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chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting and chocolate sprinkles on a marble board

Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

The best gluten free chocolate cupcakes recipe in all the land is finally here, and it's absolutely delicious. These rich and decadent, yet light and fluffy cupcakes are topped off with a creamy chocolate buttercream and are a wonderful gluten free, healthy, and easy dessert.
The nutritional information is calculated for the cupcakes themselves and does not include the frosting as that information will vary on how much frosting you use / if you use a different frosting recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword grain-free cupcakes, paleo chocolate dessert, paleo cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 188kcal


Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate see notes
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream or heavy cream see notes
  • 6 ounces grass-fed butter softened, see notes
  • 1 cup coconut sugar see notes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with 12 parchment baking cups. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  • Pulse the raw cashews in a food processor or high-speed blender, a few seconds at a time, until they resemble a coarse flour. You don’t want any visible chunks of cashews. This should take about 1 minute. Be sure not to turn the cashew flour into cashew butter. Watch the texture closely.
  • Add the rest of the dry ingredients into the processor and pulse until well combined. In a medium bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir just until combined and be careful not to over-mix (I just used a fork and spent a few minutes carefully mixing until no streaks remained.)
  • Divide the batter evenly among the 12 parchment-lined cups. This should leave you with each about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Set aside and transfer to a wire rack to cool off & begin preparing the chocolate buttercream.
  • Gently heat up the chocolate: in a microwave on medium power (about 60-120 seconds, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds) or on the stove top using a double boiler method on medium-low until melted. Set aside to slightly cool.
  • Scoop the coconut cream out of the can(s) of coconut milk into a medium mixing bowl. If you are using heavy cream, place it directly into the mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (usually 2-3 minutes.) Cover and refrigerate the cream.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • Add in the coconut sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides every minute or so. Pour in the cooled chocolate to the mixture and beat until well incorporated.
  • Add 2 out of 3 of the eggs and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the last egg and beat for another 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth.
  • Fold the chilled coconut/heavy cream into the chocolate filling until no there are no visible white streaks left, and stir in the vanilla extract. Pipe cupcakes with buttercream or spread on top using an offset spatula.


  • Cacao powder: I highly recommend using cacao if you can get your hands on it. Unsweetened cocoa powder will work well, too but the flavor profile and richness you get from cacao is very hard to beat.
  • Hazelnut extract: If you are omitting the hazelnut extract, you can use an extra 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. You can also use almond extract.
  • Dark chocolate: Use a good quality 70-80% dark chocolate and be sure to weigh it out to 4 ounces!
  • Heavy cream: Feel free to use either heavy whipping cream or chilled coconut cream.
  • Coconut sugar: The coconut sugar cannot be substituted for regular, granulated sugar.
  • Butter: Get your butter soft by letting it sit at room temperature for about 1-1.5 hours (depending on the temperature of your house.)


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 44mg