One-Bowl Coconut Flour Cupcakes (Master Recipe–Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free)

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Have you baked with coconut flour?

It took me a long time to give it a go. I’m comfortable using all varieties of gluten-free flours—brown rice blends, teff flour, sorghum flour, oat flour, quinoa flour—but for years, coconut flour recipes frightened me.

Most gluten-free baking requires adjustments to traditional baking ratios (e.g., liquids, flours, leaveners, eggs) and, occasionally, the addition of obscure ingredients (think xanthan gum and guar gum) to make them work, but coconut flour recipes baffled me. A quarter cup of flour to produce an entire batch of muffins? A mere half a cup to make more than a dozen cookies? Successful coconut flour baking must require mad scientist skills, a sprinkle of fairy dust, or a magic wand, none of which I possessed.

It’s embarrassing to look back on my nervous nellie behavior. Different is hard; it’s just different. I finally got up the muster to try it a little more than a year ago, and…I love it. Love it!  Here’s why:

*As mentioned above, it is very easy to use. It’s tricky if you start free-styling, but if you follow recipes as written, you will soon get your bearings regarding proportions and how it works.
*It is extremely high fiber.
*It is naturally gluten-free & grain-free (paleo!)
*It is very low in carbohydrates (Specifically, 2/3 of the carbohydrates are dietary fiber, hence they can be subtracted from the total).
*It’s far lower in fat than nut flours
*It’s much less expensive than nut flours, and some other gluten-free flours, plus you only use a fraction of the amount of other flours so one bag lasts awhile.

Most importantly, however, is taste. Perhaps there is a bit of fairydust sprinkled into each bag after all, because I have yet to eat anything but an utterly delicious coconut flour baked good from the recipes I’ve prepared. I’m talking breads, muffins, cakes, tortillas, and more.

So now it’s time for me to start sharing because eating is believing.

First up, a multi-purpose, one-bowl vanilla cupcake recipe free of refined sugars but with terrific taste and texture. I’m a sucker for a plain cupcake (perfect for lunchboxes), but a smudge of chocolate ganache and some sprinkles on top is just the thing now and again.

Fear not the coconut flour, and enjoy the foray! Many more coconut flour recipes to come.

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One-Bowl Coconut Flour Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Master recipe for #grain-free, #gluten-free vanilla cupcakes made with coconut flour
Recipe by::
Recipe type: Dessert, Cupcake
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs (preferably brought to room temperature)
  • ½ cup agave nectar (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, warmed until melted (or vegetable oil of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons dairy or nondairy milk of choice milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. IMPORTANT: Line 8 muffin cups with paper or silicone liners; spray insides of cups with nonstick cooking spray or oil/grease (to prevent sticking).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended. Whisk in the eggs, agave nectar, oil, milk, and vanilla until completely blended and smooth.
  4. Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Transfer baking tin to wire rack and cool 10 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on wire rack; cool completely.
Notes
Sore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze (unfrosted) for up to 2 months.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cupcake Calories: 223 Fat: 13.5 Saturated fat: 10.4 Carbohydrates: 21.9 g Sugar: 18.2 Sodium: 113 mg Fiber: 2.6 g Protein: 4.8 g Cholesterol: 93 mg

Comments

  1. Jenni Kriss says

    I took a risk and made these for my roommates birthday party, even though I never baked with coconut flour before. They were amazing!!!!! She follows a strict paleo diet and she was so happy and that it was the BEST present by far. I cannot wait to try more coconut flour recipes (to use up my bagful of flour!) so I hope you share more soon. Thank you, Camilla!

  2. Melissa says

    These were awesome! I’m not paleo but I like coconut! I was worried because my eggs were not room temp – but it worked out just fine! I love all your recipes!!

  3. says

    My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a
    different page and thought I may as well check things out. I like
    what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking at your
    web page again.

  4. Bianca says

    I will most certainly be trying these tomorrow!! Also I am a huge fan of muffins (both savoury and sweet) and was hoping you could help me out with a basic coconut flour muffin recipe that can be used as a base for either savoury or sweet. I would be forever grateful!!!

    • Trudy says

      I am going to try this recipe with my favorite spices, and leave out the sugar. Then add my low sodium powdered chicken bouillon powder to it for a savoury bun. Can’t wait to taste it.

  5. Stacey says

    Camilla
    Just stumbled upon your website looking for a recipe for Banana Bread using quinoa flour. (Found it – yay!) I am going to try this cupcake recipe using coconut flour for my son’s birthday party. You suggested chocolate ganache on top. Do you have a recipe you can share? Thank you and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  6. Stacey says

    Camilla
    I’m not a fan of agave or any other liquid sweetners other than maple syrup or honey. Would you recommend either if those or a simple syrup made of cane sugar and water? If so how much sugar to 1/2 c water? What about orange juice or apple juice? TY!

    • Camilla says

      Absolutely, Stacey! Any liquid sweetener will work. Or you can do an equal amount of natural cane sugar plus 1 tbsp water or juice. :)

  7. Elizabeth Anne says

    Hi I was wondering, can I use Egg beaters/egg replacement instead of using whole eggs or will it change the results of the recipe??

    • Camilla says

      Hi Elizabeth Anne! I haven’t tried Egg Beaters/egg replacement in baking, so it’s hard for me to predict. However, the fat from the egg yolks are pretty key to the texture of the muffins–I would wager that you would end up with a muffin that looks similar but, due to the lack of fat, they would have a pretty rubbery texture. If you try the egg replacer, I would strongly suggest adding at least a tablespoon of some oil (coconut oil, veg oil, olive oil). Let me know if you try it!

  8. Jessica says

    These were scrumptious! I brought them to a party and they were loved by each person that ate them. We all thought they rivaled the typical, common yellow cake mix… except they are much MUCH better. I’ll be using this recipe from now on! We all couldn’t get over how delicious they are. I used maple syrup as the sweetener.

    I’m thinking of baking them again and adding a teaspoon or two of pumpkin spice, just because it’s fall season now and I wonder if theyd taste like autumn!

  9. Kristy says

    Made these for my son’s birthday party, they were a hit! I’ll be making again and again…

  10. Erica says

    I am looking to add cocoa powder to this recipe to make them chocolate – have you ever done so? If so, any idea on how much cocoa powder to add?!

    • Camilla says

      I haven;t tried, but I’m curious to know how your experiment goes. Maybe 2-3 tbsp? I would add a bit of liquid (nondairy milk), too since coconut flour is already very absorbent.

  11. Anna says

    Hi Camilla,

    Thanks for the great recipe! Could coconut milk be used as “nondairy milk of choice”?

    Thanks,
    Anna

  12. Brittany says

    Any information on an egg substitute? Maybe apple sauce? I have a food allergy baby trying desperately to come up with a birthday treat!

    • Camilla says

      Hi Brittany,

      Coconut flour is pretty tricky (i.e., hard to make swap outs of ingredients without a lot of testing). Eggs are pretty fundamental to this recipe (and a lot of coconut flour recipes), but I’ll try to figure out an eggless coconut flour cupcake in the near future.

  13. Richelene Woolridge says

    This is my first few weeks on a paleo diet. I love cup cakes and decided to try this recipe. It is absolutely wonderful. I melted bittersweet chocolate with a little coconut milk for the icing. My kids liked it too.

  14. Kayla says

    Hi, I was wondering if I could add pureed pumpkin to these and what adjustments you think I would need? Im thinking of adding pumpkin pie spices also. Thanks! :-)

    • Camilla says

      I haven;t tried it, but it sounds worth experimenting. Coconut flour can be tricky so I’d start by adding a small amount of pumpkin (maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup) at most. It might take a few tries to get it just right :)

  15. Heather says

    So, so, so delicious…and easy! I made these for my son’s first birthday today. We all loved them.

  16. SR says

    Hi there, these look delicious and I’m hoping to make them for my mom’s birthday soon. I was wondering: Could I replace the eggs with flax seeds? Thanks!

    • Camilla says

      Hi SR,

      I’ve used flax seed replacement for a lot of baked goods, but never with coconut flour, so unfortunately I cannot advise. The eggs do a lot for the volume and texture–I’m not sure how they would hold up or rise without the lift from the eggs, but you could certainly give it a try!

  17. Grace says

    Awesome recipe! I used honey instead of Agave syrup (that’s what I had) and it turned out great! If anything, it was almost too sweet! I was worried that with four eggs the texture would be too spongy. Not the case. Thanks for the recipe! :)

    • Camilla says

      6 ounces dark chocolate (chopped) melted with 1-1/2 tbsp coconut oil. Cool slightly (about 15-20 minutes) then frost! So yummy :)

  18. Raed says

    Yay!!! Seed free! I should be able to eat this recipe!

    Sadly, not the icing as cocoa is from a bean and thus a seed. :-(. I could do a lemon icing…. Mmmmm coconut and lemon!

  19. Sophie says

    Sounds yum! Any idea if powdered stevia would work instead of agave nector or would that have a bad impact on the texture? Thanks!

    • Camilla says

      Hi Sophie,

      I think it could work, but you will need to make up for the 1/2 cup of heavy liquid from the honey/agave. I would recommend 1/2 cup of mashed super ripe banana, or unsweetened applesauce in addition to the stevia). Or 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Let me know!

    • Camilla says

      I think it should work–add some more milk to make up for the liquid from the agave nectar.

  20. Adri says

    Hi Camilla,

    It’s the first time I’m cooking with coconut flour and I think I am doing something wrong. I made these muffins but unfortunately they ended like an omelette with coconut flour on top. They are tasty but I don’t think I can give them to somebody else to eat. Did you have the same problem? Thanks!

    • Camilla says

      Hi Adri,

      Hmmm…not sure what went wrong, but if were to guess, it sounds like your oven might run on the low side. There is always the possibility of mismeasuring (I have made some epic baking and cooking disasters as a result of distraction :))

  21. Maria says

    This was my first attempt at using coconut flour. You made it a wonderful experience. I followed your recipe and it was great. My only problem was I hade my grandsons over to help bake. They always want to take home what ever we do to share with Mom & Dad, 8 would not be enough. I didn’t want to try doubling the recipe for the first time. So I used my mini cupcake tin 24 cup. It was the perfect amount of batter. They were so cute like pops almost. Used your chocolate recipe and even sprinkles. I did cut the cooking time down to 10 minutes. I took a picture for you, but it won’t let me attach it.
    Thank you

    • Camilla says

      Ooh, love the mini cakes option, Maria. I may have to do that soon ( perfect not too sweet snacks) :)

  22. Maria says

    This was my first attempt cooking with coconut flour. And with your great recipe it was a great experience. I had my 5 & 8 year old grandsons helping me. They always want to take home what ever we cook to share with Mom & Dad. 8 cupcakes would not do. I didn’t want to double it since it was the first time. So I used my 24 cup mini cupcake pan. It was perfect! The perfect amount of batter. I changed the cooking time to 10 minutes. I also did the chocolate and sprinkles. They looked like little pops. I took a picture for you, but it won’t let me attach it.
    Thank you

  23. Melissa says

    Hi Camilla,
    Recipe looks amazing. I am wanting a sweetener free version. Any suggestions about replacing the half cup of sweetener with another wet ingredient would be extremely helpful – more coconut oil/milk perhaps?
    Thanks

    • Camilla says

      Hi Melissa! I have not tried it, but it would definitely be worth experimenting! I would definitely try mashed, super-duper ripe bananas (as in almost black skins) to replace the liquid sweetener. Are you open to stevia or stevia blends? If yes, use an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce in place of the liquid sweetener and add about 4 to 6 packets of stevia. Let me know how it goes!

  24. says

    Hi Camilla, thank you for this great recipe. My family loves coconut flour but some are not good with eggs. I see that in earlier posts you had mentioned working out an egg free cupcake recipe using coconut flour and hopefully agave (we love that too!) and was really hoping that you had!!! I cannot wait to try it.

    Thanks!

  25. Amanda says

    I made these exactly according to the recipe and the flavor is very good. We enjoyed them, but they were dense & filling, which I think is just how coconut flour is. I piped on fresh whipped cream (flavored with maple syrup) and topped with sliced strawberries. Next time I’ll divide the batter 12 ways for shorter cupcakes and more room for topping. Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. Betty says

    I would love to try this recipe and have 2 questions: 1) how much does 1/2 cup coconut flour weigh and 2) do you think I could make this recipe in an 8 x 2 inch round cake pan? Thanks!

    • Camilla says

      Hi Betty! I have not tried it, but it should work just fine! You’ll have to play around with the timing.

  27. LoCo Mom says

    I made these for my son’s second birthday (I feed him grain free and mostly natural/organic). I didn’t tell the guests they were made with coconut flour, and no one questioned them! I used butter instead of oil and just didn’t add any salt (it was salted butter). I used coconut nectar in one batch and honey in another batch (in place of the agave), and both worked out fine. I made 12 shallower cupcakes per batch and just used a greased silicone muffin pan so I didn’t need cupcake liners. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Camilla says

      So happy they were a success!!! I have had fun serving these to guests, too, without informing them of the coconut flour. Fun to watch the reactions upon the reveal!

  28. says

    These look great! Do they taste like coconut? My hubby hates coconut and I recently tried another recipe, using this flour, and it tasted super coconutty. I love coconut and even I didn’t like it.

    • Camilla says

      Hi Lori,

      They do taste faintly of coconut, but adding a lot of vanilla makes them taste more vanilla, definitely. My husband thinks the end result us a flavor reminiscent of Twinkies ( the cake part)

  29. Allyssa says

    Has anyone tried adding in blueberries or other fruit and making them as muffins? I made cupcakes and they were delish, I think muffins would be wonderful.

    • Camilla says

      Hi Alyssa,

      Absolutely! You can add fruit (fresh or dried) and other muffin-y add ins (like nuts, seeds, flaxseed meal (add more liquid if add flaxseed meal), etc). :)

  30. Rachel says

    I made these yesterday and they were fantastic! I want to make a cake for a potluck though, think I could double the recipe for a 9X13 cake? or just make a 1.5 batch? the pan is fairly shallow…

    • Camilla says

      Hi Rachel! I’m so glad you liked them :) I have not made them in big cake form, but I imagine that should work out fine.

  31. Eileen says

    I want to make these but my littlest guy hasn’t had eggs yet. Can I substitute flax/water?

    • Camilla says

      Hi Eileen,
      No, flax and chia eggs, as well as any other egg substitutes won’t work for this recipe as written–I have literally tried all permutations! But good news: I developed a vegan version of this cupcake! My husband and son (and me!) like them even better :) The key is psyllium husk and chickpea flour, plus some very different proportions. They are crazy good :) I just googled to see if psyllium husk is safe for toddlers and children and it is: recommended by everyone from Dr. Sears to countless organic/natural websites. I would buy an organic version (I use NOW brand organic, I order from amazon). Here is the link to my recipe. Enjoy! http://powerhungry.com/2014/03/vegan-coconut-flour-vanilla-cupcakes-grain-free-gluten-free-dairy-free-nut-free-egg-free/

  32. Deb says

    A little tip on room temperature eggs is to stick them in a pot of warm water for a few minutes. I read this somewhere and do it whenever I bake (which was a year ago). Now with cold weather coming, I might get back into last year’s addiction of Paleo baking. Thanks for this recipe!

  33. Natalie says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I,am not a fan of coconut but I tired them anyway and they taste great, even my fussy kids snack them down.

  34. Meghan says

    Would this recipe work just as well to make a double layer cake? I would double the recipe, though.

  35. Josey says

    I am new to baking with non grain flours and many of my recipes have disappointed me, but this recipe has proven to be a keeper. I love these cupcakes. I did opt to use butter instead of coconut oil because I don’t like the taste of coconut and I added chocolate chips to some of the cupcakes as well. Anyway, thanks for this great recipe.

  36. Izzy says

    Thank you so much! Over the last few days I’ve tried so many recipes for coconut flour cupcakes (that are ok on a strict no sugar/fructose or anti-candida diet) and all have failed miserably, being too eggy, flat or way too dry. These were the first that tasted good! I finally feel like I’ve eaten cake! :-)

    I swapped coconut oil for the same amount of butter and agave nectar for 2 x desert spoons of xylitol, but this worked fine. I even added a bit more almond milk and cacao powder to the last couple to make some chocolatey ones with success. Definitely my new favourite , thanks again.

  37. Nita c says

    Hi there,

    I’ve just gone low/zero carb in recent times and stumbled upon a lot of coconut-flour based recipes. Your cupcake recipe seems utterly easy and scrumptious to make. I would however, like to cut out the sugars totally if possible. Do you know if they will turn out right if I were to use a natural sweetener like Stevia in place of Agave syrup or any other sweetener?

    • Camilla says

      Hi Nita,

      I am not sure how that would come out. But you will definitely need to replace the volume of the syrup with something else (perhaps unsweetened applesauce?) if you use stevia. Let me know how it goes!

Trackbacks

  1. […] 4) Desserts. For the desserts we did Cuban Libre Cupcakes (aka rum and coke cupcakes) (Recipe here). They were really yummy but I didn’t really find the coke or rum stood out.  We also did coconut cupakes, with a recipe I have used a bunch of times and love. Find it here. […]

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