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Coconut Flour Cupcakes (7 ingredients!)

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These Coconut Flour Cupcakes are light & fluffy, and my kids have declared them to be one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. They are perfect for those who need a gluten-free or Paleo cupcake recipe!

coconut flour cupcake with chocolate piped frosting

My Secret Ingredient

What makes these cupcakes extra special is that they have a sneaky healthy ingredient inside— zucchini! I’ve been adding zucchini to this recipe for years, because it replaces the oil without affecting the sweet vanilla flavor. You truly can’t taste it!

chopped zucchini on cutting board and in measuring cup

I’ve tried making this recipe with applesauce and banana instead of zucchini, and both options work, but they don’t fool my kids. The applesauce flavor is especially noticeable, so if you want a truly vanilla-flavored cupcake, stick with the zucchini.

The Best Way to Sweeten Coconut Flour Baked Goods

I originally posted this recipe in 2013, but recently decided to test it again to see if I could make the cupcakes even more fool-proof. I tested them with coconut oil, instead of using zucchini, and guess what? The zucchini version is WAY better! Coconut oil can make coconut flour baked goods become greasy fast.

I also tested this recipe with both maple syrup and coconut sugar. I’ve noticed that maple syrup tends to sink to the bottom of coconut flour baked goods, and it’s not too noticeable in recipes like my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, but I definitely notice it in these subtle vanilla cupcakes.

That’s why I now recommend making these coconut flour cupcakes with coconut sugar, instead. The coconut sugar makes the cupcakes turn out a little more tan in color, but the sweetness is much more evenly distributed. And the cupcakes turn out perfectly fluffy, without being too moist!

showing leveled off coconut flour measurement

How to Work with Coconut Flour

If you’ve never worked with coconut flour before, there’s a couple things you should know before you get started.

  1. Always measure correctly. I like to scoop my measuring cup into the bag of coconut flour, getting a heaping cup, and then I use the back of a knife to level it off into a flat measurement. I’ve also included the weight of the measurements I use, in case you prefer to use a kitchen scale.
  2. Don’t make substitutions. Coconut flour isn’t as forgiving as other flours in baking, so making a small modification could drastically affect the final outcome. Experiment at your own risk. In my experience, egg substitutes don’t work very well with coconut flour baked goods, so if you need to be egg-free, try one of my vegan muffin recipes instead.

What I love about working with coconut flour is that it’s naturally gluten-free, and it requires quite a few eggs, so the resulting baked goods are higher in protein. There is definitely a hint of coconut flavor, too, but it’s not overwhelming in this recipe since it doesn’t call for coconut oil, too.

How to Make Them

For best results, I recommend making these cupcakes in a blender. That way you can pulverize the zucchini, and get a super-smooth batter.

coconut flour cupcake ingredients in blender and blended

If your blender isn’t high-powered, blend together the zucchini and eggs first, until the zucchini is totally pureed, then add in the rest of the ingredients and blend again.

Pour the batter into 10 cupcake liners, then bake! Coconut flour tends to stick to pans quite a bit, so I definitely recommend using a liner, so you can guarantee that they will release from the pan later.

before and after of the cupcake batter in the muffin pan

Cool completely, then top them with your favorite frosting.

I have several healthy frosting recipes available, but my favorites are my Vegan Ganache (pictured here) and my Chocolate Vegan Frosting, which is fruit-sweetened.

For a non-chocolate frosting, try my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting or my Purple Sweet Potato Frosting.

finished cupcakes and one with a bite taken out of it

coconut flour cupcakes on white plate with chocolate frosting
Print Pin
4.83 from 17 votes

Coconut Flour Cupcakes (only 7 ingredients!)

These Coconut Flour Cupcakes are light & fluffy, while being naturally gluten-free! They are also oil-free, with a sneaky serving of zucchini in each bite.
Course Dessert
Cuisine gluten-free
Keyword coconut flour cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 92kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (58 grams)
  • 1 cup zucchini , peeled and finely chopped (134 grams)
  • 4 large eggs (206 grams)
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar (100 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (9 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (2 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (12 grams)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a standard muffin tin with 10 cupcake liners.
  • In a blender, combine the coconut flour, zucchini, eggs, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Blend until very smooth. (If you don't have a powerful blender, blend together the zucchini and eggs first, until smooth. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and blend again.)
  • Pour the batter into the 10 cupcake liners. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes, or until the center of the cupcakes feels firm to a light touch.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting and serving. If making them in advance, store these cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Video

Notes

After testing this recipe 10 times, I'm of the opinion that zucchini produces the best cupcake texture, without being oily or with a hint of "healthy" fruit or veggie flavor. If you want to try using applesauce, pumpkin, or mashed banana instead, you are welcome to try that, but keep in mind that the flavor will change with modifications.

Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is for 1 of 10 cupcakes. This is automatically calculated, so it’s just an estimate and not a guarantee.

Original Recipe (posted June 2013)

If you are in love with my original recipe, you can find the measurements for that below.

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 eggs

Just like the directions above, you’ll blend this together and bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. If you’ve tried both versions, let me know which one you prefer!

Please leave a comment below if you try the recipe. I’d love to hear what you think! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear how that goes, too. We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite flavor of cake or cupcake? Mine is carrot cake, so that’s next on my list!

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Comments

Paloma

Hi Megan! Thanks for the great recipe. I adapted it and made it to celebrate my one year mark on youtube 🙂 Delicious 🙂

María

HI Megan,

First of all: congratulations for another great recipe. I have a questions about the substitution with sweeteners to make the recipe sugar free. See, I read that coconut flour needs extra moisture, and I guess that is why your recipes usually have the same amount (or similar, but high anyway) of syrup of honey. Am I correct? So the question is, if we want to make the muffins sugar free with Stevia or xylitol or something like that (not liquid), should we also add some water or milk or something? Wouldn’t they get too dry otherwise? I have already tried your paleo pumpkin muffins (amazing!). I made them twice, using chicory syrup, which is sugar free and low GI and it worked great the first time (the same amount as maple syrup). I was afraid though, it was putting too much (indications in the bottle said no more than 5% of the total dough weight), so the second time I reduced the dose to almost half, and although the taste was still great, the muffins were much more thicker, too much, not so spongy and light anymore. Hard to swallow. So I am afraid if I add Stevia or xylitol in powder, and nothing else, it will be even worse. What do you think? Thank you in advance and keep making so many wonderful and healthy recipes! 🙂

Evelyn

Okay, I’m a little late to the party, but I just made these tonight and they are SO GREAT!!!!! I doubled the recipe, and added 1/4 tsp of almond extract as well, and WOW. What a GREAT coconut flour recipe! I’ve been experimenting with this particular flour lately, and this is my fave recipe so far!! (And trust me, I’ve made some duds!)

Terri A.

I just made your vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and marbled them for my son’s 8th Birthday party. I of course snuck one…and Wow! I am not a big fan of coconut flour, but these were soooo good! I mode both frostings in your cookbook as well and my husband and I were totally impressed! The chocolate one was my favorite, but the maple cream frosting was a close second! Thank you!

Marissa

Has anyone tried replacing the zucchini with another fruit or vegetable of similar texture? I’ve made this once already with the zucchini and they were great, but I was wondering if I could maybe use some sort of berry or maybe a banana in place of the zucchini for other flavors? What do you think, Megan? Thanks a bunch for this lovely recipe!

    Marissa

    Update: I just subbed the zucchini with blueberries and used medium eggs instead of large. Of course the color turned out a little funky but it tasted almost the same, with the exception of a slight blueberry flavor. Overall, still super yummy with a great texture! Can’t wait to try with other berries now!

Sharon Majetich

I must take a moment to tell you what a blessing your dessert recipes have been to me! This vanilla cake recipe is so versatile. I recently prepared the basic recipe and used it to make a pineapple upside down cake. I melted 1 stick of butter in a 9 inch pie dish, sprinkled coconut sugar over the butter and layered fresh pineapple then poured the batter on top and baked. It was super yummy and decadent!
Thank you for providing such user friendly recipes!!

Blessings,

Sharon Majetich
Dalton GA

cstrick99

This are the best and easiest little cupcakes ever!! So versatile too! They are great plain or you can mix up a filling or frosting and make them fancy! Thanks! So much. I made these and your peanut butter cup pie (I used almond butter) both yesterday for my husband’s birthday. Everyone loved them both. I have made your PBCpie so many times I can’t count!

audra

COULD I make this into a cake? My daughter is turning two and I’d love to make this for her. How long would I bake? Thank you!

Qq

Can i add blueberries inside? Will it affect the texture?

amanda tulles

I just made these using your date paste substitute for the maple syrup. They were so good. The whole family loved them! Used your whipped coconut topping too. 🙂 Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m glad to hear that the date paste worked well! Thanks for sharing!!

Raquel

These sound great, I’m hoping these come out well enough to use for my daughter’s fourth birthday party. Questions: Is the result quite savoury, like a muffin? Or more sweet and cup cakey? Would a regular buttercream frosting be ok or too sweet? I’m in the UK…hoping I can find a suitable coconut flour to use so that they are nice and fluffy. Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I don’t think they are savory, but they are slightly less sweet than a cupcake you’d buy from a bakery. I think a buttercream frosting might be a nice addition if you want them sweeter, or you could make a naturally sweetened buttercream using sweet potato as the base, like this one (you can change the flavoring as needed): https://detoxinista.com/vegan-cream-cheese-frosting-nut-soy-free/

Roberta Mohler

I am thinking about making your Vanilla Cupcakes for my grand daughter’s 1st birthday party. Would l this also work as a one layer cake? What about adding some fruit? Would that alter the consistency too much?Thanks.

corinne boccieri

Do you think it would be crazy to make this vegan??

    Megan Gilmore

    I don’t think 4 flax or chia “eggs” would produce good results. Maybe try a starch, like arrowroot or tapioca? You’ll have to experiment because egg-free AND grain-free baking is really tricky. I have one egg-free coconut flour muffin recipe in my first cookbook, Everyday Detox, that works well, but it’s still more dense than these.

Cbabs

Did you mean baking soda or baking powder? Usually recipes with coconut flour call for baking powder so I wanted to double check

Erika

These were crazy delicious! very moist, my guests (kids and adults enjoyed the cupcake and the whipping cream…… SO GOOD!!!!!!!! thank you.

Jodie

I know you said not to use flax or chia in place of the eggs but would it would if I used applesauce. We have a very high egg sensitivity.

Michelle

Hey there!
Do you know why the egg seemed to settle with a gelatin like texture at the bottom of each of mine? I subbed 1/2cup honey but otherwise everything else was the same 🙂

Fen Cullimore

Can you make these as a cake instead of cupcakes?

Jenny roberts

Absolutely delicious! Super moist! I used 1/4 cup sugar and your chocolate frosting recipe. Super tasty and sweet still.

Abigail Wenderson

Wow, amazing cupcake receipe, i personally like coconut alot and this coconut cupcake is going to be my favourite forever. I will try this recipe today.

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