Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Chocolate Cupcakes – and a GIVEAWAY!

First, I’d like to announce the FOUR winners of my NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway:
Congratulations to 
Dawn, Anna, Brooke, and JW!

I will be in touch regarding your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win, be sure to read through the end of this post – I’ve got another great opportunity for you! 

About four weeks ago I had one of those unforgettable meals. A dinner so deliciously indulgent and perfect, to which all others will be subsequently compared. And I didn’t even blog about it, because a) I didn’t make it and b) I was way too busy eating to bother taking pictures.

I ate a dozen cupcakes for dinner. Maybe more. But at least that many.

I know what you’re thinking. “Where in the world is it socially acceptable to eat a dozen cupcakes for dinner, and more importantly, why wasn’t I there?”
The answer is Cupcake Camp! This special event, co-organized by my good friend Jen (aka, the Beantown Baker and my partner for Bloggers Bake for Hope) is essentially a potluck for cupcake lovers. You bake, you go, you eat. And with about 50 amateur and 20 professional bakers represented, there’s a lot of eating to be done. If you need a visual, check out this recap on Flickr – but beware, doing so on an empty stomach may be dangerous. (By the way, the Bailey’s Mint Chocolate Chip minis are my contribution!)

Or maybe you’re thinking something else. You think I didn’t have it in me to truly stumble off the wagon and skip that far away. Well, I didn’t. It was a special occasion and I brought my best “Go Big or Go Home” attitude. It was worth every last sweet sugary crumb and creamy lick of frosting. When I decided there was no more room for cupcakes (for the third time) I promptly returned to my regular scheduled healthy eating and planned not to see another cupcake for a very long time.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it was a long, torturous two weeks I went without a cupcake. It only took that long to find another reason to break out some cupcakes. Two reasons, actually, and they both arrived in the mail: Signature Brands‘ newest ready-made frosting flavors and Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour. I already told you about one frostings last week. S’mores flavored frosting, otherwise known as the reason I baked up some all-natural, sugar-free, cinnamon graham crackers. The second flavor I received was Oreo Original Creme icing. Just like the s’mores frosting, I wanted to whip up something healthier with which to enjoy the frosting, and Elana’s book arrived just in time. The colorful pages are chock full of tempting cupcake recipes ranging from classic Vanilla to Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut and Cherry White Chocolate Chip, but I chose to start off with a traditional chocolate cupcake.

Although I suppose they’re not so traditional when you consider that they’re gluten-free and made with high-fiber coconut flour. They’re free of dairy and refined sugar, too. All of the sweetness in Elana’s recipe comes from agave syrup, though I went out on a little limb and slashed some calories by using stevia extract, and making up the liquid volume with almond milk. I also cut the amount of fat in half, again using almond milk to replace the volume. So, leaving out gluten, dairy, sugar, and most of the fat, what could I possibly be left with? Chocolate, of course! A deeply rich and moist chocolate cake, each tender crumb perfectly indulgent and guilt-free at the same time. One good enough to satisfy even my mother-in-law, the only woman I know with a more discerning palate than myself. (Surprise! There was stevia – and you didn’t make a peep about it!) If you think these cupcakes are hard to make, you’re mistaken: the simple ingredients are whisked together in ten minutes flat, and out of the oven eighteen minutes later. With a pouch of Oreo Original Creme in your pantry, frosting them is even more of a breeze.

Friends, I no longer need a special occasion to eat cupcakes. Or rather, every night becomes a swanky affair because I can eat a chocolate cupcake. I may not eat a dozen in one night, but I could very well eat one cupcake every night, for a dozen nights in a row, the whole time pondering why I feel like I’m cheating when I’m really not cheating at all.

Note: A few of you have pointed out the the frosting is not gluten-free or sugar-free. I am aware of this, and did not claim that it was either of these. My intent here was to pair the indulgent frosting with something a little bit healthier, to make a more balanced treat. I did not want to simply post about the frosting without also sharing a recipe that I felt my readers would appreciate – something healthy and delicious, like you would expect to see here. The chocolate cupcakes happen to be gluten-free and sugar-free. I do not follow a gluten-free diet, but I do enjoy working with gluten-free flours since they are usually less-processed and higher in fiber and protein.

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour
Printable Recipe

1/4 cup (28gm) coconut flour*
1/4 cup (20gm) unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure powdered stevia extract, such as NuNaturals
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (28gm) coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and stevia. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, agave nectar, and almond milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and beat with a handheld mixture for several minutes, until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, ensuring that no lumps remain.

Divide the batter among the paper-lined cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool for one hour, then frost and serve.

Cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for several days.

Nutritional Info (cupcakes only, does not include frosting)
Servings Per Recipe: 9
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 85.6
Total Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 82.2 mg
Sodium: 178.1 mg
Total Carbs: 5.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 3.4 g

*A note about coconut flour: some of my friends have pointed out that it’s expensive, which is certainly true compared to white flour. However, if you consider that an average batch of cupcakes will only require 1/4 – 1/2 cup, it makes sense that a 1-lb bag should last you quite a long time. Depending on how often you make cupcakes, of course.

This recipe is featured on the May 17th, 2011 edition of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free

Like my idea of pairing a healthy, natural homemade baked good with convenient and tasty frosting for a quick, sweet treat? Intrigued by the S’moores and Oreo Creme Icing I’ve had the pleasure of sharing with you? Signature Brands is offering a generous prize package to one of my readers including both icings, plus all of the other goodies you see pictured above.

To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you would like to with either of these frostings (keep it clean, kids!). For an additional entry, you can tweet about this giveaway – with a link, pretty please – and let me know that you did by leaving a second comment.

The contest will close next Sunday, May 22nd at midnight. I’ll choose a winner at random and post on Monday. Good luck!

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49 Responses to “Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Chocolate Cupcakes – and a GIVEAWAY!”

  1. 1

    mary g — May 16, 2011 @ 11:59 am Reply

    I want to  try making a smores cupcake with a graham base – the smores frosting would be delicious, I bet! (Or that recipe for smores whoopie pies, which is tempting me incredibly!)

  2. 2

    laura — May 16, 2011 @ 2:41 pm Reply

    This would be so fun to try! I am not sure what I would do with everything, but I know that I will have fun experimenting & tasting :)

  3. 3

    steff (steffsays) — May 16, 2011 @ 2:56 pm Reply

    that cupcake recipe looks amazing!!

  4. 4

    Jennz21 — May 16, 2011 @ 3:13 pm Reply

     I will make just  normal delicious cupcakes to share with my family and friends!

  5. 5

    Meredythhaas — May 16, 2011 @ 3:18 pm Reply

    I'd try piping the frostings in some whoopie pies, or maybe even drizzling a swirl over my morning oatmeal!

  6. 6

    Valerie — May 16, 2011 @ 3:27 pm Reply

    I haven't seen those frosting bags before but they look like a lot of fun.  I have never made whoopie pies before so I would make those using the frosting.  YUM!

  7. 7

    Margaret — May 16, 2011 @ 3:51 pm Reply

    I would love to try the Oreo Creme Icing with my Oreo cupcake recipe!

  8. 8

    Lauren King — May 16, 2011 @ 4:34 pm Reply

     Fun!!  I would LOVE to have a baking day w/ my 4-year-old.  He's a great helper. :)

  9. 9

    Kaytorade — May 16, 2011 @ 4:35 pm Reply

    I could probably do cupcakes for dinner

  10. 10

    Joanne — May 16, 2011 @ 4:48 pm Reply

    I cannot believe you made a cupcake that looks as addictively adorable as that. With NO sugar, and NO gluten and for only 86 calories a pop.  i love you.  I would make cookies and cream brownies and smother them in that frosting.  It will be oreo overkill.

  11. 11

    b.alreck — May 16, 2011 @ 5:03 pm Reply

    Those cupcakes DO look amazing!  For a more lazy approach, I spread frosting on graham crackers…when nobody is looking :)

  12. 12

    JLYNCH6341 — May 16, 2011 @ 6:23 pm Reply

    I think i would eat it straight from the package–is that wrong? :-)

  13. 13

    Anna Michaud — May 16, 2011 @ 7:59 pm Reply

     My mom just had surgery- I'm sure some frosting would perk her up! :) 

  14. 14

    Chrysta — May 16, 2011 @ 7:59 pm Reply

    yey! I booked marked this recipe. Im craving something sweet right now. And these are just what I was looking for! Thanks darlin! 

  15. 15

    Ljyoung85 — May 16, 2011 @ 9:06 pm Reply

    The oreo frosting sounds perfect for my favorite oreo cupcakes. 

  16. 16

    Natalie M. — May 16, 2011 @ 11:24 pm Reply

    I would eat it straight out of the bag-like those yogurt push-up things. Seriously though, I would spread it straight graham crackers and top with chocolate chips for for a fast and easy dessert! 

  17. 18

    Marcie — May 16, 2011 @ 11:47 pm Reply

    Delicious to use in cookie sandwiches!  I"m hungry just lookin' at it!

  18. 19

    Kristin — May 17, 2011 @ 12:53 am Reply

    I would love to try the frosting with your wonderful sounding cinnamon graham crackers – they are next on my "to make" list! num xo

  19. 20

    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos — May 17, 2011 @ 1:33 am Reply

    ahhhh love the idea of healthy smore cupcakes!! yum!

  20. 21

    megi — May 17, 2011 @ 1:36 am Reply

    I am addding these cupcakes to my 'make soon' list, I love the ingredients you used!

  21. 22

    kayla — May 17, 2011 @ 2:11 am Reply

    i would use it to make "just because" cupcakes for my co-workers! :)

  22. 23

    Caitlin Ting — May 17, 2011 @ 5:13 pm Reply

    I will first off, try not to eat all of the frosting straight out of the bag. With whatever frosting remain, I would love to play around with whoopie pies. With farmers' market season just returning to central PA and having just indulged in a pumpkin whoopie pie, I feel like this frosting would be a great way to play spruce up the classic chocolate whoopie pie as I work on creating/perfecting a solid recipe. 

  23. 24

    Bleached Blonde Mind — May 17, 2011 @ 5:24 pm Reply

    Any sugar free frosting recipes??

  24. 25

    Kristine Shah — May 17, 2011 @ 11:49 pm Reply

    I would frost my brownie covered oreos with the Oreo frosting, and make s'mores over an open fire, adding the s'more frosting to the yummy sandwich!

  25. 26

    Haley N — May 18, 2011 @ 12:17 am Reply

    I just tweeted about this :)

  26. 27

    Haley N — May 18, 2011 @ 12:18 am Reply

    I would actually love to make cupcakes with the frosting because I haven't made any in so so long!

  27. 28

    Dawn Hutchins — May 18, 2011 @ 3:41 pm Reply

    They sound delish! 

  28. 29

    Nicole — May 18, 2011 @ 8:55 pm Reply

    I guarantee I wouldn't have a chance to do ANYTHING with the Oreo frosting as my husband would have it squeezed directly into his mouth before the postman leaves the driveway. nicole@babyfoodscoops.com

  29. 30

    Jill Z. — May 18, 2011 @ 9:16 pm Reply

     Let's be honest, I'd eat the frosting straight out of the bottle!

  30. 31

    Amazinggrace03 — May 18, 2011 @ 10:45 pm Reply

     I'd love to try the Oreo frosting! Yum!

  31. 32

    Amazinggrace03 — May 18, 2011 @ 10:47 pm Reply

     Reposted! (fb…no twitter here =/)

  32. 33

    Jenn@LeftoverQueen — May 19, 2011 @ 2:43 am Reply

    So, evidently, it has been far too long since I had a cupcake – thanks for posting this gluten-free, healthier version! 

  33. 34

    Chaya — May 19, 2011 @ 3:23 am Reply

    I would bake for my class and for a change, they could have frosted cookies or brownies.

  34. 35

    Jen — May 19, 2011 @ 12:09 pm Reply

     I would make mini graham cracker crusts inside baking cups and pour your chocolate cupcake mix over it. then I would cut marshmallows in half, cut a slit in the marshmallow and place a chocolate square inside the the slit and drop it in the cupcake. I would then bake it and add the smores frosting. Then when you take a bite out of it marshmallow and chocolate will flood out.for a simpler version I would just use mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, for random dots of gooeyness throughout the cake.

  35. 36

    jen — May 19, 2011 @ 12:32 pm Reply

     for the oreo icing i have two ideas. First, I think it would be amazing to mix it with ice cream! Second, What is better than oreos?…. Chocolate covered oreos! I would use your chocolate cupcake base but add mint extract. then i would bake them let them cool and frost them. I would set up some melted chocolate in a double broiler. I would then dip the frosted tops of the cupcakes in the chocolate to create a chocolate shell over the top. before the chocolate is completely set i would place a small sprig of mint onto each cupcake for garnish.

  36. 37

    grace — May 20, 2011 @ 10:29 am Reply

    keep it clean.  ha.  i'd have to use the stuff to satisfy my current cupcake obsession…it seems i'm always a little late to the food trend train. :)

  37. 38

    Rsreth — May 22, 2011 @ 3:44 pm Reply

    I would definitely top sauteed bananas with the S'mores topping, then sprinkle above  with thin sliced, ever so lightly roasted almonds and/or coconut.

  38. 39

    Rsreth — May 22, 2011 @ 3:46 pm Reply

    Cupcake recipe is great-made it and am eating w/o frostin so far… really like finding some gluten free things that actually taste good! 

  39. 40

    Cara — May 22, 2011 @ 3:58 pm Reply

    Thankyou so much, love getting feedback! Glad you like them :) On May 22, 2011 11:46 AM, "Disqus" <>

  40. 41

    Pamblinglady — May 24, 2011 @ 5:13 pm Reply

    just a quick question – new at this.  so the cupcakes are gluten free and sugar free but once you add the Oreo icing, it has 19 grams of sugar as well as wheat, etc. in the frosting. Are there any frostings that would be gluten and sugar free – that taste good?

  41. 42

    Cara — May 24, 2011 @ 6:54 pm Reply

    You are correct – the frosting would not be suitable for someone following a strictly gluten- and sugar-free diet. I presented it here with these cupcakes to show that one could balance an indulgence with a healthier option and to share a recipe that would interest my readers (as opposed to making regular chocolate cupcakes.) I'm more of an "everything in moderation" person and while I choose clean, wholesome, natural foods most of the time, I still get my share of everything else – and I do not have any food allergies or intolerances.I haven't yet experimented with many sugar-free icings, just the cashew icing I made for these asparagus cupcakes: http://www.carascravings.com/2011/04/asparagus-muffins-with-cashew-cream.html I have grand plans in my head to experiment with a vegan, sugar-free ganache, but I haven't gotten to it yet.However, Elana (author of the book I mentioned in the post) does have a bunch of gluten-free, sugar-free icings in her book. I think she has some on her site as well: http://www.elanaspantry.com/Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, best of luck!

  42. 43

    Fluffyceliac — May 25, 2011 @ 2:46 pm Reply

    did you read the  label on the oreo frosting? It is not gluten free.

  43. 44

    Cara — May 25, 2011 @ 3:05 pm Reply

    Hi Fluffy, I'm aware that the frosting is not gluten free and I did not claim it to be gluten free anywhere in my post. My intent here was to pair something indulgent (the frosting) with something healthier to make it a more balanced treat. The cupcakes happen to be gluten-free and sugar-free, though I do not follow a gluten free diet. I just like working with gluten free flours because they are usually less processed and in some cases higher in fiber and protein. Sorry for any confusion.

  44. 45

    Karen — May 26, 2011 @ 2:13 am Reply

    This is very misleading.  The cupcakes may be gluten free but the frosting is not.  Please make that clear for new folks to the gluten free diet.  Someone new and trusting the information on this page could easily be poisoned by gluten if they made these and used the frosting you did.  Clearly the frosting contains gluten.  I did check to be sure.  You can find information on the ingredients of the frosting here:  http://www.hannaford.com/product/Grocery/Baking-Spices/Cakes-Pies/Oreo-Ultimate-Original-Cream-Icing/pc/28272/c/46391/sc/46395/867637.uts

  45. 46

    Cara — May 26, 2011 @ 2:18 am Reply

    Hi Karen, thank you for your feedback. While I was always aware that thefrosting is not gluten free and never meant to imply otherwise, I understandthe concern of my readers. Earlier, I added a note just before the recipere-stating my intent and clarifying that the frosting is not gluten free.Please let me know after reading the entire post if this is still unclear.Cara

  46. 47

    Bleached Blonde Mind — June 1, 2011 @ 2:00 am Reply

    Any sugar free frosting recipes??

  47. 48

    JLYNCH6341 — June 1, 2011 @ 2:00 am Reply

    I think i would eat it straight from the package–is that wrong? :-)

  48. 49

    laura — June 1, 2011 @ 2:00 am Reply

    This would be so fun to try! I am not sure what I would do with everything, but I know that I will have fun experimenting & tasting :)

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