Black Forest Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Black Forest cupcakes made healthier! Cherry filling and lightly sweetened whipped cream transform these ordinary gluten-free chocolate cupcakes into something truly special.

Black Forest Cupcakes – Grain-free and Gluten-free |

I’ve been living in Germany for four years and I’ve had this blog for half that time. But still, I’ve never made anything German on this blog other than this Eierlikör, which is egg liqueur and also know as Advokaat. I’m just not a big fan of German baked goods (other than the bread). But told hen it struck me – I can adapt German goodies so that I do like them!

So first up we have these Black Forest cupcakes. I don’t do layer cakes. They’re way too fussy and Black Forest cakes especially just have way too much whipped cream for my liking. So I adapted my grain-free spiderweb cupcakes. I made them less spidery, obviously, added a cherry filling which is just cooked cherries and honey, and a little whipped cream.

Black Forest Cupcakes – Gluten-free and Grain-free |

The cupcakes themselves are super moist and not too sweet. And when you refrigerate them, they’re a little fudgy! So definitely refrigerate them if you want the ultimate Black Forest experience. By the way, I’ve been to the Black Forest in the fall and it was lovely! Kind of like New England. But sadly, we didn’t have any cake. Nope. Instead we ate Asian fast food and ate salmon on a cruise ship with a bunch of seniors. It’s a long story…

Anyway, if you don’t need your cupcakes to be grain-free, try these whole grain chocolate cupcakes. The pictures are atrocious so it’s painful to share that link with you. But the cupcakes are SO good that I’m sucking it up. ;)

Honey Sweetened Black Forest Cupcakes – Gluten-free and Grain-free |

German law requires that Black Forest cake contain Kirschwasser, a type of brandy distilled from cherries. That’s right. They regulate their cakes. I could have gone out and bought some but I was too lazy for that. So… sorry. These aren’t authentic! But neither is the cupcake part or the gluten-free part. And you should apparently use sour cherries, but all I had was sweet. It worked out fine but use sour if you have them!

Prefer a cake version? Try this delicious looking Gluten Free Vegan Cherry Chocolate Cake!

Black Forest Cupcakes (Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
Black Forest Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 cupcakes


    Chocolate cupcakes:

  • 40 grams (1.4oz, ~1/3 cup but please weigh!) almond flour or almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (52 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 65 grams (2.2oz / ~ 4 1/2 tablespoons) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup (106 grams) honey
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Filling:

  • 2 cups pitted cherries (the weight pre-pitting was 190 grams)
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whipping cream (for dairy-free, use my coconut cream recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, optional
  • 8 cherries
  • grated chocolate (if dairy-free, use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)


    For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients together and add this to the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined and be careful not to overmix!
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the 8 paper liners. My liners were a little less then 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out mostly clean. Moist crumbs and a little stickiness are okay - just not raw batter. These are incredibly moist so if the toothpick comes out totally clean (like a normal cupcake), they're probably overdone.
  6. For the filling:

  7. Put the cherries in a medium saucepan and smash them with the bottom of a glass. Add the honey and lemon juice and stir until combined.
  8. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Let cool completely before filling the cupcakes.
  10. To assemble the cupcakes:

  11. Use a paring knife to cut out a section of the cupcake, about 1 inch into the cupcake. Set these cut out portions aside. Black Forest Cupcakes |
  12. Fill the cupcakes with the filling.
  13. To prevent the cherry filling from bleeding, I cut off just the top part of the cupcake cutouts and placed it back on the cupcake.
  14. For the whipped cream, beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
  15. Spoon this onto the top of the cupcakes.
  16. Add grated chocolate and a cherry right before serving.
  17. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These are best enjoyed cold.

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44 comments on “Black Forest Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)” — Add one!

2 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Tina says
    December 10, 2018 @ 1:18 am

    Hi Erin, I love your blog and the recipes. Just wondered if I can substitute the apple sauce as I’m allergic to apples. Thanks Tina (NZ)

    • Erin replies to Tina
      December 14, 2018 @ 10:19 am

      Hi Tina! I’m so sorry for just now seeing your question. I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the recipes. :) What do you normally use as a sub for applesauce? I just googled it and I see people suggesting other fruits (like pureed pear or banana) but I worry that you’d be able to taste them in this recipe. Sorry I can’t be more of a help!

  • Niki
    January 11, 2017 @ 1:53 pm

    Hey :)
    It looks awsome, I would love to try. But the problem is that I’m living in Hungary and we dont have apple sauce here. How can i manage it ? Do you have any ideas?

    • Erin replies to Niki
      January 11, 2017 @ 6:17 pm

      Hi there! So strange that they don’t have applesauce. Have you tried organic shops? Maybe in the baby food aisle? I just googled subs for applesauce but I don’t feel confident recommending any of them (especially since I haven’t tried them!). I’d recommend cutting up an apple, adding that and a little bit of water to a small pan, putting on the lid and cooking for a few minutes until very soft. Then you have applesauce. Enjoy! :)

      • Niki replies to Erin
        January 11, 2017 @ 7:25 pm

        Yea I did not think about babyfood :D but yea maybe its more easier and cheaper just to make some at home :)

        I wish we would have so many thing to work with or choices in here Hungary, like you US :)

        Thanks for the answere :)

        • Erin replies to Niki
          January 11, 2017 @ 9:16 pm

          I actually live in Germany so I totally understand! They have so many more options for everything in the US. It’s frustrating! By the way, I forgot to say that I posted another version of these cupcakes with a tad bit more sugar (and I think they’re yummier that way :)) They’re here: paleo chocolate cupcakes. And I also forgot to say that it could be that almond flour = ground almonds in Hungary (like in Germany).

      • Niiki replies to Erin
        January 12, 2017 @ 9:13 am

        Yea it is really frustrating :D But somehow i always manage those recipes to work out :)
        You are really nice for answering and suggesting other ones for me :)

        I will check your blog more often :)

        • Erin replies to Niiki
          January 12, 2017 @ 8:56 pm

          I’m happy to help! I know how difficult it can be to make recipes from the US with European ingredients. ;) I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes!

  • Ellen Robertson says
    August 2, 2016 @ 5:50 am

    Can you double the recipe?

  • Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden
    July 29, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks says
    July 21, 2013 @ 12:55 am

    I love the pic at the end of the body of the post – with that big, huge, juicy cherry staring out from inside the cupcake! Gorgeous shot for such a great recipe!

  • Elizabeth @ says
    July 18, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    I’m usually a little suspicious of gluten-free desserts (I love me some gluten, and sometimes gf desserts are…funny) but these cupcakes look amazing! The texture of the cake looks so fudgy and dreamy. You may have changed my mind about gf desserts!

    • Erin replies to Elizabeth @
      July 20, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      Elizabeth! Those GF desserts are funky because they use funky flours and starches and weird stuff. I don’t do that, okay? ;) I make delicious, normal textured goodies. :D

      Haha. Just had to clarify!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog says
    July 17, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    Erin, I’m in love with the filling! These look so good.

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
    July 17, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

    Oh man do these look so delicious, Erin! Love that cherry oozing out of the center! Soooo scrumptious.

  • Carla @ Carlas Confections says
    July 16, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    WOW these are gorgeous!!! I need like 5! :)

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter and Julie
    July 16, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

    These are adorable, Erin, and you’re right — they do look incredibly moist. I love the addition of both the coconut oil and applesauce — great subs for my usual canola oil. My German grandpa would love these :)

    • Erin replies to Julie @ Peanut Butter and Julie
      July 20, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

      Thanks, Julie! I bet he would like them, too. Just don’t call them Black Forest Cake or he might get upset that they’re not authentic. ;)

  • Becca from Cookie Jar Treats says
    July 16, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

    Oh so chocolaty looking! Instead of whole cherries I would probably put in a cherry jam, just to make it even more inauthentic and that way I don’t have to deal with actual fruit haha :)

    These look fantastic.

  • Kathryn says
    July 16, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    Can I replace coconut oil with butter?

    • Erin replies to Kathryn
      July 16, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

      I’ve read that sometimes coconut oil and butter isn’t interchangeable. Other people say that’s not true. So I usually only list coconut oil and not butter as a sub if I’ve only tried with coconut oil. You could give it a try, though! I imagine that they’d work. Please let us know if you do try them with butter. :)

  • Kathryn says
    July 16, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

    Chocolate and cherries is one of my boyfriend’s very favourite combinations so I reckon he’d totally love these! Bookmarking this recipe so I can surprise him with them : )

    • Erin replies to Kathryn
      July 20, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

      Oh fun! I hope you do surprise him with these. :)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
    July 16, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    These look heavenly!!! Love, love, love this recipe!

  • Anna (Hidden Ponies) says
    July 16, 2013 @ 6:15 am

    Black forest cake is a favourite with both my dad and my hubby – these are gorgeous, and I love the healthier adaptation!

  • Chris Scheuer says
    July 16, 2013 @ 3:41 am

    I don’t care whether they’re “authentic” or not, they look fabulous! And you’re so right about the baked goods over there, so many of them looked so good but when you actually indulged, they just weren’t great.

    • Erin replies to Chris Scheuer
      July 20, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

      Ha! Someone who agrees with me. Awesome. :) At least the bread is good, though, huh? ;)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
    July 16, 2013 @ 2:17 am

    Oh I love these, especially that honeyed cherry filling! Yum!

  • Tracey says
    July 16, 2013 @ 2:04 am

    I’m such a huge fan of the combo of chocolate and fruit, though I’m not sure I’ve ever had Black Forest cake. I clearly need to remedy that, these look amazing!!

    • Erin replies to Tracey
      July 20, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

      Definitely give it a try! It’s nice. :)

  • Andra Willis says
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:09 am

    Hi there! I love love love your blog and I have passed it along to SO many people. You’ve helped a lot of people enjoy food again that have gluten/grain problems! Any way, I’m wondering what can be substituted for coconut oil? I plan on getting some but in the mean time, I really want to make these for my gluten free neighbor and cant run to the store for a week. Suggestions??

    • Andra Willis replies to Andra Willis
      July 16, 2013 @ 1:15 am

      …never mind. I checked some of your other posts and found my answer :) thanks!!

    • Erin replies to Andra Willis
      July 16, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

      Aww, thanks Andra! What a nice comment. :) I’ve read that sometimes coconut oil and butter isn’t interchangeable. Other people say that’s not true. So I usually only list coconut oil and not butter as a sub if I’ve only tried with coconut oil. I’ll have to do more research on the topic. Thanks again for the nice comment and I hope the cupcakes came out well!

  • Eat Good 4 Life says
    July 16, 2013 @ 1:09 am

    Wow these do look awesome. I have never made a black forest cake or cupcakes for that matter before but I think I should because the chocolate and cherry combo is just too good to pass! Great looking cupcakes :-)

    • Erin replies to Eat Good 4 Life
      July 20, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

      Thank you, Miryam! I hope you get a chance to try them out. :)


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