Double Chocolate Owl Cupcakes (GF, Paleo Friendly)
These owl cupcakes are a hoot! Yeah I got dad jokes. I discovered these cute cupcakes years ago when I used to bake for parties, events and friend gatherings. I’ve always loved to bake, even before I started baking for my specific diet and started creating my own gluten free desserts. I like to bake crowd pleasing desserts and what I think will bring people joy.
These little owls seem to bring joy wherever they go. I’ve made them for kid parties, for fun at the office and even just at home because they’re so dang cute. I almost feel bad for eating them! I wasn’t going to do a blog post on these little guys because they’re so simple, but they were SO loved on my Instagram, I had to give them a permanent spot on my blog. Sometimes I’m just a big kid at heart, ok, all the time really. Anything with eyeballs and I’m sold.
This blog post is more for the decoration inspiration as I’m still working on my paleo chocolate cake recipe, but I’ve got a great vegan chocolate frosting if you’re into having that be homemade!
What do you need for these owl cupcakes?
These owl cupcakes can be made with any box mix, if you want to go the easy route. You can use Simple Mills chocolate cake mix and Simple Mills Frosting (not sponsored I just think their grain-free mixes are incredible). This is what I do when I’m on the go and don’t have time to create a cake from scratch. You will also need some gluten-free Oreos, or you can make mine here. (You would just not add the food coloring to the frosting). I know there are some other brands that have gluten free Oreos and Trader Joes has some delicious ones as well. You will also need little candies for the eyes and nose. For these I used Reese’s pieces (and did not eat them), but you can also use M&M’s or Unreal candy chocolate gems. And that’s it! Super easy.
What is in these chocolate owl cupcakes?
You will need a good chocolate (or vanilla) cake mix. I used Simple Mills, it’s my favorite and it’s paleo. I do not have a chocolate cake recipe yet on my blog but stay tuned because I’ve been testing! If you are looking for a good homemade paleo chocolate cake, Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe here is my all-time favorite.
Chocolate frosting: This is a homemade frosting made with a chocolate bar! It’s paleo, easy and spreadable. It’s very rich so you don’t need a lot.
Gluten Free ‘Oreos’: There are a few on the market, I do not typically eat these but I know Trader Joe’s are pretty delish. You can also make my gluten free/vegan Oreos here! And omit the orange coloring
Candy coated chocolate pieces: I’ve used Reese’s Pieces, M&M’s (unfortunately can’t eat these), but I love Unreal chocolate gems as well for a healthy option.
Ingredients for the chocolate frosting:
1 cup of chopped chocolate bar, I use Hu Kitchen for paleo
4 tbsp of milk of choice
4 tbsp of refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional to make it sweeter: 5 1/2 tbsp of unrefined powdered sugar (see my notes on how to make unrefined powdered sugar out of any granulated sweetener, including monkfruit!)
How to make the frosting:
In a saucepan, combine the chocolate chunks, butter or coconut oil, vanilla, milk, and salt. Whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the unrefined powdered sugar. Mix until smooth
Transfer your mixture into a heat safe bowl, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Now place your bowl in the refrigerator for any time between 20-40 minutes, taking it out to stir every 5-7 minutes. This varies with the type of chocolate and milk you use. Keep checking and stirring until it reaches the perfect frosting texture. If it firms up too much in the fridge, you can reheat in small increments until it softens. Be careful not to overheat, though.
Now spread your frosting on the cupcakes. For the owl cupcakes I just spread a thin layer. It is very rich so you probably do not want to use too much.
You can store this frosting in the refrigerator in airtight container and reheat in small increments until softened when you want to use again
How to make these Chocolate Owl Cupcakes:
Make your chocolate (or any flavor) cupcakes. Line your muffin tin with wrappers and preheat your oven per the recipe. I used Simple Mills boxed mix for these because it’s no fail, delicious, and paleo. I am still working up my perfect homemade chocolate cake recipe to share with you all— in the meantime if you are looking for a homemade chocolate paleo cake that’s rich and delicious, Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe here is my all-time favorite.
Once your cupcakes are cooled, you can either use your favorite pre-made frosting, or you can make the chocolate frosting per my recipe above. Again, if you are looking for a good, clean frosting, I love Simple Mills Frosting.
Spread your frosting over the cupcakes. I did not use too much as you want to make sure the frosting is flat and smooth, about 2 tsp per cupcake. Frost all of your cupcakes.
After your cupcakes are frosted, take your knife and create two little peaks of frosting on the top of each cupcake. Shape them into little points to make the ears for the owl.
Now you want to add the Oreo eyes. Take your Oreo or Oreo substitutes and carefully twist them in half (we all did this when we were young!) so the cream is just one on side of the cookie. Separate enough Oreos to make 2 eyeballs per cupcake. If you have 12 cupcakes, you will need 24 cream-sided Oreo cookie halves.
Press the Oreo halves into each cupcake lightly to make the eyes. I place about halfway on the cupcake. Your frosting should still be wet, so you should have no problem sticking them on and holding.
Once all the eyes are placed, it’s time to make the eyeballs and nose. Separate your chocolate coated candies by color. I used the brown candies for the eyeballs and orange or yellow for the nose (the beak)
Use your knife to spread a little bit of frosting on the backs of the candies you are using for the eyeballs, and stick onto the Oreo pieces. I like to place them on the inners of the Oreos so the eyeballs are closer together. It gives them character.
Now take the candies you are using for the nose/beak, and press them in vertically right between the two Oreos for the eyeballs. Repeat until all candies are placed. You will see the owls come together and have personality!
You can use any chocolate cake (or any cake) recipe for the cupcakes. I used Simple Mills box here because it’s paleo and delicious, and it’s my best lazy option! I do not have a chocolate cake recipe on my site yet (for now, stay tuned while I perfect it!)
You can use any chocolate candies for the eyes and nose, I like to use Unreal chocolate gems because they are a cleaner version of M&M’s. You can also use any Oreo-type cookie you prefer. There are a few brands that are gluten free and organic. Trader Joe’s has a gluten free version.
Don’t worry about putting these together perfectly! You will find they will still be adorable and have lots of personality.
If you have questions, please leave me your comments below. Ratings and reviews always welcome! It'll help me and others! I also love to hear from you.
Also, tag your creations on Instagram #gutsybakes and tag me @gutsy_baker!