Chocolate-coconut cupcakes for National Cupcake Day (Gluten Free)

Chocolate cupcakes with coconut flour gluten free

You might remember last month when I announced that today, February 25th, is Canada’s Inaugural National Cupcake Day for SPCAs and Humane Societies.  I’m pleased to say that I am nearly half-way towards meeting my fundraising goal for this important cause and I hope today’s post and recipe will help me reach it!  Since I’m not in a position to hold a bake sale today (I wish!  I am sure the boys would much rather host a bake sale than have French class!), I am hosting a kind of virtual/ in real life event. Whereby I post these cupcakes here and take the “in real life” cupcakes to work today to share with my colleagues.

Gluten free chocolate coconut cupcakes

Because it’s Monday, you know. Sweet treats are always welcomed in the staff room, especially on Monday mornings.

Today I wanted to experiment with some gluten-free cupcakes to surprise some of my gluten-free colleagues. Generally speaking, flourless cakes contain nut flours (I have been experimenting with a fabulous hazelnut-chocolate cake that is nearly ready to share here!) but one of my colleagues has a severe nut allergy so I was really keen to try a cake with coconut flour for today’s cupcakes.  Chocolate and coconut is one of my favourite combinations and I have been wanting to experiment with the coconut flour I picked up from Nuts.com recently.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you won’t be familiar with much gluten-free baking (apart from macarons, that is – naturally gluten-free but they do contain nuts) at all. It’s not really my thing. As you can see by my first attempt at these cupcakes:

gluten free cupcake fail

Nope, no shame is showing “real life” here! I used coconut oil and chocolate chips and no baking powder or soda in those babies. They tasted good – kind of fudgey – but a little dry and, well, pretty darned ugly….

So it was back to the drawing board kitchen counter.  The cake mix is a bit of an adaptation of the aforementioned flourless chocolate cake but since coconut flour is thirsty, I had to make sure I had enough wet ingredients cope.  I also added a little baking soda and powder and was thrilled to see they rose beautifully!

Chocolate-coconut cupcakes (Gluten Free)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins

A light and fluffy chocolate cupcake - you'll never guess it's gluten free!

Yields 12 cupcakes


  • For the cake
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • For the ganache
  • 50mls 35% (whipping) cream
  • 75g semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • coconut for sprinkling


  1. For the cake
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F/ 180˚C.
  3. Prepare 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
  4. In a microwave or in a small saucepan on medium-high heat, melt the butter and cocoa powder. Set aside to cool slightly.
  5. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until just thick and creamy.
  7. Fold in the slightly cooled cocoa/ butter mix then the coconut flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  8. Mix in the milk, gently with a rubber spatula.
  9. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the beaten egg whites.
  10. Pour mixture into muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes.
  11. Allow cakes to cool in the tray for about 10 minutes before removing them to cook completely on a wire rack.
  12. Once they are completely cooled, you are ready to ice with the ganache
  13. For the ganache
  14. Bring the cream to a simmer in a saucepan, then pour over the chocolate chips.
  15. Allow to stand for a few minutes, then using a whisk, carefully blend the chocolate and cream until it's smooth.
  16. Whisk in the butter.
  17. Using a small ladle or a piping bag, pour the ganache into the centre of each cupcake.
  18. Smooth over the top of the cakes with a small knife or a an offset spatula.
  19. Sprinkle with coconut.



Chocolate coconut cupcakes with coconut flour gluten free

I’ve only had some crumbs of this but was impressed with the texture, the “crumb” and the fluffiness!  Win!  I frosted them with a simple chocolate ganache and some shredded coconut – because the cake is not so sweet (not much sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder) they can handle the sweet topping. Pretty darned proud of myself!!

Like the look of these? Want to support a great cause? Please head to my personal page on the National Cupcake Day website, where you will be able to donate a little something to support the SPCAs and Humane Societies.  Donations towards my cupcakes will help shelters across Canada give a surrendered cat or dog a new forever home, rescue a neglected or abused animal and give them a second chance at a new life, and provide emergency surgery injured animals. Go on, the cats and dogs of Canada will thank you 🙂

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12 Responses to Chocolate-coconut cupcakes for National Cupcake Day (Gluten Free)

  1. Monica February 25, 2013 at 10:25 #

    These look amazing! I love the idea of using coconut flour (never heard of it before).

  2. Jan @ Family BItes February 25, 2013 at 15:59 #

    These look amazing – great job! Now I know where to go when I need a recipe for gluten-free cupcakes.

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 19:16 #

      They are really great Jan – you would never know…

  3. Colette @ JFF! February 26, 2013 at 02:29 #

    The batter looks like rich chocolate truffle stuff!

  4. Catherine February 26, 2013 at 05:08 #

    They were sooooooo yummy!! Thank you for the treats! I will definitely be making these at home.

  5. Paula February 26, 2013 at 16:50 #

    Wonderful looking cupcakes Mardi. Kinda wishing I was part of the staff at your school 🙂 Lovely that you are helping to raise funds for the SPCA and Humane Society.

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 19:15 #

      Well if YOU were on staff, you’d have to bring cookies!

  6. Cakelaw February 28, 2013 at 21:51 #

    These are fab looking cupcakes, and for such a great cause. I did the Aussie one in August last year – it was more exhausting selling the cakes than making them because I got swamped – good for the RSPCA though.

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