Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
I don’t usually eat peanut butter (because I’m paleo), but when I do…
This was my last recipe I came up with before leaving my parents’ house. It’s nostalgic to me because that is where Gutsy Baker started. It’s where I spent hours in the kitchen testing recipes, started this blog, and learned food photography. I set up a studio in the spare bedroom and spent even more hours in there creating, learning and constantly making a mess. Since coming home to California, I’ve had a struggle trying to carry on the rhythm. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the set up I had there. So these cupcakes are close to my heart, they were my 'last dessert'!
I made these gluten free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, who eats completely “normal”, and warned her they were a healthier version than what she was used to. And, SHE LOVED THEM! She couldn't believe they were gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. See, I can appreciate my recipes because I HAVE to eat like this. But when someone who eats normal enjoys my recipes, it means so much more. They’re the toughest critics!
These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are made with a rich gluten free chocolate cake and stuffed with a peanut butter dough filling. They actually taste like Funny Bones, do you remember those? And then topped with a sweet peanut butter buttercream. Which has just a hint of peanut butter! The filling is the star of the show. If you are looking for an indulgent gluten free dessert these cupcakes will blow you away, they’re addictive! They are also safe for a low fodmap diet, per usual.
These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free!
Like all of my bakes, I never use dairy, gluten or refined sugar. These cupcakes are sweetened with coconut sugar but you can use any granulated sugar of choice. I also used dairy free butter and all purpose gluten free flour blend. They’re so delicious you’d never know!
Can I make these cupcakes vegan?
These cupcakes are dairy free but do contain 2 eggs. You should be able to substitute the eggs for flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax plus 6 tbsp of warm water), or aquafaba eggs. I haven’t tried this yet but I think it will work!
Why are peanuts not considered paleo?
Peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut! This is why they are not considered paleo. Peanuts also have a higher mold content (the gray on the shells is actually mold), so are not the best choice when fighting illness or have autoimmune conditions. Everything in moderation though, right?!
What is in these gluten free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes?
Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend: I used Bob’s Red Mill but King Arthur blend, or other 1:1 gluten free flours would work too
Natural Peanut Butter: Make sure you use natural peanut butter, ingredients just peanuts or peanuts and salt. I like the Whole Foods 365 brand
Cacao Powder: You can use cacao powder or a good quality cocoa powder here. I like cacao for its health benefits and it’s very rich
Dairy Free Butter: I use Earth Balance Sticks or Miyoko’s butter, but any non dairy or grass fed real butter will work
Coconut Oil or Olive Oil: This is your healthy fat in the cupcakes
Unrefined Powdered Sugar: See my note below on how to make unrefined powdered sugar! You can also use traditional powdered (confectionary) sugar
Pure Vanilla Extract: Because it’s in all baked goods, right?
Baking Powder: This helps to give your cupcakes a night rise and fluff Baking Soda: Because gluten free flour is heavier, adding baking soda as well helps to rise and fluff
Non-Dairy Milk: As always I used Oatly, but any milk of choice works
Eggs: These bind and fluff your cupcakes. You can try a replacement with aquafaba or flax eggs for a vegan sub, I just haven’t tried this yet
Coconut Sugar: I love coconut sugar as you know. This keeps the cupcakes lower glycemic (which you make up for in the frosting!), but any granulated sweetener will work in replacement. PSA: Coconut sugar does not taste like coconut!
What special kitchen tools do I need?
A hand mixer for the batter and the buttercream frosting
A piping bag for icing (optional), or a ziploc bag
How to store the gluten free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes?
These store well on the counter for a day then transfer to fridge in airtight container. They are good in the fridge for up to 7 days, and in the freezer for up to 6 months. I suggest they are wrapped individually (without the frosting is recommended) and tightly with wrap before frozen. Defrost at room temp when ready to enjoy.
How do I make my own unrefined powdered sugar?
To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I prefer to use coconut sugar because it is my go to low glycemic sweetener but you can use any granulated sugar, even monkfruit. Powdered sugar is great to have on hand for frostings, icings, and shortbread cookies so I like to make a bunch and store it for later.
I don’t always recommend powdered coconut sugar for certain recipes, but I think it compliments peanut butter and chocolate well and would work here!
The chocolate gluten free cupcakes:
3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour, I use Bob’s 1:1
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp cacao powder, or a high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar, or other granulated sweetener
2 large eggs*
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil, melted and cooled
(*You can also "cheat" and use a box mix, I love this paleo Simple Mills Chocolate Cake Mix!)
The peanut butter filling:
Less sugar option:
Pure peanut butter, about 1/2 cup
Sweeter peanut butter filling:
4 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp dairy-free butter
1/2 cup unrefined powdered sugar*
1+ tbsp non-dairy milk, as needed
The peanut butter buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted non-dairy butter, I use Earth Balance sticks or Miyoko’s
2 cups powdered sugar, or unrefined powdered sugar*
2 tbsp + 2 tsp pure natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp non dairy milk, as needed
Make the gluten free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes:
1. Line a standard muffin tin with wrappers and set oven to 350F. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and coconut sugar until fully mixed and no lumps remain. Now create a well in the center of the mix and add in the eggs, non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk well until fully combined, or for a fluffier cupcake, beat on high with a hand mixer, or stand mixer until smooth.
3. Spoon the batter into the wrappers about 3/4 the way full, roughly 3 tbsp each. Repeat until all batter is used. Tap and shake the pan so makes sure air bubbles are out. Bake for 18-20 minutes. You can insert a toothpick to make sure it comes clean.
4. When finished, let cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
5. While they are cooling, prep the filling. If you choose to make the peanut butter filling, mix together all filling ingredients in a small bowl until a thick frosting/dough texture forms. If it seems too thick, add another tablespoon of milk. You should be able to form and pick up with your fingers, it will be a dough-like texture.
6. Cut little circles in the top centers of the cupcakes for the filling. Cut about 2/3 down into the cupcake and remove the cake to create a cavity. Save pieces for topping them after.
7. Fill each cupcake cavity with the peanut butter filling (about 2 tsp per cupcake), and put the pieces removed back on top. Set aside while you prepare frosting.
Make and top with peanut butter buttercream frosting:
1. In a medium bowl, mix together all buttercream ingredients except the milk, with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Keep mixing until butter is fully incorporated. If the frosting is still dry, mix in 1 tsp of milk at a time until until smooth, to your liking. If it’s too wet, add more powdered sugar until it reaches desired thickness.
2. Once the cupcakes are cooled and filled, either pipe the frosting on with a piping bag or just out of the corner of a ziploc bag. You can also frost these old school style with a knife!
3. These store well on the counter for a day then transfer to fridge in airtight container. They are good in the fridge for up to 7 days, and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
They were also my celebration cupcakes for hitting 10k on Instagram!
To make your own unrefined powdered sugar, place any granulated sweetener in a high speed blender for 30-60 seconds. I think coconut sugar would work well in this recipe, but monkfruit could be used too, it’s just sweeter
You should be able to substitute the eggs for flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax plus 6 tbsp of warm water), or aquafaba eggs. I haven’t tried this yet but I think it will work
Make sure your peanut butter is just peanuts and salt as the ingredients. Or a natural peanut butter with no sugar added
If you make these delicious chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, leave me comments or ratings below, I love to hear from you! Or tag me in your creations @gutsy_baker on Instagram