Grain-Free Chocolate Cupcakes, Four Ways For Valentine’s Day


I’ve been making these cupcakes for years, and they are still my most requested treat to contribute to any event with friends. If you are looking for a Valentine’s Day treat made with whole foods for your children and friends this week, these will not disappoint! But they will be an extra special gift for friends or family who require gluten-free or grain-free desserts.

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES, makes 12 regular cupcakes OR 24 mini cupcakes OR 1-9” cake pan.


  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional:I leave this out if my frosting is sweeter)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  1. Add the first 6 ingredients to the stand mixer and blend until mixed well. At this point you can taste and add cocoa powder, honey, or vanilla to taste. It’ll be brownie batter consistency at this point.
  2. Add 3 eggs and mix again.
  3. Add baking soda and lemon juice until batter turns lighter in color and more like cake batter.
  4. Bake at 350 or 325 convection for 20 min.

I most often make this cake recipe with my favorite Chocolate Coffee Buttercream, but I wanted to add some blush colors to the dessert spread for Valentines Day! FOUR recipes follow. Important to note: Each icing recipe makes enough for ONE cupcake recipe. 1:1 ratio. If you double the cupcakes, double the icing.


  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2-1 tbsp instant coffee powder or strong brewed coffee to taste (optional)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. In a stand mixer, whip butter until lighter in color and texture.
  2. Add cocoa powder, coffee, and powdered sugar.
  3. Mix until delicious.


  • 1- 8oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1 – 1.5 cups-powdered sugar
  1. In a stand mixer whip butter+cream cheese until lighter.
  2. Mix in preserves.
  3. Add powdered sugar to taste.


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 – 1.5 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves (or use dehydrated crushed strawberries for lower sugar version).
  1. In a stand mixer, whip butter until lighter in color+texture.
  2. Mix in preserves.
  3. Add powdered sugar to taste.


  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2-cup powdered sugar
  1. Whip butter until light+fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar +whip again.
  3. Add salted caramel sauce.


  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  1. Add coconut sugar, coconut milk, and sea salt to sauce pan.
  2. Mix well and heat to boil.
  3. Simmer for 25 min.
  4. Pull off heat, add vanilla.

NOTE : I used coconut sugar in the caramel sauce to lessen the sugar, but feel free to use any salted caramel sauce you like.

All images and recipe content by Kristen Douglass for Cloistered Away. You can also find her on Instagram.

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  1. Do you have an almond butter you’ve found keeps the batter moist? I used HEBs fresh almond butter last time and I don’t know that it worked well for me!

    1. Author

      Hey Jessica, I apologize for the delay. I’m not certain which almond butter Kristen uses, but I’ll find out for you and message you.

  2. mmmm… This looks so good. I’m going to have to try it with Soy butter since one of my daughters has peanuts, treenuts and sunflower allergies. I love that it’s grain free.

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