Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes (grain-free, dairy-free)

Super moist chocolate spiderweb cupcakes that are made grain-free and dairy-free – perfect for Halloween!

Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting – grain-free and dairy-free! |

Halloween baked goods are so cute, but often so processed. Not here! Except that pesky white chocolate. I just can’t quit it. And the frosting? Made with coconut oil, cocoa powder, honey and peanut butter. Yeah! :D

I love chocolate and peanut butter (like I guess the rest of the world?) but if you don’t, feel free to use any other nut butter. And if nut butter is a no-go, perhaps coconut butter would work! Not coconut oil, the fat, but coconut butter, which is the meat of the coconut!

You know what’s really neat? These chocolate spiderweb cupcakes are grain-free, but my test testers didn’t even think they were “healthified.” HA! I think any baker can tell, though. Although with the chocolate peanut butter fudge topping, it’s pretty hard to tell. The texture is slightly different than a normal cupcake, but it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten with anything gluten-free. Much less grain-free. And they’re super, super moist.

Gluten- and Grain-free Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting |

By the way, here’s a tutorial for the spiderwebs. It was super simple. I promise!

I originally wanted to make skeletons for my cupcakes, and after four days of dipping pretzels in white chocolate, not being able to resist them and then having to remake them day after day, I had to give up. I put on their heads this morning and somebody told me that they looked like something “constructed at the playground.” So in a fit of rage (not really) I ate all the white chocolate covered pretzels this morning and tried to think of something Halloweeny to do with my cupcakes.

I think these chocolate spiderweb cupcakes are pretty simple as far as Halloween goodies go and most definitely healthier! And they’re kind of cute, right? ;) I brought them to a party and they were a bit hit! And nobody asked if they were gluten-free or somehow “special.” They were too busy inhaling them. :)

Gluten- and Grain-free Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 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
  • 1 teaspoon espresso 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
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (~64 grams) natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (~25 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C and line 8 muffin cups with liners.
  2. In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add this to the wet ingredients. Stir in just until combined. Do not over mix!
  3. Pour evenly into the muffin liners. If you want to make spiderwebs like I did, you need to be careful to not put too much batter in the liners because I'm guessing it'll be more difficult if you have a slightly domed cupcake. My liners were a little less then 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 16 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.
  5. For the frosting, melt the coconut oil, natural peanut butter and cocoa powder together in a pot or pan over low heat. When it's completely melted and smooth, take it off the heat and add the honey and stir until well combined. Let the cupcakes and frosting cool completely before icing. These are much better stored at room temperature and it's okay to keep at room temperature even after frosting. My favorite way to enjoy them is to reheat them a little in the microwave. The topping melts and it gets so gooey. Definitely the most "regular" cupcake tasting in this form. :)

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78 comments on “Chocolate Spiderweb Cupcakes (grain-free, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Cass says
    October 23, 2019 @ 2:00 am

    So how do you make the spider webs on top

    • Erin replies to Cass
      October 24, 2019 @ 9:12 pm

      The link is after the second photo. :)

  • Elizabeth Lorch says
    December 21, 2017 @ 2:36 am

    I know that there is a difference between Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa and Dutch processed. Should I use the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa? I don’t have Dutch processed.
    E. Lorch

    • Erin replies to Elizabeth Lorch
      December 22, 2017 @ 1:54 pm

      If you don’t have Dutch process cocoa powder, I’d recommend Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder. It has the same dark chocolaty flavor. If you don’t have that, then Hershey’s regular unsweetened would probably work but I haven’t tried so I’m not positive. Sorry I can’t give you a better answer and sorry for my slow reply!

  • Ayelet says
    November 11, 2017 @ 10:38 pm

    I made the cupcakes for Halloween and they were amazing!
    I want to make it for guests tomorrow that have a child who is GF/ DF. Which flour do you suggest to use instead of the almond meal? how much?

    • Erin replies to Ayelet
      November 13, 2017 @ 7:20 pm

      Sorry for the slow reply! Have been in hospital giving birth. :) So happy you liked the cupcakes! The recipe is already GF. Or can they also not have nuts? There’s unfortunately no good sub for almond flour except other nut flours. Sorry about that!

  • Lindsey says
    October 28, 2017 @ 10:54 pm

    I can’t have egg. Do you think it would be a big deal to leave it out of this recipe?

    • Erin replies to Lindsey
      October 28, 2017 @ 11:00 pm

      Unfortunately it would be. Sorry about that. :(

  • Aloha says
    October 21, 2016 @ 9:29 pm

    Are you able to reply with How many carbs, protein and calories? I’m in a challenge and need to log my food diary. If these happen to already be in MyFitnessPal, then you can just reply with the name to search for. Thanks in advance.

    • Erin replies to Aloha
      October 22, 2016 @ 8:38 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)

  • Cassie says
    January 3, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

    These look amazing. Anything I can use in place of the Expresso powder? I don’t have any and wanted to try making them today.

    • Erin replies to Cassie
      January 3, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

      Thanks, Cassie! Just leave out the espresso powder. It doesn’t make such a huge difference. I hope you’ll love the cupcakes! :)

  • Ling says
    October 27, 2013 @ 5:40 pm


    Was looking for Halloween recipes when I found urs.. The cupcakes look so pretty and yummy!

    Can I check if I replace the frosting with juz melted dark chocolate, will I be able to get the same effect? hmmm..

    Appreciate ur response.. Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Ling
      October 27, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

      Thanks! :) I think that using melted chocolate will work but since I haven’t tried it, I’m not 100% positive. Good luck with it! :)

  • Paula says
    October 11, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

    Believe it or not, my 6-year-old son does NOT like peanut butter. What can/should I add to the frosting to replace the peanut butter? Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Paula
      October 12, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

      Any other nut butter will do! :) Even Nutella would probably be okay. Good luck! :)

  • Lydia says
    October 1, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    Ok, so I don’t see the part of the frosting that is light colored in the ingredients or directions for the spiderweb part. I want mine to look just like yours! Please explain further! Thank you!

    • Erin replies to Lydia
      October 1, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

      Hi there! Check out the paragraph after the first picture. ;) Or here, this is just easier: spiderweb tutorial for cupcakes. Good luck with your cupcakes!

      • Lydia replies to Erin
        October 1, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

        Thank you! I knew I was missing it somewhere. And boy, are you FAST!

        • Erin replies to Lydia
          October 1, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

          You’re welcome! It could have been that you’re super early with the Halloween thing and making them right now so I thought I’d better respond ASAP. ;)

        • Lydia replies to Lydia
          October 1, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

          Oh, and BTW, you don’t have to do concentric perfect circles (picking the piping bag up each time you complete a circle), just a ‘swirl’ of circles works just as good since you’re just going to drag a toothpick through it anyway.

          I was actually looking for your ‘recipe’ for the light frosting (I was thinking it was something with peanut butter)- I think I’ll just use plain ol’ powdered sugar and water, maybe with a bit of coconut oil to keep it gooey. Thanks for your help.

        • Erin replies to Lydia
          October 3, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

          You’re so right! And now I feel quite silly. Thanks for the tip! Good luck with your spiderweb cupcakes. :)

  • BeccyD says
    December 26, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    I made these a fortnight ago for 4 gluten intolerant colleagues in my team. 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 also gave one to my personal trainer as he was impressed with me eating grain free.
    Impressive all round, so thank you :)

    • Erin replies to BeccyD
      December 27, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

      Wow! Thank you so much for the feedback, Beccy. :) It made my day, for sure. I'm not exactly an authority on gluten-free eating / recipe creating so it means a lot to me to have their feedback… yours too! :)

  • Kat says
    December 8, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    These seem exactly what I'm looking for but I would like to make them as mini cupcakes.
    Would I just lessen the cooking time?

    • Erin replies to Kat
      December 9, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

      Sorry for the slow reply! Yes, just lessen the time. I'm guessing you should check them at 8 minutes. Good luck with them! Let me know how they turn out. :)

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles says
    October 31, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

    These look fantastic! The frosting looks to die for, and I love the tutorial you posted too. You're amazing for posting Halloween themed things. I'm enjoying looking at them all, but I'm so bad at actually doing those kinds of things.

    • Erin replies to Heidi @ Food Doodles
      November 2, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

      Thanks! But how are you bad at them? Just with timing or you don't like making Halloween stuff? I'm sure yours would be fantastic!

  • JulieD says
    October 24, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

    Very cute and I love that you used peanut butter!!

    • Erin replies to JulieD
      October 24, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

      Yay peanut butter! I think almost all of my top 10 most viewed recipes have peanut butter in them. I guess people love the stuff. :)

  • Ashley@Bakerbynature says
    October 24, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    These are SO cute, Erin!

  • Anonymous says
    October 24, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    Planning on making these today ,i would love to know how to create the web…hope you post it soon

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction says
    October 24, 2012 @ 3:56 am

    These look like the real thing!! NOt only real sugar-gluten-filled chocolate cupcakes but real spiderwebs! I love the decoration Erin. I've never made a gluten free cupcake before :)

    • Erin replies to sally @ sallys baking addiction
      October 24, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

      Haha. Thank you! I only bake gluten and grain stuff sometimes because I think it's a fun challenge plus there are so many people out there who can't have gluten. Normally stuff isn't the same but I love it when something comes out almost there. So fun!

  • says
    October 24, 2012 @ 12:17 am

    Wow these look magnificent. By no means these look healthy or anything. I love the peanut butter chocolate frosting the best and that web effect is super cool. I have never tried to do that because I think it would be a disaster. Was it hard to do?

    • Erin replies to
      October 24, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

      Thank you! It is SO easy. I swear. If I can do it, so can you! I hope my picture tutorial brought across how truly easy it is. :)

  • Caroline @ chocolate and carrots says
    October 23, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    Oooo….almond flour! I have some in my pantry that I've been pondering as to what I'd make with it. Yep, this is what I'm going to make. I'm so excited to try them! Moist cupcakes are the best, I do declare. :D Plus, the spiderweb is so cute!

    • Erin replies to Caroline @ chocolate and carrots
      October 23, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

      Hey, it's you! :D I hope you like the cupcakes. Let me know! Just remember the texture isn't exactly the same and you have to weigh the almond flour. Good luck! :)

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
    October 23, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    Is this not the cutest?! I love the props too! I definitely have to add this to my halloween baking list!

  • Chic & Gorgeous Treats says
    October 23, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    The cupcakes with the chocolatey peanut butter frosting looks absolutely perfect and delish! I think my blog is a lot on a sinful side, but then again, I do enjoy treating myself to healthier treats. Can't wait to further explore your blog. Have a great week ahead! Cheers, Jo

  • Anna @ hiddenponies says
    October 23, 2012 @ 5:16 am

    These DO look perfectly moist and chocolatey, I can't believe they're gluten and grain free! Love the Halloween theme :)

  • Julie @ Table for Two says
    October 23, 2012 @ 3:28 am

    these are like the most perfect spiderwebs i ever did see!

    • Erin replies to Julie @ Table for Two
      October 23, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

      Thanks! I tried. Most of them were failures, though. The chocolate set too quickly. :(

  • baking.serendipity says
    October 23, 2012 @ 3:09 am

    I love those spiderwebs! And anything chocolate peanut butter :)

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
    October 23, 2012 @ 2:26 am

    Can't believe these are even remotely healthy, they look so chocolate-y and amazing! I love the spider webs, great job!

  • Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
    October 23, 2012 @ 2:23 am

    These are so cute!! I want to make these for our Halloween party!

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says
    October 23, 2012 @ 1:02 am

    YUM! These look + sound fantastic. I love a healthier recipe that doesn't actually taste 'healthified.' =)

  • butterbaking says
    October 23, 2012 @ 12:43 am

    Yum Erin! These look super cute! Love the little spider's webs and that they're chocolate peanut butter! :-)

  • Carla Walker says
    October 22, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

    Love how cute the spiderwebs look on top! Those cupcakes look so delish, even if they are gluten and grain-free. I would certainly eat 10 ;)

    • Erin replies to Carla Walker
      October 23, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

      Thanks! And haha, that was my opinion too. "These are grain-free… but they're so good! What…?"

  • Loretta E. says
    October 22, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    They look so darn cute! I'm very impressed by how they look. I've had one other very good almond flour cupcake before and it was different, but in a good way and these look pretty similar to those. Can't wait to see how you did the webbing!

    • Erin replies to Loretta E.
      October 23, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

      That sounds about right. Different, but in a good way! Do you have a link to the other cupcakes? I'd love to try them! And the webbing post will be up tomorrow. :)

  • Becca says
    October 22, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    Wow, these chocolate cupcakes look so moist. Even by looking at the picture I wouldn't know that it's grain-free.

    I can't wait to see what other Halloween goodies you have in store for us :)

    • Erin replies to Becca
      October 22, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

      Me too! It's still a bit unclear right now… ;)

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day says
    October 22, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

    These are so pretty! I love the "spiderweb" effect!

  • My Italian Smorgasbord says
    October 22, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

    these are so pretty! I think I saw them on tastespotting earlier today, did not know they were yours! love the moist crumb and the ingredients too. almond flour reminds me of caprese cake and I'd really like to learn to use more coconut oil. I actually think I will give these a go… my little one loves cupcakes but also likes healthy stuff -I must have done something good as a mother or she is a natural- during our recent trip to US she wanted to get some frosted cupcakes and then spitted them out. she said the frosting was disgusting. my baby!

    • Erin replies to My Italian Smorgasbord
      October 22, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

      Thank you! That wasn't me but I went and looked but didn't see them. Oh well. And good going with your daughter! I hope my future kids turn out that way. And if you just want something healthier, I have a recipe up for whole grain chocolate cupcakes. There is a lot of honey but the texture is absolutely perfect. :)

    • My Italian Smorgasbord replies to My Italian Smorgasbord
      October 23, 2012 @ 11:52 am

      will be waiting for you to post that! maybe was foodgawker?

    • Erin replies to My Italian Smorgasbord
      October 23, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

      Here they are! People never know that they're whole grain. :)

      And I didn't submit my post to any site. Now I'm really curious!

    • My Italian Smorgasbord replies to My Italian Smorgasbord
      October 25, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      it must have been something similar but NOW you are in there! and me too today. until the natural light holds… still have not got any professional lamp. thanks for the recipe. but the frosting is always the problem. is there any "light" frosting you know of? something with no or little butter or cream cheese… she always scratch it off (so annoying but I know it's healthier that way)

    • Erin replies to My Italian Smorgasbord
      October 25, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

      She wouldn't like the one in this recipe? It's like melted chocolate with some peanut butter in it. But the whole grain cupcakes, they're so yummy that I prefer them plain. Maybe she'd like them plain too. :)

  • Jessica@AKitchenAddiction says
    October 22, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    Love the frosting on these!

  • london bakes says
    October 22, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    These cupcakes look like they have a perfect texture Erin, I can't believe that they're gluten and grain free! And that fudge frosting sounds amazing too.

    • Erin replies to london bakes
      October 22, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

      Thanks! The texture was really nice but not quite the same as a regular cupcake. Oh well. Pretty close, though!

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets says
    October 22, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    Erin these are absolutely adorable!!! LOVE THEM.


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