Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes {using coconut flour}

Buttercream frosted chocolate cupcakes

Every so often I  play around a bit (just a bit) with the ratio of eggs to coconut flour. Coconut flour is not difficult to bake with as long as you remember one thing: it loves moisture. Sucks up moisture like crazy. It must have enough moisture in the batter or all you’ll have in return is a dry, crumbly mess. And eggs are essential (or an egg substitute). They bind and provide moisture. Lucky for us muffin and cupcake lovers, with the right ratio of moist and dry ingredients, you can have darn good results baking with coconut flour.

Buttercream frosted cupcake

I’ve used coconut flour before for donuts and cupcakes, all very similar in ratio to this recipe. Because this recipe also has cocoa powder, you can use less coconut flour and still keep the ratio of liquid sweetener and eggs pretty much the same.

chocolate cupcake collection

We were eating these for a few weeks without frosting, but now for a treat: buttercream frosting on top of these super chocolate cupcakes. I think these cupcakes go really well with mocha buttercream, but for those who prefer a balance of chocolate and vanilla, I included a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe as well.

Unfrosted cupcake

I had to dig out my very-low-budget piping kit I picked up several years ago at a local market, that I used once. I had so much fun playing around with it this time that I’m tempted to purchase a few more piping tips. If you’re curious about how to use a frosting piping kit, see this video.

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    Posted in Desserts, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Snacks, Vegetarian, Wheat-Free  |  89 Comments

    89 Responses to Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes {using coconut flour}

    1. nj says:

      Looks great. Do I do anything different in the recipe if I leave out the cocoa in the cupcakes?
      Thanks

      • Erica says:

        Yes, omitting the cocoa will change the cupcake recipe. The ratio would then be similar to the Lemon Poppy Seed muffins I added a few weeks ago.

    2. Lauren B says:

      Those look SO good! I love the way you piped the frosting. You hav a great eye for creating delicious looking treats!

    3. Cori says:

      Yum. Thanks for the recipe. The cupcakes were great. The frosting tasted like, well, fat. It was pretty awful to us so we doctored it up quite a bit and even added mascarpone cheese in the end. Nothing like a chocolate afternoon!

      • Erica says:

        Thanks Cori! Yes, buttercream is basically fat :). It does taste a bit lighter and less fatty when made with heavy cream, but if you like it that way, you can go that route.

    4. These look god and will save into my “recipes to try “folder. I have coconut flour and have been looking for a recipe to try. Thanks for this. I will let you know what they turn out like.

    5. Shelmellow says:

      I started making these for my birthday cupcakes and thought, aww man, she must have forgotten the oil in the ingredient list!!! I was expecting them to be a flop, but they were amazing! I substituted the maple syrup with unsweetened applesauce and used 1/2 stevia, 1/2 xylitol (equal to 1/2 cup) to sweeten instead (unable to have other sweeteners right now). I filled the muffin cups 1/3 full, added 1 tsp of raspberry all fruit spread in the center, then finished filling. I also added a little of the fruit spread to the frosting (which I again sweetened with stevia and xylitol). They were so good I made them again without the frosting for my kids for a treat. They loved them!

    6. Eszter says:

      Hi,
      I am wondering if I could make it without maple syrup or any other liquid sweetener as I am insulin resistant?
      I would use xilitol, but it isn’t liquid and I guess I have to add something to keep the texture.
      Any idea?
      Thanks,
      Eszter

      • Erica says:

        Yes, I would add liquid along with the xilitol. PS I haven’t tried it.

        • sandy says:

          I make these with a granular sugar substitute(stevia in the raw) and use the same amount of liquid the recipe calls for usually unsweetened almond milk (makes them softer than using water but you can use water too) I love them! I am diabetic and have been cooking with almond flour and coconut flour to control carbs for the last 2 yrs… good thing to since I was recently diagnosed as having non celiacs wheat allergy (I had begun to increase my wheat consumption had a very serious skin rash that lead to this discovery)So gluten free for me and sugar free too.Love your recipes… thanks for sharing them I can tweak then to suit my needs very easily.

          • sandy says:

            I also add a tbs of cider vinegar to make then rise just a tad more…

          • Erica says:

            Thanks! Wow, yes good that you had gotten away from wheat/gluten. Good to hear the recipes are easily converted. I’m working on more conversions if you’re interesting in testing recipes, let me know.

    7. Tami says:

      This may be a silly question, but when I think of “mocha” I think of coffee and chocolate. There’s no coffee or espresso in your mocha buttercream recipe. Am I missing something?

      • Erica says:

        I know. I realized that a day after I posted it. It doesn’t really taste like chocolate to me though – more like mocha without the caffiene :). No, it’s not you – it’s me.

    8. Sonia says:

      I made these the other day and they were awesome!! Thank you for this gorgeous recipe! :) I had a minor hiccup… my cupcakes didn’t rise :oP But in spite of that the taste was just fabulous. The batch was gone in a day and a half! :)

    9. Hi there!
      My son was just asking for me to make him a cake again yesterday that “flopped” kind of like yours. Getting non-starch-filled gluten free cakes to rise is quite tough, but they still taste great!

      Anyway, since you mentioned about sugar-free chocolate chips, you may wish to drop by my site. I have an easy recipe for making your own both plain and w/ mint flavor. They may not hold up great in your cake, but the extra chocolate “punch” will still be there – w/ no worries about them including sugar!

      In good health,
      Adrienne

    10. lillian says:

      I just made these; but i used agave nectar instead of maple syrup (didn’t have any, i added a little vanilla and a qtr cup of heavy cream. i’m new to coconut flour, and every recipe i’ve found so far has yielded dry results. not sure if adding the cream helped, but i enjoyed this cupcake more than any other using coconut flour. I’ll definitely make a again, and next time maybe i’ll inject some whip cream into the center for added moisture…I didn’t ice them since we’ve cut back our sugar intake dramatically, but i think i’ll try your choco-avocado icing with it :-) thanks for sharing, i love your site!

    11. I LOVE your site and this recipe! Best coconut flour recipe for cupcakes and I have tried them all!! Hope you don’t mind but am linking you to my site for credit of my addition of cherries and chocolate to this recipe. Cannot express how much I love your cupcakes! And your site..amazing recipes and photos…bring out a book!

    12. Breezy says:

      I used this recipe tonight to make a cake- doubled the ingredients and poured into an 8×8 pan. Frosted with cream cheese frosting made with butter and vanilla and sweetened with honey. IT WAS DIVINE! Not dry at all- tasted just like a cake made from wheat. :) WOW!

    13. Erin says:

      Thank you for this recipe! I subbed in ener-g egg replacer due to egg allergy, and I was so excited that my son was able to have cake for his birthday!!!! Had I not made them myself, I would not have believed they were wheat and egg free! They were light and fluffy, like a real cupcake!

    14. Ann says:

      These were really good! Instead of making icying I like to melt chocolate chips on top and spread it around the top of the cupcake, good for anyone on a time crunch. Also added chocolate chips in them for something extra, Thanks for the recipe!

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    17. Theresa Powers says:

      Just wondering…I noticed that you include oil in the vanilla cake recipes, but not this chocolate one. Is there a reason for that? I’m trying to make a marble cake and was trying to get a chocolate and vanilla recipe that were similar.

      Thanks!

      • Erica says:

        The chocolate has a strong flavor that doesn’t really need vanilla, while the vanilla cake is best suited to vanilla flavoring (or citrus, or other flavoring). You can add vanilla to the chocolate though. It will only enhance it.

        • Theresa Powers says:

          I was actually talking about oil, not vanilla. :-)

          • Erica says:

            woops – sorry – read too fast. Do you mean the vanilla cupcakes? Or the yellow cake? For the chocolate cupcake, you could add a bit of oil, but it’s not necessary because the eggs provide enough moisture and keep it fluffy (light).

    18. Elizabeth says:

      This is by far the best coconut flour baked good I have made. Thank you!!!

    19. Melissa says:

      These cupcakes are absolutely fantastic. Paleo friendly, but taste like real cupcakes! Thanks so much for posting.

    20. Lauren says:

      Made this recipe this past weekend, although I used it as the pies for whoopie pies. (Trying to stay away from nuts, and your whoopie pie recipe calls for almond flour). Must say they were absolutely delicious! However, they did absorb all of the marshmellow frosting I put between them – ended up just eating one cake at a time with the frosting – which still worked well! Once all of the frosting was gone, I think we enjoyed them even more just eating the little cakes by themselves!! Thanks again!

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    22. Meg Higgins says:

      I found these to be a nice healthy alternative to traditional cupcakes. Moist and light.

      In my version, to cut the sweetener and ensure moisture, I added 2 bananas to the wet ingredients and used only 1/4 cup maple syrup. And to increase antioxidants and nutrients I used raw cacao instead of cocoa.

      They were great. I plan to make them for snack for my son’s kindergarten class. That will be the true taste test!

    23. Patricia says:

      I made this to battle the hurricane blues this afternoon, and it was great! I can´t have sugar, so in place of the liquid sweetner, I added a 1/2 C mixture of stevia, pumpkin, and applesauce. For the frosting, I mixed melted chocolate (enjoy life brand), coconut oil, coconut milk, and mint extract. Hello, “thin mint” cake! YUM :) Thanks for this!!

    24. Jill says:

      I absolutely love this recipe! If anyone is looking to make them sugar-free and isn’t too turned off by Splenda, substituting equal amounts of liquid and Splenda work really well. I used 1/2 a cup of coffee and 1/2 a cup of Splenda and they turned out beautiful. I have had less than ideal outcomes baking with powdered stevia (dries everything out- yuck!) and can’t afford the liquid concentrate, otherwise I’d go the more natural route. College student budget!! Sigh.

      I would also suggest separating the eggs and whipping the whites, then folding them into the mixture at the very end. This gives them more structure/rise (the last batch I did this with actually rose up above the tops of my cupcake liners!). It also stretches the batter further; I got ten cupcakes out of that batch :)

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    26. rtfemail says:

      Used this recipe to make a mini chocolate cake tonight. It actually turned out pretty tasty! I didn’t have maple syrup, so I had to use granulated sugar. The mix was too thick at first, so I had to add 1/4 cup of water to it. So excited to have a simple, strictly coconut flour, cake recipe!

    27. Amy says:

      These are amazing and gave me back cake for the first time since going paleo. My husband even thought they were good and he can always tell the difference with wheat free … Thanks and keep the recipes coming!

    28. Caiti Jayne says:

      I made these chocolate cupcakes excactly as posted, i added a tsp of mini chipits to the tops of them after added to the liners, like you said. They didnt sink much but they were really delicious at the top. I think next time I will either add them to the batter before adding to the liners or maybe add a bunch and swirl them in once added to the liners.

      The frosting I used was a chocolate frosting from another cookbook, but i decided to add peanut butter to it and extra cocoa. i also mixed in some mini chipits into the frosting to make up for the chipits i thought were missing from the cupcakes!

      overall they turned out awesome, very delicious. i think the batter was just a TAD “eggy” for me when eaten without frosting (with the frosting you dont notice), so maybe next time i will use an egg subsitute such as 3 tbsp of grass fed whole milk per egg instead of the actual eggs. I dont know how that will turn out but worth trying! Maybe it wont rise enough…but we’ll see. This made 8 cupcakes for me. Thank you for the recipe.

      • Erica says:

        Yum. Love your additions. Funny, I don’t find it eggy, but I love it as light as it is. I’d love to know how the egg subbing goes. I’m hoping to try that as well using flax.

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    31. lynl says:

      Erica, this is a fabulous recipe! I was afraid to make a cake for my son’s 4th birthday party (I’ve never actually made one) and I became paleo in January so was even more nervous after hearing horror stories of cakes that taste good but just aren’t ‘cake’ to non-paleo eaters. I was delighted with your cake when I did my recipe testing! I followed a few suggestions from your readers, too: doubled the recipe and baked in 7″ pan for 30 minutes (perfect!), instead of heavy cream I added 1/2 cup whipped coconut milk (from a can that I whipped and keep in the fridge for ‘lattes’), I did not double the maple syrup but doubled everything else. Wow! I was so impressed and so was everyone else! This is a real cake!! And, none of the finickyness of traditional cake baking, either-thank you, thank you, thank you! I made a double layer cake (so I made the recipe twice rather than quadrupling the recipe), added sliced fresh strawberries to between the layers and used whipped coconut cream (just the hard solid at the top of 2 cans of coconut milk) sweetened with a bit of maple syrup to frost the middle layer ‘glue’ for the berries, the sides and the top. It was spectacular!

    32. Anne Cleve says:

      YUM! My daughter and I were craving a treat, and this hit the spot! We used coconut sugar dissolved in water for the liquid sweetener, and coconut butter for the shortening with good results. Thanks for the great recipes!!

    33. Carrie says:

      I tried these and wow they are amazing !! Thank you :)

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    35. Sadie says:

      Have you tried these with flax/chia egg substitute?

      I tried a similar recipe and replaced the required 4 eggs with chia substitute, but they didn’t rise or cook in the middle.

      Wondering if you’ve had success with egg substitute in any of your recipes?

    36. Willow says:

      These were awsome! Huge hit with my family!

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    38. Erika says:

      I tried these tonight. Was craving chocolate cupcakes and had all the ingredients. They are yummy and I love how simple the recipe is! I just made the cupcake part. Will keep this one in the recipe binder. Thank you!

    39. Danielle R. says:

      These sound really tasty and super easy to make. I’m curious though – do you think adding a bit of red food dye would affect the consistency of the cupcakes? I’ve been looking for a simple GF red velvet cupcake recipe for what seems like ages, and this may be what I’ve been looking for!

      • Erica says:

        I’m actually testing this know (great minds think alike) for my next cookbook. I don’t think it will change it drastically but the ratio of ingredients may vary a bit. You’ll want to lower the amount of cocoa a bit and add some natural red dye or beet juice (at least that’s what I’m doing).

    40. Michaela says:

      I’m planning on making these cupcakes for a GF baby shower! Thank you so much!!

      But my question is: have you tries doubling this recipe? I was reading what you said about coconut flour and moisture/eggs and it got me a little freaked out as I had planned to double this recipe. Do you think it would be safe?! :-/

      Thank you!

      Michaela

    41. Simone says:

      Hi there…saw your recipe sounds wonderful…I cannot eat eggs…do you have a suggestion to substitute..

    42. Theresa says:

      Thank you!! These are by far the easiest & tastiest cupcakes made w/coconut flour ever! I just make then plain as muffins, no chocolate chips, no frosting. I would imagine they’d be amazing with the frosting as well!

    43. laurelry says:

      Made these over the weekend in to a cake. Best cake ever. Loved it so much. Thanks. :)

    44. Ann H. says:

      Hi i was wondering how to convert this recipe to a mug cake i can make in the microwave. i like a fluffy cake and i dont eat grain
      or sugar so… coconut flour and sweetners are my best bets.

      i do also like to use the sugar free syrups. as flavorings as well.
      i would love to make it as a mug cake. how can i do that ?
      thanks

      • Erica says:

        I haven’t done it (yet) but I think you can sub the sugar-free syrup for regular and then bake the batter in an oven-proof mug. Not sure of the baking time. Good luck!

    45. Ann H. says:

      Hi what i was asking you is how much coconut flour… and the rest of it would i use for one mug cake. in other words…. what would this recipe be for one mug cake. i’m sorry but i dont know anything about baking and i cant figure out how to make this recipe work for one mug cake and not a tray full of cupcakes.
      thanks

    46. Victoria says:

      Love love love LOVE LOVE seriously these are AMAZING!!!

    47. Renee says:

      Soooo Yummy!!!!! Light, and fluffy.

    48. Christiana says:

      they’re awesome! light fluffy & dark :D

    49. Rebecca says:

      I had some coconut flour and didn’t know what to do with it, found this recipe and followed it to a T. Absolutely beautiful. The texture is so good! And I got Big thumbs up from my partner and son too :-) it’s a keeper.

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    51. Ami says:

      I have to say that these are SO incredible. I sprinkled coarsely ground coffee beans on top which just puts it over the moon!
      Thanks for the recipe!
      Ami

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