Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes with “Peanut Butter” Frosting

Ooo là là! Bring me a paleo cupcake! I made one of my best discoveries today I’m sure you’re gonna love too…

I’m still a Paleo newbie myself, so I’m always trying to figure out how to take paleo-approved ingredients and turn them into delicious recipes. It sure makes eating paleo a whole lot tastier!

My newest discovery? Organic Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions.

They’re not paying me to tell you how awesome this shortening is, but I will anyway. You know, one of the things I miss most since going paleo is being able to make frostings and cookies. It’s possible to make make a decent frosting out of coconut milk or coconut oil, but it’s a lot of work. And the end result isn’t always that great.

One of the reasons I haven’t posted more paleo treats on my site is I don’t want to give you paleo recipes that are just so-so. When a recipe is labeled paleo, most people assume it’s got to be sub-par. (Silly people!) I hope to change that. I believe paleo can be better than any “regular” recipe you’ve tried before, and therein lies my challenge. [av_sidebar widget_area=’Lockerdome’ av_uid=’av-28bn52′]

Palm shortening has just made me a very happy girl. I ordered mine direct from the Tropical Traditions website. You can whip this shortening up with any nut butter (I used sunflower butter) and a little raw honey and it tastes pretty close to a peanut butter-flavored buttercream frosting –without of course the peanuts or refined sugar. I made this yummy frosting for paleo chocolate cupcakes today and loved them.

We all know cupcakes aren’t for every day, but when a special occasion or birthday comes along, they are a great treat for celebrating – and you don’t have to feel guilty enjoying this very paleo-friendly version.

Honestly, you don’t even need a reason to try this recipe. Just whip these bad boys up, frost them, and enjoy. It will make your family happy. I promise!

Paleo Chocolate Cupcake with “Peanut Butter” Frosting

Paleo Chocolate Cupcake with “Peanut Butter” Frosting


    Cake Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup sunflower butter
  • 3/4 cup Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening –or– 3/4 cup organic butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt


  1. Make your frosting first
  2. Frosting Instructions
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine sunflower butter and shortening on medium-high speed until fluffy. Takes about 3 minutes.
  4. Add honey, vanilla and pinch of salt. Whip on high for another couple of minutes.
  5. It should look like frosting, thick enough to spread on a cupcake.
  6. Place in fridge while you bake your cupcakes
  7. Cake Instructions
  8. Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt
  9. Whisk eggs in another small bowl and add melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla
  10. Combine with dry ingredients and mix
  11. Pour into muffin cups of your choice
  12. Bake at 350º F for 15-18 min.
  13. Makes about 6-8 cupcakes
  14. Once cooled, frost those yummy cakes!
  15. We sprinkled on a few mini dark chocolate chips just for fun :)
  16. Frosting holds up well, but refrigerate if you don't eat them all right away.

Join the Conversation

  1. This frosting is very delicious!

  2. Surprisingly tasty! I made these for my granddaughter’s school festival. I used 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/4 cup Nutiva organic red palm oil in the frosting. I’m not sure I’m wild about the frosting, but I think it will work.

  3. I have tried this recipe twice, one in its entirety and the second time just for the cake portion. Awesome recipe! The icing was a bit thicker and REALLY strong in flavor, which some people liked. I’m not a reeses cup fan so I had to lessen the amount of icing on my cupcake. Overall, excellent recipe. Thanks so much.

  4. Best paleo/scd/gaps cupcakes

    These are the best cupcakes I have made in 3 years of GAPS/ SCD/Paleo cooking. Rich and luscious. The kids love them, but sometimes the icing disappears from the fridge before the cakes are cooked!

    1. Oh thank you Carrie! So glad you enjoyed these…one of my personal favorite paleo treat recipes too! Thanks again!

  5. Can I use organic cow butter and animal lard and it still taste the same way?

    1. I think if you use butter your fine, I’m not sure about the lard, but it seems like it would work as well.

  6. Is cacao powder the same as unsweetened cocoa? I am a Paleo (very) newbie myself and still have a pantry in transition/learning the terms. No wheat in my pantry, just figuring out what’s left I can use up and still heal the guts of me and family. Your delicious and satisfying recipes are helping us adapt so much more easily- bless you! I signed up to bring the “special treat” for my 4 year old’s preschool Thanksgiving feast this Thursday and there are nut allergies galore, so this will be perfect. And they’ll never miss the gluten! truly, thank you.

    1. Hi Mary! The kids will love those cupcakes! So great that you’re sharing healthier treats with the kids. :) To answer your question, Cacao is the unrefined version of cocoa and contains more antioxidants than the processed cocoa. That being said, if you have unsweetened cocoa in your pantry feel free to use it. They are interchangeable in recipes and it will taste great! I’m so you found some recipes here for your family to enjoy!. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I’m not sure if I can get my hands on that shortening soon enough, is there anything else that paleo that I can use instead? I would like to make them on Sunday.

    1. Sorry, I don’t have a sub for you. You could use butter if you allow dairy.

  8. These were amazing!! Shhh, don’t tell that I used honey roasted pb because I didn’t have any sunbutter. I wanted a paleo peanut butter frosting for my paleo chocolate cake-and this fit the bill! Will definitely make them nut-free next time ;)

    So glad to have come across your blog! I, too, am Italian (full-blooded) and have to be gluten-free (due to celiac disease), but have also chosen to be paleo. We must be crazy Italian girls to choose to give up pasta ;) If my grandmother were alive today, I’m not sure she would know what to do with me!

    Can’t wait to find more yummy recipes from your awesome site!


    1. Hi Jess, Girl you and I need to get together! We are crazy Italian girls! Pasta has been my hardest thing to give up. Whenever I think I’m just gonna cave and have a bowl of spaghetti, I think of my gut and change my mind. I’m sure you can relate. Fortunately, wine still works for me. haha! Ciao! :)

      1. Sounds like a plan ;) I honestly don’t miss it (or the pain)…I guess I’ve been without it for some time. If not wine, there’s always Paleo ritas or dairy-free mudslides made by my hubby! Ciao!

        1. Paleo ritas… :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    These were delicious! Thank you!

    1. You’re so welcome…glad you liked them!

  10. Anonymous says:

    These are DELICIOUS!!!! I used natural peanut butter instead of the sun butter and doubled the recipe for both the cupcakes and the icing. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

    1. I’m glad you liked them. Its great when people find our recipes and are able to adapt them to their diet. :) thanks you so much for stopping by to comment!

  11. Can I make the cupcakes 2 days ahead of time and frost the nigh before? How should I store? Freeze/refrigerate?

    1. Danielle, I’m sure you can. You can keep them out or put them in the fridge. Hope you like them! :)

      1. Thank you Trina! I used butter instead of coconut oil and the cupcakes taste great. Can you substitute something for the shortening?

        1. Danielle, if you’re ok with butter, try that as your shortening. Start off with a little less than the recipe calls for and see how it whips up. I think is will be fine. :)

  12. Mirela Madslangrud says:

    I don’t have Palm shortening. What shall I use?

    1. The palm shortening is what helps the frosting hold up. I have not made it with anything other than Palm shortening. Sorry. If you find something that works well, let me know. :)

  13. Thank you for this recipe! It led to a new creation for me! I used the cake recipe you have here to the T, but I didn’t have the shortening so I tried it with palm oil instead. Of course, that didn’t make for great frosting. However, it makes for a wonderful filling! I used it inside a few cupcakes in the batch to experiment and the “peanut butter” chocolate flavors really compliment each other plus the filling sort of seeps through the cupcake. I might try it on top next time. Then I topped it off with a paleo chocolate avocado frosting that is delicious with a pudding-like consistency. I’ll send you a picture if you’d like!

  14. I’m also a Paleo diet newbie. Thanks for introducing Tropical Traditions this is just the perfect time; that precious ingredient is 42% off!

  15. Your chocolate cupcakes look so yummy, Trina! I love it. Would have to try it some time. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Wow.
    these cup cakes look so decadent and so does the paleo frosting with the cute miniature choco chips on top of them! Great clicks


  17. Thanks Bon! :)

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