Everything-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m starting off 2015 with a chocolate bang!

These cupcakes started as a far-fetched idea that I never imagined would work…but that didn’t stop me from trying it. While they were baking, I couldn’t help but check on them at least 12 times. And right before my peeking eyes they were becoming cupcakes!

Everything Free!

  • Gluten-free with GF oat flour or certified GF oats ground to flour
  • Oil-free with just a small amount of fat found naturally in oats and cacao
  • Nut-free as long as you use a non-dairy milk made from rice or oats or flax or hemp or…
  • Soy-free
  • Added sugar-free

Well maybe not free of everything, because then they would be invisible. And then you couldn’t find them. And then you couldn’t eat them. And that would be sad.

They are definitely not free of dreamy chocolate flavor thanks to a few tablespoons of cacao. I love using cacao powder in place of cocoa powder even in non-raw recipes.

Why I love cacao:

  • It’s rich in minerals like magnesium and iron.
  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Rich in fiber with about 4 grams per 2.5 tablespoons.
  • And rich in sweet chocolate flavor. Since it’s not roasted, I find the flavor of cacao powder more pleasant than cocoa powder, which tends to have a bitter edge.

Navitas Naturals cacao powder is my hands-down favorite.

Nothing beats a chocolate cupcake popped straight out of the pan into your waiting hands for a warm nibble. But if you’re after a thicker frosting then I suggest you frost ’em and fridge ’em. Once they are chilly, the texture is out-of-this-world fudgy. In fact, it reminds me an awful lot of a certain chocolate frosting I used to enjoy by the spoonful straight from a plastic can with a red top.

These chocolate wonders deserve a video:

Everything-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 6


1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 12)

1 cup water

1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)


1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 12)

2/3 cup non-dairy milk

2 tbsps cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

  1. Make the frosting first so it has time to chill. Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a food processor, combine the dates and water. Process to form a paste.
  4. Add the cacao powder, baking powder, flour, and non-dairy milk. Process to combine. *Alternatively, you could blend the dates, water, and non-dairy milk in a blender and mix it with the dry ingredients in a bowl if you don’t have a food processor.
  5. Spoon the batter into 6 lined or oiled muffin tins. Fill them 3/4 of the way, and smooth the tops.
  6. Bake at 350F for approximately 22 minutes.
  7. Remove from the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack.
  8. Once they are completely cool, frost them with the chilled frosting.
  9. Store frosted cupcakes in the fridge.

What’s the craziest idea you never thought would work but you tried anyway?


14 thoughts on “Everything-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Hahaha, I love the name because that’s how I cook and bake!BUT I have never cooked with dates yet……foodie fail :/ I will…one day…it’s on that long long list!


    1. Haha my sister came up with the name while I was rambling off a long list of non-ingredients to her 🙂 You really need to get on that, I’m slowly falling in love with those yummy tasting but nasty looking little dried fruits!


    1. Thanks Charlie, I hope you do! I love the date frosting, I use it on everything. It’s amazing on top of nicecream, almost like hot fudge sauce 🙂


  2. Hello! Tried making these, and they tasted super good (the frosting was divine!) except the cake was much too fudgy for my liking. To be expected with dates, I suppose, but is there anything i can do to make them a little more cakey? More oat flour, baking soda, less dates?


    1. Yeah they are quite fudgey 🙂 I personally love them that way, but for a lighter texture my ideas would be more leavening (baking soda or baking powder along with some apple cider vinegar) or trying a different type of flour. Maybe pastry flour, something lighter than oat flour. If you reduce the amount of dates they will be too dry. You could add oil for more moisture, but then they’re not everything free which is kind of the purpose of the recipe. Hope this helps!-Natalie


  3. I just came across these on Pinterest. The cupcakes look heavenly! I’ve been stuffing myself with dates this winter, but I am not at all bored of them yet. Thanks for the recipe.


    1. I’m so glad you stumbled upon them! After many batches of these cupcakes I’m not bored of them either, but I am getting low on dates 🙂


  4. These cupcakes look devine! I definitely will be trying them out. I’m not familiar with cacao, however. How does it differ from regular cocoa that I buy in the baking aisle at the grocery?


    1. Cacao is similar to cocoa powder, but it is made from cacao beans that have not been roasted. That makes for a sweeter flavor, and higher levels of minerals and antioxidants. Cocoa powder will definitely work too, the difference is subtle. Let me know how it goes!


  5. Just made these while waiting on Blizzard Juno to hit NJ shore… So far so yummy.. I did fold in some chocolate chips in the hopes my son would eat them. Icing them later and adding some fresh strawberries on top


    1. Ooh yes chocolate chips sound like a great addition! I hope you love them and your son gives them a chance 🙂 Good luck with the weather! (blizzard? I can’t even imagine what that must be like!)


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