Gluten-free chocolate avocado cupcakes

I had no intention of making cupcakes tonight. I haven’t made cupcakes for fun in a long time.

On my way home from work earlier today, I was thinking of ways to use up the soft avocado that was sitting in my fridge. At first, I thought about making avocado pasta, avocado salad, chocolate avocado pudding or maybe ice cream sandwich cookies but I wanted to challenge myself, and that almost always involves a little baking chemistry. (I admit it: I’m a nerd.)

Gluten-free Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes | A Dash of Compassion

And then I remembered I had started working on a new cupcake recipe a few months ago but gave up after several attempts because it wasn’t quite right. I wanted to use avocado in place of oil and a gluten-free flour mix that didn’t leave an aftertaste like so many gluten-free baked goods do. And I wanted the perfect cupcake crumb—not one that was heavy or gritty or crumbled in your hand when you touched it.

These are the challenges that often come with gluten-free baking and I was ready to conquer them, so I flipped through my recipe notebook until I found the chicken scratch of my previous tests. And then I got to work.

Gluten-free Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes | A Dash of Compassion

The result? I am so glad I decided to give this cupcake challenge another try. Because this, my friends, is the ultimate avocado cupcake. It is rich and light and has a phenomenal fudgy flavour. It is so good I decided it doesn’t even need frosting. This is the kind of cupcake that can stand alone.

Straight from the oven, I sprinkled the cupcakes with a mix of coconut sugar and cocoa powder and placed a tiny piece of dark chocolate on top. I then returned the cupake pans to the still-warm oven for a few seconds to soften the chocolate, just enough so that it melts in your mouth when you bite into the cupcake.


Gluten-free Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes | A Dash of Compassion

If you’re looking for a treat with a healthy hidden gem that will knock the socks off your friends and family, your search can stop here. Enjoy!

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Gluten-free chocolate avocado cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen mini cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (see notes below)
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, melted


  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • dark chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 mini cupcake pans with muffin liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Add the coconut sugar and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, process the avocado, water, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla and chocolate until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and process until well combined and smooth. You may need to stop and scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl. Don't worry about overmixing the batter; it doesn't affect gluten-free baking.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pans and smooth out the tops with your finger or the back of a spoon. Place both pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out almost clean (there may be a few crumbs sticking to it but that's okay).
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and sprinkle with coconut sugar topping. Place a piece of chocolate on top of each cupcake and return the pans to the still-warm (but turned off) oven for about 10 seconds, just enough to soften the chocolate. Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly before serving.

I make my own homemade flour mix of 3 parts brown rice flour, 3 parts chickpea flour, 2 parts potato starch and 1 part tapioca starch. These can be made as regular-size cupcakes but I think they're best in mini form.



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21 Responses to “Gluten-free chocolate avocado cupcakes”

  1. Looks so lovely. Are you able to taste the avocado or does it just add to the softness of the cupcake? It a healthier fat for a dessert-I love it!

    • Nicole — May 1, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

      You can’t taste the avocado at all. You’re right – it just adds to the softness of the cupcake. Glad you like it!

  2. Lisa Axworthy — May 1, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

    l love this! I wish i still had the energy to think up new recipies like this – but am thrilled that you do. Now to find a muffin tin……

    L xo

    • Nicole — May 2, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

      Thanks, Lisa! I really enjoy the challenge.

  3. nicole — May 1, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    What proportions did you use for your flour? Equal parts for each, or a different ratio?

    • Nicole — May 2, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

      I use 3:3:2:1 for rice/chickpea/potato/tapioca, but any GF all-purpose mix will likely work.

  4. I want to bite into one of these RIGHT. NOW. And the ingredient list is just music to my ears! I’m glad you gave this one another try, too. :)

    • Nicole — May 2, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

      Thanks, Amber! I wish I could send one to you right now.

  5. Gayathri — May 3, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    Looks so delish! I notice you didn’t you xanthan gum….is the avocado holding the cupcake together

    • Nicole — May 3, 2012 @ 10:38 am

      Yes, that’s right. Xanthan gum is not necessary for this recipe.

  6. Ray — May 16, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Hey! I LOVE your blog – way cool and inspiring. We’ve made a number of your recipes – we are hosting a “Ragnar Relay” Group party for our team on Saturday and. . . . . . .made our shopping list off your recipes. Our twins are autistic and we’ve been looking for healthier eating options so THANK YOU for your blog.

    I nominated you for the “Versatile Blogger Award” – info on this post:

    • Nicole — May 18, 2012 @ 10:51 am

      Thank you so much, Ray! That’s wonderful to know. You made my day :)

  7. These cupcakes look absolutely perfect! I love adding avocado to things for the creamy-ness off it all! I cannot wait to try this! Pinning it immediately.

    • Nicole — May 18, 2012 @ 10:51 am

      Thanks, Leslie! I hope you enjoy them.

  8. Alaine — May 18, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    I love baking with avocados! Such a great secret ingredient. I have only tried it with pudding though. I will have to give this recipe a try. Thank you!

  9. Mike Horsley — October 30, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

    wow what a great secret ingredient. I have always substituted fruits for oils in some baking recipies; but avacados. this is great

    • Nicole — November 1, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

      Thanks, Mike! I’m glad you like the idea.

  10. Bridget Young — February 7, 2015 @ 9:24 pm

    Can I make these in a regular size muffin tin and if so how long would I bake them.

    • Nicole — February 8, 2015 @ 4:55 pm

      Yes, these work in regular size cupcake form too! Try baking them at 35oF for 15 minutes, and then test with a toothpick – insert in the centre of a cupcake and if it comes out mostly clean, or with just a few crumbs, they’re done. If not, bake another minute or two and test again.

  11. Bridget+Young — February 9, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

    Thank you for your response Nicole. I see that you did mention this at the end of the recipe. I will read more carefully next time.

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