HEALTHY Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate “Buttercream” Icing

HEALTHY Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate “Buttercream” Icing

AMAZING Chocolate Cupcakes with “Buttercream” Icing – Gluten-free and DELICIOUS!

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Oh, do I have a TREAT for you all today!  Upon putting a picture of these decadent beauties up on Facebook Thursday – I  have never had such response and comments before.  You girls (and guys) love your chocolate!!  Don’t worry – I am SO THERE with you.   I choose to incorporate healthy ingredients into my recipes and especially if they are gluten-free, sugar free and FANTASTIC tasting. 

This recipe has you covered on all bases.  I came across the recipe for the cupcake from Maggie Savage at She Let Them Eat Cake here and the recipe for the icing compliments of Ricki Heller from her site here.  I changed only a few ingredients.  Thanks to Maggie and Ricki for their stellar creations and here is a cupcake that is safe to eat (moderation of course) that is loaded with healthy oils, alternative sugars (that are healthy) and some hidden healthy foods that you would never have thought to put into a recipe like this.  I LOVE these kind of recipes!  I think it is so cool to make something like this and share out with people and convert them to new ways of thinking, baking and incorporating health into their lifestyle. 

I guarantee you these won’t last long.  I took some to share with several people throughout the week and Scott and I got to have maybe 3 each.  That’s OK.  I love sharing goodies.  It makes me smile to see people smile back with appreciation and be inspired to make these healthy beauties for their family and loved ones.  Transforming one family at a time with healthy food choices is my mission.  This one is a WINNER!

Chocolate Cupcakes:

(per Maggie Savage’s recipe/website):

Yields 12 cupcakes (in a muffin pan)


  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup homemade almond milk (you can also use full fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (I used sorghum flour – you could use teff or any other gluten-free flour)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder (non-aluminum)
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 TB. psyllium seed husks or flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 TB. vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder (that’s what I used)
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin organic coconut oil, liquefied


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly oil (I used coconut oil) a 12 cup muffin pan.
2. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the almond milk (or coconut milk) in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to create a “buttermilk”.
3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the starch (tapioca or arrowroot flour), sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, psyllium seed husks or flax seed meal, sea salt, and cacao powder.
4. Add vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut oil to your “buttermilk” mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until tops bounce back.
6. Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool for fifteen minutes in pan.  Remove from pan after that time and transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
7. Frost with Chocolate “Butterceam”  Frosting (recipe below)

Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting:

(from  Ricki Heller’s recipe/website):

Makes 1 cup – plenty for 12 cupcakes and tasting! 😉


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TB. sweet potato purée – I used half a baked sweet potato (I always use homemade for this, so can’t vouch for the canned variety.  I bake my potatoes to bring out the natural sweetness as much as possible, then cool, peel and mash). 
  • 3 TB  coconut sugar
  • 15-25 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste (I use NuNaturals)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao or carob powder
  • 2.5 ounces GOOD quality dark unsweetened chocolate – I used most of a Green & Black Organic chocolate bar)
  • 1/4 cup  smooth organic sesame tahini (for nut-free)
  • 2 TB.  organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted


  1. After you have cooked your sweet potato and let it cool down, scoop out the required measurements above of the lovely flesh along with the coconut sugar, stevia, vanilla and salt in food processor and pulse till incorporated well.   Next, add the raw cacao powder or carob powder and process until combined.  Stop and scrap sides to make sure it all gets mixed.   This only takes about a minute.   Set aside.
  2.  Combine the chocolate, tahini and coconut oil in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat.  Keep an eye on it.  Don’t step away for a minute thinking it will take awhile.  It might burn.  You don’t want that.  Stir constantly until chocolate melts and this combination becomes silky smooth; remove from heat. Transfer this chocolate mixture into the food processor (which still has your sweet potato, sugar, vanilla blend) and blend everything until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed and sample tasting, of course. 

This frosting can be used as soon as it’s mixed at room temperature as a dark, fudgey chocolate frosting that can be piped and will hold its shape.  Per Ricki Heller, For a lighter frosting, refrigerate until firm and then whip into a “buttercream”.  Either way, no one will believe what is–and isn’t–in this!  HeeHee!  I love it!


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Sift all dry cupcake ingredients into a large bowl.

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Whip up the creamy chocolate “buttercream” icing! This is so reminiscent of icing I made back in my “unhealthy” baking days. This is superior in comparison.

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Cooling on the rack!

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Freshly topped with icing! OOOHH! The smell of these babies is enticing and I was salivating taking pictures.

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Sorry about the lighting here.

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A girls got to taste her wares – Right! Believe me! AMAZING!

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Better lighting! Yay! Gorgeous little guys!

These healthy cupcakes won’t last long, but they will keep up to three days (covered) in the refrigerator.  But why would you want them to.  🙂   Bring to room temperature before eating – the coconut oil in the cupcakes will firm up hard when cold, but soften at room temperature – making for a perfect crumbly chocolate delight in your mouth.     Go make these for a birthday party, anniversary party, special occasion or my favorite occasion – “Because I’m WORTH it!”  and SO ARE YOU

Thanks again to Maggie and Ricki for a healthy, delicious creation of chocolate goodness!

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14 Responses »

  1. These cupcakes (and the icing!) are amazing. My boys were eating them right out of the muffin pan! The icing is so smooth and creamy. Really delicious. Thanks for much for sharing all your yummy, healthy recipes. Also, just wanted to mention that i did not have any chocolate bars for the icing, so I just made coconut oil chocolate. 1/3 cup oil melted, mixed with 1/3 cup cacao. Worked perfectly and made for a good replacement for the chocolate bar.

    • Hi Lorri!

      Brilliant! I usually make my own chocolate so this is a great idea to share with everyone. So glad you and the boys loved the cupcakes and icing – it’s a winner! Thanks for your lovely comment and please do keep in touch. Have a great day!

  2. Pingback: chocolate ganache brownies - the veggie nook | the veggie nook

  3. Hi Kibby,
    I see that you’re using my original Buttercream Frosting recipe here without having asked permission or offering credit to me as the creator of the recipe. Since you are violating my copyright by doing so, please remove this recipe from your blog immediately. I would have been happy to provide permission had you simply asked me first.
    Ricki Heller

    • Hi Ricki, I was pretty sure that I gave you credit in the original post so I went back to check it out and see that there was an error in the link page. I have corrected it and given you full credit. I don’t want there to be any bad feelings and never meant to step on any toes. Again, I was under the impression that you were given credit. Please accept my deepest apologies and I will be fully aware of this in the future. I respect your work.

      • Hi Kibby,
        Thanks so much–I really appreciate it. 🙂 As I mentioned on Gabby’s page, I think so many of us aren’t aware of copyright or how it works. I see that you did provide credit, which is great. But the recipe still shouldn’t be identical to the original one or it’s considered copyright breach. In other words, whenever you repost anyone’s recipe, you should always rewrite the instructions in your own words to ensure it’s not the same as the first version. And unless you make changes to the original, you shouldn’t even re-post it, but just provide a link to the original recipe. Here’s a great post that I think explains it clearly: Thanks for your understanding, Kibby! 🙂

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