Home » desserts » (Truly Unbelievable!) Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes 🍌 gluten free

(Truly Unbelievable!) Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes 🍌 gluten free

These keto banana cupcakes (with chocolate buttercream frosting!!) are just incredibly flavorful and totally moist. Fact is, you’ll even be hard-pressed to notice the lack of bananas!

Keto banana cupcake with chocolate frosting sliced in half
Sugar Free & Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes (With Chocolate Frosting!)

Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes

With Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I’m guessing you guys won’t believe me that these banana(less) cupcakes actually taste like the real deal. But pinky promise that they do…  just go check out the raving reviews by you guys on my famous keto banana bread (these are a terrific spinoff!!)!

Like The OG, these are super (suuuper!) moist, bursting with an incredible banana flavor, and with a dense yet cakey texture. i.e. they’re truly spot on!

Make them solo or add pecans (my favorite!), walnuts or chocolate chunks(!!) and top off with my chocolate buttercream frosting. But I’m also thinking a drizzle of our keto salted caramel will go nicely too… or how about some keto nutella?!

Alas! A total steal at just 2g net carbs a cupcake (add about 0.5-1g net with the frosting!)!

The Banana Extract

high quality banana extract is an absolute must. Out of the handful I’ve tried, the Pure Banana extract from Olive Nation is the one I’ve liked best (not sponsored!).

It simply tastes like ripe bananas (ideal!) and is completely sugar-free and nil carbs (super ideal!). But if you’ve tried other good ones, be sure to drop them in the comments (always love your recs!)

Overhead shot keto banana bread cupcakes with chocolate buttercream flowers
Sugar Free & Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes (With Chocolate Frosting!)

The Sweetener

You’ve got a few good options here! Lakanto Golden (erythitrol-monkfruit blend with maple hues), xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!) and allulose (add 30% more) are my top choices (no aftertaste at all!).

Pyure (an erythritol and stevia blend) is also a good one for muffins and quick breads, particularly if you’re trying to limit your sugar alcohol consumption (it’s added stevia makes it twice as sweet as sugar… i.e. you add half!).

Oh, and if not restricted by sugars, simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.

Also note that adding a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses adds that brown sugar kick (i.e. a tonne of umami and improves browning!). Keep in mind that blackstrap molasses is considered a low glycemic sugar. One teaspoon (7g) adds 5g net carbs, so just 0.4g net carbs a slice (i.e. half the sugar of a strawberry!). But carbs aside, it’s also known to be a nutritional powerhouse rich in vital vitamins and minerals; such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Fun fact: Molasses contain high amounts of chromium, which has been studied to increase glucose tolerance levels.

But if it’s still not your thing, just leave it out!

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

The Flours

I like a mixture of super fine almond flour (I love Anthony’s), coconut flour (again Anthony’s best taste and texture by a mile!), psyllium husk powder (I like NOW best!) and golden flaxseed meal.

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. And be sure you’re either using either very finely ground psyllium powder or to regrind your husks!

Halved keto banana cupcake with chocolate frosting and pecans
Sugar Free & Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes (With Chocolate Frosting!)
Halved keto banan cupcake with crumbs on the liner
Sugar Free & Keto ‘Banana’ Cupcakes (With Chocolate Frosting!)

Keto banana cupcake with chocolate frosting sliced in half

Keto 'Banana' Cupcakes (With Chocolate Frosting!)

These keto banana cupcakes (with chocolate buttercream frosting!!) are just incredibly flavorful and totally moist. Fact is, you’ll even be hard-pressed to notice the lack of bananas!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 186 kcal


For the keto banana cupcakes

For the chocolate buttercream frosting


  • Heat up the butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Continue to simmer the butter, stirring once in a while, until fully browned (about 4-6 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the rest. Note: browning the butter is totally optional, but it does add a tonne of flavor so it comes highly suggested! 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line a muffin pan with liners.
  • Whisk together in a medium bowl almond flour, golden flaxseed meal, psyllium husk, coconut flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Set aside. 
  • Add eggs, sweetener and molasses (optional) to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 3-5 minutes until airy and lighter in color. With the mixer on, add in the banana and vanilla extracts, apple cider vinegar and browned butter.
  • Add in the dry flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the yogurt. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes until fully incorporated and elastic, the batter will thicken as you mix (think cookie dough!). Fold in the nuts (optional). 
  • Distribute batter evenly into muffin pan, smoothing out the top with a wet spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until deep golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Check in on the cupcakes after minute 15, and cover with aluminum foil as soon as they begin to turn golden (about minute 20 for me). 
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing, and cool completely in a rack before frosting.


*For best texture and rise, always regrind your psyllium husk (or powder) and flax meal in a dry blender or bullet. 
**A high quality banana extract is an absolute must! Out of the handful I’ve tried, the Pure Banana extract from Olive Nation is the one I’ve liked best (not sponsored!). It simply tastes like ripe bananas (ideal!) and is completely sugar-free and nil carbs (super ideal!). Also note that you can add it to taste: with 2 tsp giving you a mild banana flavor and 3 tsp a more intense one (my pick!). 
Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per cupcake solo (2g net carbs!), add roughly 0.5-1g net carb for the chocolate frosting (depends on the cocoa you use). 


Serving: 1slice (or muffin) | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Keyword banana cupcakes, chocolate frosting, keto banana cupcakes, sugar free banana cupcakes
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!


  1. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I was stunned and amazed by the buttery fresh banana taste and texture. The buttercream was primo! Even my carbo-loading husband said they were good. Now I can’t wait to try the loaf of “banana” bread.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Awesome to hear Lisa! And I’m with you, the buttercream is ace 🙂 xo and thanks so much for reporting back, always love to hear how it works out for you guys

  2. Kristen says:

    5 stars
    These are unbelievable!! I followed the recipe exactly except I used allulose. The texture is just amazing. I think these are the best cupcakes I’ve made, keto or not. Thanks so much Paola! Not sure how you figure this stuff out but we’re lucky to have you 🙂

  3. Cat says:

    5 stars
    Ah-mazing! Added 1/2 cup Bake Believe dark chocolate chips instead of nuts and made the butter cream frosting more of a dark chocolate. Perfection! Good thing they are so filling, I probably would have eaten more than one. 😋 Like everyone else, I currently have way too much time on my hands and trying new recipes helps. This one is a definite keeper. Considering who developed it, that is not a huge surprise. Thanks so much, Paola!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      THanks so much my lovely Cat for always taking the time to leave feedback! Much love to you (and the fam!) during these times 😉 xo!

  4. Lainey says:

    5 stars
    Wow, these are really good! I followed the ingredient list and directions exactly as written for the muffin part (left out the optional nuts) and these were seriously on point in both flavor and texture. My favorite banana flavoring brand is THM’s and I used the full tablespoon. Since I was making these as a breakfast muffin, I opted for no frosting, but I’m sure that would be a delicious addition for a more dessert-like option. My husband who is not a fan of any keto bread-type product even gave these a thumbs up! My only change in the next batch will be to add a little more salt – maybe an 1/8 of a teaspoon more. Thank you for this recipe, Paola!!

  5. Suzanne says:

    5 stars
    These are so amazing, Paola!! I followed the recipe exactly—including the frosting—and they are so incredible. Thank you so much for the detailed notes on how long to mix each ingredient. I had seriously given up on myself as a baker before I read your blog and books! I’ve been on Keto over a year now and I could not have made it without you ❤️

  6. Jette Mortensen says:

    5 stars
    Dear Paola. I want to thank you again, for all the joy , the interest keeping me on Keto track. That is through tough times and easy to enjoy times, Like real life. I must have 15 binders with just your post, and 17 of all the other Keto post collected over 3 years. Yours is so superior. I have narrowed my keto time on the computer to 3 people and you are by far # 1. I have one wish for christmas, or birthday, an e-pad so I can get all your recipes. I print what I can, but it is expensive too and time consuming. Wish me luck . Thank you for, ALL THE TIME AND EFFORT YOU PUT IN PAOLA♥

  7. Justyna Lawrence says:

    Have to say how impressed I am! After your layered chocolate cake was such a success with my “non keto” family I decided to make a challenge within the family to eat Keto for a month. Today it was the banana muffins… but as there are lots of us I made a double batch which has produced a whopping 12 regular, 6 “donuts” and 24 mini muffins. Also I substituted maple extract for the banana as I did not have enough. Wow, it is just great. Used walnuts and chocolate chips and no icing. What a treat! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes from the 2 books I purchased on here!

  8. Lisa Sebelle says:

    your link for xylitol goes to a corn based product. what is a birch based xilitol brand? I tried the corn one and had massive amounts of watery diarrhea. I became quite dehydrated after 7 episodes.

    • Lisa Sebelle says:

      Yikes just checked the one I used by Sweet Natural Trading and IT IS birch. I guess I just can’t use it. It tasted so darn good. I am stuck with cooling sensation after taste. Has anyone heard of someone who has been able to get their body to adapt to xylitol? I used about two teaspoons in my serving of ice cream and had a violent reaction all night long. I am afraid to try it again but I keep readinf about it so it makes me feel like I am missing out.

      • Paola van der Hulst says:

        If you feel like your body can’t handle it I just wouldn’t eat it anymore (I know some people say you can adapt to it… but why adapt to something your body is telling you no to?!).

        You have another great option though, allulose! Its a rare sugar, so it doesn’t ferment in your stomach and cause gastric distress (plus its zero GI and pet friendly!) xo!!

      • Marilyn C says:

        5 stars
        Have you ever heard of a product called BochaSweet? It’s made from kombucha squash. Looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, behaves like sugar but has zero carbs. it’s pricey, but imho so worth it. No aftertaste at all and no stomach upsets. You get in online from bochasweet.com. If you can afford it ($14/lb.), give it a try.

        • Paola van der Hulst says:

          I’ve heard from many of you Marilyn that its a great product, I haven’t baked with it yet but its on my list to try. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Pebbles Worthington says:

    Hi. So, if I wanted to use the defatted almond flour or Baney’s Almond powder, would I use half of the recommended amount (64g vice 128g) or just go with same measurements? I bought the stuff and now want to use it! Thanks for your hel. I love your blog.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Don’t kill me Pebbles, but I feel like this is one of the recipes where i wouldn’t use the defatted flour (just because the crumb comes sooooo ‘banana bread’ like already). But generally yes! I’m also testing it with pretty much every type of recipe on the site to give you guys more precise guidelines. Xo!!

  10. Megan says:

    Hi Paola,

    The frosting makes 12 servings and is 212 cals per serving, but then then the muffins with frosting is only 186 cals per serving, while using a full batch of frosting? Can you please tell me if this is accurate, or if something is going right over my head. Thank you!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Megan! Yeah exactly, I calculated the macros without the frosting as stated in the notes. Btw I do it this way because I’ve done it in the past with the frosting, and was flooded by questions ‘for the cupcakes only’ please!)… can’t win them all lol Xo!!

  11. John Torres says:

    5 stars
    My wife and I have made this recipe several times now and it is amazing. We have made this Bread Banana for friends who are starting the Keto diet and they could not believe it is Keto. Thank you Gnom Gnom we come to you for all our cooking ideas now.

  12. Karima says:

    HI!! lovely (if not desiring the banana flavour, one can try cardamon and cinnamon)
    & what would you use this ingredient for thats on your list? :
    “6 tablespoons full fat Greek-style yogurt or sour cream” i dont see it in the instructions…

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Nicole! I’m sorry but my French is high school level so I only got as far as “May I make my flour…” is farine de lin the flaxseed? Xo!

      • Micheline says:

        Yes it is…=)

        She was asking if she could do her flaxseed flour with flaxseed? To which, i would answer yes, just need to grind them…

    • Micheline says:

      Bonjour Nicole,

      Tu n’as qu’à moudre tes graines de lin à l’aide d’un moulin à café…mais tu peux facilement en acheter un peu partout déjà moulu…

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Unfortunately no Tannura! Coconut sugar is a regular carb unlike sugar alcohols and allulose xo!

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