Paleo Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Everyone needs an amazing chocolate cupcakes recipe, and this one is ours! These Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes are moist with a deep chocolate flavor and simply delicious. They’re also dairy-free and made without any refined sweeteners. Grab a bowl and a whisk and head straight to the kitchen to whip some up!

A close up of a gluten free chocolate cupcake with piped frosting on top.Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

In my opinion, a chocolate cupcake should be at least three things: moist, rich and heavy on the chocolate flavor. These gluten free Chocolate Cupcakes check all those boxes and more! These simple-to-make cupcakes are a bit on the healthier side because they are dairy-free, made primarily with almond flour (hello nutrients!) and contain no added refined sugars. And the bonus is you only need two bowls and a whisk to make them! We have a few different options to frost them, including this dairy-free chocolate frosting. Whip them up for your next celebration or your next I-need-a-chocolate-cupcake kind of night!

Batter being mixed together.

Ingredients Needed

  • Almond Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Coconut flour
  • Baking Powder and Soda
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • Espresso Powder (optional)
  • Eggs
  • Coconut sugar
  • Milk (We use almond)
  • Avocado Oil
  • Vanilla extract

Frosting Options

We’ve made a few different frosting options over the years. This recipe uses a traditional chocolate buttercream, though it does use butter so it isn’t dairy-free. This recipe is for a vanilla buttercream.

If you need a dairy-free and paleo-friendly version, check out this recipe! It is a whipped chocolate ganache frosting that is simple to make. It’s also the version shown here in the photographs.

Paleo chocolate cupcake with a big bite taken out of it.

If you like this sweet treat, check out these others:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Heart Toppers
Yields 9
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  2. 1 tbsp coconut flour
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 1/3 cup chcocolate chunks
  5. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 3 tbsp apple sauce
  3. 3 tbsp raw honey
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  1. 1 cup grass-fed butter, softened
  2. 1 cup dark chocolate chunks, I use Enjoy Life's, Guittards, or Whole Foods brand
  3. 2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk, more as needed
  4. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  5. 1 cup organic powdered sugar
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. Dash sea salt
Heart Toppers
  1. 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate of choice
Cupcake Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a mixing bowl combine dry ingredients, excluding the chocolate chunks
  3. Add in wet ingredients and whisk together
  4. Add in chocolate chips
  5. Pour into muffin liners halfway
  6. Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
  7. Let cool completely before frosting
Frosting Directions
  1. Cream softened butter until fluffy
  2. Add in full-fat coconut milk until light and fluffy
  3. Add in vanilla and melted chocolate
  4. Add in cocoa powder and powder sugar until frosting is light, fluffy, and whipped
  5. Frost cupcakes
  6. Store frosting in the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before using
Heart Toppers Directions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Melt chocolate and draw hearts, letters, etc.*
  3. Gently stick toppers into frosting
  4. Store in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving
  1. *I use these squeeze bottles to draw the hearts and letters, you can do it without, though!
Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Raspberry Swirl Brownies

Nothing in this world is better than chocolate and raspberry together and that’s why these Raspberry Swirl Brownies are the absolute best. You know what else makes these the best? They’re a decadent treat that’s on the healthier side by using coconut oil and almond flour. That means they’re also grain-free, dairy-free and Paleo, while still being totally delicious.

A stack of chocolate raspberry brownies on a plate.

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

It is the most perfect time of the year for making a chocolate treat for the one you love, and these Chocolate Raspberry Brownies should be the ones you make. They are fudge-y and chewy with a beautiful raspberry swirl throughout! Did I mention they’re also on the healthy side, made without refined sugar, grains or dairy? The raspberry swirl is actually made from cashew cream (our absolute favorite thing) and freeze dried raspberry powder! It adds a big raspberry flavor without weighing down the brownie from all the moisture from fresh raspberries. Trust us, you’ll want to make them.

Dairy free raspberry swirl in a bowl with a whisk.

Ingredients Needed

  • Coconut Oil (or butter, if you want!)
  • Dark Chocolate 
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Cashew Cream
  • Freeze Dried Raspberry Powder
  • Maple Syrup

Cashew Cream

We love using cashew cream in place of cream or cream cheese in recipes. It’s more nutrient dense and just plain delicious. Cashew cream is simply soaked cashews that are blended until they are smooth and creamy. It works perfectly as a creamy base for the raspberry swirl.

Can I use fresh fruit?

Freeze dried fruit is preferred here, since fresh fruit will have too much moisture. If you want to use fresh fruit, the alternative would be to make a jam since the fruit will need to be cooked down.

Note: We have not tested this with jam, so can’t promise the same results! Have no fear though, freeze dried fruit is available in nearly every major grocery store, and is inexpensive!

A Word about Freeze Dried Raspberry

Freeze dried fruit is now commonly found in most grocery stores and inexpensive. Make sure to read the label to check that the only ingredient listed is the actual fruit and does not include any additives. To make the powder needed for this raspberry, either crush up the raspberries directly in the bag or you can blitz them in a food processor.

Raspberry cream swirled throughout brownie batter.

How to Get That Perfect Swirl

Making that beautiful swirl in batters can be so soothing and can look like a work of art! The more you swirl, the more intricate the design gets, but be careful of playing with it too much because in this batter, the raspberry could end up covering the chocolate if played with too much.

Using a knife or a toothpick, gently swirl either up and down the batter or in circles, or a mix of both.

Raspberry Swirl brownies in a baking dish.

How to Cut Perfect Squares 

  1. Use a parchment paper sling so you can easily remove the brownies in one piece.
  2. Let your paleo brownies cool close to room temperature, or place it in the refrigerator to cool down. And use a warm knife that has been run under hot water and dried to cut your brownies. 
  3. To get even pieces without using a ruler always cut down the middle! Make your first cut directly down the middle. Then cut each half in half down the middle. This of course only works if you are looking to make an even amount of slices.

Storing Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

As is the case with most brownies, these are best eaten within the first day or two. However they can be stored! Store these at room temperature for up to days in a covered container, or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

A piece of chocolate raspberry brownies on a plate.

If you like this brownie recipe, check out these others:

If you like this healthy treat, check out these others:

Raspberry Swirl Brownies

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:22 Total Time 00:37 Yields 12



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8" baking dish and line with a parchment paper sling.
  2. In a double boiler, melt together the coconut oil and chocolate.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl and add in coconut sugar. Whisk together, and let the mixture cool slightly.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk together.
  5. In a small separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt
  6. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together until completely combined.
  7. In the now empty bowl from the dry ingredients, whisk together the cashew cream, raspberry powder and maple syrup.
  8. Place 4 tablespoons of raspberry cream batter inside the bottom of prepared pan. Then drop large spoonfuls of brownie batter around the raspberry cream. Using a toothpick, swirl the mixture around. Then pour the remaining brownie batter on top of the marbled mixture. Using a spatula, gently smooth over the top to cover the first layer. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the remaining raspberry mixture on top of the brownie batter until no more remains and then gently bang the pan on the counter to smooth out the raspberry cream. Using a toothpick swirl the batters together. 
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes (the shorter amount of time for fudgy brownies and the longer amount of time for fully cooked cakey brownies).
  10. Let cool before slicing.

Recipe Notes

  1. The optional maple syrup is to give the raspberry a bit more sweetness. If you prefer your treats less sweet it is okay to omit it!
  2. Freeze dried fruit is now commonly found in most grocery stores. Make sure to read the label to check that the only ingredient listed is the actual fruit and does not include any additives. 
  3. This recipe was originally published in 2015, and republished with an update recipe and photos in 2020.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Gluten Free Hostess Cupcakes

Homemade Gluten Free Hostess Cupcakes are a fun weekend baking project! It starts with a super moist gluten-free chocolate cupcake, filled with homemade marshmallow fluff (made without any refined sugar) and dipped in a dairy-free chocolate ganache! Pipe on either some of the marshmallow fluff or melted white chocolate to complete the classic hostess-style cupcake look!

Dairy free chocolate cupcakesGluten Free Hostess Cupcakes

Ever have one of those iconic packaged chocolate cupcakes? Our version of Gluten Free Hostess Cupcakes may look like the classic treats of an American childhood but they taste like the sophisticated version you should have been eating all along. We took the best gluten-free chocolate layer cake and turned them into cupcakes, stuffed them with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff and topped them with a decadent chocolate ganache. We piped on that icon swirl with melted white chocolate, but if you skip that and use extra fluff, you’ll have yourself a dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free cupcake of your dreams.

homemade hostess style cupcakes

There are definitely a few steps needed to complete this recipe. But it’s such a cute treat to recreate with healthier ingredients and the final outcome is so dang delicious! The hardest part of this recipe is making the Homemade Marshmallow Fluff, but we created an entire post to really get detailed about how you can make it. All of the remaining steps are just basic baking skills that if you follow the instructions are very achievable.

Chocolate cupcake recipe

How do you make chocolate ganache

Making a ganache is simply heating up a milk and pouring it over chocolate! In this case we are using coconut milk and mini chocolate chips. You can do this either in a small pot on the stove, or you can use a microwave to heat up the cream.

Can marshmallow be substituted for marshmallow cream:

No. If you want to skip making the marshmallow cream you can either purchase some at the store, fill the cupcake with a vanilla buttercream, or you can leave it out all together.

Homemade hostess cupcake recipe

How to prep cupcake components ahead of time:

There are a few components of making these cupcakes as close to the classic version as possible. But the good news is that they can easily be broken down into steps that can be done a day or two apart from one another.

  1. Make the cupcakes: This step can be done two days ahead of time! You can store the cupcakes in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  2. Make the Homemade Marshmallow Fluff: This can be done up to one week ahead of time. If the marshmallow fluff gets slightly deflated you can easily whip it back up with the electric mixer.
  3. Make the ganache and melt white chocolate for topping: This is easiest if done at the same time you plan to assemble the cupcakes.
  4. Assemble the cupcakes: The cupcakes can be left at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to two days, but they are best eaten within the same day.

Hostess cupcake cake recipe

In this recipe we used these tools:

  • Stand Mixer
  • Muffin Tin
  • Piping Bags
  • Essentials: Bowls, whisks, spatula, knife

Homemade hostess cupcakes

If you like this Valentine’s inspired recipe, check out these others:

Gluten Free Hostess Cupcakes

Prep Time 30:00 Cook Time 40:00 Total Time 01:10 Yields 16 cupcakes


For cupcakes:

For Filling:

For Ganache:

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (if dairy-free use dairy-free chocolate chips)

To pipe swirl

  • 1/4 cup white chocolate, melted


Prepare and cool cupcakes:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF and line 2 muffin tins with 16 parchment paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl add almond flour, cocoa, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. (see note)
  3. In a large bowl whisk eggs. Add in coconut sugar, milk, coffee, avocado oil and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and whisk to combine completely.
  5. Divide batter evenly between 16 cupcake liners bake in pre-heated oven for 16-18 minutes  minutes, or until a toothpick inserted and removed is clean of any wet cake batter.
  6. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Make the filling:

  1. Make 1 batch of Homemade Marshmallow Fluff and that post will have everything you need to know in it about doing so. You will have more than you need for this recipe but it is almost impossible to get egg whites to whip up if it is less than 3, so you'll need to make the whole batch.

Make Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Place mini chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Heat coconut milk until it is very hot (but not boiling) either in a microwave or in a very small pot over a low flame.
  3. Pour over chocolate and shake the bowl to make sure the chips are covered by the hot milk. Let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk the chocolate and coconut milk together until a smooth ganache is formed. It is best to do this right before assembling the cupcakes because you'll want the ganache to be warm, but not hot.

Assemble the cupcakes:

  1. Cut out a well from the cooled cupcakes with a knife and set aside the top. Using a spoon scoop out a teaspoon sized amount of cake to create a larger hole, and discard the cake scraps. Using your fingers gently press the sides of the hole until it is set and there are no loose crumbs. 
  2. Fill a pastry bag with the marshmallow cream and cut out a small hole. Fill the cupcakes and place the reserved cut top back on the cupcake and gently push it down so it's flat.
  3. Dip the top of each filled cupcake carefully into the glaze, and gently lift it up to let to let the excess glaze drip off and than quickly flip it back right side up on a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To pipe the swirl either fill a pastry bag with melted and slightly cooled white chocolate, or you can use extra marshmallow fluff and make 4-5 swirls on the top of the cooled cupcake.
  5. Enjoy cupcakes within two days. They can be stored at room temperature in an air tight container.

Recipe Notes

  1. If your almond flour and cocoa powder is really lumpy you should sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. You can skip the coffee and just increase the milk by 1/4 cup.
  3. If your chocolate ganache ever gets too cold you can gently rewarm it it over a double-boiler or in the microwaves for 10 seconds at a time.
  4. If you would like to make less chocolate cupcakes, you can use these ingredient amounts:
    • 1-1/4 cups (120) almond flour
    • ⅓ cup plus 1 tabespoon (35g) high-quality cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup (24g) coconut flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/4 cup milk of choice
    • 2 tablespoons cup coffee (see note)
    • 2 tablespoon cup avocado oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Raspberry Gin Cocktail

My new favorite cocktail is this light and refreshing Raspberry Gin Cocktail. We’re making our own simple syrup (and I promise, it’s super simple to prepare), made with no refined sugars for a delicious and guilt-free cocktail. Plus, it’s festive for Valentine’s Day! 

Raspberry Gin Cocktail

We’ve also spruced up the ice cubes by adding raspberries into them! So cute, so festive.

Raspberry Gin Cocktail

If you’re staying in for Valentine’s Day or are looking for the perfect drink to make before heading out to dinner, this light and flavorful cocktail is for you! 

We’re heading out to for a little dinner date tonight, and starting off with one or two of these beauties.

Raspberry Gin Cocktail

Raspberry Gin Cocktail
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
For the Raspberry Simple Syrup
  1. 1 package raspberries
  2. 1 cup filtered water
  3. 1/4 cup maple syrup
For the Cocktail
  1. 1.5 ounce gin
  2. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 ounces club soda or sparkling water
  4. 1.5 ounces raspberry simple syrup
  5. Raspberry ice cubes
  6. Optional: 0.5 ounce elderflower liquor
  7. Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Raspberry Ice Cubes
  1. Place 3 raspberries into ice trays with water, let freeze.
  1. Place simple syrup ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced by half. Take off heat, strain mixture, and let cool completely.
  2. Pour all cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and serve with one or two raspberry ice cubes or ice cubes of choice. Add rosemary garnish and serve immediately
Lexi's Clean Kitchen
Raspberry Gin Cocktail

Paleo Chocolate Donuts [VIDEO]

When I hosted a brunch with these Paleo Chocolate Donuts on the table, this first comment made was “are they fried?” No, no my friends. These are clean, healthy, and baked… oh, and beyond delicious. Just little chocolate cake in the form of donuts. What’s better than that?

Paleo Chocolate Donuts

 Watch the video:

Paleo Chocolate Donuts

Paleo Chocolate Donuts

Bake, dip in glaze and devour!

Paleo Chocolate Donuts


Chocolate Paleo Donuts

Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 0:20 Serves 8


    Dry Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
    • Pinch of salt

    Wet Ingredients

    Chocolate Glaze

    Strawberry Glaze


    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees °F. Grease a donut pan and set aside.

    2. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

    3. Pour batter into greased donut pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.When donuts are done, let cool on a baking rack.

    4. In two small mixing bowls, mix the chocolate and strawberry glaze ingredients seperatly and set aside until the donuts have cooled.

    5. Once cooled, drizzle glaze over donuts and devour!

    Recipe Notes

    • This recipe was updated on January 26th, 2017.
    • You can place the donuts in the refrigerator to help cool faster while you make the chocolate and/or strawberry glaze.
    • *Calories: 143
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    There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!