These gluten and dairy-free cupcakes are a deliciously inventive way to use up leftover rice. The starch in the rice binds them so well; you’d never need flour! I like to use desiccated coconut for the interesting texture it creates but ground almonds would also work well too.

Regarding the best kind of rice to use, I have only ever used steamed short-grain white rice, but any steamed rice will do – and perhaps using something like red rice would give a nuttier texture. Just make sure it’s cooled rice otherwise your cakes will start cooking before they have even reached your oven.


(makes about 8 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup cooked rice (steamed & cooled)

  • 3/4 cup sugar (coconut sugar makes a great lower GI alternative)

  • 3 eggs

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup dessicated coconut or ground almonds

  • ½ cup raw cocao powder (plus an extra tbsp for dusting)

  • 1 tsp of baking powder


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F and line a cupcake tray with papers or grease it well with coconut oil.

  2. Measure out the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

  3. Next put the cooked rice and sugar a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth paste.

  4. Place the mixture in a bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time.

  5. Then stir in the ground almonds/desiccated coconut, cacao powder and baking powder.

  6. Once well combined, pour into the cupcake papers and fill them about ¾ full. This is a very dense cake so don’t expect it to rise much.

  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

  8. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for around 10 minutes; then dust with some more cacao powder and enjoy!

  9. You could also make a ganache of cacao powder and coconut cream, or just regular icing-sugar/water frosting. Have a play around and see what you like best :)

NB. You could also make this as a cake: bake it for 15-20 minutes instead of 30 minutes, and instead of putting the batter in a cupcake tray, use a 23cm (10 inch) baking tin.