Supreme Homemade Hostess Cupcakes 🍫 gluten free & keto

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.

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The Method

The chocolate cupcakes are a spinoff of our 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

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free, keto, low carb
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 cupcakes
Calories: 285 kcal

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.

Print

Ingredients

For the chocolate cupcakes

For the vanilla filling

For the chocolate glaze

Instructions

For the chocolate cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line (or grease and dust with cocoa) a muffin pan, set aside. 

  2. Add almond flour, flaxseed meal, coconut flour, baking powder and xanthan gum to a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined, set aside. 

  3. 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. 

  4. 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. 

  5. 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! 

  6. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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!

Recipe Notes

*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. 

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free & Keto Hostess Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 271mg 11%
Potassium 146mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 7.5g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 14.7%
Calcium 5.2%
Iron 9.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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28 comments

  1. Sophie L says:

    I have to say these are actually amazing!! I am new to your site, but three ladies made these in our facebook group and couldn’t stop raving. Boy were they right! The muffins themselves are so tender and moist, I wouldn’t have been able to tell it was keto! A bit less sweet than usual, would probably up the xylitol when I make them solo. But with the filling and frosting the sweetness was perfect! So happy to have discovered your site, cannot wait to try teh cinnamon rolls thsi weekend mind blown! I didn’t know it was possible to still use yeast without gluten 🙂

    • Paola says:

      Sophie how wonderful to hear! And agreed on the sweetness, you’ll find that throughout the site I give a range for sweetness (lowest amount is for those Keto peeps who keep sugar alcohols to a minimum and the upper range will give you a more traditional sweetness). Hope you love the cinnamon rolls (personal favorite of mine!) xo!

  2. Judy W says:

    I made these yesterday without the filling or frosting and they are better the next day – delicious!!

  3. patricia says:

    These look so delicious….a favorite back in the days! One question…I have to be egg free. Could I use psyllium husk powder, or chia egg or flax egg for the sub for 3 eggs? If so, how much?
    Thank you, love your recipes

  4. LEAH S says:

    Made these last night, and my husband said they are the best keto dessert I have made so far, and I have made a lot of good keto desserts! I did tweak the cream a little bit. I put about 2oz of cream cheese in it, but I love the flavor of cream cheese frosting. Love your recipes.

    • Paola says:

      Leah this is so wonderful to hear wow! And I’m with you on the cream cheese… it’s not traditional and a few peeps might not be into it, but I also tried it while trying out the recipe and it worked SO well 😉 xo!

  5. Wendy Ellis says:

    I’ve been wanting to try Allulose, but how does the conversion work in recipes? You give a range of 1/3 to 1/2 for the sweetener, and I don’t know how Allulose falls on if it’s sweeter or less sweet than sugar or the other sweeteners you recommend? There aren’t that many recipes out there that call for Allulose. Can it always be substituted for whatever amount of sweetener that is called for in a recipe? Sorry for such a technical question – trying to learn to adapt recipes! Thank you!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Wendy! You’re right, I missed the allulose conversion in this post: it’s 70% as sweet as sugar so you need to add 30% more. So for instance, I give a range of sweetness in my recipes as I’ve learned that sweet palates on keto vary A LOT! For these with 1/3 cup they’ll be very lightly sweetened, but since you’re adding the filling it will balance out so they’re not sickly sweet.

      Back to the allulose conversion, I generally prefer to do the math in tablespoons. So say 1/3 cup = 5.3 TBSP x 1.3 (to get 30% more) = 6.89 TBSP (just round up to 7 TBSP!). So essentially just multiply the sweeteners by 1.3 to get your allulose amount (I’m not sure if it works yet on crisp cookies… but I’ve found its pretty interchangeable to xylitol, which is awesome to bake with!) xo!

  6. Novella says:

    You are the BOMB!! I was just thinking about making these. I love them in the store but NO sugar for me. Any who, thanks for all your great recipes. Making your bread right now. When will we get see that cornbread recipe? And.. I can’t say I’m a peanut pancake fan, so I would love to see your verse or the regular pancake 😉 just saying with love…

    • Paola says:

      Hi Andrea! For baking it’s common practice to have a set of teaspoons (they come in 1, 1/2 and 1/4!) xo!

  7. patricia says:

    Oh my, my husband loved these before celiac! I will have to try. But, have to be egg free also. Think a chia egg or flax egg would work in these?…..or maybe a little psyllium husks? IF SO HOW MUCH?
    Thanks…..love your recipes!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Patricia! Oh man I’m the worst person when it comes to eggless conversions! I’m not sure if I’ll be much help here so don’t take my word in stone pls as I haven’t tried it myself. I think you shouldn’t do flax eggs though because theres already some flax and the cupcakes could end up dry. So maybe chia eggs? You’ll definitely lose a bit of the fluffy texture, but taste should still be spot on. Hope this helped!

  8. Annie says:

    Wow amazing! I’m not sure about the assembly instructions though. It looks like a big piece is cut out to allow for the filling, do you then replace with a smaller piece just to cover the top?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Annie! Yup! I cut out a piece with a paring knife (I dont have the special cutouts), filled it up and covered it with the piece I cutout (trimmed to about half to allow for the added filling). Then just dipped in chocolate (you can see the cutouts, but they still look quite pretty- mind you my piping skills are C- 😂)

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