbsp. of peppermint candy cane powder and extract and stir for about 1 minute longer. Let ganache sit (at least 10 minutes) until ready to fill completely cooled cupcakes. I used a pasty filling tip to fill my cupcakes. (The stronger your love for chocolate, the more ganache filling you can use.)

Candy Cane Buttercream Frosting


  • ½ cup dairy free, soy free shortening (like Spectrum Foods)
  • ½ cup dairy free, soy free buttery spread (like Earth Balance)
  • 4 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp. dairy free, soy free milk (vanilla flavor recommended)
  • 3 tbsp. very fine peppermint candy canes powdered flakes [reserved from ganache]

Note: This recipe makes quite a bit of icing, so you likely will have some remaining after frosting your cupcakes. You can freeze the excess or use it in some chocolate peppermint candy cane cake pops.


On medium-high speed, use an electric hand beater or mixer to beat together shortening and buttery spread until fluffy (about 1 minute). On low speed, add ½ the sugar and beat until fluffy (about 1 ½ minutes). Add vanilla extract and milk, and then beat to combine (about 1 minute).  Beat in remaining sugar on low speed. On high speed, beat frosting until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add reserved candy cane “powder” and continue beating on high for 1 minute.

Place frosting in the refrigerator for 1 minute, and then remove from fridge and stir. Spread or pipe frosting over completely cooled and filled cupcakes. Sprinkle larger pieces of candy cane over frosting. For even more festive flavor (appealing to your eyes and taste buds), top each cupcake with a piece of allergen-free chocolate peppermint bark. You can refrigerate your Christmas treats until you’re ready to enjoy, but let them sit at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes before sharing with family and friends. (Freezing is recommended if not serving the same day.)

You must try this delicious chocolate peppermint bark! Bonus--it's top 8 allergen free #peppermint #candybark #chocolate #christmascandy

Peppermint Bark

Top your candy cane cupcakes with easy-to-make allergen free peppermint bark. To make your cupcakes look more festive, top them with allergen-free chocolate peppermint bark. Visit Nom Yum & Free for today’s peppermint bark recipe. (Sorry. This recipe is no longer available since Devin’s site is down.)

Again, I invite you to come over to Nom Yum & Free to pick up today’s simple allergen free peppermint bark recipe (good for topping your candy cane cupcakes or enjoying as is).


  1. That chocolate peppermint bark looks yummy!

    I left link #3 for a recipe for Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal and a giveaway of Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide to the Holidays.

  2. This week I have shared my cold and flu busting coconut and orange smoothie. You’ll find this gorgeous drink will help you recover in no time.
    Thank you for hosting

  3. Hi Heidi! Thanks for hosting! There will be lots of great recipes for Christmas!
    This week I shared my Salted Toffee Chocolate.
    Have a great week!!

  4. Heidi,
    Thanks again so much for letting me help you kick off your fun 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Series and Group Giveaway event! I can’t wait to come back to see what’s in store for the rest of the series. “See” you tomorrow for Day 2!
    Happy Monday!

  5. That cupcake looks divine!!! I’m linking up GF Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs and Vegan GF cookies for dessert. Have a great week!

  6. Looks delish! I love all things peppermint and chocolate, especially at Christmas time! :)

    I linked up 2 posts:

    1. Candied Pecans (Soy, Wheat, Fish and Milk-Free)

    2. Pine Cones (Egg, Soy, Fish and Wheat-Free) (Cheese ball – not real pine cones, don’t worry. ;) )

    Thanks for hosting and for the give-away! :) Fun times, for sure!

    • Thanks for the compliment regarding the peppermint/chocolate cupcake. I agree I LOVE the combination – maybe more so than this year. Can’t wait to try Heidi’s peppermint hot chocolate once the winter weather really hits (today is supposed to be in the high 60’s here go figure?!)

  7. Thanks Heidi for this fun build-up to the holidays! And Devin, this recipe looks amazing! I love all things candy cane and can’t to give this a try :) What a gorgeous looking cupcake.

    • Hi Dana, thank you so much for your kind words!! I’m obviously also a candy cane fan, think I inherited the gene from my dad. :)

      Would love to hear what you think once you try the cupcake recipe. You should also go over to my site and check out the easy allergen free peppermint bark recipe. With little more than candy canes and chocolate, it goes nicely on top this cupcake or tastes delicious eaten alone (especially if you love candy canes)! ;)

  8. As to your question, I’m not sure what I’m most excited about giving this Christmas… I guess what it would probably have to be my time and gifts to others in general. To see someone else light up…that’s just amazing. :) I love giving and sharing with other people. It is definitely better to give than to recieve.

  9. Thanks for hosting! Today I shared “Making Kefir Video Class” which is so easy to do at home and “Beef Plus – Chili for a Crowd” which has ground beef plus kidney and liver – my children love it!

  10. Holy crow!! Gorgeous cakes!

  11. Those cakes look so beautiful!! I’m so excited for the 12 Days of Christmas ;)

    This week I’ve shared a recipe for allergy free miniature apple pies in honour of National Apple Pie Day!

  12. Heidi, Thanks so much for continuing to host the Gluten Free Monday. I always find new recipes to try but I’m especially delighted to see the beautiful cupcakes created by Devin–chocolate and peppermint is one of my favorite combinations. I’m sure these taste as amazing as they look.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words! As you can see from the collage of photos, I’m loving the chocolate-peppermint combination this season!
      Everyone I shared the pictured treats with told me they surprisingly tasted even better than they looked — and that the cake pops would fool anyone into thinking they were free of the top 8 most common food allergens. :) Hopefully, you’ll think the same if you happen to try them.

  13. I can’t wait to see my granddaughters face when she receives her Monster High dolls.

  14. I can’t wait to surprise my husband with a camera lens he wants

  15. Devin….those cupcakes are beautiful looking! I can tell you spent a lot of time on that recipe. Photos gorgeous too! I’m not sure what I am most excited to give this year….probably my daughter’s present of Calico Critters house and family.

    • Hi Peggy!! Thanks so much for your compliments regarding the cupcakes and photos. I was a bit worried about the photos because I was stuck taking pictures at dusk with consecutive days of overcast skies. But nice to hear you thought they came out well.
      Again, your donuts look amazing. Hope to try them soon!

  16. Thanks for hosting this linky party! I am sharing my gingerbread donuts with cinnamon buttercream frosting. They are free of the top 8 food allergens and simply delicious!

  17. This looks wonderful! I am saving this recipe for my gluten free friends! Thank you Nom Yum & Free for sharing this wonderful recipe and thank you Heidi for hosting! Have a wonderful day!

    • I really hope you and your gluten free friends enjoy these cupcakes as much as we did. Come to think of it, everyone I shared them with usually don’t eat gluten free – so may be a recipe for any of your friends. ;) Have a great week!!

  18. I am very excited for Christmas, cuz this year i have made a lot of the gifts to give!

  19. Great post Devin. Those look so yummy!

  20. Anything gluten-free and peppermint has me hooked — any time of year — not just the holidays. Thanks!

  21. I love your cupcakes. I pinned them they were so pretty!

    My link today is a Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Tart recipe that my mother-in-law taught me… It’s the gluten-free version. I hope everyone loves it!

    Have a great week…

    • Hi Pat. Thanks so much for your compliment regarding my cupcakes!! And many were surprised to find they tasted better than they look. Would love to know what you think should you try them – please stop by my site and let me know.
      And your recipe looks delicious – I love anything apple!!

  22. This dish looks delicious and attractive. I will try to make it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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