Home » desserts » (Supreme!) Homemade Keto Hostess Cupcakes 🍫

(Supreme!) Homemade Keto Hostess Cupcakes 🍫

These gluten free and keto hostess cupcakes likely need no introduction! Think a deliciously tender low carb chocolate cupcake, all filled up with a scrumptious vanilla buttercream and dipped in a chocolate glaze!

Gluten Free & keto hostess cupcakes with vanilla buttercream
Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes

Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes 🍫

i.e. Little Debbies, ‘Pinguinos’ et al!

Whether you dub them hostess cupcakes or Little Debbies, you might be surprised to hear that iterations of this highly American sweet treat are found across the world! In Mexico, for instance, they’re known as ‘pinguinos’ (penguins!); and so whipping these up for you guys surely brought me back to my childhood!

And while they’re traditionally filled with a marshmallow fluff sorta thing, I took the liberty of whipping up a scrumptious vanilla buttercream in place. A little different, but oh-so-delicious!

Fact is, feel free to think of these guys as little fat bomb cupcakes! Just be sure to use a grass-fed butter for maximum nutritional benefits: it’s loaded with Vitamin-K2 (which de-calcifies your arteries), anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate, among many other perks. So if you have to choose just one product to splurge on, this is it.

The Method

The chocolate cupcakes are a spinoff of my classic keto chocolate cake! Having said that, they have a couple extra ingredients to make them a little bit sturdier (to handle the cutout and filling).

The most important thing with chocolate-anything? The baking time! Just be sure to take them out as soon as they’re set and a toothpick comes out clean (a few specks are cool).

You’ll then allow them to cool completely before cutting them out (with a paring knife or an actual round cutter), fill them up with vanilla buttercream and dip them in a chocolate glaze! Swirls optional… but highly suggested!

Filling keto chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream
Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes

The Sweetener

You’ve got plenty of options for the chocolate cupcakes. Think xylitol and allulose (no aftertaste), Lakanto (barely any aftertaste), and Swerve (some slight cooling sensation). Xylitol takes (much) longer to ‘dry out’ though so your cupcakes will be extra delicate right after baking, so just keep that in mind.

Fun fact: it might also be my taste buds here, but I’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So I cannot recommend enough that you don’t use stevia-based sweeteners here.

Oh, and if just paleo or gluten free (or not restricted by sugars), simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.

And for the vanilla buttercream, your best options are Lakanto powdered (twice as sweet) and xylitol. But they must be powdered.

So if you’re using xylitol: get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!

Closeup gluten free & keto hostess chocolate cupcakes
Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes

The Flours

To turn hostess cupcakes keto you’ll need some super fine almond flourgolden flaxseed meal, coconut flour and a touch of xanthan gum.

Just keep in mind that for best texture and rise, you’ll always want to regrind your flaxseed meal in a dry blender or bullet.

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds. And for coconut I always favor Anthony’s here (honestly best taste by a mile!).

The Chocolate

You’ll want to use a Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa here. As there’s baking powder involved, using cacao won’t give the same results (at all!).

In terms of brands, my favorite will forever be Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world.

And for the chocolate glaze, you can either use Lily’s chips (completely sugar free) or a dark chocolate (say 70-90%).

Keto hostess cupcakes with vanilla buttercream filling
Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes
Freshly glazed keto hostess cupcakes
Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes

Gluten Free & keto hostess cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes

These gluten free and keto hostess cupcakes likely need no introduction! Think a deliciously tender low carb chocolate cupcake, all filled up with a scrumptious vanilla buttercream and dipped in a chocolate glaze!
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
4.96 from 23 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 cupcakes
Calories 285 kcal


For the chocolate cupcakes

For the vanilla filling

For the chocolate glaze


For the chocolate cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line (or grease and dust with cocoa) a muffin pan, set aside. 
  • Add almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking powder and xanthan gum to a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined, set aside. 
  • Add butter, heavy cream, cocoa powder and salt to a large heatproof bowl. Melt over a water bath whisking constantly (or use the microwave in small bursts). Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. 
  • Add in the sweetener and one egg at a time, whisking well after each one until completely incorporated. The texture should appear smooth and thick, with all the sweetener dissolving into the mixture (if using erythritol, some granules may remain). Add the flour mixture, whisking vigorously until fully blended (about a minute). Divide the batter into prepared muffin pan. 
  • Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Always keep in mind, however, that your cupcakes will continue to cook while cooling! 
  • Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes in the muffin pan. They'll be particularly fragile right out of the oven, so you need to let them set. Keep stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 

For the vanilla filling

  • Add the butter, sweetener and salt to medium bowl and cream with an electric mixer for 6-9 minutes until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract and feel free to add a little heavy cream (about a tablespoon), for a lighter filling. 

For the chocolate glaze

  • Heat the cream until it just begins to bubble, add in the chocolate and remove from heat. Stir until melted and add in the butter. Sugar free chocolate sometimes needs a little more heat and heavy cream to reach the right consistency, so feel free to use a water bath if need be. 

To assemble

  • Cut a hole onto the top of each cupcake with a paring knife or a cutter, keeping the cutout. Pipe (or spoon!) a dollop of vanilla buttercream onto each cupcake, close with reserved cutout and dip in the chocolate glaze. Pipe a swirly squiggle across the top and enjoy!


*Please see section on sweeteners for deets and possible substitutions. Just keep in mind that stevia doesn't work (at all!) for these! 
**Feel free to make a cream cheese buttercream! Simply sub half of the butter for cream cheese. 
Please note that nutrition facts were estimated for the cupcakes with the filling and the glaze. The chocolate cupcakes solo are only 2g net carbs. 


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.5g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Keyword gluten free, keto, low carb
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!


  1. Trish says:

    5 stars
    Yum! I’ve filled myself up on eating the cake centre crumbs! I’m a bigger fan of stevia than monkfruit so i did use a ethritol-stevia blend for my cake base. Very happy, thanks for the recipe 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    I made these today and they were awesome! My husband tried my keto baking and is usually disappointed that there is no gluten in them- ha! He said this recipe was the best I’d ever made! Even my littlest one who hates most keto baking asked for another, which made my entire day. Thanks Paola!

  3. Miriam Fleming says:

    5 stars
    The BEST keto anything I have ever had! The cake was super fluffy and had extra rich chocolate flavor For which I used allulose 1/2 cup. Filling was perfect made with powdered lakanto The glaze tasted great but not sure what I did bc it wasn’t shiny seemed like the mixture broke down and once it cooled got kind of dried in color, but still tasted great. any suggestions on this? Also wasn’t sure what to make the white squiggles out of , the filling didn’t seem right for it so I used swerve and cream to make a pipe thick glaze.

  4. Robin says:

    5 stars
    These are the best cupcakes!! My non keto family requests them and I always make a second batch. I followed the recipe the first time exactly as written, but my family prefers them without the cream center and just the chocolate on top. I do suggest sifting all the dry ingredients.

  5. Sharon B says:

    5 stars
    Superb! Followed recipe exactly except for minor product choices used: Kerry Gold butter salted, so eliminated any additional salt, allulose sweetener choice for cake, and Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips + liquid stevia to sweeten for ganache. So satisfyingly good for dinner’s dessert course, hubby and I ate them for breakfast the next morning with our keto coffee! (If I could give you 6 stars I would. Hostess will want your recipe. 🙂 )

  6. Mary Jane Augustine says:

    Haven’t made these yet, but I will. Can these be frozen and thawed out for a later use. I am going on a trip and would love to take these to my girl friends. But it is a 3 day drive. Would hate for them to be dried out by then.

  7. Judy Morin says:

    Have you ever tried Monk fruit? I like Monkfruit in the Raw as is doesn’t have any sugar alcohols, some of which cause me to have “tummy problems”.

  8. Ron Chipman says:

    4 stars
    Hi Paola !

    We’ve tried many of your recipes with moderately good success, but I really blew it this time 😥

    Notes for everyone else, so you can do better.

    (1) Please read her notes, not just the recipe. Ie., Blend up the flaxseed – I did not, and the cake was really grainy.

    (2) I thought I got powdered sweeteners. Guess not. This just added to the graininess.

    (3) on the butter cream, I tried to ‘cream’ things together, but I just got a liquidy, grainy, kind of brownish-White glob. That’s the best I can describe it.

    (4) Read the yield. I somehow thought it made 12, but it was for 6, so as you can imagine, my cakes were very thin, maybe an inch 😩. This makes it very hard to fill with cream.

    (5) I did make just 1 cake first, to see how it came out. From there, I added 2 Tbs of Sour cream to make them a little more moist. Maybe helped, don’t really know…

    Here’s to trying to be better next time 🤦‍♂️🙄

  9. Adrianne says:

    5 stars
    This was fantastic. I had to make some subs because I only had raw cacao and almond milk. I used just 1/2 a tsp of baking powder and 1/2 a tsp of baking soda and used slightly less almond milk and they were still fantastic! I also subbed a 1/2 tsp of guar gum for the xantham and the texture was still fantastic. This totally fit the needs of my chocolate cravings!

  10. Serenity M Simpson says:

    5 stars
    AMAZING is all that’s needed to say! This is so delicious and with no weird texture or taste. Wow!

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