Home » desserts » (The Ultimate!) Chocolate Cupcakes 🍫 gluten free & keto

(The Ultimate!) Chocolate Cupcakes 🍫 gluten free & keto

These gluten free and keto chocolate cupcakes need no introduction! Think an intensely chocolatey and moist cupcake, topped off with a ridiculous chocolate buttercream frosting. 

Bitten keto chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes

Ultra (Ultra!) Chocolatey

Calling these keto chocolate cupcakes delicious just doesn’t cut it… they’re insanely delicous! I mean, think ‘death by chocolate’ level sort of good. 

So expect ultra-chocolatey cupcakes, topped off with our special (cream cheese!) buttercream frosting. And going a little extra with the frosting decorations is always highly suggested. 

And fact is, these guys are essentially little fat bomb treats! 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.

Cream cheese chocolate buttercream frosting piped as flowers
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes

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 ultra moist! But they both bloom the cocoa with melted butter, leading to that beautifully intense chocolate kick.

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 frosting!

Tiered keto chocolate cake with buttercream frosting
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Chocolate Cake

And yes, with the temperatures on the rise, you can most definitely top them off with a scoop of (no churn!) vanilla ice cream too. 

Keto chocolate muffin topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Double Chocolate Muffins

The Sweetener

You’ve got plenty of options for the chocolate cupcakes, but do know that they’ll affect the texture quite a bit. Think xylitol and allulose (no aftertaste, softer and fluffier texture), Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, denser texture).

And for visual reference: the pictured cupcakes were made with Lakanto (came out fudgy), while the chocolate cake (and chocolate muffins) with xylitol (softer, fluffier).

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 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 chocolate 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!

Keto chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting on a silver platter
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes

The Flours

To turn chocolate cupcakes keto you’ll need some super fine almond flour (Anthony’s is my favorite!),golden flaxseed meal (make sure it’s golden!)*, coconut flour (again Anthony’s by a mile!),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.

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. That said, as long as it reads cocoa and not cacao you’ll be good to go!

Closeup chocolate buttercream frosting piped as flowers
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes
A remaining piece of a fudgy gluten free chocolate cupcake
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes

Bitten keto chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting

Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free chocolate cupcakes, keto chocolate buttercream frosting, keto chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 cupcakes
Calories: 187 kcal

These gluten free and keto chocolate cupcakes need no introduction! Think an intensely chocolatey and moist cupcake, topped off with a ridiculous chocolate buttercream frosting. 

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 chocolate buttercream frosting

  • 70 g unsalted grass-fed butter at room temperature**
  • 70 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2-4 tablespoons powdered xylitol allulose or erythritol, to taste
  • 1-3 tablespoons cocoa powder to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee (optional)
  • pinch kosher salt as needed

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, granules will 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 chocolate buttercream frosting

  1. Add the butter, cream cheese and sweetener to a large bowl. Cream the mixture with your stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or with an electric mixer) until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. You'll want to scrape the bowl every so often to ensure an even mixture. Add cocoa powder to taste, espresso powder and salt and continue to beat until fully incorporated.

  2. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a tip and decorate each cupcake. 

  3. The cupcakes keep well, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for about 3 days. And they also freeze beautifully, just thaw it out in the fridge overnight.

Recipe Notes

*Psyllium husk powder can be used in place of the golden flaxseed meal, but do expect denser results. 

**Your choice in sweetener will affect the texture quite a bit. Think xylitol and allulose (no aftertaste, softer and fluffier texture), Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, denser texture). And for visual reference: the pictured cupcakes were made with Lakanto (came out fudgy), while the chocolate cake (and chocolate muffins) with xylitol (softer, fluffier).

And regarding the amount, I use 1/3 cup but feel free to use even up to 2/3 cup if your taste buds are still not keto adapted (i.e. normal baking sweetness). 

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 here!

Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 191mg8%
Potassium 146mg4%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 4g16%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 385IU8%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Share the yummy-ness! 📷💨

If you made this recipe (or got a question!), be sure to simply comment below!

And do share your photo with your favorite Facebook group or tag @gnomgnom.yum on Instagram (I love seeing them all!!)

91 comments

  1. Sio says:

    Amazing! I am in love! I didn’t have quite enough plain granulated erythritol so I used golden. The batter was thick enough to be cookie dough. I was not convinced they would be chocolatey enough with the cocoa powder alone. Suuuper chocolatey! These don’t need frosting. Next time, I will do a ganache instead.

  2. Joanne says:

    Just made these cupcakes. I used brown ground flaxseed as I didn’t have golden. For the base I used xylitol and cupcakes came out moist and cake like. Used confectioner Swerve for the frosting and whipped up beautiful and FLUFFY!! I was BEYOND EXCITED these came out so DELISH. My 3 year old was the first to taste and she said….”mmmmmm” with a mouthful. SUCCESS!!

  3. Johanna says:

    Absolutely delicious! I have tried many keto recipes and this one is by far the best one yet. Texture is very close to a regular cupcake. I’m impressed on how nice and moist they turned out. I was very skeptical when making the recipe at first and thought they were going to turn out like all previous attempts and not the right texture. Also, the frosting turned out amazing. I just added a little extra cream cheese. Thank you for sharing!

      • MCM says:

        Thank you for the recipe! I modified it for my purple yam cupcake! It’s not keto, but purple yam is good carbs, so I’m happy to make my childhood favorite. I replaced the cocoa powder with purple yam powder, the heavy cream with 3 tbsp coconut cream + 1 1/3 tbsp water, and used only 1/4 c Monk fruit sweetener. Baked at 350 for 12 minutes.

  4. Susan says:

    These cupcakes are fantastic. I used a Tbs of black cocoa in my cocoa blend to really make them dark, and it adds a nice little bitter note that I like. Very dense and satisfying; much like a brownie.

    However, when I run the nutrition in Cronometer, I get different calories. I skipped the frosting entirely and I get 227 cals each. Not sure what went wrong; I double-checked my weights and number of cupcakes. Are you counting xylitol calories?

  5. Kim Harrison says:

    These were delicious! When restricting my carbs, I develop a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe and am constantly on the lookout for something to satisfy the cravings. These cupcakes are spot on! They’re easy to make, store well so I can eat them over a couple weeks, and oh so yummy! I made ten cupcakes from this recipe but omitted the frosting entirely. I also added a handful of sugar free chocolate chips into the batter before baking then added a couple minutes bake time. Thank you!!!

  6. Leanne says:

    I just made these cupcakes and I am super impressed.
    I don’t normally have much luck baking gluten free desserts, but this one turned out yummy!!
    Not exactly like the picture, my frosting was lighter in colour and the cake iteself was a little dense, I cooked it to 17minutes, so it may have been a minute or 2 too long, but when I checked at 14 it was still moist on the toothpick.
    Still very happy and can’t believe I actually made something that worked and tastes delicious..just have to stop myself eating the whole 6 in one go!

  7. Debra Jacobs says:

    Could I use less cocoa powder as I dont like my baking to chocolaty rich and if I did cut it back would I add more almond flour to compensate for the lesser amount of cocoa.

  8. Veronica Evaristo says:

    I just made these last night and the cupcakes were a hit!! I was actually able to yield 9 instead of 6! Instead of chocolate frosting, I made taro with taro flavoring! My husband devoured 2!!

  9. Jasmine says:

    Hi there,

    Just made these for the first time and I must have done something wrong but I don’t know what!! The cupcakes came out very hard and dry all around the outside. In fact, when baking they actually shrank in the baking paper cups. Once they were done (not overdone), I could lift them right out of the paper cupcake liners – they weren’t even touching the sides of the paper at all.
    I used the golden flax seed meal, not psyllium husk. For sweetener I used powdered Swerve. I followed all directions to a T. Any ideas on what may have happened?

  10. Paige says:

    Hi,
    I made these using Swerve but my cupcakes came out very bitter. Could I swap and do the same sweetener measurements but use monkfruit instead? Would that help?

    • CLL says:

      “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 here!.”
      I’ve never had good results using just pure stevia to bake, without anything blended with it. Maybe it’s the brands I’ve tried, but it has always made my baked goods come out with a nasty, bitter aftertaste (and makes cookies terribly crumbly).
      As for the xanthan gum, I can’t really say on that.

  11. Judy says:

    Hi Paola,

    I hope you are having a good day today.

    I don’t know if you can answer my question, but I am very disappointed in the frosting. I used Hershey’s regular cocoa and powdered Erythritol.

    The frosting isn’t bitter tasting from the cocoa, but it isn’t sweet. I feel like mixing the frosting with a bunch of real powdered sugar—but that isn’t low carb!

    Any suggestions on how to make this frosting and make this sweet?

    • Oh I’m sorry to hear Judy! You might just need to add a little bit more sweetener then (honestly, perception of ‘sweetness’ goes all over the place when you do keto). I’m also honestly not a fan of using erythritol in frosting because of the cooling aftertaste (I’m super sensitive).

      But since you mention you’d rather not add a bunch of sweetener… (and I agree!), have you tried pure monk fruit extract? I generally find that adding a pinch really brings out the sweetness without an aftertaste (I mostly do this when using allulose, as its 30% less sweet). I hope this helped xo!

      • Baker Judy says:

        I will look for monk fruit extract. If you want to give me a link, you will get credit from Amazon. Have a healing day, Paola! Thank you for answering my question. In the meantime, I think we will use this batch in between chocolate chaffles.

        We found out that my husband’s A1C is also high. I’ve been making your recipes for some months now. Good thing he likes them! We love your deep dish pizza in our cast iron pan.

  12. naturallywine says:

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. The result is tender, moist and chocolaty goodness that is extremely satisfying. Bravo!

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  14. Val says:

    Yasssss thank you! It’s a real freakin chocolate cupcake! So real that I had to wash it down with almond milk! Keto for life baby!

  15. Evelyn A Rosales says:

    Oops, I think I accidently replied to another comment! Sorry!

    My cupcakes came out good but my chocolate frosting did not look like yours, mine came out a lot lighter in color and I used the same measurements. Should I get a different kind of cocoa powder? I used the unsweetened cocoa powder (no brand).

    • No worries! Regarding the color, cocoas vary A LOT! And the one I use (Valrhona) is notoriously dark. You could just use a little bit extra of yours ( and also note that you could be using cacao, not cocoa… which is lighter and reddish in hue).

  16. Tina Key says:

    I’ve decided to bake these chocolate cupcakes for my 50th because I knew it would not fail me, and it totally did not! These are by far the best chocolately cupcake that I’ve ever had.
    You made turning 50 keto style an absolute joy and I’m so thankful for all of your wonderful keto friendly recipes . You rock!!

  17. Elaine says:

    Made this for my birthday. (It made two 5″ round layers; so the perfect size for me and my hubbins.)

    I used half xylitol and half Sola sweetener, and the texture came out like a fudgy pound cake. It was really great — thanks for the recipe!

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