These paleo vegan chocolate cupcakes are deliciously moist, gluten and grain free and made with cassava flour. This small batch vegan cupcake recipe is perfect for a little birthday celebration or family gathering. Plus, they're easy to make and kid approved!
Oh so excited to share this egg free Paleo cupcake recipe with you all!
Now, I know I say that about a lot of my recipes, but this one took WORK! I think I tested these cupcakes 5 times before I got the perfect measurements. And then I tested them once more to make sure they were just right. So yes, I'm excited to share this easy vegan chocolate cupcake recipe because it didn't happen by chance.
I do already have a paleo chocolate cupcake recipe on my blog. It's made with almond flour and paleo, but not vegan. And while I love it, it wasn't nearly as hard to perfect as these vegan cupcakes.
Here's what you need to know about this cupcake recipe:
- Paleo: grain free, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, no vegetable oil
- Vegan: no eggs or dairy
- Gluten free: made with cassava flour
- Dairy free: no cream, no butter
- Egg free: no eggs but still moist and fluffy
- Kid friendly: great for toddlers and kids since they are free of most allergens (and actually taste good)
These cupcakes are moist and have a nice crumb (not gummy or dry) and my kids absolutely love them! They're also topped with a homemade chocolate coconut cream frosting and naturally colored sprinkles.
Ingredients in Paleo Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Here's what you need to make these egg free cassava flour cupcakes:
- cassava flour: necessary for this recipe. All purpose flour (not paleo) may work when substituted by weight, but I have not tried this substitution myself.
- dutched cocoa powder (or cacao powder): because chocolate...
- baking soda: helps the cupcakes rise
- salt: to enhance the flavor
- plant based milk (I used almond milk): I've tested these with almond milk, coconut milk and water. All worked, but I don't recommend water as it the nut milks provide more flavor.
- almond butter: most nut/seed butters should work, but I've only tested almond butter
- maple syrup: to sweeten the cupcakes
- apple cider vinegar: helps with the rise
- vanilla extract: for flavor
Do you have to use cassava flour?
Cassava flour is an important part of this recipe. While all purpose flour may work as a substitution, it is not Paleo and I have not tried it myself (I don't ever bake with "regular" flour).
If you want to try the substitution, then I suggest measuring by weight (given in grams). Cassava flour is more dense than all purpose flour so measuring by volume doesn't often give the best results.
What is cassava flour?
Cassava flour comes from from the cassava (or yuca) root. The cassava root is peeled, dried and ground to make cassava flour. You can probably guess that cassava flour is grain free and Paleo friendly since I use it in so many of my recipes. It also works well as a 1:1 substitution (by weight) for wheat flour and many gluten free baking mixes.
Now, it’s important not to confuse cassava flour with tapioca starch. Yes, they both come from the cassava root, but they are very different. Tapioca is the extracted starch of the cassava root. Whereas, cassava flour comes from the whole cassava root. They serve very different purposes in baking and cooking and are not interchangeable.
My favorite brand of cassava flour is Otto’s Cassava Flour. They have the highest quality cassava flour and it works better for Paleo baking than any other brand I’ve tried. Otto’s Cassava Flour peels, dries and then grinds their cassava into an extra fine, reliable flour. They also ensure that every batch is free of the top 8 allergens.
How to Make Egg Free Chocolate Cupcakes
These cupcakes require two mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, cupcake liners and a muffin pan. Plus the necessary ingredients of course 😉
Here's what you need to do:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 9 cupcake liners (this recipe makes nine cupcakes).
Make the Batter
In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. This includes the cassava flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. This includes the almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and vanilla.
Next, pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and whisk until smooth.
Then, scoop the batter into the lined muffin pan, filling each slot nearly to the top (making 9 cupcakes).
Bake the Cupcakes
Place the cupcakes in your preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
After baking, cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
The cupcakes need to be completely cooled before you add the frosting.
I topped these with a homemade chocolate frosting made from coconut cream and dark chocolate chips, but any frosting will work.
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Frosting
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate chips and coconut cream in a small sauce pan on the stove top, over low heat. Stir frequently until the mixture is fully melted.
Add in the vanilla extract (optional) and whisk until smooth.
Then, refrigerate the frosting for 1.5 - 2 hours to firm. Chilling time will vary depending on how warm the frosting got when melted and the temperature of your fridge.
How to Frost Cupcakes
I don't recommend frosting these cupcakes until they're nearly ready to be served. But if you must make them ahead of time, I recommend storing the frosted cupcakes in the fridge.
The easiest way to frost these cupcakes is to pipe the paleo chocolate frosting onto the cupcakes. Scoop the frosting into a small plastic bag, cut a hole in one end and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
Best Way to Store Paleo Vegan Cupcakes
These dairy free chocolate cupcakes are best kept in the fridge. The frosting has to be refrigerated because the coconut cream spoils at room temperature. You'll be fine making the cupcakes in the morning and leaving them out until the evening, but I don't recommend frosting them and keeping them at room temperature overnight.
So, my recommendation is to store these paleo vegan cupcakes in a sealed container in the fridge up to one week.
These cupcakes can also be frozen (although I prefer them fresh/from the fridge). Place them in a sealed container in the freezer. When you're ready to eat them, either defrost them at room temperature for 30-ish minutes or warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you refrigerate chocolate cupcakes? Yes! These cupcakes are best kept in the fridge and eaten within a week.
Can you freeze chocolate cupcakes? Yes! Place the cupcakes in a sealed container in the freezer for up to one month. When you're ready to eat them, thaw them at room temperature for 30-ish minutes or warm them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
What is the best frosting for chocolate cupcakes? I love either paleo chocolate frosting (like used in this recipe) or vanilla frosting for these chocolate cupcakes.
What are the best ways to decorate chocolate cupcakes? After adding the frosting, my go-to healthy cupcake toppings include: cacao nibs, dye-free sprinkles (not 100% paleo), freeze dried fruit, bee pollen (not vegan), pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and shredded coconut.
More Paleo Vegan Desserts
Looking for more easy paleo vegan dessert recipes? Check out these favorites:
These paleo vegan chocolate cupcakes are made with cassava flour and topped with a chocolate coconut cream frosting. Grain free, dairy free and egg free!
- ½ cup cassava flour (70g) spooned & leveled
- ⅓ cup dutched cocoa powder (28g) sifted, spooned & leveled
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
- ½ cup almond butter (just dry roasted almonds)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 9 cupcake liners.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a larger mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Whisk until smooth.
- Scoop the batter into the lined muffin pan, filling each slot nearly to the top (making 9 cupcakes).
- Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
- Remove cupcakes from oven. Cool 5 minutes in baking pan, then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Melt coconut cream and chocolate chips in a small sauce pan, over low heat.
- Once fully melted, remove from heat and add in the vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
- Place frosting in the fridge for 1.5 - 2 hours to firm.
- Frost cooled cupcakes.
Cupcakes best stored in fridge.
For best results, measure ingredients by weight (when given).
*just the cream from a can of coconut cream or full fat coconut milk
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