Paleo Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with “Buttercream” Frosting

Paleo baking can be a bit overwhelming at first–having to replace everything in your pantry with Paleo-friendly items such as almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour, coconut sugar, maple sugar, etc. Luckily, Simple Mills has made things easy with their Paleo almond flour baking mixes. You can find these mixes on Thrive, at Whole Foods and even Target.

I recently used their Chocolate Muffin & Cake Mix to whip up some chocolate cupcakes for Cody on Valentine’s Day. I added in unsweetened shredded coconut for some extra flavor.

But what is a cupcake without frosting? While organic grassfed butter is typically considered “okay” on the Paleo diet, I did not have any on hand so needed to come up with an alternative to buttercream frosting–and I think this shortening, coconut cream and coconut sugar concoction does the trick!

Paleo Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with "Buttercream" Frosting // Whole Life Handbook // www.WholeLifeHandbook.com

Pro tip: The frosting recipe will make enough for a thin layer of frosting (as shown in the photo) on 12 cupcakes. If you want to get fancy (or you just really like frosting), double the frosting recipe.

Note that, while most of the ingredients in the cupcakes are Whole 30 compliant, you are not allowed to have Paleo baked goods or any sort of “Paleo recreation” of bread, pancakes, tortillas, etc on the Whole 30.

If you’re not currently doing the Whole 30, ENJOY! If you are…. Pin this recipe for later!

Paleo Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with “Buttercream” Frosting

For the Cake

  • 1 box Simple Mills Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

For the Vanilla “Buttercream” Frosting

  • 1 cup Spectrum Organic shortening
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup coconut cream (the thick part at the top of a can of coconut milk)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the frosting first so that it can chill in the fridge while the cupcakes bake.
  3. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, blend together the shortening and coconut sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the sides and add in the vanilla and coconut cream. The easiest way to separate the cream from the liquid in coconut milk is to open the can and stick a fork into the cream–pull it out and put it into a bowl. Save the liquid for other recipes!
  5. Using the whisk attachment, whip until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Put into fridge to chill until cupcakes have baked and cooled.
  6. Start the cupcakes.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, water, and vanilla until combined.
  8. Add in the coconut sugar and cake mix and stir well until combined and the batter is not lumpy. At that point, add in the shredded coconut and stir well.
  9. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Divide evenly between the 12 liners. I like to use a cookie dough scoop for this job. With a smaller size scoop, each cupcake should take about 2 scoops.
  10. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes at 350. Mine took about 17 to be perfect.
  11. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
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