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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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My Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes are moist, rich, and delicious with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free Frosting frosting.

Hi Bold Bakers!

For those of you who don’t know me, hi there — I’m Liv! Not only am I Gemma’s culinary assistant, but I’m the Bigger Bolder Baking resident alternative baker. What does that mean? Well, it means I love experimenting with my sweets. From working with alternative ingredients to accommodating all of your dietary preferences, I’m all about making classic sweets that just so happen to be good for you! From vegan to Keto, I’ve got you covered!

Just like classic cupcakes, these chocolate cupcakes are made with a flour, sugar, cocoa powder, fat, eggs, and flavorings. The difference is that these ingredients have been given a bit of a makeover to fit my style.

How to make Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

As I prefer to bake without sugar or grain, these cupcakes are made with coconut flour and the Lakanto Sugar alternative. Instead of using processed vegetable oil or animal-derived fat, I use coconut oil for all the richness without any of the inflammatory effects of unhealthy fats. The batter also has 6 eggs, which can be replaced with flax egg for those who are vegan or allergic to eggs.

[ Get My Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Too! ]

Last, but certainly not least, these Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes are packed with cocoa powder — meaning they are super decadent, perfect of all you chocolate fiends. Chocolate is not only one of my favorite flavors, but it also happens to be pretty good for you as it’s full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals!

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How to Make Refined Sugar Free Cupcakes

Instead of using refined sugar, these cupcakes are made with a sugar alternative called Lakanto Sugar. Lakanto is a brand of monkfruit-based sweetener that I really love. This sugar alternative is naturally derived, has no after taste, is zero glycemic, and can be used 1:1 for sugar in baking. Monkfruit comes mostly from remote mountains in Southern China, which sounds about has hidden-treasure-y as you can get. In reality, they’re small melons!

As far as I’m concerned, using this in place of sugar is a no-brainer, as we all know sugar in excess is not really conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Sugar can take you for a ride, causing a blood sugar spike that ultimately leads to a crash. Because of this, I really like to experiment with alternative sugars so I can have my cake and eat it too without any of the stress it puts on my body throughout the day.

That said, there are other sources of unrefined sugar I love too, like coconut sugar, date sugar, or even Swerve — which will all also work in this recipe.

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How to make Vegan Refined Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting

We all know it: the frosting is always the best part of any cupcake.

Yes, Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes need to be moist, rich, and delicious, which they are… but it’s only once frosted that a cupcake is complete. There’s something about the contrast of soft chocolaty cupcake and rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate frosting that really makes my heart sing.

If you’re like me, though, you require super rich chocolate frosting — but you don’t want any of the refined sugars or unhealthy fats. This chocolate frosting happens to be vegan, just 2 ingredients, and sans sugar or butter. So what the heck is it? It just coconut cream and melted chocolate and that’s it!

To make it, I simply melt Lily’s vegan sugar-free chocolate (or whatever your favorite brand of vegan, sugar-free chocolate is) then mix it with a tin of coconut cream. After this mixture comes together it can be poured as a glaze or turned into a light fluffy frosting. By chilling then whipping this mixture, I create a buttercream-like texture without any butter or sugar. The result is truly a magical chocolate frosting!


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If you’re looking for a lower fat options

These cupcakes are made with full-fat coconut milk and full-fat coconut cream, which are a great source of healthy fat! If you are looking for a way to lower the fat content then you can use reduced fat coconut milk instead. I personally prefer the richness provided by full-fat coconut milk.

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4.48 from 17 votes
gluten free chocolate cupcakes, gluten free cupcakes, vegan cupcakes, vegan chocolate cupcakes, sugar free chocolate frosting, sugar free frosting, gluten free baking, gluten free desserts, gluten free chocolate desserts
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Just like classic cupcakes, my Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes recipe is moist, rich, and delicious with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate Vegan Refined Sugar Free Frosting frosting.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 247 kcal
Author: Olivia Crouppen
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) Lakanto sugar, Swerve, or coconut sugar
  • 6 eggs*
  • 1/4 cup (2floz/57ml) coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup (2 ½ floz/71ml) coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup (2 ½oz/71g) coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz/57g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegan Sugar Free Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 can (13oz/368g) coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (9oz/255g) sugar free vegan chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

  2. In a medium bowl combine the Lakanto sugar, eggs*, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla and instant espresso powder, set aside.

  3. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. 

  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until a smooth rich batter is formed. 

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared liners, filling them about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes until cooked or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. 

  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before frosting. 

Vegan Refined Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a bain marie. 

  2. Whisk the coconut cream into the melted chocolate, then place in the fridge to set until firm. 

  3. Once the chocolate and coconut mixture is firm whip using a hand or stand mixer until light fluffy and spreadable. 

  4. Slather generously over cooled cupcakes or pipe on top using a piping bag. 

  5. Cover and store in the fridge for to 3-4 days. 

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

*The eggs in this recipe can be replaced with flax eggs

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 247 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 94mg31%
Sodium 207mg9%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Sandra on October 2, 2019 at 12:50 am

    Hii Gemma, Can I use honey like sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 3, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Hi Sandra,
      yes, but it is a liquid, you may need a little less. I think about 6ozs of honey should do it for you. try it!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Jaron on September 8, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Can I substitute the coconut flour with whole wheat flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 8, 2019 at 7:43 am

      I would not recommend it with this recipe. Coconut flour dose not contain gluten. It tends to result in a more dense cake. The coconut flavor can be distinctly tasted, compared to wheat flour which practically has no or very bland flavor. Coconut flour also requires more liquids or binding agents since it doesn’t contain gluten. Hence, if you substitute the coconut flour with wheat flour, you will have to significantly adjust most if not all the other ingredients in this recipe.

  3. Fran Wolff on June 23, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Whatarethe brand names for sugar free xhocolate and full fat coconut milk? Where can I buy them?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 24, 2019 at 3:24 am

      Hi Fran,
      you did not tell me where you live! In the US there are many brands for these things. If you tell me where you live I can be more specific. There are of course ethnic stores for these things too, but most big supermarket stores will have a selection of these things.
      Do let me know,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Anusha on June 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    Can we substitute coconut oil with extra Virgin olive oil?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 7, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Hi there,
      there is a big difference between these two things. Olive oil is a liquid oil under all circumstances, more or less. It is also highly flavored. I think you may get away with it if you use less, about 20% less, but you should experiment a bit. Perhaps try 1/2 a batch so as not to waste ingredients,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. SakuraBubbles on May 19, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I’m so glad you started posting gluten free recipes. It’s made it a little easier for me to cook. My mom and I found out last year with the help of a naturalpathic friend that we’re gluten free so trying to cook has been a lot more challenging ( and spelt is just to heavy to use in every recipe except maybe pies), so these really help. Thank you.
    Is there a way to take this recipe and change the flavor from chocolate to vanilla or some other flavor?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 21, 2019 at 2:02 am

      I am really delighted to hear that!!! If you wanted to make these vanilla you would have to sub the cocoa powder for white flour. Sometimes It’s just easier sometimes to kind a recipe that is already vanilla.


  6. Judy on May 12, 2019 at 3:01 am

    The recipe states that I should use coconut cream in the frosting. But in the blog you say you used coconut milk. These are two very different products. Which should I use?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 14, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Judy,

      I’ll rectify that but the answer is coconut cream is what is needed for the frosting.

      Hope this helps,

  7. Marina on May 6, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Would it be okay if I substitute the coconut sugar for regular white sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Marina,

      Yes you can use coconut sugar. Just sub it 1:1.


  8. Sanober on May 6, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Gemma! Can I make a cake from this recipe instead of cupcakes? On Wht oven temperate I have to bake it then,

    • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2019 at 1:15 pm

      Yes absolutely. Bake at same temp for around 30-40 minutes. Check on the layers after 30 just to see how they are doing.


  9. Jennifer on May 6, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Can Almond flour be used in place of the coconut flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2019 at 5:22 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      the problem is that you will get a different result. Coconut flour is highly absorbent, and it binds the almond flour in this recipe. It is tricky to make a sponge with just almond flour. You could add another starch, cornstarch perhaps, but again the result will be different. If you have a health need then perhaps get some gluten free all purpose flour, that will do it!
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Debra Jacobs on April 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Do you think I could sub some of the cocoa powder for so Almond flour I like chocolate but not a strong chocolate
    taste just mild or would I just 1/2 the cocoa .

    • Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2019 at 2:07 am

      Hi Debra,
      Yes, I do think that will work well for you. Almond flour is not too absorbent, so it should not affect the other ingredients. I would certainly try that, sounds good.
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Jeff on March 26, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Hi! In the video the host describes how the cocoa/coconut flour ratio is approx 70/30 but the recipe says it’s 50/50 (both 1/2 a cup)
    Which would give the best result?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Hi, i suggest you follow the written recipe. Great question!

    • Brenda Vincent on April 8, 2019 at 9:11 am

      Is there a specific brand of sugar free chocolate for the frosting that you use? Wondering if I can buy it on line. Also would cacao powder work in the cupcake instead of cocoa powder?
      I love your recipes! Turning me into a better, bolder baker one recipe at a time

      • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2019 at 11:27 am

        Hi i use lily’s brand chocolate for chips and bars and for cocoa i just use a generic brand.

  12. Tibeca on March 26, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Are there other egg substitutes we could use? I can’t do flax eggs or chicken eggs. Would applesauce work?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

      Hi, can you do chia egg? Or yes, apple sauce will work too!

  13. Antonette de Leon on March 25, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Can I use oat flour instead of coconut flour? If so, what will be the measurement?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 26, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I would not suggest that, i do think a gluten free all purpose flour will work, I hope that helps!

  14. Mehnaz on March 24, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Hi Gemma
    Love all your recipes and have tried many of them, cookies breads cinnamon rolls crazy doh… Loved each and every one of them. Thank you for sharing them with us. Our family is bread lover and just cannot resist it, however we are trying to lower our carbs intake and so have to cut down to breads. Could you please also share recipes of different kind of breads that are low carbs. Looking forward to your response. Take care and keep sharing ????

  15. Etta Johns on March 23, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    First of all, I have used and love many of your recipes! some of them have become family favorites! This frosting how ever, NOT SO MUCH =( don’t be offended, it just is what it is. That said I made two batches of these cupcakes (which I think are quite good) for a fund raiser my grand kids were having today, because my daughter said gluten free stuff sells well. Soooo I doubled the frosting recipe and I have a rather large bag of frosting that no one will eat. so could you tell me if there is some way I can sweeten this and use it? I hate for it to go to waste! Thank you again for your recipes, I really do love them. I love home made!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 11:56 am

      Hi, good job on the cupcakes! In terms of the frosting what sugar free chocolate do you use? If you use the brand we linked it should be quite sweet, you can always ad 1/3 cup sugar sub of your choice!

  16. Lacey on February 14, 2019 at 7:17 am

    The frosting is a bit strong for me. I don’t eat much sugar but the frosting seems to need something. What could I add to sweeten it just a bit and not take away from the texture? I love the odea of low sugar and the cupcakes turned out good.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 14, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      You can certainly add a little more sugar as you please. I think the frosting being strong comes from the espresso powder if you’ve used it.

  17. Amali Thenuwara on February 13, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for ur recipes. I’ll try them.
    I like this site.


    • Gemma Stafford on February 14, 2019 at 5:43 am

      Hi Amali,
      We like that you are here with us! Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Lacey Coonfield on January 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Do you have the nutrition information for these cupcakes? Thanks for such a great revipe, can t wait to try it.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm

      Ah, let me get that posted for you! Stay tuned!

      • Manish Kumar on March 24, 2019 at 11:24 am

        Hi Gemma! The recipe is great but there is definitely something wrong with the nutritional profile. It cannot have just 1 gram sugar!

        • Gemma Stafford on March 25, 2019 at 12:17 pm

          Hi, this is correct as the only sugar in them comes from naturally occurring sugars in the coconut milk and cream. The sugar substitutes are zero sugar.

  19. Celiacooks.123 on January 21, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Is there a icing thats normal but delicious?

    • Gemma Stafford on January 22, 2019 at 5:46 am

      Hi there,
      So many to choose from. You can make a simple icing with powdered sugar, warm water or milk, very little liquid to make a great simple icing. You can also make this with lemon juice, orange juice and the zest of these fruits too.
      ( I have a number here for you. Ganache too, rich and very delicious, check it out,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Kayla Vogel on December 18, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Liv,
    I cant wait to try these as I have celiac disease and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. Can I use regular sugar or cane sugar be subbed instead?? Also, would there be anyway to make these vanilla flavored?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 19, 2018 at 4:20 am

      Hi Kayla,
      I think Olivia will have to make a vanilla version of this. Cocoa is part of the ingredients here, though I suspect you could replace it with one ounce of ground almonds/almond flour, and add one teaspoon of vanilla extract. This will be an experiment for you, but I think it will work out well. You can try it!
      Let us know if you do, and how it worked for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Amal on December 1, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Could I substitute the coconut flour in this recipe with almond flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 2, 2018 at 2:35 am

      Hi Amal,
      These are totally different things. almond flour is not absorbent, and coconut flour is highly absorbent. The coconut flour in this recipe gives the cake its structure. That is not to say that it is impossible, but I think it is best to use a blend of GF flours if you are not using coconut.
      You can of course try it, it will taste good, but I am not too sure about the texture,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Hopie on December 1, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Hi there! I was just wondering why you need six eggs in this recipe? This looks so amazing though. I’m sending it to my sister who’s gluten free right now! Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 2, 2018 at 2:25 am

      Hi Hopie,
      Eggs have more than one function in a cake batter.
      If you look at the ingredients in this recipe the amount of flour, 2 1/2 ozs of coconut flour, is really low. coconut flour is a highly absorbent flour, and thickens this batter, which relies more on the eggs, so that it is more like a souffle than a traditional cake batter. The eggs are a big part of it. You can use flax egg too, or a mix of eggs and flax egg, but you will get a slightly different result.
      I hope your sister likes this recipe, and that you try it too, it is not just for gluten intolerant people!
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Marsha Singh on November 30, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Love your recipes, I want thank you very much

    • Gemma Stafford on November 30, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks so much, Marsha. I’m delighted you like my site 🙂


  24. Patricia C Orourke on November 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks you for your delicious sounding cupcakes. I can’t wait to try them. Could these be made into vanilla cupcakes by leaving out the cocoa powder and espresso? Would I make any other changes?

    Thanks so much,


    • Gemma Stafford on November 30, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Hi there, you can omit the cocoa but also stay tuned and i will work on a vanilla cupcake recipe!

  25. Deepti on November 29, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Hi Gemma.. Hi liv..
    I want to know what is coconut flour.. As this is the first time I an hearing about it

    • Gemma Stafford on November 30, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Hi there, this is Liv! Coconut flour is dried coconut that has been blended into a fine powder. Its great for baking, has no gluten and is vegan 😀 I hope that helps!

      • Maria on October 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm

        Hi Gemma,

        I am dissappointed!! Where is your recipe for this coconut flour? Seems to me when you reccomend using a product, you always seem to have a recipe for making that product yourself, which I absolutely love about you!! Help, dear Gemma! I am poor and cannot afford to pay a high price for natural food store products….especially when I have your recipes at hand to make my own at home using regular ingredients.
        Thank you so much,

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