Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Chocolate cupcakes: Sugar free, Gluten free and Keto & Paleo friendly!

It's official! I have successfully made chocolate cupcakes that are not only gluten free and sugar free but also Keto and Paleo friendly! And best of all, they taste deliciously good and I can eat them guilt free! Amazing! 

I was at the local vet a few weeks ago and happened to see an advertisement up for RSPCA Cupcake Day, you can get more info here. Then I was perusing through the recipe section and came across Pete Evans' recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes that was Gluten free and Paleo friendly. Perfect! You can find the full recipe here.  

My boyfriend is gluten intolerant so I'm always on the look out for gluten free cupcakes or any other gluten free baking ideas. And for the last few months I have been following a strcit Keto diet. If your not sure what Keto is dont worry neither did I until I started it, but its basically a low carb diet with no sugar. I know, I know your probably thinking, but how? she always bakes yummy sweet things. One of the perks of the diet is to have one 'cheat night' a week, so I usually save my special treats for that night or I do what I have been doing lately, finding alternate sugar free versions of my normal treats. This new style of eating has certainly been an eye opener for me, there are still so many yummy things I can create that are a lot healthier for me than the usual sugary sweets I would go for. Nonetheless I still love a delicious red velvet cupcake smothered in fluffy buttercream frosting :) 

Anyway, back to the cupcakes! So these are Paleo friendly, but they still have sugar in them, so to make them Keto friendly I had to sub that out for something. Earlier in the year I went to the Cake Bake and Sweets Show in Sydney and discovered Natvia. Its basically a natural sweetener and is very useful in baking, both because it tastes good and it also has a 1:1 ratio to sugar which makes things handy. So there any many sweeteners out there and I have barely scratched the surface with them, but this is the one I have had the most experience and success with so far. If you want to find out more info you can read about it here

So I replaced the 190g of honey with 150g of Natvia. I also used almond milk, not coconut milk. As the frosting was made with Coconut Oil I didn't want to overload the coconut flavour so opted for Almond Milk instead and I also happened to have some leftover in the fridge that I needed to use. 

I followed the recipe exactly for everything else, my mixture ended up giving me 21 cupcakes which was great! A lot more then the prescribed 12. 

When I pulled them out of the oven they had a 'biscuit top' (my boyfriends term) look to them. But to be honest, I wasn't concerned about how they look, I just wanted them to taste good and they were going to be covered in frosting anyway :) 

So while they cooled I started on the frosting. The recipe calls for 500g of coconut oil, this seemed like an exuberant amount to me, so I just started with 300g, then figured I could add more later if need be. I did 40g of Cocoa powder instead of the 80g, but did a little extra cream. I just used normal cream not coconut cream. Firstly as I had normal cream in the fridge to use and I didnt want to open up a 300ml can of coconut cream only for 2 tablespoons and secondly, I again didnt want to overload the coconut flavour. 

The recipe said put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix it together until smooth. I unfortunately don't have a food processor at the moment (I must really look at getting one) so I just put it all into the blender and blended it together. I was really hesitant with the frosting, I just couldn't see how it was going to work out, with no powdery substance i.e. no icing sugar and so much oil. Anyway I blended it in spurts and scraped the sides and blended again and after a few minutes it becomes lusciously smooth and decadent, very much like ganache. I didn't look at the picture, so wasn't really sure how it was meant to turn out, I only knew that I had to be able to pipe it. So I poured it into a bowl and put it in the fridge to set for a bit to firm up to make it pipeable and after maybe an hour it came out perfectly pipeable and tasted like eating Bounty flavoured ganache. 

Due to my eating restrictions at the moment, I just frosted a few for us to eat over the next few days and then put the rest in the freezer. 

The cupcakes tasted great! They weren't dry or dense like gluten free cupcakes sometimes turn out, almond meal is great for that and the choc coconut frosting on top just gave it that added richness and variation in flavour. And best of all I can eat them guilt free knowing they are sugar free and my boyfriend can also enjoy them as they are gluten free. 

So here is the recipe:

Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten free and sugar free)

Adapted from Pete Evans' recipe found here

(Makes approx 20) 



300 g almond meal
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 organic free-range eggs
100 ml coconut oil, melted
160 ml almond milk
150 g Natvia sweetener

Chocolate and Coconut Frosting

300g coconut oil (softened, not solid)
100g Natvia sweetener
40g raw cacao powder, sifted
2 tablespoons cream
Shredded coconut to garnish


Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Line a 12 cup muffin pan with pattie liners.
In a large bowl mix the almond meal, cacao powder and baking powder.
In another bowl, whisk the egg, coconut oil, almond/coconut milk and honey until smooth.
Gently fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter.
Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each to three-quarters full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. To check if the cupcakes are cooked, insert a toothpick into the centre and if it comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the chocolate frosting

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place in a bowl and set in the fridge for an hour, or until frosting becomes firm enough to pipe. 
Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with shredded coconut to garnish.

Have you ever made paleo or keto friendly cupcakes or simply used a sweetener instead of sugar? I would love to hear about it :)

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