Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes with “Peanut Butter” Frosting

Oh là là! Bring me a cupcake! Finally. 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 treats on my site is I don’t want to give you recipes that are just so-so. When a recipe is labeled Paleo, most people assume it’s less than 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.

Palm shortening has just made me a very happy girl. I ordered mine direct from the Tropical Traditions website. You can whip the 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 the peanuts or refined sugar. I made it with 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. You can thank me later.

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
  • 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.

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32 replies
  1. Mary T
    Mary T says:

    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.

    • Trina B
      Trina B says:

      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!

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    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.

  3. Crunchy Hot Mama
    Crunchy Hot Mama says:

    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!


  4. Anonymous
    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!!!!

    • Trina B
      Trina B says:

      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!

    • Trina B
      Trina B says:

      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. :)

  5. Amy
    Amy says:

    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!

  6. ava
    ava says:

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


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