Grain and gluten free black forest cupcakes, made with coconut flour, are a great alternative to normal black forest cake. Dairy free, made with coconut milk and olive oil, these are a healthier alternative to the classic cake.
It was my sister’s birthday on Friday and she asked me to come up with a grain and dairy free black forest cupcake recipe as a present. She eats some grains, but I think avoids dairy for the most part. I can’t remember a year when she didn’t want black forest cake, but I think this is the first time our mom didn’t make her a regular butter-flour-sugar version. I was a little nervous about making a full size cake grain-free, so I didn’t. Cupcakes are both convenient and adorable. Honestly, I was skeptical of these at first, but they’re so good. Even if you do eat grains and gluten, you’ll like these. Everyone who ate them thought they were the cat’s pyjamas.
Despite being gluten free, the recipe for these little coconut flour black forest cakes is pretty simple and basic – no crazy flour combinations with six different types of flour, gums, and starches, just coconut flour. The fat is olive oil, the cupcakes are sweetened with honey, and the topping is whipped coconut cream. Of course this type of jarred cherries includes sugar, but you could also use fresh or thawed frozen cherries.
These gluten free black forest cupcakes have become a go-to recipe for me whenever I need to make sure something is gluten free. They were served at my sister’s wedding for family who couldn’t eat the big cake and I make them all the time alongside my gluten free peanut butter cookies and puffed quinoa bars. I think these might be paleo black forest cake, but I don’t have a solid understanding of how that diet works.
The cupcakes are very chocolatey and rich but not too sweet. They have almost a creamy texture, but still taste like cupcakes. I don’t know. Obviously they’re not going to be the same as cupcakes made with white flour and sugar, but even without the topping, they’re definitely little cakes. I think it’s because they’re pretty high in healthy fats.
Apart from being gluten free, these little cakes are also completely dairy free, and low in added sugar. Sweetened with honey and banana, they have a rich chocolate flavour from the high cocoa content. If you haven’t baked much with coconut flour, don’t be concerned by the small amount needed! Coconut flour absorbed a lot of moisture so you only need a little bit.
These black forest cupcakes are:
- Gluten free
- Grain free
- Completely dairy free
- Refined sugar free – honey sweetened!
- Nut free
- Soy free
- Kid and diabetic friendly
- Paleo diet approved
- Completely delicious!
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- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 6 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 large banana, mashed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk, 400 ml/can
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line or grease a muffin tin.
- Sift the coconut flour, cacao, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. It's important to sift it to break up the lumps that often form in coconut flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs well for about a minute or until very frothy. Combine the olive oil, coconut milk, honey, banana, vanilla, and vinegar, and then add this to the eggs. Keep whisking as you add the oil mixture.
- Add the liquids to the coconut flour mix and whisk well. Scoop even amount of the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes at 350F/180C. They will rise significantly and then fall slightly, but don't worry. Cool fully before topping with the cream.
Coconut Whipped Cream
- Chill the cans in the fridge upside down overnight beforehand. It's best to stick the bowl and the mixing attachment in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before you start whipping too.
- Open the cans, scoop out the hard white part, and add it to a large bowl. Reserve the remaining liquid for something else. Add the maple syrup and vanilla. Whip at a high speed for about five minutes, or until peaks form.
- Serve the cupcakes with a scoop of whipped cream and a few cherries. I used regular jarred sour cherries, which you should be able to find in most good supermarkets. Please don't use maraschino cherries for black forest cake.
1. I chose olive oil instead of coconut because the cupcakes need to be refrigerated once topped with the coconut cream. They don't get as dense in the fridge with olive oil. You can substitute coconut if you plan on eating them immediately.