You know those recipes that you grow up eating throughout your childhood and you continue to eat it into adulthood? This cassava flour 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. I also added a dairy free chocolate cream cheese frosting.

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.

Product brands I recommend for this recipe

  • Prana organic cacao powder
  • Rogers icing sugar
  • Nutiva butter flavoured coconut oil
  • Soy free Earth Balance vegan butter
  • Bob’s Red Mill cassava flour
  • Daiya cream cheese

Equipment you will need for this recipe

  • 2 muffin tins
  • Parchment paper muffin cups
  • Kitchenaid stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Piping set for frosting
Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

Variations on this paleo chocolate cupcakes recipe


Sugar substitutions: 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 substitutions: 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 substitutions: 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 substitutions: 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 substitutions: 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 substitutions: 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.


Make this recipe lower calorie/fat: Reduce the amount of coconut oil to ¼ cup and increase the amount of dairy free milk to 1 ¼ cups.

Make this recipe vegan: Swap of the eggs for egg substitutes.

Looking for more healthy recipes and meal plans?

If you are looking for more healthy recipes and meal plans, check out my premade meal plans and recipe books (which come with 140 recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks & desserts).

Tried this recipe?

Please leave me a rating and review below, and post a picture of the dish to Instagram and tag me at @foodsnfeels 🙌

Pin this recipe for later

If you can’t make my gluten and dairy free cassava flour chocolate cupcakes recipe now, make sure to pin the recipe for later so you have it handy!

Pinterest image for cassava flour chocolate cupcakes recipe

You might also like: 

If you like this recipe, you might also like my other cassava flour recipes:

Cassava Flour Chocolate Cupcakes + Dairy Free Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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 24
Calories 255 kcal


  • 2 muffin tins
  • Parchment paper muffin cups
  • KitchenAid stand mixer (or hand mixer)
  • Piping set for frosting


  • 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

Dairy free chocolate cream cheese frosting

  • 1 package dairy free cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar


  • Take the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter out of the fridge and let it soften on the counter.
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  • Then in a stand mixer or bowl, mix the cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, cassava flour and salt together.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and coconut oil.
  • Then mix the eggs, vanilla, dairy free milk and white vinegar into the sugar/oil mixture.
  • Then combine both the dry and wet ingredients together and mix in the stand mixer until thoroughly combined.
  • Once your batter is thoroughly mixed, add the boiling water to the batter and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Now you are ready to distribute the batter evenly into 24 muffin tins lined with parchment muffin cups.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.
  • While your cupcakes are baking, beat together the vegan cream cheese with vegan butter and vanilla. Then add the cacao powder as well as slowly start adding the icing sugar while mixing. Beat until smooth. If the icing looks too thin you can add extra icing sugar.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooked, allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Using your piping set (or a knife or spoon), topped the cupcakes with frosting.
  • Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 42.7gProtein: 2.2gFat: 9.2gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15.5mgSodium: 429.7mgPotassium: 346.8mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 29.8g
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, paleo, soy free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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. She shares her gluten free, dairy free & allergy friendly recipes.