vanilla cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting

we had a birthday party for me a few weeks ago.- a cookout, actually. we had wieners and baked beans. dear lord, what a wonderful meal. *josh, your beans are the bees knees.*

brian was in charge of my birthday treats, and i had chosen coconut milk ice cream with a toppings bar (i had coconut, chocolate chips, almonds, and strawberries on mine!) and vanilla cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting. this is a really amazing recipe that i adapted from elana’s pantry. the cupcakes are really versatile. in fact, it’s the recipe i used for margarita cupcakes a few months back. the frosting is very rich and decadent, and makes enough to frost a whole cake or a dozen high-hat cupcakes. we’ve used it for many cake recipes, but i think it’s my favorite on these vanilla cupcakes. though i couldn’t call it complicated to make, there are a few steps in making this frosting. but it’ll come to ya!

the cupcakes are really fluffy and moist. my friends complimented us on the texture numerous times. i’ve heard along the way that this can be made into a cake, but haven’t tried it myself. if you attempt this, please let us know if it works in cake form! this recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

vanilla cupcakes


1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

6 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbsp vanilla


preheat oven to 350f. put racks in center of oven. place papers into cupcake tin.

whisk all dry ingredients together.

whisk all wet ingredients together.

with hand mixer or by hand, blend wet and dry ingredients together.

spoon batter evenly into paper-lined cupcake tin. batter will be very thin.

bake for 20 minutes, until center is no longer wet and jiggly. *cupcakes will have a little shine on top of them, tricking you into thinking they are not done. they probably are done, so pull ’em out! these are easy to over bake!

cool completely before frosting.

dark chocolate frosting


1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt


over low heat (i used double-boiler method), melt chocolate and oil, stirring frequently. once melted, stir in remaining ingredients.

place mixture into freezer for 15 minutes to thicken.

remove from freezer. using hand blender, whip mixture into thick, whippy frosting. it must be cold to do this, so if it’s not whipping up properly, place back into freezer for 10 minute increments until it is cold enough. i blended mine for 5-10 minutes. it was very fluffy and light.

scoop into pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes, or simply smear onto cupcakes with spatula.

this frosting is also quite delicious when licking the bowl clean before placing into the dishwasher.



14 thoughts on “vanilla cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting

  1. Thanks to the Sentinel, I’ve recently discovered this wonderful little blog and am so excited to see that you struggle (or don’t, as the case may be) with a number of the same dietary desires and constraints that me and my boy do. Plus we’re in BG, so we’re local! Now, a question: where do you buy your coconut flour? Tropical Traditions? Do you use it interchangeably with any recipe that calls for flour? Things like pizza dough, sourdough bread, etc? I’m most curious!


    • hi kat! thanks for the comment, and welcome to the blog!
      i get my coconut flour, bob’s red mill brand, from kroger or squeaker’s (on main street, across from the corner grill). it’s usually about 10$ a bag, but lasts quite some time, as you use way less with baking than traditional flour. i’ve bought tropical traditions before, but can’t pinpoint a difference in quality at all so i stick with what i know (bob’s). i never sub wheat flour 1:1 with coconut flour, almond meal, or any other grain free flours. it just doesn’t work. coconut flour soaks up something like 4x the amount that wheat does, and almond meal doesn’t absorb liquid at all. when you’re starting out, stick with recipes you find that call for those ingredients, and experiment as you become more comfortable with them. there are many resources online using almond and coconut flours almost exclusively, my blog being one, and elana’s pantry being another. use anything you wish from mine! let me know if i can help! i do have a pizza crust recipe calling for coconut flour that i’ve had great success with. give it a try! if there are any more questions i can answer, feel free to email me:
      thanks again for your comment, hope to see you stopping by again!

  2. janet-
    thanks for stopping in! i really enjoy your blog!
    i love this frosting recipe, and have a dirty secret about piping it onto cupcakes:
    once all of the cupcakes are frosted, whatever frosting is left in the pastry is FAIR GAME. squirt a pretty little flower into the palm of your hand and eat up. no one is looking.
    no, i don’t do this often. everyone deserves a treat now and then though.

  3. Hey, made these cupcakes the other night. I don’t know if my coconut flour was more coarse or what, but it seemed to float to the top of the batter and I had a thin layer of custard on the bottom of my cupcakes. No big deal, I love custard! The flavor was great; so often recipes that use honey as a sweetener taste too much of honey–I couldn’t even taste it in these. I enjoy coconut and the texture was awesome. Didn’t make the frosting, although I’m excited to try it. Always looking for frosting recipes without powdered sugar. . .Thanks!

    It just occured to me that I’m in Iowa in the middle of summer and it is humid as can be. That is probably what affected my coconut flour-because of all the moisture in it from the humidity, it couldn’t soak up as much moisture from the batter.

  4. april-
    thanks for stopping in!
    are you sure the eggs and honey were well mixed before you added the dry ingredients? sometimes, while the batter is mixing, i notice the top of the batter getting foamy. this is usually if the eggs and honey weren’t the same temperature when i started mixing. the coconut flour will then soak up the eggs and just stick to the honey rather than binding with it. just make sure all of the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed before adding the dry.
    i do hope you try making these again! glad you liked the “custard cakes” anyhow!

  5. I had a bit of a frosting malfunction with this recipe as I tried to get it the right consistency. It seemed like 30 sec. in the freezer was the diff b/t runny and solid. Oh well. I’ll just have to practice more! I did have to make myself not eat the frosting right out of the pan. I like the olive oil/chocolate mix. Oh, and I’m out of honey, so I’m using sorghum, which works about the same.

    • i assume that melted coconut oil would work, but no promises!
      otherwise, any liquid oils would work here.
      let me know if it works for you!

  6. My wife made these and used virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil. They turned out great and tasted a lot like a Mounds candy bar.

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