You know those recipes that you grow up eating throughout your childhood and you continue to eat it into adulthood? This paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe is inspired by the Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake recipe which has been in existence in our household since I was a kid. My parents found it in a Hershey’s cookbook way back when and wrote it down on a recipe card which still exists to this day at my moms house.

It’s probably one of the best chocolate cake recipes I’ve ever known (also the batter is AMAZING – if that’s your thing), but now that I don’t eat gluten or dairy and I mostly eat paleo, I figured I would try to re-create this recipe without any grains, gluten or dairy.

I essentially took the original recipe and swapped out the ingredients 1-to-1. I turned it into a paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe, although it could also be done as a cake. 

What do you know, it turned out just as amazing! Of the friends and family who have tried this *healthified* version of the recipe, they’ve all said that they would never guess that it was any different than the original.

How to make this paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe

  1. First you will want to preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. Then in a stand mixer or bowl, mix the cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, cassava flour and salt together. 
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and coconut oil.
  4. Then mix the eggs, vanilla, dairy free milk and white vinegar into the sugar/oil mixture.
  5. Then combine both the dry and wet ingredients together and mix in the stand mixer until thoroughly combined.
  6. Once your batter is thoroughly mixed, add the boiling water to the batter and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  7. Now you are ready to distribute the batter evenly into 20 muffin tins lined with parchment muffin cups. 
  8. Then bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.
  9. Once the cupcakes are cooked, allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. 
  10. Enjoy these delicious paleo chocolate cupcakes!

Variations on this paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe

Sugar: This recipe calls for coconut palm sugar, but you could also swap that out for cane sugar or brown sugar.You could also swap it out for a granulated sugar-free blend such as Swerve.

Dairy free milk: Any type of dairy free milk could be used for this recipe including coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk etc. If you tolerate dairy, you could also use regular cows milk.

Cacao powder: This recipe calls for raw cacao powder, but you could also use cocoa powder. Read more about the difference between cacao powder vs cocoa powder.

White vinegar: You may be wondering why the white vinegar in this recipe. This is to emulate the taste of buttermilk which is essentially soured milk. Because this recipe does not include dairy, I’ve added white vinegar to the dairy free milk to make it more like buttermilk. I know it sounds weird and crazy, but trust me. The flavour it adds is unreal.

Cassava flour: Cassava flour is the most similar to white flour, and for this reason I wouldn’t recommend subbing the flour out for any other grain free flour. However, if you don’t have cassava flour, you could also use white flour. Presumably you could also use rice flour, but I’ve never tried it myself.

Coconut oil: Instead of coconut oil, you could swap it out for some type of vegetable oil, however I don’t recommend this approach as vegetable oils are much more inflammatory and less stable when heated.

Looking for more paleo recipes to add to your arsenal? Try out my paleo recipe book. It comes with 140 recipes (35 dinner, 35lunch, 35 breakfast and 35 snacks and desserts)

paleo chocolate cupcakes

Paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe

Tara Klippert
This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, paleo, grain free, and soy free.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 198 kcal


  • Muffin tins
  • Cooling rack
  • Stand mixer


  • 2 cups coconut palm sugar or cane sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups cassava flour
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder or 1 cup if you want more!
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup dairy free milk
  • 1.5 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • mix cacao, baking powder, baking soda, cassava flour and salt together in a bowl
  • in a separate bowl cream together sugar and coconut oil
  • mix in eggs, vanilla, dairy free milk and white vinegar to the sugar/oil mixture
  • mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined
  • add boiling water to batter and continue mixing until incorporated
  • distribute batter evenly in muffin tins lined with parchment muffin cups
  • bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean
  • once cooked, allow to cool completely on cooling rack


Calories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 36.2gProtein: 1.7gFat: 6.4gSaturated Fat: 4.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.6gCholesterol: 18.6mgSodium: 262.8mgPotassium: 377.3mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 24.1g
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, grain free, paleo, soy free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Tara Klippert
About the author Tara Klippert

Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. Tara helps people clear up cystic acne, balance hormones and blood sugar + improve anxiety and gut health NATURALLY with food.