peanut butter chocolate chip gluten free flourless cupcakes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

 I thought these gluten free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes would be a breeze to make.  I was wrong.  A dozen batches later, here is the recipe.

Print Recipe
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Serves:11or 12 cupcakes
  1. In a large bowl, with a hand blender, mix peanut butter, agave and eggs until creamy
  2. Blend in salt and baking soda
  3. Fold in peanuts and chocolate
  4. Scoop batter one heaping ¼ cup at a time into a paper lined muffin pan
  5. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes
  6. Cool for 2 hours
  7. Top with Vegan Chocolate Frosting
  8. Serve

Just a warning, my cupcakes were a little “sinky,” meaning they kinda collapsed after I took them out of the oven.  This is easily remedied by adding more frosting to the top, to disguise the divet.  Enjoy!

I seem to be receiving an extraordinary amount of ingredient substitution/recipe modification queries not only on this website, but on my twitter and facebook accounts as well.

I do want to note, that for this recipe (and all of my others) feel free to change any of the ingredients you wish.  I cannot, however, project how the recipe will turn out with honey instead of agave, egg substitute instead of eggs, chunky peanut butter instead of smooth, etc.  I create hundreds of recipes each year, testing several recipes each day, some of them many times over just to get them exactly right using the very specific ingredients that I use.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any way of determining if your substitutions will work when you experiment.

Why is this? I don’t want to lead any of you astray and give advice on something that I haven’t tested myself (and ingredients I haven’t used) as I really don’t think that would be fair to you all.  What I can recommend, is taking a look at my forums for advice from others on how they have adapted my recipes.

For now, there is only one of me… so I want to give a major shout out to all of you readers who come onto my site (and Facebook and Twitter) and share substitution results in the comments of this site and in the forums.  Thanks a million!!!


  1. Christine says

    Delicious! My girls have declared these are my best muffins yet. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 20 muffins, each a scant quarter cup as I scooped them. I did not have peanuts, so I used pecans, which worked fine with the peanut butter. I used a small amount of maple syrup, a smaller amount of raw honey, and a bit of liquid stevia. Light texture, thanks to few eggs. Elana, you are sweet to share your recipes here, and talented in the kitchen. Thanks!

  2. Katherine says

    I’m wondering why you used a hand mixer here instead of your food processor which you used in every other recipe that I’ve made so far?

    I made these last night with my mom. It was so funny because she was so confused and kept asking, “where’s the flour?” I kept explaining and she couldn’t grasp what peanut butter and nut flour actually are!
    We made 8 regular sized which filled the cups about halfway but they puffed up to the top and a tiny bit dropped out. Next time I’ll make 9. They didn’t sink much at all. I used whole foods 365 brand peanut butter which was extremely liquidy and the chips sank to the bottom. They are very rich and I can’t finish one without water but they’re very good. I haven’t even frosted them yet and they’re fine with out any. Best part is that they didn’t stick to the muffin liners at all like others I’ve made.

    • Elana says

      Thanks for your comment Katherine! This recipe is an oldie but goodie from 2010. At that time I had not yet discovered that my food processor could be used for just about anything! So glad to hear these were very good :-)

  3. Julie says

    I saw a few comments about using something other than peanuts and peanut butter. Other than almonds and almond butter has anyone used anything else like cashew butter and cashews? If so how was the flavor? I really want to make these for family and friends that would prefer “Real” cupcakes.

  4. Glyn says

    Yum, I just made these for dessert tonight and they are very delicious! I substituted out the agave nectar for 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 2 tbsp melted butter and 1 tbsp xylitol (to cut down on the sugar a little) and I made them in a mini cupcake tin. The recipe yielded 17 mini cupcakes and they rose beautifully – no issues with sinking after cooling. The cupcakes are moist and wonderfully peanutty (I know this because I ate one still steaming from the oven!) and I’m about to serve them with homemade, sugar-free chocolate sauce. Thanks Elana, I’m loving your recipes!

  5. Kelly says

    Hi, I am just curious if anyone knows what chocolate drops are. I checked out the amazon link Elana posted, but I’m still confused. They look like little chunks of chocolate. Yet the recipe doesn’t say to melt them or chop them. Am I missing something? I would like to use what I have on hand at home. Has anyone use cocoa powder or bakers chocolate to make these? If so, did you melt the bakers chocolate? Or possibly grind it up prior to mixing into the batter. Is it ok to just use cocoa powder?


    • JJNMama says

      You don’t melt them, you just mix them into the batter like chocolate chips. You want them whole in the batter. I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips in mine, soooo good!

  6. Leslie says

    I used maple syrup instead of agave. This recipe only made 4 cupcakes however. I followed instructions precisely, no sinking. I did feel the cupcakes were a bit dry. Without the icing they are indeed like a muffin. I am going to try to sub an overripe banana for the sugar, to see if I can get away with no sweetener at all!

  7. Beth in Holland says

    good recipe. Filling the cups more than halfway full worked better for me, and the sinky problem was minimal. Hard to believe they turned out somwell without any flour at all.

  8. QueenJellyBean says

    Hello my fellow gluten free and celiac friends. Tonight I whipped this recipe (and the suggested chocolate frosting) up in my Vitamix after work. For the cupcakes I subbed almond butter for the peanut butter, and raw chopped hazelnuts for the peanuts. I used big-yellow-bag Nestles morsels for chocolate chips.

    Well, these were great. My super picky writer friend took one bite and did the deep-guttoral “rrmmm” noise. That makes you know for sure that these are crowd-pleasingly good. The picky friend always makes snarky remarks about my GF and SF ingredients, but not tonight. Thanks Elana!!!

    This is about the tenth Elana recipe I’ve made, and this one is particularly good. Good because these are a pleasure to eat. Good because gluten eating people loved them. It’s a pleasure to be able to share the food I made, and people actually eat it and enjoy it too.

  9. says

    I turned these into a bar and LOVE them! It was simply because I was too lazy to deal with individual cupcakes. I also used honey and enjoyed that as well!

    Thanks for the recipe, Elana.

  10. natalia says

    Okay wow these are amazing!
    After trying a few gluten free recipes lately, I decided to add about 4 tablespoons of almond flour and chopped walnuts to this batter on the first try and then baked them for 22 minutes…turned out amazing! Fluffy and light…as a feather…no sinking in the middle either! I used the Jk flour…cool thing is the distributor lives where i do…Toronto!
    The only thing i have been reading is that agave makes you gain weight like crazy…anyone have thoughts on that?

  11. Sylvia says

    I can’t wait to try these for my best friends baby shower! She has a terrible gluten allergy, so I’m sure these will work just perfectly for her. I was looking for peanut butter cupcakes and these just look divine! Can’t wait to try them. Kudos.
    Digital Kitchen Scale

  12. colormepink says

    I’ve made these twice now- full size and mini. The mini baked in 13 to 15 minutes and sank a bit. The second batch was made with peanut butter in the bottom of the jar that was thicker (my kids refuse to stir in the oil). This stiffer peanut butter resulted in practically no sinking.

  13. Tonia says

    I made these with almond butter instead of peanut butter and with slivered almonds instead of peanuts and they turned out amazing! The batter was a bit runny so the chocolate chips sank to the bottom of the cupcake…but it was a nice surprise to bite into the cupcake and see all the chocolate chips at the bottom. My kids loved them…and the leftover icing we used to dip fresh strawberries with! Excellent recipe!!

  14. Kara in China says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I live in China, so it is impossible for me to find all the unusual flours in most GF recipes. (I’ve even struggled to find rice flour — go figure) Life has been a little rough as a celiac in a country where that is unheard of. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the ingredient list on this recipe!

    I substituted honey for agave, and I made mine in mini muffin tins. I don’t know whether it was the honey or the fact that I overbaked them a bit, but mine didn’t sink.

    I’m going to leave them “naked” and eat them as muffins. I almost cried when I pulled the first one out of the pan and saw the beautiful soft inside! I will be making these many more times!

  15. Karen says

    Just pulled a batch out of the oven, didn’t even wait to frost them or let them cool off before I tried one. Oh what heaven! Thank you – as Mia said you work very hard and the results definitely show!

  16. Ruth J. Hirsch says

    Hooray Elana!

    It occurred to me that we have in you the One Woman Artist– Food Artist– doing the work of a Gluten Free Cooks Illustrated. Which has a whole team.
    Thank you for your great care and recipe testing.

    I loved your Cupcake Oddessy. And your musings as you go along. Thank you for all the sharing.

    I have a wonder and a wish.As someone who is not now– but once was fat/chunky/chubby/Rubenesque, you get the idea– I am so aware of Almond Flour treats, which I LOVE as on the calorie dense side. And it is so much fun to be able to eat more-than-one of yum things.

    I wonder if you would consider doing some Meringues. Sweet meringues, savoury ones. Ones with local eggs, ones using Eggology or other liquid whites. It would be so appreciated. We used to get meringues when I was a kid. I have tried doing them sans sugar. One batch, sweetened mostly w raisins and cinnamon– was quite good. Could not replicate. Tried savoury, with some parm cheese. Sort of work as a cracker–made on a parchment covered cookie sheet and cut up. I need some actual recipe help here.

    Please. Please please please!



  17. says

    Well, I tried this recipe with 1/4 cup agave and 1/4 cup maple syrup, and then added a 1/2 cup of almond meal instead of the roasted peanuts as I was a bit scared at how runny the mixture was. And they worked out fantastic! No dint on the top either! Delish nutty, chocky dense cupcake. Thanks Elana for another great recipe – my kids are loving this and it is further motivating me to go completely gluten-free.

  18. says

    Thank you for the seed butter Elana that arrived today. Now thinking of yummy ways to use it :)

    Love the Blueberry muffins and I’ve printed this recipe to try also. Your efforts in creating these recipes is very much appreciated.

  19. Gamze says


    The recent cupcake recipe pictures look really nice, but I would like to see how it looks when you cut it in the middle, so we can get an idea about texture.. Great job..

  20. says

    These. Look. Stunningly delicious. Borderline dangerously delicious. I’ve been on a bit of a peanut butter kick, myself, lately… okay, I confess, I am ALWAYS on a peanut butter kick… so these are seriously my dream come true. Can’t wait to make an egg-free version for myself! :)
    Thank you!

  21. says

    I’m loving your month of cupcakes! I’m new to gluten free living (the headaches are gone!), and I love to see how simple gluten free baking can be. Thanks for inspiring and demystifying a somewhat daunting process :)

  22. Mia says

    Oh no! Cupcake Month is almost winding down…is there any hope to see a Red Velvet Cupcake or perhaps a Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake?…

    Also wanted to say thank you so very much Elana for all the testing and sacrificing with materials you must do to bring us these recipes. The ingredients are very expensive so precision really is the key so we don’t waste our time and money.

    I have felt a little guilty when talking about substitutions I use because these are your hard earned recipes. But I can honestly say the majority of the recipes I tweak come out so well that I couldn’t be happier with the results. I feel like you have given me the foundation to work with and I just build my own custom touches from there. So you are the contractor and I am the finish carpenter in other terms :o).

    Thank you again for all that you do!
    Big Blessings….

  23. Erika says

    Hooray for the month of cupcakes!! Our GF family is so enjoying these recipes, and I can’t wait to try this one too.

  24. Kimberly says

    Wow! These look SO yummy! Can’t wait to try them. I will have to experiment with almond butter as I can’t do peanut butter.

    I was wondering if you could give me an idea as to how much almond flour or other nut products you eat a day. I’m fairly new to this grain free thing and don’t know how much people typically eat a day of baked things like bread, muffins etc. I know desserts everyday is not good, but I’m talking about other baked stuff like sandwich bread. LOVE your blog and I have your fabulous book:) Thanks for all your hard work. Do you always eat what you bake(a dozen batches of these babies)?

  25. says

    I really need to start baking up some of your cupcake recipes – they keep getting better and better! This sounds like heaven.

  26. Emily says

    Oh my. These sound and look fantastic!!
    My husband says next time you have a dozen trial batches of cupcakes, will send us the “mess ups”? Lol :-)

  27. Shelley says

    Thank you so much for all the cupcake recipes this month! My celiac husband and son are in heave (as am I!). I adapted your flourless chocolate cupcakes a bit and had a smashing success! I used fresh orange juice rather than vanilla and added a T of orange zest to the batter. Then I added orange zest to whip cream and again replaced vanilla with fresh orange juice! Everyone who ate them was speechless! Thanks again for a fabulous recipe!!!

  28. colormepink says

    Oh dear, I think I’m going to have to get some elastic-waist pants by the end of this month! My husband will be happy to try these!

  29. says

    I’m amazed that there aren’t more eggs in this… can’t wait to try them… YUMMY! I will definitely be making them with honey since we have switched off agave and I expect the result will be just as delicious… can you imagine… honey, peanut butter, chocolate…

  30. Robyn Baldwin says

    Oh, I think you have taken me over the edge. There is no greater combination that chocolate and peanut butter. Oh yeah, these are being made tonight. ;0]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will need to be approved before it will appear on the site. For substitutions, the only way to know is to try!