Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting (nut-free)

June 27, 2012 in Categories: , by

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This cupcake is light, spongy, not-too-sweet, and richly chocolaty.  You could serve these at a birthday party and no one would suspect that they were eating something so healthy!  The chocolate ganache frosting is sturdy enough to pipe, just slightly sweeter than the cake itself, and makes this an irresistible treat (well, maybe if you have iron willpower, but I couldn’t resist eating one!). This recipe makes 12 generously-frosted cupcakes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (if you are going to have these around for more than two days, it might be better to keep them in the fridge).

The inspiration for these cupcakes came from one I let my daughters eat for a special treat from a local gluten-free bakery.  My original goal was to recreate the rich, fudgey, extra moist cupcake filled with chocolate ganache that my girls so enjoyed.  I failed to recreate that cupcake with this recipe (don’t worry, I’ll keep working on it!) but I think this recipe is even better!  This is a very versatile cupcake, perfect for birthday parties, barbecues or potlucks.  I suspect that this recipe will even work as a layer cake, which I intend to try for my husband’s upcoming birthday.  I haven’t tried this, but I think that if you divide the batter among three 9” pans that are prepared by greasing, then lining with wax paper, then greasing and flouring (with arrowroot powder or sifted coconut flour) and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  When I do try it, I will update this recipe to let you know how it works (and if anyone tries in the meantime, please leave a comment!).

I use semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe as the sole source of sweetness.  I did this in part because it is fairly easy to find good quality, soy-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, nut-free organic semi-sweet chocolate sweetened with evaporated cane juice (a.k.a. sucanat), and also in part because the using solid chocolate is the key to this cupcakes great texture.  You could also use chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand) or your favorite chocolate bar (I like Equal Exchange).  If you don’t need such clean chocolate, by all means use regular Baking Chocolate.  8oz of baking chocolate is approximately equivalent to 2/3 cup chocolate chips.  For the ganache, 1 can of a good quality full-fat Coconut Milk should give you the 2/3 cups of the creamy top layer that you need.  However, I suggest having a second can handy just in case.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting (nut-free)

Ingredients (frosting):

1.    Melt chocolate on medium power in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan oon the stove.
2.    Allow coconut milk to sit still at least overnight at room temperature (if your coconut milk does not separate at room temperature, keep it in the fridge instead).  Carefully open can (or jar) and scoop the creamy top layer.  Measure 2/3 cups (reserve the remainder of the coconut milk for some other use).
3.    Combine melted chocolate and coconut cream (it’s okay if the cream is at room temperature or cold from the fridge).  Blend in a Blender until completely smooth.  Let cool to room temperature before frosting cupcakes (if it isn’t completely smooth when you go to frost with it, whip it quickly in a Standing Mixer or blend again in your blender).

Ingredients (cupcakes):

1.    Line a muffin pan with paper or Silicone Muffin Cup liners.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.    Melt chocolate and coconut oil together on low power in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove.  Let cool several minutes.
3.    Place eggs, vanilla, and salt in a Blender.  Blend briefly to beat the eggs.  Add a small amount of the chocolate mixture and pulse again to temper the eggs.  Then add the rest of the chocolate mixture and beat together for 30 seconds.
4.    Add the cocoa powder, coconut flour and baking soda.  Blend to combine (maybe another 30 seconds).  (You could also mix the batter in a Standing Mixer, in which case, just sift the coconut flour and cocoa first.)   Let the batter sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
5.    Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan (cups will be filled about ¾ full).  Bake for 17-18 minutes.
6.    Carefully remove from muffin pan promptly upon removing from the oven (use a knife to gently pry them out as opposed to dumping them all out).  Let cool to room temperature before frosting (pipe the frosting or just spread with a knife!).  Enjoy!


Yum!! I just made these today for my birthday. They are super delish! I altered the recipe and used Bittersweet Chocolate instead…which was perfect b/c I never eat sugar…not sure that would work for kiddos but they tasted like a rich and decadent treat to me. I also never consume caffeine and since one can’t make this ganache without a bit of bowl licking…I’ve been hopped up all day. The only thing I might change is bake them 16 minutes instead of 17.

Hi again, I’ve made this as a cake in a 9X12X2 inch metal cake pan. It passed the toothpick test at 14 minutes so I guess my oven is hotter than normal. It is wonderful! The last time I made it, I only had three eggs so used 3 chia eggs. It didn’t rise like a cake but made the most wonderful brownie cake! I frosted it as usual and served it for my aunt’s birthday party and got lots of compliments. May try it as brownies again without frosting just for something different. Either way is delicious. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

These are the best paleo cupcakes ever!! Rich and chocolate with light moist texture. Will be making these again!

My family and I are traveling and I baked these in my little gas oven in our travel trailer tonight with my boys. They turned out amazing!! We made a double batch and whisked everything together in a bowl, subbing coconut oil with avocado oil. They were a big hit and they asked for them for breakfast!! Thanks for all the amazing recipes you post!!! Can’t wait for your new book to be released.

I just made the cupcakes and they turned out perfect. I made the frosting to spec and it’s too runny. Any suggestions for improving the consistency?

Awesome cupcakes, however my icing is not thick. Is it because I did not let the coconut milk seperate enough? Any other tips?

I know this is about 6 months later than your question but I have made these in the summer and fall. It appears that the temperature of the mixture changes the consistency. In the summer, mine was more runny and in the cooler weather, it was very thick. During the summer, I would dip the cupcakes in the frosting and they looked beautiful when done.

I made these with 100% chocolate/cocoa… and added a small amount of stevia (I know…). I made half a batch because it was an experiment. They frosting/ganache was okay but the cupcakes were very bitter and dry. Just FYI in case anyone else was wanting to try without ANY sugar. :)
Thanks! I will be remaking them with the semi-sweet chips next week for my birthday.

I just made these and they came out great! I also added 1-2 tablespoons of coffee to the batter to enhance the chocolate flavor and it was great. I was wondering if anyone else was having an issue with alot of the cake sticking to the cupcake liner? I don’t want to spray the liners since the batter has enough oil to be moist in my opinion and don’t want to add additional oil if possible.

I’ve noticed that if I reduce the oil a “smidgen” that the cupcakes stick to the liners less. In addition, sometimes I let the cupcakes cool in the pan in a warm area (no rapid temp changes) and that also seems to help.

Please not, these are not NUT free, the FDA has recently placed coconuts in the tree nut category, many of your recipes seem great and I am excited when I see nut free, to only be let down by the fact that coconut is an ingredient.

The FDA are not the source you should be researching. I am highly allergic to nuts and coconut is no issue.

How many standard sized cupcakes did these make? Want to do for son’s bday next week. Do they rise much? The pic on this page appears to be one placed upside down on another so it’s hard to gauge how much rise these treats will have for planning decorations. TIA!

Hmmm. There may be a mistake in the quantity of chocolate for the cake part. 2/3c of chocolate chips weighs 4.5 ounces on my scale, not 8oz! So either the 8 oz is wrong or the 2/3cup chocolate chips is wrong. I tested my scale with a 3.5 ounce chocolate bar and it was spot on so it is not my scale.

My 8oz bag of chocolate chips says approximately 1 1/3c. I’m debating using the whole bag for 8oz or only 2/3c. I’d think by weight would be better.

Delicious!! For great frosting, buy coconut CREAM as opposed to milk, pour it into a glass container and refrigerate overnight before use, I just had a few tbls of liquid at the bottom. Coconut cream is so great in everything!

I just tried these… I’m pretty surprised at how well they turned out! Good texture, very chocolaty flavor. I called them muffins so my 8 yr old wouldn’t be disappointed. He asked if he’s allowed to have them again tomorrow, so they were a hit!

these are the best things ever! i made them with stabilized whipped cream. you pretty much need to use parchment liners for thesee

I did the math and it’s approx. 170 calories per frosted cupcake. But, I didn’t use a whole can of coconut milk for the frosting I used a 1/4 cup of coconut milk (not separated) or the ganache hardens too much. I used a bit less of chocolate chips too (for the frosting). But this should be a good approximation for all intents and purposes.

Made these for my mom’s birthday. I had to add applesauce to the cupcake and added tapioca starch to thicken the frosting a bit. So far so good!

I have made this twice. The 2nd time I used a mixer and it thickened up a lot faster, right away in fact. The first time I used the blender and I lost a lot of it to the blender and it took a day in the fridge to thicken after I made it. I also use “Thai Garden” (organic) coconut milk. I have heard it works better than others for this. Thanks so much for this recipe, it is AWESOME!

made into cake as test and it came out great. Plan to make for son’s birthday but will need 4x recipe. Have you ever frozen them and defrosted? If so did it come back ok? Would help me tons!

The mixture of cream cheese and chocolate is perfect. I mean who doesn’t like brownies. That and cupcakes? Hello, need I say more? This cupcake recipe is perfect for those that love chocolate. They are perfect to serve at birthday parties or for any occasion.
chocolate cupcake recipe
are much easier to serve than slices of cake and you don’t have to worry about cleaning any dishes afterwards. Delicious and easy, that’s my kind of dessert.

Hi! We love making these cupcakes and they are a yearly request now by my son for his birthday celebrations. One question…the picture above of the chocolate ganache looks fluffy…mine is not fluffy. It gets thick but it’s like a thick chocolate, not fluffy. Is the picture a bit deceiving? Should my frosting have fluffed up? Thanks!

Made these for my boyfriend’s birthday, and EVERYONE (including him) ate these up!! Thank you for the delicious chocolately recipe; it’s fun tricking normal people into liking special foods. 😉 I posted it on my blog too!

I have made this recipe a few times and it’s an awesome cake to do themed cakes. I have used it to make a cruise ship, cinderella dolly varden cake and a 4 layered cake. The only thing that isn’t paleo is the fondant but we remove that when eating the cake. Thanks for this recipe it’s great especially as it is also nut free so can go to school.

This is an amazing recipe. Been searching for gluten and sugar free cake recipes for ages. Just tried it for the first time but not convinced have risen enough (only just taken them out of the oven…still to taste!). I’m having to convert the cup measurements, your cups in the recipe the US ones rather than metric I’m presuming?
Looking forward to receiving your first two books for Christmas and buying the Healing Kitchen next year!

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