Chocolate Cupcakes with Natural Pink Coconut Cream Frosting (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

So it's Valentine's Day and you're in a pickle. Don't worry, this post is not about or a recipe for pickles. What I mean is, you want to make something cute and festive and holiday-appropriate for the holiday, but you aren't so keen on the crazy dyes and colorings used in a lot of traditional Valentine's Day candies, cookies, and other treats. Don't worry... there's always another way! I'm here to reassure (and show) you that you can have your (cup)cake and eat it too when it comes to enjoying a chocolatey holiday goodie that is not only gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar-free, but also free of artificial colors and dyes.

Plus, I've added in some superfoods to this recipe for bonus points. Let's see the goods:

  • Cacao: Great source of antioxidants which fight cancer-causing free radicals. Cacao also has the ability to enhance mood, creating a sense of euphoria and happiness. Yes, cacao is different than cocoa. Cacao is far less processed than cocoa, and has no added sugars, of which cocoa typically has.
  • Collagen Peptides: Collagen is great for so many reasons. It's naturally occurring in the body, but as we age, we produce less of it. We need collagen to help reduce inflammation in our muscle tissue and keeps our joints healthy, which is especially important for athletes and people who workout a lot. The amino acids contained in collagen are healing for the gut, helping to keep the mucosal lining of the gut in tact, which helps aid in digestion and keep inflammation at bay. Additionally, collagen helps to promote skin elasticity, and healthy hair and nail growth.
  • Maca: An adaptogen (a healing plant), maca is a true superfood. Maca is known for its hormone balancing properties, as well as for enhancing energy and endurance, which is great for athletes. When training for marathons, I swore by having maca stirred into some brown rice with almond butter before my long runs and races. It's amazing!

If these amazing superfood ingredients aren't reason enough to give this recipe a try, how about a good old-fashioned love affair with chocolate cupcakes? For Valentine's Day, I think that's reason enough!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Natural Pink Coconut Cream Frosting (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Serves: Makes 5 cupcakes.
  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup almond flour (I love Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2 TBSP tapioca flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 TBSP maca
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 scoops collagen peptides
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs (ideally organic, pasture-raised)
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil (melted and slightly cooled)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1.5 cups coconut cream (I used 365 Everyday Value brand Organic full-fat Coconut Milk from Whole Foods Market chilled in the fridge and scooped the cream off the top of the can that rises to the top when chilled)
  • 2 tsp beet juice (I used juice from the canned 365 Everyday Value brand from Whole Foods Market)
  • 3 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit, and line a cupcake pan with parchment cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all dry ingredients for cupcakes. Once combined, add in all wet cupcake ingredients. Mix on high for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour combined cupcake batter into cupcake liners in the pan, filling about 80% fill (they will rise), and smoothing out the tops.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine coconut cream, beet juice, maple syrup (or honey), and almond extract until it comes together. The color should be a light pink. Store in the fridge until ready to use, or wait to make until ready to frost the cupcakes.
  7. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a butter knife or icing spatula to frost each cupcake.

Thanks to Whole Foods Montgomery County and Bob's Red Mill for generously providing the ingredients for this recipe, and thanks for reading!