paleo chocolate cupcakes

Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes

These grain-free Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes are absolutely perfect for birthday celebrations. Because so many of you have nut allergies, I decided this had to be a nut-free cupcake recipe! Be sure to check out my Nut-Free Recipes page if you are on a nut-free diet, or if your children go to a school with a nut-free food policy.

Made with coconut oil, these cupcakes are also a fabulous dairy-free dessert. While I’ve been on a strict grain-free diet since 2001, my recipes continue to evolve within the grain-free genre, as I learn more about various healthy foods. Coconut oil has been a favorite ingredient of mine for some time, but for the past year or so my focus has been on eating as much coconut oil as I can. Sometimes that means eating it straight out of the jar, other times I add it to everything I cook. Most days I do both.

A good deal of anecdotal evidence points to coconut oil as a fabulous brain food. Here’s a video that discusses the health benefits of coconut oil.

Did you ever notice that the rise of various brain disorders (ADD, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, etc.) happened to take place in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when the fat-free diet was all the rage? I think many people’s brains may have been malnourished by the pervasive lack of fat in the Standard American Diet during this period.

My Paleo Chocolate Cupcake recipe is full of good fat! I hope your family enjoys these gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free chocolate cupcakes as much as we do!

Print Recipe
Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Pulse together dry ingredients in a food processor
  2. Pulse in wet ingredients
  3. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and scoop ¼ cup batter into each
  4. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes
  5. Cool and serve

Frost these Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes with my amazing Paleo Chocolate Frosting. Here are some of my other easy paleo cupcake recipes!


  1. Justine says

    Seing all the great comment about these i alnist felt like it was unecessary to tell you how perfect these turned out! Thank you again to provide me with ALWAYS FAIL PROOF recipe! I had some old looking pears but still good to Cooke with and wanted to make a chocolate pear muffin. Ended up doing your recipe with diced pear in it! Delicious!!!! Had two for breakfast…and one after supper. Next time I will make a paleo nutella to go with it, hoping I don’t it everything in on sitting and regretting it after eheh! Thank you Elana !!!!

  2. Ana says

    Elana, one questionable regarding all of your recipes with coconut oil: do you measure it before or after melting? Thanks!

  3. Monica S says

    How well do these freeze? And if they do for how long? I have used this recipe several times now, people barely notice a difference. As my son has 15 food allergies, this recipe with its simple ingredients is amazing!!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Karen says

    I have three major problems with your recipes…they are simple, don’t necessitate gourmet ingredients that I don’t have on hand, and they are GOOD! These issues lead to me easily whipping them up and eating more than I need to. Other paleo baking recipes aren’t really that great, so I don’t feel the need to overeat, but yours are different.
    These cupcakes are wonderful! It’s crazy how such simple ingredients make the most cupcake-like texture of any paleo cupcake I’ve tried. Others have a long list of ingredients, but definitely taste like a paleo version of the real thing. I made these, but also incorporated your vanilla cupcake and made them into a marble cupcake. It was funny how the batters were very different, so I was nervous they would be different textures that didn’t belong together in one cupcake, but they turned out wonderful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I did use butter instead of coconut oily his time, but I’ve made the chocolate alone the way you have written. Both turned out fantastic!

  5. Bev says

    This is the first recipe I have tried from Elana and I can’t wait to try more! The cupcakes were moist and delicious! I added more chocolate chips, which sunk to the bottom, but they were sooooooo good!! I tried Avocado oil because I didn’t have the others… your encouragement to another post made me try it! Thank you!!

  6. Kat says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Our doctor has just put us on a paleo diet and 1 week in, he was DYING for something sweet with his after dinner tea. It was already a big ask for a full blood Irishman to give up bread, potatoes, and beer….I honestly think the whole country survives on it! This chocolate cupcake recipe saved the day with a bit of home whipped cream with a dash of honey and cut up strawberries! Im going to explore tour website some more!!

  7. angela says

    Hi there! I am interested in your recipes, but many of them still include sugars like honey. I am strictly no-sugar, and use stevia for my baking. Can you share your thoughts about how the substitution would affect your recipes, primarily in the baking category?

    • Elana says

      Hi Angela, unfortunately, I don’t think swapping out a typical sweetener with stevia will work. If you experiment and find a great substitution for the sweeteners in my baking recipes please stop back by and let us know! Also, if you are avoiding even natural sweeteners you may want to take a look at my Candida Diet Recipes page here:


  8. Jo says

    I cook with grapeseed oil and not coconut oil. I see some of your recipes call for grapeseed oil, which I’m happy about, but can I just substitute grapeseed oil in recipes, like this paleo chocolate cupcake recipe. Will it turn out the same?
    Thank you! I am inspired by your simple and healthy recipes. Happy Halloween!

  9. Oyku says

    Can I replace coconut flour and coconut oil with regular flour and regular oil? Does the ratio stay the same? And also, would the taste have a drastic change if I did? Lots of love

    • Emma says

      coconut flour generally is used in less quantities than normal flours as it absorbs a lot of liquid. normally its around 1/3 or 1/4 cup coconut flour when normal recipes use a whole cup.

  10. Shana says

    So I stumbled upon your site when deciding to change my dietary habits and you were a huge part of the reason I chose to go grain-free. I’m glad I did because I have been getting unexplained hives 75% of the time after eating for 12 years and no doctor or allergist could pinpoint the issue; I’ve been on allergy medication to counter it ever since. I have been grain-free for a month now and I haven’t had one outbreak of hives, my belly no longer bloats and, combined with exercise, I’ve lost 8 pounds. My energy levels are through the roof when I was normally sluggish no matter what I did. Today I finally decided to treat myself to these. I made them without the frosting and I cannot believe how wonderfully they came out. It was quick, easy, and they taste amazing. Thank you so much!

  11. Rochelle says

    Made these tonight and they were so easy start to finish and so delicious. Even my picky non paleo husband liked them. A+

  12. Simon says

    I tried this recipe recently and I loved it! I am not on the paleo diet, but I do try to limit the amount of refined grains and sugars I consume, so I will definitely be making these again. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Monica says

    Thank you for sharing! My son has many food allergies, which include all grains. These cupcakes help to make him be a part of the celebration. I will have to go buy your cupcake book for sure now!

  14. Agnieszka says

    I made these today as a tryout before my daughter’s birthday. They turned out great (I used grass fed butter instead of coconut oil). My daughter ate one and begged for more ;)
    I will be trying your vanilla cupcakes too, otherwise it’s just going to be chocolate birthday.

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  16. Angela says

    I have made these cupcakes several times and they always turn out fabulous. I also love that they use coconut flour which is way cheaper than the almond flour that a lot of grain free/paleo recipes use and coconut flour is also safe to send to school in my area (most schools are nut free around here.)

  17. Elizabeth Monticue says

    Thank you for saving the day, Elana! I baked cupcakes today for a Labor Day potluck tomorrow, used a boxed gluten free cake mix (I know, I know…. ) and bought a can of prepared frosting. Opened and tasted the frosting and realized how AWFUL it is! Truly, amazingly, awful. I used to like this stuff, silly me. I just frosted the cupcakes with your Paleo Chocolate Frosting. So easy, so pretty, and so delicious! Almost like a ganache. It’s silky, shiny, and luscious. And since I always have chocolate chips and coconut oil and vanilla in my kitchen, there was no need for a grocery store run. Thank you again!

  18. J says

    I made these cupcakes last night. This was my first experience in paleo baking. I can say they turned out better than expected. I followed the recipe exactly, except I separated the egg whites and beat them to soft peaks and folded them in. This gives the cupcakes a fluffier texture. Taste wise, they are not that sweet, but the texture is just like a regular cupcake. Also, It had a very rich chocolate flavor. It was good. I might suggest adding some sliced strawberries as a topping. I would defiantly make them again. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, it was fun.

  19. lauren says

    Just made these into mini cupcakes and subbed kerrygold for the coconut oil and they turned out great! I melted some coconut butter with some kerrygold and added a small bit of honey and cocoa powder and frosted them with that then rolled them in coconut sugar… fantastic! :)

  20. Alma & Ian says

    Hello from faraway Vienna, Austria

    We just wanted to let you know that these cupcakes are so yummy that Ian (9.5 yo) even licked the bowl and was sitting in front of the oven watching them rise ;)

    We hope they’ll be as yummy tomorrow morning for school as he is so proud of healthy cupcakes we made.

  21. Lauren says

    Love these! Made a batch for my daughter for birthday parties. They freeze very well! Even frosted. I put them in a lock and lock, fully frosted and took one out a week later to test it and it was still amazing! Thanks for such an awesome recipe!

  22. Tracee says

    Holy cow! I made these today, followed recipe to a T and topped them with a Paleo “PB” frosting and THEY. ARE. DELICIOUS! Thank you thank you thank you Elana!!!!

    It’s honestly the first muffin I’ve made with coconut flour that doesn’t have an “eggy” consistency. It’s right on with the consistency of regular cake. I’m hoping it remains that way for the next couple of days and doesn’t turn soggy. Fingers crossed!

    PS, they ARE a tad bit coconuty, which I don’t mind at all but that was the chief complaint by the kiddos in my house.

  23. Sara says

    Elana! You saved me yesterday! It was my son’s birthday party (1st) and I tried a recipe from another blog that afternoon and he cupcakes were horrible! I was so stressed out and on the verge of tears. Instinctually, I searched your website and came across this recipe. I don’t know why I didn’t just start here because I have tried your recipes and they are always wonderful. So, my third attempt using this recipe was a success. THANK YOU! I really didn’t want to get a store bought cake (it was looking like we would have to after I threw out two batches of cupcakes), but in the end I made these wonderful cupcakes, and looked like super mom. You are awesome!

  24. Ashley says

    I LOVE these cupcakes! You really can’t tell that they are not made with regular flour if you make them correctly. There are just a couple things that I had to learn with trial and error.

    1. If you don’t have a food processor, use room temperature eggs so the eggs don’t make the warm liquid coconut oil cold and chunky in the batter. Mix with a whisk in a bowl.

    2. Really really really pay attention to these in the oven. Only a couple minutes over-done and they are dry and burned. so make sure you use the toothpick to test doneness. They will be burned if you try to judge by look or feel with your finger.

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!!! Really is awesome for a chocoholic like me who cannot live without chocolate cake. Definitely curbs the sweet tooth!

  25. Michelle says

    Elana I just love your recipes however my five year old grandson does not seem to care for coconut Could your Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes be made with almond flour instead of coconut flour or will it comprise the taste/moistness?

  26. Eloise says

    Just made these and topped with paleo nutella! So tasty!
    Will definitely be printing off the recipe and popping it in my cookbook folder.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Ingrid says

    Cupcakes were perfect. Two things: I used four jumbo eggs and it caused an overflow in my cuisinart. Next time I’ll blend the wet in vitamix and add to dry that have been sifted together. Also, the frosting turned out great….little secret-use butter if you can tolerate it. Absolutely superb. Sorry to the paleo police

    • Tracee says

      Grassfed butter was going to my next test batch. The coconut flavor threw my kids off a bit, although I like it. And it can still be Primal although not Paleo =) …that’s how I justify it anyway. Lol. Thanks for giving me hope butter would work before taking the risk.

  28. Wanda says

    OMG. So… I made these for my son’s birthday, he turned 1 year old today. We were going to have the cupcakes tonight, but life happens and I decided to freeze them for the weekend. Except one… Cause baby isn’t a baby anymore, I’ve had a rough day and mama needed chocolate! Well, I’ve had baked goods made with coconut flour before and found them very heavy, more puck-like-than-cake-like. So I also expected that with these… And have never been happier to have been proven wrong. Cake texture, delicate but sturdy crumb, amazing richness without being heavy… Just pure cupcake glory. Gonna have to make WAY more of these!!! As a side note, I did use maple syrup instead of honey, used room temp eggs, and melted the oil too.

  29. Serena says

    These are great cupcakes but I have no idea how you get 12 cupcakes. The most I have gotten is 9 and I could in no way use a 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake.

  30. Erica M says

    These cupcakes are delicious little delights. I occassionally add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of ‘Enjoy Life’ chocolate chips to make a chocolate, chocolate chip version. So yummy and rich!

  31. Marci says

    These were really terrific! I subbed 1/4 c erythritol, 2 tbs of cream & 1 tsp of liquid stevia for the honey. I didn’t melt my coconut oil enough & added it with cold ingredients, so it was a little chunky, next time I will be more careful about this. I also tried to make it with my mixer rather than with my food processor, I won’t do that again! All in all a great cupcake, and nut free to boot!

  32. Diane says

    Hi Stacey don’t know whether this would work as a sub for eggs but in the book Breaking the vicious circle Elaine substituted puréed apple for eggs, I’ve made her almond muffins with puréed apple and they work,but haven’t tried it with Elana’s recipes.

  33. stacy says

    Anyone find a sub for the eggs? I want to make these for my sons birthday and he has a dairy and egg allergy. Thanks

  34. jessie says

    Hi Elana made your chocolate cupcakes to night and they were a delight, light as a feather, best ones I have ever made, the icing was a little tricky but worked and added and extra dimension to the cupcake. Love your site and the effort you have gone to to create these lovely recipes and then to share with the rest of us. Considering I am not much of a baker as in making cakes etc your recipes so simple and easy to follow. Love them. Thanks.

  35. heather says

    This recipe was a great find for me. I’m fairly picky when it comes to both chocolate and pale baked goods recipes, and this one is beautifully simple and results in tasty, very moist cupcakes. I substitute coconut sugar and it worked great. mmm.

  36. Holly C says

    I just made these cupcakes and the frosting… OMG!!! These are the BEST tasting cupcakes I have ever made from scratch. I can’t wait to try other recipes you have on your site.

  37. says

    Hi.. I am researching and learning about a grain free/gluten free lifestyle.. we are already dairy free.. But I have a question.. What do you recommend for those of us that don’t have a food processor? Will a regular blender work?

    Thank you again for these very delicious and simple recipes..

  38. Lisa says

    I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I had to comment on these. I was hesitant to try these ever since I tried coconut flour pancakes and hated them for their dry and funny taste. However, these are delicious!! They are easy, cheap, and have a great, moist taste. They are the closest thing I’ve tasted to a regular cupcake in a long time! Thank you!

  39. says

    Elana, I love your recipes. You were the one who made me realize I could survive my food allergies when I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. In the last year, I also went Paleo and love all the recipes you have been sharing this year that are Paleo-specific. I own all of your cookbooks and the last two years my birthday cakes have been a version of one of your cupcakes. Thanks for making it easy to eat and enjoy good food.

  40. Renee says

    I make these in a mini-cupcake tin (makes about 24). Once they are cooled, I pop them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Makes a delicious cold treat when you are craving chocolate or a cold dessert. I put the recipe in spark people and one mini cupcake is about 57 calories.

    • Tracee says

      Yes, they do in fact have a coconut flavor. I like coconut but my kids were thrown off by it. My next batch is going to be tested with grassfed butter instead of coconut oil. I know, I know, they won’t be Paleo any more, but they will be Primal. =)

  41. Lori says

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing these recipes! I just made these for the first time and cannot believe how delicious they are. I am looking forward to making them again for our family Thanksgiving dinner!

    I do not need to be on a gluten-free diet, but I know several who do. I am diabetic and the paleo treats are just divine! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  42. says

    I just wanted to say that I was DYING for a dessert this past Sunday and stumbled upon this recipe. We had all the ingredients (we’re Paleo…most of the time) and they were SO GOOD. Here it is Thursday and we’re already making them again! I also made your chocolate frosting using 60% Ghiardelli bittersweet chips – YUM!

  43. Sara says

    Elana, thank you so much for this recipe. With both gluten and corn allergies in my house, I was pleasantly surprised to find a cupcake recipe we could all eat safely. These turned out wonderfully and were so easy to make with simple ingredients. Thank you!

  44. Melissa says

    I just saw this recipe and HAD to try it!!!
    Some “healthier” modifications I made –

    1) No salt.
    2) 1/4 cup honey instead of 1/3 !
    3) About 1/6 cup coco oil instead of 1/4. I added in a couple of small scoops of organic unsweetened apple sauce for texture.

    The batter was AMAZING. It seriously reminded of being a kid and making brownies with my mom and licking the bowl clean!! My whole apartment smelled amazing as well! It made about 7 cupcakes, but I think the cupcake size of my tray is a little big.

    The cupcakes cooked and rose REALLY well!

    And OH MY GOSH they tasted so freaking good…no one would EVER know they were paleo!!! DELICIOUS!! Thanks so much :)

  45. Mattis says

    Hi, these look great! My doughters 1th b-day is coming up this week, i’ll try these for her party! Many thanks from Norway!

  46. Gina says

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what to substitute the eggs for in this recipe? I eat a Paleo diet and have a milk and egg allergy (but a giant sweet tooth!) Any suggestions would be HUGELY appreciated!

  47. Lori says

    Total hit with my kids and their mates. Ages 16 months to 6 years old! and of course my husband and I loved them as well! And I didn’t even have time to frost them so they were plain and awesome!! Super fast to make (all in about 30 mins) and had all the ingredients in the cupboard. My 4 year old wants me to make them again, of course. Thanks!!

  48. Lily says

    Made a half batch of these today exactly as written – delicious! I called them “chocolate muffins” to market them to the kids, hedging my bets in case they weren’t sweet, but they said “they taste like brownies!” Would definitely be a solid cupcake with frosting. Will make again.

  49. ~Kate F. says

    This is the most amazing paleo chocolate cake. I made a 3x batch and it fit a 13X9″ rectangular pan perfectly. Followed the recipe exactly. Be careful to use room temperature eggs so your coconut oil doesn’t solidify!! If that does happen to you, leave your batter bowl on top of your stove while the oven pre-heats. Stir it every 5 minutes or so, just until the coconut oil melts again. :)

  50. says

    Oh my! This will be a keeper for when the sweet cravings hit. Everyone here loved it. Thanks for sharing this easy to make recipe. Btw lazy me did not use my food processor, I just whisked everything up :P

  51. Andrea McGloin says

    These cupcakes look amazing, and like all of your recipes, I’m sure they will taste just as amazing. I have a question though and while I know you cannot answer it I’m hoping someone else will have some input. I love anything coconut, but sadly, I cannot eat it as it upsets my stomach sometimes for days. I recently bought some cacao butter and tried it today for the first time in place of coconut oil. Tasted wonderful in my cookie recipe and seemed to work. I’m wondering if I could use that in the cupcake recipe as well? And then maybe substitute almond flour instead of coconut flour, but perhaps that would make the cupcake too grainy?? Anyone have any ideas!

  52. says


    These were a hit with the under 10 and over 40 crowd. You’ve become my go-to resource for anything paleo dessert-y.

    Thank you SO much.


  53. amanda says

    Great recipe! I have made almost all your cupcake recipes and this one by far resembles the crumb of a “real” cupcake the most. Also I used maple syrup because I was out of raw honey and it still came out great. Freeze well also. Thank you!!

  54. Melissa says

    I made these a couple of days ago. I had all of the ingredients on hand except for the cacao powder so I used my gluten free protein powder instead and they came out great!

  55. Shannon says

    I made these cupcakes today using coconut oil that tastes more coconutty (tropical traditions is the brand we use) and they came out so yummy! Looking forward to your paleo icing :)

  56. Denise says

    I made these last night (frosted with a little stevia-sweetened whipped cream) and they are wonderful. This recipe made 8 cupcakes for me, too. They have just a little bit of coconut taste to go with the chocolate. I used coconut nectar instead of agave, and I also used dutch-process cocoa with no problems (you can’t always substitute one for the other). I confess, I also had one for breakfast this morning. I made these because I don’t have any almond flour on hand yet–I just discovered this blog last week (through “Wheat Belly” author William Davis’ blog, and ordered Elana’s two cookbooks right away. I can’t wait to try everything else!

  57. nikki says

    **How many cupcakes it makes?**

    8 cupcakes

    If you would like to fill a standard muffin pan that fits 12 make a 1 1/2 batch of this recipe (one recipe plus one cut in half)

    Made these last night & they are delicious.
    Perfect texture & fast recipe to make.
    Thought they would have strong egg taste but they don’t :D

    Used homemade chocolate hazelnut spread for frosting. So yummy & you need don’t too much.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe Elana!

  58. Lea G. says

    I find that vegan palm shortening makes GREAT frosting/icing. I make my own powdered sugar in my vitamix by mixing coconut palm sugar and arrowroot powder on the highest setting. After that, in a sauce pan add coconut milk (I like to use cashew milk for it’s creamy texture), cacoa powder and mix until well blendend then cool. Add the vegan palm shortening to the powdered sugar and use a hand blender then slowly drip in the cooled chocolate mixture. Wah-la!!! chocolate frosting. :-)

  59. Elena Ballam says

    From one Elena to another, thanks for this recipe. :) My husband and I are exploring paleo, and while we aren’t 100% committed at this point, most of our meals could be considered paleo. Just this week I made a batch of regular (chock full of sugar!) cupcakes for a bake sale, and after eating a few, I can legimitately say I feel like crap! I’m starting to realize that the “good” taste of sugar and flour-filled foods is just not worth the health implications and icky after feeling. Seeing this recipe posted today helps me to realize that there ARE options for sweet treats for paleos! Thanks!

  60. says

    Seeing these just cheered up my morning! I have everything in the house to make these today…too bad I didn’t see this in time to make them for…breakfast. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes, Elena!

  61. sej says

    I love your recipes! We are vegetarian and do not eat eggs but trying to incorporate as much grain free options as possible. Any thoughts of how to substitue for the eggs?

    Would really appreciate your guidance as I have been dying to try out the recipes.


  62. says

    I really want to include coconut oil in my diet, but have noticed that it’s stimulating affects cause me some sleep issues even when I consume the coconut oil in the morning. I end up getting up in the middle of the night… like, wide awake and ready to roll!!!
    Does anyone else have this issue.
    Thanks, Renee

  63. Karina says

    Coconut oil! I go through phases where I make myself take a fourth of a cup of coconut oil a day… unfortunatly it isn’t long before I become so disgusted with it I am not able to swallow it. Which is why I like chocolate recipes that call for it!

    • Alicia says

      I use coconut oil for cooking or greasing everything. I saute all of my vegetables in it and it gives them a nice flavor. It also helps to make my eggs super light and fluffy if I coat the pan in olive oil before cooking them.
      I also add a couple teaspoons to my tea or coffee substitute. It adds a bit of a sweetness to it so I don’t feel like I need to add any honey.I like to buy mine from Tropical Traditions because it is very high quality and I like their business ethics.

  64. Kathleen says

    Couldn’t wait for the frosting recipe, had to make these last night :) All I can say is YUM!! Thank you. My hand mixer worked just fine (don’t have a food processor). The recipe made eight beautiful cupcakes for me.

  65. says

    Love this post and the video. Can’t wait to try making this cupcake. It looks really delicious. I feel like you’ve given me a way to satisfy my demanding sweet tooth and palate in such health-affirming ways that I can let go of the conflict I used to have and just enjoy the new balance. Thank you, thank you. Deb

  66. Brenda D. Gaines says

    Coconut oil, according to the ‘Blood Type Diet’, Flocculates serum or precipitates serum proteins- for blood types A, and B, (both secreter and non secreter) type AB should AVOID: as it Enhances effect of other food toxins.
    And it is on the avoid list for type ‘O’ secreters and neutral for non-secreter.
    If a person doesn’t know their secreter status -if they do or don’t secrete their blood type antigens into their bodily fluids, like saliva- then they should follow the secreter status since 80% of use are secreters. So I don’t use coconut oil or flour or coconut.

  67. Kristy of Kendallville says

    Perfect timing for my husband’s birthday! Your recipes are a standard in our household, but I can’t wait to try this “almond-flour free” one out! I am eagerly awaiting your frosting recipe too!

    Thanks Elana!!

  68. Monique C. M. says

    I’ve been making a variation of these for a while now. :D
    You might want to add an extra egg depending on the size of the eggs you have (pasture eggs from farmers aren’t always the same size as supermarket ones), and the brand of coconut flour (some are dryer than others).
    I like mine less sweet so I swap quantities: 1/3 coconut oil, 1/4 maple syrup or honey. Also, melting unsweetened chocolate squares works too if you are out of cocoa powder, and i usually add a little more than 1/4 cup to make it more moist. Works for me. I hope this helps!
    Thanks for all the recipes, Elana!

  69. Maria says

    I’m looking forward to trying these…. I’ve been looking for more ways to incorporate coconut oil into my kids’ diets. On another note, I just made the banana muffins from your first book (I know, I’m a little slow) and my whole family went nuts for them. I think it’s great that they’re made with no added sweeteners. I let my bananas get nice and brown so they were extra sweet and they turned out just perfect. My kids would’ve eaten the entire batch the first day if I had let them. Thank you for such great recipes!

  70. says

    yay for healthy fats! coconut oil is on my shopping list, as i keep hearing amazing things about it.
    is it absolutely necessary to blend the ingredients in a processor? i don’t have one, unfortunately.

  71. Lynnette Foster-Horwith says

    Thank you thank you thank you for all you do! I can always trust that I’ll enjoy your recipes. You have been giving me the ability to feed myself now for 4 years. I honestly dont know what I would have done without you when I needed to change my diet those years ago. I’m so grateful to you for sharing your journey and recipes.

  72. says

    Mine made 8. I measured it fairly accurately, but had a little trouble getting it in the paper cups. I just filled the rest of the empty places halfway with water to help the muffin pan heat evenly.

  73. Christina says

    You are so wonderful to keep sharing with us. God bless you in your efforts. We appreciate it. One question though: isn’t coconut a “nut” and therefore not nut free?

  74. FR says

    Also, what do you recommend as a substitute for coconut oil? I just found out I am allergic to coconut. My doctor placed me on a a strict Paleo diet, with further restrictions due to multiple food allergies (coconut, rice, eggs, all nightshade veggies, parsley, vanilla, peppermint, oregano, zucchini…and the list goes on and on). I am supposed to use a rotation diet to avoid developing further food allergies, but am struggling to do this. MOst of the paleo baking recipes use coconut oil/flour and/or eggs. I welcome anything you can pass on about substitutes.

    • Lea G. says

      Perhaps Almond Flour if you don’t have a tree nut alergy. You could also try using ghee instead of coconut oil.

  75. FR says

    Have you tried using Avacado to make your frosting? There’s a recipe for avacado frosting in the “Everday Paleo” cookbook. I haven’t tried it but it sounds good.

  76. Clarissa says

    Thanks for the great recipe, I can’t wait to try these this weekend! I think I may substitute date syrup for the honey since the flavor profile of date syrup is really great with chocolate!

  77. says

    i use the cocoanut oil, also. My skin is so dry and especially my scalp gets so itchy. I put some on tips of fingers and rub it into scalp. It disappears in no time and is helpful for the itch. I read where a preacher was so affected by dimentia that he had to stop preaching. His wife started making him oatmeal with a couple of tablespoons of cocoanut oil in it and in a couple of weeks he started coming back!!!!! I use it for everything.

  78. says

    Wanted to tell you about a great icing for any cake or bar — soak dates in water for about an hour then drain and pulse in food processor until smooth Add a couple of tablespoons of liquid and spread — wonderful icing and so good for you. I used 2 or 3 tablespoons of half and half but you could use anything you wanted to make it more spreadable.

  79. says

    Oooh I’m very excited to try these. Holding out for that paleo frosting, though. I’m sure the coconut frosting from the cookbook would work well with this, too, though!

    Not only do I cook with coconut oil, but I use it as a nighttime moisturizer. I put tiny bit on my fingertips and rub it into my face and neck and I don’t ever wake up greasy.

    • says

      If you pulse the wet ingredients with the dry in the food processor it doesn’t matter. Mine was solid and it blended right up.

      • Rose says

        Is it supposed to be really liquidly after you pulse all of it together? Mine is like the consistently of a can of coconut milk?

  80. KB says

    “Did you ever notice that the rise of various brain disorders (ADD, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, etc.) happened to take place in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when fat free was all the rage? I think a lot of people’s brains were possibly malnourished by the pervasive lack of fat in the Standard American Diet during this period.”

    I have to take issue with this. I’m autistic and have two kids on the spectrum. They come from different marriages so it’s pretty obvious I passed my genes on to them.

    I have my theories about where I got my autistic traits and they have nothing to do with eating fat-free. My mother was a nurse so she had her family eating a well-balanced diet. Butter was always on the table for veggies and my father could grill a mean steak (for the record, my brother and I were rail thin as kids and very active). My kids also eat well-balanced, healthy meals.

    Also my husband and one of my children have ADHD. It is a biochemical/neurological condition in which the frontal lobes of the brain are “asleep,” thus the reason stimulants are an effective treatment. Diet alone neither causes it nor cures it – keeping certain processed and artificial foods off the plate helps, but it’s not a panacea.

    There wasn’t a “rise” in these conditions during the ’80s and ’90s. It’s that we became more aware of these things because the stigmas surrounding mental and neurological disorders started going away and because they became more talked about in the media. We also started debunking phonies in the medical industry such as Bruno Bettelheim, who blamed autism on poor mothering, which made way for research that was more valid.

    Experts have known about autism since before World War II. A doctor was describing children with ADHD in 1798. We’ve known about Alzheimer’s for over 100 years, Parkinson’s for almost 200… just because there weren’t labels to identify them back then doesn’t mean they were more rare.

    You’re entitled to your opinion; however, please be fair when doing so and base it on facts.

    • Michele says

      These are excellent points KB. No matter what decade we are in, it seems we are always hypnotized by misinformation. We always think we are “right” about things, to later be shown we really have no idea.

      Since my so-called “neurological health issues” have not improved after years of following all the “most healthiest diet regimes and claims”, I have wondered if the (seeming) increase in disease/allergies could be more related to our toxic water supply. What if our immune systems have become compromised by water (and the ripple of its toxicity), yet making it present as issues with food or allergies or whatnot? It wouldn’t be the first time that plagues based on water happened, and we know how history likes to repeat itself. It is kind of interesting how we seem to generally ignore all the news about toxic water, yet we continually get transfixed on “miracle cures”.

      Plus, if we actually looked at the ripple effect of ramping up coconut production in the world to meet a growing demand for the oils/milks/waters, I wonder if it would look as miraculous. For instance, take a look at what increasing palm oil production has done to ecosystems like in Borneo. The sweet face of a baby orangutan gives you an idea. Lately I have been leaning more towards using local butter made from happy organic grass-fed dairy cows, and am getting ready to make ghee with it. Is that better? I have no idea.

      That said, as you point out, we also seem to have “genetic issues” that keep us guessing too. Bottom line, there are no best, easy, or guaranteed answers. In the meantime, it must be okay to eat cupcakes sometimes .. a comfort food that brings a simple joy.

      • RM says

        how many of you with neurological conditions like autism, multiple sclerosis, etc, have actually gotten tested for lyme disease, mycoplasma, herpes viruses, and other tick borne infections? Do any of you have any idea that mycoplasma and tick borne infections can still wreck havoc on your health despite healthy eating if they go untreated? I have a child with an autism, ADHD and ODD labels. Guess what is really wrong with him? Lyme disease, two viruses, mycoplasma infection, and possibly other tick borne infections we are testing for this week. Also has an autoimmune disease that affects his brain and was triggered by these illnesses.
        We should focus on good nutrition and clean eating, but we should also rule infections that can be making our brains and bodies sick.

    • Rachel says

      “I’m autistic and have two kids on the spectrum. They come from different marriages so it’s pretty obvious I passed my genes on to them.”

      Both your kids would have been on very similar diets, most likely the same sort of diet you grew up on. Genetics play a part, but do you deny that toxins, poisons, drugs, exposure etc affect the body in a negative way? And if you don’t deny it, then why discredit the fact that food, the very substance that all humans need in order to keep organs functioning, blood pumping, toxins dispelling, cells forming, could be causing severe effects on our health if the wrong foods are eaten?

      For instance, cows “can” eat corn, just as we “can” eat sugar in the sense that it goes in one end, makes us feel full, and comes out the other. But what it’s doing at a biochemical level is important: Cows have neutral PH stomachs. Corn increases the acidity of the stomach dramatically, causing all sorts of health problems – for instance: liver disease. “Cows are biologically designed to eat grass, so their livers are unable to process the corn. The cows’ livers would actually explode if they were permitted to grow to full maturity, but we slaughter them first.” –

      So, what are you biologically designed to eat? What effect would foods that you weren’t designed to eat have on your health, or your kids health? I can guarantee chocolate cupcakes, coconut flour or not, certainly aren’t on the list of foods we were biologically designed to eat.

      “I have my theories about where I got my autistic traits and they have nothing to do with eating fat-free.”

      What is your theory?

      There’s plenty of scientific evidence that fat is vital and necessary to human health in assimilating nutrients, creating hormones, building cell membranes, etc, and especially to the brain as it’s something like 75% cholesterol. The nutrient content of natural fat vs. some processed food (even processed fats) which has been heated to oblivion, genetically modified, molecularly altered, doused with neurotoxins or not properly prepared in a way which allows our body to digest it and absorb it’s nutrients isn’t comparable.

      Scientists say that eating sugar is actually worse than eating nothing because it not only provides zero nutritional value, but it leeches nutrients and minerals from your bones, blood, and body. Do you think your brain is exempt from damage?

      “My mother was a nurse so she had her family eating a well-balanced diet. Butter was always on the table for veggies and my father could grill a mean steak (for the record, my brother and I were rail thin as kids and very active). My kids also eat well-balanced, healthy meals.”

      So, what is your idea of “well-balanced” and “healthy” meals? If you want to eat “well-balanced” for your body you have to eliminate the foods it wasn’t meant to consume, ie: your “corn”. Do you have bread on the table? Do you give your kids sugar in any form – including honey, agave nectar (which is actually higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup and is incredibly damaging to the body and arteries), or any other “healthy” sweet alternative? Are they eating fruit? Do you drink juice? Pasteurized milk, non fat yogurt and dairy products which are just glorified sweets almost devoid of nutrients? Tortillas? Packaged foods which contain a preservative? Or say “natural flavors” – aka MSG? (See: Scientific explanation as to why sugar is “Toxic” ) Also, read up on the cause of Type II Diabetes, which is a 100% avoidable degenerative disease caused by diet. Autoimmune diabetes is obviously a different story.

      If you’re eating a moderate protein, high fat, minimal carb (meaning vegetables only, and in limited amounts) then yes, you are eating what your BODY would consider to be a “well-balanced” diet. It’s not rocket science, it’s a mixture of history and science. What were our bodies DESIGNED to eat? Do we achieve a healthful response or a negative response biochemically when these foods are consumed? And what are the consequences of eating things it isn’t designed to eat?

      “Also my husband and one of my children have ADHD. It is a biochemical/neurological condition in which the frontal lobes of the brain are “asleep,” thus the reason stimulants are an effective treatment.”

      Pesticides are neurotoxins. Do you eat produce? What else is a neurotoxin? MSG: Smoke flavoring, anything that contains soy, malt, caseinate, carageenan, beef “flavoring” or anything that says “flavoring” (this list goes on quite a while). Do any of your foods contain this? Probably a healthy portion of them do (no pun intended).

      “Diet alone neither causes it nor cures it – keeping certain processed and artificial foods off the plate helps, but it’s not a panacea.”

      So you admit that it helps – why not go all the way by going on an ALL FOODS diet (not everything the Western Diet calls “food” is actually food by definition; if it was then rocks, asphalt and bleach would be considered “food” as well) and eliminating everything which you know is detrimental to your health? (you’d have to be actively avoiding seeking information on nutrition to not realize how unhealthy carbs, toxins, chemicals, and GMOs are). The first thing people think is that diet too “extreme”. I’d say it’s a lot more “extreme” to live with and cause disease just so you can eat a cookie or a cupcake.

      “There wasn’t a “rise” in these conditions during the ’80s and ’90s. It’s that we became more aware of these things because the stigmas surrounding mental and neurological disorders started going away and because they became more talked about in the media. We also started debunking phonies in the medical industry such as Bruno Bettelheim, who blamed autism on poor mothering, which made way for research that was more valid.”

      Good point – I think it would be difficult to prove a rise in mental and neurological disorders, whereas physical disorders are often evident in the corpse long after its been in the ground. However, do a quick research project on the rate of these diseases in populations which consume a more traditional diet (aka natural, low carb) vs the staggering numbers in Western populations. Also, the rise in these and other degenerative diseases, and early onset in children, in countries that are only recently switching over to modern western diets, like Japan.

      With all our advanced Western medicine, should we really have such a sick population?

      “Experts have known about autism since before World War II. A doctor was describing children with ADHD in 1798. We’ve known about Alzheimer’s for over 100 years, Parkinson’s for almost 200… just because there weren’t labels to identify them back then doesn’t mean they were more rare.”

      And yet neuroscientists are warning the population that MSG (in its many forms, see above), prescription drugs, artificial ingredients and sweeteners, vaccines, and food additives actually cause these diseases – Here’s how: and .

      So, since genetics may play a small part in predisposing people to certain illnesses, should we all just throw in the towel and succumb to these degenerative diseases? “According to former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, of the 2.4 million deaths that occur in the United States each year, 75% are the result of avoidable nutritional factor diseases.” – and that is the MOST conservative statistic I could find.

      “You’re entitled to your opinion; however, please be fair when doing so and base it on facts.”

      I agree. Let’s stick to the facts. Read up on Dr. Ron Rosedale, Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Weston A. Price to start out. You’ll find a lot of consolidated information on Healing Naturally by Bee. Get healthy.

      Parting thought: Why do you think you’re not hearing about this on every news channel? Michelle Obama, our own First Lady, can’t even seem to be heard! She’s been preaching this to children for a couple years now. The pharmaceutical industry is the second largest industry in the world. The USDA is run by people who have financial motivation to support the current food industry. WHERE is the money? Who speaks the loudest? It’s not paranoia, it’s just thinking for yourself. Don’t let them do it for you.

      • Rachel says

        P.s. I have been diagnosed with: Chronic pancreatitis, pre-diabetes, reactive hypoglycemia, PCOS, multiple food allergies and chemical sensitivities, Sjogren’s Syndrome, anxiety, depression, ADHD, scoliosis, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, mitral valve prolapse … I can keep going. I’m young, active, always been in shape, ate the “healthy, balanced” Western Diet. I believed all this stuff was hooey until I got desperate enough to begin the all fat, protein and limited vegetable diet. I now take no medication and most of my “diseases” and symptoms have evanesced… So this is coming from one “sick” person to another.

    • laura3gsd says

      kb, could not say it better. In fact I had a more simple comment and that is to say that my grandmother on my mothers side died from alzheimers when I was 2 (1965) and so did my mother (2010); neither were into low fat cooking and eating; neither am I. I don’t believe the correlation is there; but that the coconut oil has something extra that can pass through and feed the brain and therefor is beneficial. That is not necessarily so with other fats. All this said, I am trying to get onto a grain free diet (baby steps!) because thus far, unlike other diet recommendations, it makes me feel good physically. I am greatful to bloggers who share these recipes. :)

  81. says

    I made these today and they’re delicious! I tried a chocolate frosting, but I think they might do even better with a cream cheese frosting since they remind me of a carrot bran muffin or carrot cake. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

  82. alexandra says


    You are a gd send! And your timing is perfect! I cannot handle sugar or agave, I just don’t digest them and many problems result, but I have been craving yummy sweets and been unable to make them. Thank you for adding cupcakes to your paleo recipes! :) you made my day and tummy!

    Yay for a sweet I’ve been craving that won’t make me sick!

  83. says

    My mother-in-law was JUST telling me about this video on coconut oil! I think you’re absolutely correct in the correlation between the fat-free craze and the increase of brain disorders, and I hope that we can gradually raise awareness that healthy fats, like coconut oil, should be embraced!

    I can’t wait to try these cupcakes. Your recipes never disappoint!

  84. rachel says

    how about a good gluten free/paleo baked goods recipe for all the zucchini from the garden! thanks to anyone who can help.

  85. MamaCassi says

    i love how you grow and change and share your new insights with delicious food. thank you! i’ll certainly be looking for the frosting!!!! that’s one recipe we just can’t seem to nail outside of the traditional buttercream version, which 3-4x a year isn’t too bad, but this mama wouldn’t mind offering more treats w/ frosting!

  86. says

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I can’t believe those are grain-free; they look amazing. I would love to get your cupcake cookbook if anyone can direct me to where it is sold?

  87. Betty says

    You are amazing Elana and I soo appreciate how you share your recipes with us. This is my go-to website whenever I need to bake or cook. I also appreciate it when you share what you are learning about your health and what is working for you. Those of us with auto-immune diseases often have to learn on our own because there are so few doctors who think diet has anything to do with it. Anything you share that is working for you is so helpful. Can’t wait to make these!

  88. says

    These look delicious! I use your recipes all the time and always get rave reviews and people are shocked when they find out they are paleo :) thanks so much!

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