Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)

These paleo chocolate cupcakes are moist but not eggy and have a rich, dark chocolaty taste!

So here’s the promised cupcake recipe that I used as a carrier for the paleo chocolate fudge frosting that I posted last week.

These paleo chocolate cupcakes are moist but not eggy and have a rich, dark chocolaty taste! (grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free)

Before anyone gets their knickers* in a twist, I know sprinkles aren’t paleo. They’re, like, the very opposite of paleo. But just look how they brightened these cupcakes up! They look much happier with the sprinkles. Here’s how you can make your own paleo coconut sprinkles. The recipe uses plant-based natural coloring and coconut and while they’re not nearly as bright as nasty store-bought sprinkles, you don’t have to worry about what you’re eating! Raspberries, strawberries and mini chocolate chips would also make for pretty and delicious paleo alternatives to sprinkles.

* I don’t think I’m British – I just loathe the p-word.

These paleo chocolate cupcakes are moist but not eggy and have a rich, dark chocolaty taste! (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

This is pretty much the same recipe I used in my spiderweb cupcakes. I adapted it a little to make the cupcakes bigger and to make the measurements a bit easier for people who use measuring cups instead of grams.

I also added a little more sweetener! The original cupcake recipe was sweetened with just honey but when I tried the recipe as written, and ate a cupcake without the frosting, I wanted more sugar. So I added two tablespoons of coconut sugar.

These paleo chocolate cupcakes are moist but not eggy and have a rich, dark chocolaty taste! (gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free)

These gluten-free dairy-free cupcakes have a really interesting texture and I don’t mean that in a bad way! It’s hard to describe, but they’re kind of mousse-like. They’re not like regular, fluffy airy cupcakes, but they’re moist and… mousse-like. I’m sure that won’t convince you to make them so here’s a review from the original recipe:

“A girl who has been eating GF for 3 years said they were the best GF cupcakes she has ever had! They were all asking after the recipe!” I think they’re pretty darned delicious but I don’t know about best gluten-free cupcakes ever. I think I’ll reserve that title for cupcakes that have the same exact texture as regular cupcakes. Ones where you have no idea that they’re gluten-free (like my best gluten-free brownies recipe!)

These cupcakes don’t have that typical weird, eggy and spongy thing that a lot of grain-free cupcake recipes I’ve tried have had, though so that’s a huge plus. All in all, I’d say that these cupcakes are a victory. :)

Looking for more paleo goodies? Try these!

  • These paleo chocolate banana muffins are bursting with banana flavor and are super rich and decadent! (honey sweetened, grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free)
  • Vegan Paleo Lemon Cookies {grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free}
  • Easy Paleo Vegan No-bake Key Lime Pies (grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free)
  • This paleo chocolate fudge frosting only uses four ingredients and is also vegan! It takes 5 minutes to make, holds up perfectly at room temperature, and can be piped.

Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 12 readers
Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 14 cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (104 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (80 grams) almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use paleo baking powder, if necessary)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (126 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup (213 grams) honey
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (160 grams) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • for frosting: 1 or 1 1/2 batch paleo chocolate fudge frosting1
  • paleo decoration ideas: raspberries, strawberries, mini chocolate chips, homemade coconut sprinkles


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a muffin pan (or two) with 14 liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, almond flour, baking powder, espresso powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil, honey, applesauce, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin liners, about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 24-28 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out mostly clean. A few moist crumbs or a little stickiness is okay, just not raw batter. These are super moist so if it comes out totally clean, they're probably overdone.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. These do not taste very good straight out of the oven. I recommend letting them sit for 2 hours and then frosting. When you refrigerate them, they become denser, the way brownies get when you refrigerate them. Can be kept at room temperature, unfrosted, for up to 3 days or can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


  1. 1 batch of frosting will yield just enough for slightly more than 1 tablespoon of frosting per cupcake, which isn't very much for frosting lovers. You may want to do 1 1/2 batches or even a double batch if you want to frost the cupcakes more generously. I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 batches) of frosting on mine.

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121 comments on “Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Isa says
    June 13, 2017 @ 4:53 am

    The expresso powder, is it necessary?

    • Erin replies to Isa
      June 13, 2017 @ 6:41 pm

      It just brings out the chocolate taste.

  • Hildie says
    May 17, 2017 @ 9:32 am

    Hi, I was wondering if the coconut flavor of the oil comes through in the final product.
    I’m trying to piece together a [refined] sugar-free German chocolate cake for someone at work and I think this recipe is a winner for the cake portion :D

    • Erin replies to Hildie
      May 18, 2017 @ 9:15 am

      Hi there! You can’t taste it at all if you use refined coconut oil. I haven’t tried this recipe with unrefined coconut oil so I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing there might be a slight coconut taste then. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

      • Hildie
        replies to Erin
        May 23, 2017 @ 7:12 pm

        I just made this and wow! Super fudgy, therefore do NOT bake in a bundt pan…it won’t come out xD
        Needless to say, I immediately made a second batch – this time as 2 9″ rounds. The only thing I altered was using about 25g of agave to complete the honey (I ran out).
        From what I can taste in the failed bundt, this cake is insanely moist and fudge-like! It really is amazing. It tastes like fine dark chocolate cake. This is soooo a keeper!

        • Erin replies to Hildie
          May 26, 2017 @ 10:38 pm

          Aww. I’m sorry the bundt didn’t come out well! I have had the worst time converting grain-free recipes to bundt pans. They almost never work for me! I’m happy the 9″ rounds worked out well. :) Did you double the recipe for that? Or were the layers very thin? I’m so very happy that you enjoyed the cake! Thanks a bunch for your tips.

  • Paula
    May 6, 2017 @ 2:54 pm

    I´ll try these tomorrow! They look so yummy, thank you! Can I replace honey with raw sugar? Do you have any idea of the equivalence? Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Paula
      May 6, 2017 @ 9:04 pm

      That’d unfortunately throw off the liquid / dry proportions so I wouldn’t recommend it. Maple syrup or another liquid sweetener should work! I hope you’ll enjoy them. :)


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