Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (Or Zombie Eyeball Cupcakes)

by Maggie on October 27, 2011

Cupcakes are a regular occurrence at our house.  Between birthday parties and school parties, it seems I’m making them every couple of weeks.

It’s okay though, because I’ve found a few ways to make sure my kids are eating healthier cupcakes.

It’s pretty easy to healthify a recipe! Here’s how I did it:

  • I used quinoa flour to add some protein (we make our cupcakes nut-free for the sake of other kids).
  • I limited the amount of starch.
  • I used coconut oil and full-fat coconut milk to give my kids some ‘good fats’.
  • I used ground chia seed instead of gums.
  • I used coconut sugar to replace the cane sugar.

We shared these cupcakes at three birthday parties and everyone raved about how good they were.

No one noticed how much healthier they were.  Let’s make it our little secret, okay?

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Although the recipe calls for quinoa flour and brown rice flour, you can use all brown rice flour.

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen )
½ cup regular non-dairy milk (I always use unsweetened)
¼ cup tapioca starch or arrowroot flour
½ cup quinoa flour
½ cup brown rice or sorghum flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground chia seeds (replaces xanthan or guar gum)
½ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like to use raw cacao)
¾ cup coconut sugar (you could also use cane sugar)
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup non-dairy chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or line a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the coconut milk and almond milk in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to create a “buttermilk”.
3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the starch, flours, baking powder, baking soda, ground chia, sea salt, and cocoa powder.
4. Stir in sugar.
5. Add vanilla and coconut oil to your “buttermilk” mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.
6. Spoon into cupcake pans (3/4 full) and bake for 20-22 minutes. If using mini muffin pans, bake for 12 minutes.
7. Frost with desired frosting. We made our zombie eyes with India Tree Natural Decorating Colours. Callum and I were totally inspired by Simply Gluten-Free’s Vampire Eyeball Cookies!

Yield: 10-12 regular sized cupcakes OR 36 mini cupcakes

Here are some of my favorite frosting recipes:

Diet, Dessert N Dogs Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting
Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free’s Chocolate Frosting
She Let Them Eat Cake’s Homemade Cane Sugar Frosting

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Ricki October 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

How cute are these?! Adorable. And it’s great that everyone gobbled them up without even knowing they were “healthy”! Just goes to show how delicious healthy can be! 😀


Maggie October 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thank you Ricki 🙂 You hopped right in on the comments! You’re the best. And yes, healthy can be so delicious.


Amber October 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Hi Maggie,

EEEK! These are so fun. They look so rich and yummy.

I love these great Halloween goodie ideas!



Maggie October 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Thanks Amber! Sorry I scared you 🙂 My husband calls them dangerously delicious!


Annie October 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Maggie, I just made your chocolate cupcakes from last year (which are insanely good as I’m sure these ones are too) but what is the likelyhood that I’d come onto your site looking for a chocolate cupcake recipe just a couple hours before you posted a new one?!? Weird. I love the decorating on these guys though. If only there was time before the party tomorrow morning!


Maggie October 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

So funny Annie, but not overly surprising to hear that we’re on the same wavelength! I needed a nut-free cupcake recipe, thus these were born! Now you’ll have to bake cupcakes again I guess! 🙂 xoxoxo


Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free October 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

I love your healthier upgrades, Maggie! Your cupcakes have a great texture. I’ll have to try the chia replacement and see how it works. Thanks for sharing my chocolate frosting. 🙂



Maggie October 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Thank you Amy. I can’t wait to try your chocolate frosting recipe. xo


Hallie @ Daily Bites October 28, 2011 at 8:18 am

So cute! I love how you make healthier eating fun and approachable…so many people think “restricted diets” are boring and flavorless. Love it when people like you prove them wrong! 🙂


Maggie October 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

You’re so right Hallie. I actually think we’re the lucky ones. We get to eat delicious treats and foods, minus the discomfort. It’s pretty awesome! xo


Lexie October 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

There are a handful of bloggers I would love to have as my mom. I am adding you to the list! I love your health conscious approach, even to sweets. This looks like a dynamite recipe. I think that once you turn away from sugar-loaded stuff, your taste buds change. I cannot even fathom wanting a piece of Costco cake or a Cinnabon … they’re on the verge of being repulsive to me now. I would choose your cupcakes over those goodies ANY day. For newbies to a low sugar diet, this may seem crazy, but I dare anyone to prove me wrong : ) xoLexie


Maggie October 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Thanks Lex. That means a lot to me, especially coming from a Mom like you!
I agree, our way is way better. I can’t even imagine the tummy ache and discomfort I would get from cinnabon.
Now I feel like I can have my cake (and eat it too!) without the trouble. It’s amazing!


Shirley @ gfe October 28, 2011 at 11:36 am

I’m seconding Lexie’s comment! Mom, may I have a Zombie Eyeball cupcake? Please. 🙂 Love your recipes, Maggie!



Maggie October 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm

You bet Shirley, but first you need to clean up your room! 🙂


Cara October 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

You’ve got me curious about trying chia in place of the gums. These sound so good!


Maggie October 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thanks Cara 🙂 You definitely have to experiment with chia. I find it works best in cookies, muffins, and cupcakes.


Alta October 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

These are so cute. Love them!


Maggie October 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Thanks Alta!


Alisa October 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

These look great! I just linked up to this recipe on GDF!


Maggie October 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Thanks Alisa! You are awesome!


Kim - Cook It Allergy Free October 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Okay! SO SO cute. Seriously!! I, too, feel like I am always making cupcakes. But now I just double my recipes and freeze the ones I am not using right away so they are ready for the next party.
Oh, and I totally knew that it was the India Tree, just by the color of the eyeballs. LOL We use the same when we are decorating here.
And I echo Lexie. 1. I want you as my mom. And 2. A Costco cake or Cinnamon would probably make me gag at this point in my life.


Maggie October 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Thank you Kim – I want you as a Mom too 🙂 I need to start freezing cupcakes too, the only problem is there are rarely any leftovers 🙂


Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli October 29, 2011 at 6:39 am

Hooray! I’m off to the bulk barn this morning for supplies. We’ll make these tomorrow for the perfect treat.


Maggie October 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Lucky kids at the Peace, Love and Muesli home! Hope you have fun and survive. It was quite the mess to clean up and I needed red wine in order to do it.


Amber October 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I linked this post to my monthly round-up. These are too fun! Can’t wait to make them tonight for my kiddos!


Maggie November 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

Thanks Amber – I got your email too! So glad you guys liked them. I would love to see pics 🙂 Are you on my facebook page? Try to post them! Or send them to me via email and I’ll post!


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