Death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pop recipe (without the stick)


Sometimes we make treats in our house. And when I say we, I usually mean the 10 year old wants to cook or bake and I get to help and supervise and answer questions when she gets stuck. The other day, when she made a cake, she ended up with extra batter and decided on a whim to make some cupcakes. She then turned those cupcakes into this death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pop recipe without the stick.

Gluten free dairy free cake pops death by chocolate

They were so good and she only made a few that we all decided we needed more of them in our lives. Thankfully, she likes to share and made some more!

gluten free dairy free truffles with the girls

Thank you to Juicy Juice for partnering with us on this post. 

Since she’s now an expert at baking all things gluten free and dairy free, we thought it was time to share these delicious cake balls. It turns out nobody even realized they were gluten and dairy free until we told them, so I think that’s a pretty good sell.

Chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cupcakes

The first time we did the gluten-free dairy-free cake pop recipe, it was a happy accident. N was making cakes and ended up with extra batter, so she put some in a mini-cupcake tin.

When they came out of the oven, she remembered she forgot to spray the pan and they fell apart when she tried to get them out. So, she whipped up some extra “butter”cream icing and make them into cake balls. 

So for this next batch, she decided that cupcakes cook much faster then cake, so she made chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cupcakes for the start of the cake bites. 

making gluten free dairy free cake batter

I know that eating batter is frowned upon, but I can’t resist this. And I’m really not even a cake person. 

To keep things gluten-free we really like Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One Gluten-free flour. And for the dairy-free part, our flavor preference is butter-flavored shortening. That batter got scooped into the cupcake pans and off to the oven they went. 

scooping gluten free dairy free chocolate cupcakes

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Buttercream Icing

While the cupcakes are baking, it’s time to make some “butter”cream icing.  Our favorite replacements for dairy-free cooking are unsweetened almond milk and butter-flavored shortening. Keep in mind, this isn’t a “healthy” option, it just allows people that can’t eat gluten and/or dairy to enjoy some cake! The buttercream is a mix of powdered sugar, butter (aka butter-flavored shortening), vanilla and the almond milk. 

dairy free icing for death by chocolate cake balls

Making the death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pop aka cake balls aka truffles

We like simplicity, so we do cake pops without the stick and call them cake balls. This way, there’s no stick to purchase and no stick to throw away. However, these will definitely work on a stick, too, if that’s what you are looking for.

Naturally, the house gets hot while the oven is on, so the girls had some Juicy Juice to keep hydrated while cooking. A juice box is a treat here, so this is like double time treats. 

gluten free dairy free cupcakes

Once the cupcakes (or cake) are cooled, remove them from the pan and place in a large bowl. This is when all sets of extra little hands come in. You get so smash, smush, and squash those cupcakes until they are nice and crumbly. 

smashing up the gluten free dairy free chocolate cupcakes

Once the cupcakes are nice and crumbled, you add in the dairy-free buttercream icing and start to incorporate it. Mix the cupcakes and icing together very well. It will start to be a truffle-like consistency. 

mixing in the dairy free vanilla icing

When it’s mixed well,use a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop to gather the cake ball. Here’s where you have a choice. You can either leave it this shape with a flat bottom and place it on a cookie sheet and be done. 

scooping Gluten-free Dairy-free Death by Chocolate Cake balls

Or you can use your hands and roll the cake pop in your hand into more of a sphere shape. It’s totally your preference. 

rolling Gluten-free Dairy-free Death by Chocolate Cake balls

Once your gluten-free dairy-free cake pops are all rolled (or not), you’ll place them in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes until they are good and cold. 

Cake Pop tips

Should you want to use sticks and make these cake pops, you’ll want to dip the end of the stick into the melted candy coating and then push it into the cake ball. Then proceed to put them in the freezer so they are nice and hard for dipping.

Dairy-free candy coating the cake pops

We kept the candy coating super simple. We slowly melted dairy-free chocolate in the microwave (a double-boiler would work) and coated each of the bites. 

rolling in chocolate Gluten-free Dairy-free Death by Chocolate Cake balls

Once coated, they went back on a cookie sheet and were topped with sanding sugar. Any sugar sprinkles would work. Or no sprinkles. You could also melt a contrasting color of icing (read ingredients here, though as most candy melts have milk) and drizzle it over the top. 

rolling in chocolate Gluten-free Dairy-free Death by Chocolate Cake balls

The result is a delicious, melt in your mouth, death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pop that pretty much anybody will enjoy. The bonus is it’s perfectly portioned! It’s just the right amount of treat without going overboard. And, of course, the kids asked for their favorite Juicy Juice flavor to enjoy with their personally picked pop!

gluten free dairy free cake pop

When we brought these over to a friend’s house for a gathering, nobody could tell that they were gluten-free or dairy-free. One friend compared them to cake pops (without the stick, of course) and another said they were very much like a truffle. So, if you are looking for a gluten-free dairy-free truffle substitute, consider trying this.

My one suggestion would be to use a smaller scoop and make them smaller. I think truffles aren’t this big. 

This is just one fun way our family get to something together this summer. For a great way to pull ideas, check out this family time suggestion bottle from Juicy Juice. Each person can contribute something they’d like to do as a family and then when it’s time to draw them out, you do whatever is on the piece of paper!

Maybe you could add our gluten-free dairy-free chocolate hummus to your list of things to create!

gluten free dairy free cake ball bites

Yield: 24

Death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pop recipe (without the stick)

Death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pop recipe (without the stick)

Delicious death by chocolate gluten-free dairy-free cake pops with or without the stick.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups one-to-one gluten-free flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter-flavored shortening (like Crisco)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs

For the dairy-free "butter" cream

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

For the coating

  • 2 cups dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sugar sprinkles or crystals



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the cupcake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients with electric mixer for 30 seconds on low speed making sure to scrape the bowl. Mix on high speed for 3 minutes while occasionally scraping the bowl.
  3. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin in equal amounts. (makes approximately 24 cupcakes).
  4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean of the center. Allow to cool and remove from muffin pan. (Start making the "butter" cream icing).
  5. Place cupcakes in large bowl and crumble, squish and mash.

"Butter" cream icing

  1. Mix the powdered sugar and butter-flavored shortening with an electric mixer on low speed. Stir in the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk.
  2. Gradually mix in more unsweetened almond milk until the icing is smooth and spreadable. If you overdo the almond milk, add a little more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add a little more almond milk.

Making the cake pops

  1. Mix the "butter" cream icing in with the crumbled cupcakes. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Using a 1 1/2T scoop, scoop out a serving of the cake and icing mixture and leave it dome shaped or roll it in to a ball. Place on cookie sheet.
  3. Once all balls are made, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Melt the dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips slowly in the microwave (do 15 second increments and stir).
  5. Place the pops into the melted chocolate one at a time and coat fully. Once coated, remove and top with sprinkles or sanding sugar if desired.
  6. ENJOY!


If you'd like to make these into cake pops, once the ball is formed, dip the stick into the melted chocolate and then push into the cake ball. Then place in freezer and continue the steps above.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cake pop

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 43gNet Carbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. They were super yummy and a really nice cool treat on a hot day. I prefer to keep mine in the fridge so they are cooooooold! <3 <3

  2. This is a fantastic recipe! I’m always looking for tasty gluten free treats to make and I’ll definitely add this to my list of recipes to try

  3. These look delish! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

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