Sugar-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Today is World Diabetes Awareness Day. I can’t imagine how frustrating having diabetes is. Being a sugar lover myself, I have to constantly remind myself that need to eat it in moderation. I’ve heard of people going without it for a week and I can’t even imagine. I think I could give up the added sugar, like in baked goods and such, but I have to have my daily fruit! πŸ˜€

In lieu of today, I’ve made a cupcake recipe for those moments when those who can’t afford to indulge in sugar, satisfy that chocolate craving and to help raise awareness for diabetes.Β My Grandpa actually has had type 2 diabetes for 15 years.

Being a math girl myself, these statistics were mind blowing and so sad…

25.8 million children and adults have diabetes in the US

347 million people have diabetes worldwide

$218 billion: Total costs of diabetes in the US in 2007

…just to name a few.


So, let’s all get out there and exercise and eat a little healthier! πŸ˜€

I love you all. I want you all to be around for a long time!

Thank you Carolyn (All Day I Dream About Food) for organizing diabetes awareness among us! She’s giving away a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer for all who want to enter!


Sugar-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate CupcakesΒ 

adapted from Texanerin Baking


  • 1.4 oz (about 1/2 cup)Β almond meal (I used TJ’s brand)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2-4 packets of stevia
  • 5 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • (frosting) 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • (frosting) 1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • (frosting) 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • (frosting) 2 packet of stevia


  1. Preheat the oven to 375Β°F.
  2. Line a muffin pan with 6 paper cups.
  3. Combine the almond flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and stevia together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In another smaller bowl, combine the coconut oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Fill the paper cups 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Mix the frosting ingredients together and spread a little bit on each cupcake.

Servings: 6 cupcakes


  1. These are GORGEOUS Caroline! You’ve made it hard for anyone to not at least try a sugar-free dessert, something close to my heart! I can’t wait to make these!!!

  2. I was about to say that I wanted to make these but then saw the source. Whoops. πŸ™‚

    I love that diabetics can eat these but did you happen to try the original with honey? I’m guessing the texture of these is a bit different without all the extra liquidy honey. Were they still moist? I’m curious!

    And I love those liners! So cute.

    1. They were quite moist! I need to make them again with your original recipe, though. I bet they are 10 times more fantastic than what I made! πŸ˜€

    2. These sound delicious and I will try them someday, but right now I’m looking for a vegan recipe so a friend can also enjoy. These are titled vegan but recipe includes eggs! Anyone try these with flax seed gel or other substitutes?

      1. I apologize for titling it vegan. Complete brain fart. I personally haven’t tried making them with egg substitutes, but I too would love to know! Great question. πŸ™‚ I’ll have to try it again someday.

  3. These look really great! My dad has diabetes too (along with tons of other health issues – my poor dad) so I understand a little bit how rough it is. I dont know how people do it either. We are so blessed to be as healthy as we are.We need to take care of ourselves. I know I say it in a lot of your posts, but I really do love that you make things we can all love to be slightly healthier for us, so we can still indulge and not feel as bad about it. Youre doing a great thing Caroline πŸ˜€

  4. diabetes is such a chronic disease and seems to be getting more prevalent everyday. what breaks my heart is seeing young children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Most of the time people forget that eating healthy & exercising regularly can make such a positive impact but in spite of awareness, education and resources we are somehow not being able to control this deadly disease. This is such a great event creating awareness among food bloggers community. I think the more we talk about the disease, spread more education, people may become more aware and start taking care of themselves and family. BTW your cupcakes look great and your pictures are gorgeous as always πŸ™‚

    1. I agree completely. It’s so important to be aware of diabetes and get as active and healthy as we can! I’m planning on getting the whole family active when Liam is older. πŸ˜€ Yay for family activities! Thank you Dixya!

  5. It is also important to remember type 1 diabetes which is chronic and irreversible. Plenty of fit, healthy individuals aquire this disease, usually at a young age.

    1. It’s so sad, but so true. I really didn’t know about children getting type 1 until Nick Jonas (from the Jonas brothers) became open about it. I’m so glad he did!

  6. I’ve never thought to do the almond meal like that… I always have one of those TJ’s bags in my pantry and I’m going to pull it out!
    Yep.. those numbers are staggering… I’m working with the kids to try to make better choices.

    1. That’s so good. I bet it’s going to be a constant challenge to get Liam to make good choices when he’s older. I guess leading by example is the best way to go! πŸ˜€

  7. I’m visiting all the sites participating in the Diabetes awareness event to say thank you for doing this. I’ve had gestational diabetes and my sister is a Type I, so I’m happy someone like Carolyn is trying to get the word out about low-carb eating. I’m a sucker for cupcakes–and your other recipes look great, too–too bad I can’t eat them! πŸ™‚

    1. To tell you the truth, I guess I assumed that fruit was in moderation. Can you eat as much fruit as you’d like then? Just curious.

      1. I am making these right now for a friend’s birthday tomorrow. Do you leave them out overnight or refrigerate and then bring to room temp before eating?

        1. I’m sorry I didn’t get this until now. We were celebrating my husband’s birthday last night. I think you’d be fine to do either one. I would probably just leave them out. How’d they turn out? Happy birthday to your friend! You’re such a nice friend to do that!

          1. Thank you for responding. They turned out great and everyone loved them….even the refined sugar addicts. I did put them in the refrigerator and brought them to room temp before serving. The flavors seemed to mellow a bit and come together more the next day. Definitely a keeper. Next time I am topping with unsweetened coconut shavings and toasted almond slivers. Thank you for making up this recipe!

    1. No way, you’re not being slow! That’s a very good question. I know that some vegans bake with a flax egg to substitute for an egg. I’ve never tried it so I can’t say if it works or not, but here’s what looks like a good vegan recipe if you can have sugar! πŸ™‚ Great question Natalie!

  8. This recipe is only for the seriously extreme dark, dark, dark chocolate lovers. Not even the frosting is sweet, so if you are trying to satisfy a sweet toothe, do not use this recipe. I was very disappointed. πŸ™

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t like them Mary. It was my first time baking sugar free and probably my last. I didn’t prefer them and thankfully can consume sugar in moderation, of course. πŸ˜‰ If you can have sugar, you can always doll them up with some whipping cream, honey or peanut butter!

    2. I love to do sugar-free baking and I love chocolate, so I’m always looking for some good recipes. I am currently baking these for my dad’s birthday and tried adding some more stevia to offset the bitter chocolate (I use KAL pure Stevia natural extract in liquid form for all of my baking). I’ve also added some spoonfuls of Medford farms apple butter with no sugar added to see if I can add a little more sweetness without the use of sugar. I’ve successfully made lots of really great-tasting sugar-free desserts, so I know it can be done! You just have to keep experimenting with the amount of each ingredient.

  9. I made these tonight and my family LOVED them! We will definitely be making them regularly. I did add some xylitol to both the cake batter and frosting to increase the sweetness.

  10. Hello! I came across your recipe and it looks delish! However, I’ve used Stevia instead of sugar for a few baking recipes (using the conversion that the Truvia website provides) and the results are never sweet at all. The batter will taste sweet, but then the finished product is not. Where do these rank on like a 1-10 of sweetness?

    1. I’d say they were a 1-2 out of 10. Not very sweet at all. I couldn’t take it so I ate them with ice cream. Oops. From other sugar-free commenters, they enjoyed them and added in xylitol to bump up the sweetness. Good luck and happy baking! I promise the other recipes on my site are perfectly sweet and I try to use alternative sugars (honey, maple syrup, date paste, coconut sugar, etc.) and they’re always great. This is just one exception where I was participating in raising awareness for diabetes. Happy Baking!

      1. Thank you for your response! I have definitely achieved that 2/10 sweetness when baking brownies with stevia and my boyfriend loved it as-is but I added berries and cream lol For these cupcakes I might add a bit of raw honey. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  11. I just found out from my doctors that I could have a thyroid condition and for 30 days I have to be gluten and sugar-free, but it will probably turn into a life-long thing, thank goodness I don’t have diabetes, but I am a sugar addict so these are perfect and I am trying them tonight! Thanks!

    1. I hope you like them! Be sure to adjust the stevia amount to make it sweeter, especially if you’ve been used to eating real sugar. Happy Baking and best of luck to you!

    1. Each packet had 1/2 teaspoon of powder. They still weren’t as sweet as I am used to (I don’t usually use stevia), so use your best judgement since you’re baking without sugar. Happy Baking!

    1. Unfortunately, tweaking the recipe from almond meal to whole wheat flour will take some experimenting. Almond meal usually requires more liquid (egg or other binding agent) in the recipe. Also, if you’re leaning towards whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour more experimenting will be needed to make the cake not so dense. If anything, I’d first try and do half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. Then, also take out some of the eggs, applesauce or coconut oil. Good luck and happy baking!

    1. With the ingredients I used, each cupcake has 12 grams of carbs and 3 grams of sugar…primarily due to my peanut butter containing sugar. I couldn’t figure out how to calculate the nutrition with just plain ground peanuts. Good luck baking! This is my one and only sugar free recipe and I’m certainly no expert on sugar free baking. I hope you find a recipe that works for your friend! Happy Baking!

  12. This recipe has been the only recipe that I have found that is a truly low carb dessert and chocolate as well. For someone who wants to be seriously low carb on a strict diabetes diet these are the best present ever!!!!! Thanks.

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