Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Yam Frosting (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

I thought these healthy gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with bright orange frosting looked quite festive for halloween. You could even offer them to your children in exchange for their candy loot! My children normally go trick-or-treating and then come back home and give most of their candy away to the last of the trick-or-treaters. Oh what joy they have in doing this! Then they put whatever remaining candy they have next to their bed and in the middle of the night the hungry candy gnome comes to take it away. In exchange he leaves them some healthy treats like pomegranates, herbal tea bags, and oranges. Seriously, my children think pomegranates ARE candy and are absolutely thrilled to each have their own left by a mysterious candy gnome! If you plan on using this tradition with your children, it is best to start when they are young.

I had an idea this year that moves away from the commercialized version of halloween to a more authentic one that embodies what halloween is truly about. I wanted to get a group of friends together and have a barn party with simple costumes, live music, homemade pumpkin treats, fresh vegetables, games, and a celebration of our ancestors. My children loved the idea! I am going to work on it for next year. For now we still have trick-or-treating, the candy gnome, and my homemade cupcakes.....

Grain-Free Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes with Yam Frosting

Serve these healthy mini-cupcakes for a halloween party, birthday party, or any other celebration. Use my Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting to top the cupcakes if you would like. For the cocoa powder, I use Dagoba brand which is organic and gluten-free. Conventional chocolate production uses a massive amount of toxic chemicals so always, always buy organic!

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
6 large organic eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or blender whisk or blend together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and quickly whisk together.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. You will fill them all the way to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Frost with the Yam Frosting and decorate with unsweetened shredded coconut and raw cacao nibs. Source:

More Autumn Goodness:
Homemade Halloween Candy
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you follow us on Facebook, be sure to head on over there and hover your curser over the "Liked" button and then check "Show in News Feed." Facebook recently changed their algorithm so most of our posts will not be showing up in your news feed unless you interact with our page. There you will see a recent photo my sister-in-law took of her halloween party food. It is really creative!

UPDATE: Nourishing Meals has its own Facebook page now....check it out here and Like Us. :)

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Is it really only 1/2 cup flour?

  2. Is there a way to do these without eggs? Does egg replacer work with coconut flour?

  3. I just posted a very similar recipe on my site! Your cupcakes look lovely.

  4. I'd love a vegan version of these!

  5. I, too, am hoping there is a way to do this without eggs. Maybe egg replacer and chia/flax egg? Thanks!!!!

  6. Another vote for eggless, though I'm not optimistic with the coconut flour and 6 eggs that there is a way to effectively replace the eggs...

  7. I am allergic to eggs...would love to see an egg alternative!

    1. I would love eggless option or course on how to make anything eggless. Eggs give me stabbing pain in my feet. Weird but true.

  8. I cannot find the yam frosting. Is it on the website? Thank you.

    1. It's linked above but here is the direct link:

  9. Can you replace coconut flour wuth almond want to make these today and no access to cocnut flour a the moment! Cheers.

  10. Those are gorgeous cupcakes and perfect for Halloween, Ali! :-) Will share!


  11. I am allergic to all dairy and gluten (wheat), use Splenda or Sweet n Low, avoid soy and yeast, and I desperately need recipes. I wouldn't mind soy and yeast that I avoid, that often, but really need W/O BOTH DAIRY and GLUTEN. Is there any way to combine those on your site? One might use the other! It's very difficult to go thru one and find something w/ the other in it, almost impossible time-wise. I'm so tired of eating the same old things. Love ur site, even if can't use much yet. Vicki K

    1. I don't see any dairy in this recipe. Do you mean eggs? Dairy is easy to substitute with alternatives and there are plenty of paleo sites with recipes eliminating both. Hope that helps.

  12. I too am wondering if anyone has found a good egg replacement that will work in this recipe.

    Love your ideas though, and am thankful for all the recipes

  13. For all of you asking about egg free cupcakes, you might try these with the frosting above:

    Most of my baking these days is egg free and my general rule of thumb for replacing eggs with chia or flax seeds is to only do so in recipes with two or fewer eggs. Otherwise, it's like trying to make a quiche without eggs--not so practical. :-) You cannot replace 6 eggs in a cupcake recipe without just making a whole new recipe!

  14. Couldn't find it here either, I found this one I am going to try.

    1 cup mashed baked yam
    2 ounces softened cream cheese (1/4 cup)
    2 teaspoons melted unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons maple syrup or 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
    1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon orange juice

    Place yams, cream cheese, butter, syrup, and juice in a bowl and cream together.
    Puree this mixture in a blender, food processor or with a hand mixer to a smooth, spreadable consistency.


  15. I don't see the recipe for the frosting...where can I find that? Thank you!

  16. frosting recipe from the blog here:

  17. The frosting is here:

  18. Hi everyone! The frosting recipe is linked in 2 places just above the recipe in the headnotes. It can be found on page 474 of our cookbook Nourishing Meals. The second link takes you to the pumpkin cupcake recipe where I explained in the blog post how I make it (it is slightly different from the recipe in the buckwheat cinnamon roll post--has more coconut oil). Just use orange-fleshed yams in place of the white sweet potatoes.

    Since this recipe has 6 eggs you cannot use an egg replacer. But you can follow the link that Jennifer L. left for my vegan, grain-free chocolate cupcake recipe using almond flour.

    Let me know how they turn out for you! :)

  19. What a great recipe! Both delicious and creative

  20. Ummm, yum! Those look great! My kids have been cupcake deprived lately (since we started eating whole foods in May 2012). I'm sure they would love one of those!

  21. We made these from the Nourishing Meals cookbook yesterday but substituted carrot for yam in the frosting as we didn't have yams on hand. It was delicious! The consistency was a bit thinner than I'd expected but stayed on the cupcakes nicely nonetheless.

  22. Made these tonight as normal size muffins and they were delicious!!!!

    Also loving your New Cookbook Ali!!! Hoping to make the chicken pot pie tomorrow ;)

    THank you!

  23. Ali it's marybeth:) I'd sure love to plan that party with you!!! thanks for all the good food you are a blessing to this community!

  24. Whoa Ali, these are amazing! I made both varieties (the egg ones and the vegan cupcakes) and they were both great. The mini-cupcakes were perfect for our preschool fiesta. I love the recipe above, but alas, both of my daughters are egg-intolerant and as one is still nursing, there will be no more eggs for me for quite a while. It was a worthy indulgence/experiment! Thank you!

    We're enjoying the new book, by the way!


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)