Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Ali Segersten Apr 09, 2009 68 comments

You are in for a real treat today! The other night I had an early morning dream of these cupcakes with the recipe clearly spelled out for me. I was in sort of a lucid dream-like state and knew I needed to write it down. But alas, I have been exhausted caring for my children who have the chicken pox (and Tom who apparently did not have them as a child). So I fell back asleep with them playing on the bed. The next time I awoke I had the recipe in the forefront of my now awake mind. I asked my seven year old, Lily, to run and get me a pen and paper. I quickly wrote it down before it disappeared into my daily routine.

I don't know if it was because I was reading Shirley's GFE blog the other night and looking at her delectable chocolate cake or what - but this type of recipe is not the norm for me. I have never made anything completely from almond flour and vegan nonetheless!

But here it was, so I thought I should at least try it out. Since the only almond flour I had was Bob's Red Mill (a rather coarse blanched almond flour) this is what I used. The result was very tasty and brownie-like but too chunky. I knew there were finer ground almond flours out there, so I googled it. Lucy's Kitchen Shop popped up. I had heard of Lucy before because she is local and has written a Specific Carbohydrate Diet cookbook that was displayed next to our cookbook at our local Co-op when it first came out.

Naturally, I called her up to see how soon I could get some of this very finely ground flour. She was lovely to speak with and I paid over the phone and stopped by her house a few hours later to pick it up!

Today I tried them with my new flour and they are oh so delicious! Simple ingredients but the end result is rich and delicious with a full-bodied chocolate flavor. This cupcake is not for the faint at heart! I had planned on posting my Lemon Poppy Seed Tea Bread for Easter but since this recipe came to me I thought I would share this one.

Now, if you are willing, I would love to know what interests you the most as far as gluten-free baking goes. Vegan? Sugar-Free? Grain-Free? Nut-Free? Everything-Free? Just Gluten-Free? Your feedback will help me with the next book (hint, hint) I have been working on. I would love to hear from you! There is a "Comment" section you can click on at the bottom of each post where you can leave a little something for me to read. You can also email me but your note may get lost in the sea of emails I receive. (If I have not responded to an email you sent, I am very sorry, just busy, please send it again!)


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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The "everything appraoch" seems to work best for our family, though we do indulge in a few sugar-sweetened treats once in a while. These cupcakes look divine, do you offer a nut-free version?
Thanks for all you do!
We are really looking forward to your next cookbook.

Ali, so sorry to hear your dear family has come down with the chicken pox. I remember when my daughter had them, years ago. Oatmeal baths can be really helpful. I am looking forward to your next book! For me just gluten-free, I don't think I have a problem with any other foods.

Thanks so much for the comments thus far! I very much appreciate hearing what interests you. I don't have time right now to respond to each of you so here is a quick synopsis:

So far I have a mix of recipes, cupcakes too, some recipes contain nuts, most don't, none use bean flours (don't like them), most are potato-free - though I have found potato starch very useful in some recipes, lots are sugar-free - but not all. I am sure more will be grain-free now that I have 10 pounds of super fine almond flour!

The almond flour gives a slight almond flavor in these cupcakes which I enjoy.

I gave most of these away to friends as my daughter Lily does not like chocolate, my twins don't eat chocolate yet, and Tom is not feeling well (chicken pox got him).

Ok - I think that just about covers it all. I may create some more recipes now based on some of this feedback. Looking forward to hearing more!

-Ali :)

Hi Ali,
Those cupcakes sound yummy. I will plan to make them when I can get the flour.
In your new cookbook I would like to see, gluten, soy, dairy free, and also being a diabetic need to have some with agrave.
Thanks for all your hard work enjoy your site so much.

Wow these look so good, I want to take a bite right through the screen! Now I just need to order some of that flour!

Gluten-Free/Vegan/Whole Food recipes are the ones I love to see! Thanks so much for all your hard work!

You are a very nice mommy to make chocolate cupcakes for your whole polka-spotted family! I have good memories of playing pretend connect the dots with my chicken pox to make my own constellations when I was little--it seems like connecting the dots to siblings and daddy might be more fun.

As far as desserts, some first and second birthday treat ideas might be nice. Finding nice dessert treats that the little ones can enjoy is sometimes challenging.

Are homemade graham crackers a gluten free possibility? Or is graham flour specifically a gluten filled thing? I have no idea since it never occurred to me to want to make graham crackers on my own in my pre-toddler years :-).

I am not generally too into chocolate because chocolate things tend to make me feel ill, but now I am suspecting that it's the ingredients with chocolate (wheat, dairy, sugar, etc...) that cause problems and not the chocolate itself. Will almond flour have some of the protein content of the nuts? They look really yummy and I am excited to try them.

Food dreams are yummy!

I have a 12 year old with celiac and type 1 diabetes. Experts estimate that as many of 15% of type 1 diabetics also have celiac. I think you should empasize the fact that this recipe has a low carb count and uses agave as the sweetener. The low glycemic index of agave is great for kiddos like mine. My guy also has issues with dairy and egg. Keep the great recipes coming - Kerri in Colorado

Your recipe looks great! I'm enjoying so many things on your blog. 3 out of 4 in the family are gluten free and vegan. And my husband adds to the mix a need for low fat to reverse atherosclerosis. Thanks for trying to help us all.


Thanks for the great looking recipe... will definately try it for easter! I am always looking for recipes that are not only gluten free, but grain free while also limiting unhealthy carbohydrates. Unfortunately, I have yet to discover sweeteners that are lower in carbohydrates that don't taste like chemicals... the best I've found so far is agave which is at least low glycemic. Anything like that will make me love you for ever!!!!

This sounds very tasty, I'm going to make these for Easter. For your cookbook, I'd like to see a variety of w/o recipes but my main interest is gluten-free. I like to try everything so keep up the excellent work!!!

Oooh, these cupcakes look DELICIOUS. I can't wait to try them!

I really appreciate that your recipes are mostly gluten, dairy, egg and refined-sugar free, as those are what I need, and they are hard to find together! I am also interested in a mix of recipes that are free of other things for when I'm experimenting with eliminating other items - soy can be particularly challenging if you like asian flavors (or buying ANYTHING in the stores). Thanks!

The cupcakes look great. We haven't really experimented much with almond flour. I feel like I'm still getting used to baking gluten-free, trying to tackle all the other -frees at the same time sounds daunting.

Do baked goods made with almond flour have a almond-y taste?

I hope your family recovers quickly!

For your cookbook, I personally would like some recipes that are vegan and free of soy, nuts, gluten, and beans. Like Shirley said, it is probably best to have a mix. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes!

Love this recipe, can't wait to try. I just started a gluten-free blog, and I am starting my own Holistic Health Counseling business. I love your website and what you guys do. Thanks for the inspiration.

I am making chocolate and vanilla mini-cupcakes for Easter, but mine have to be nut-free in addition to being free of gluten, dairy, eggs and soy! I will be using a mix because I would have no idea how to do it otherwise! (hint hint for your cookbook)

Oh my, this looks yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipe.


Dreaming of chocolate brownie cupcakes ... hmmm, that probably sounds familiar to many! ;-) LOL Seriously, what an awesome recipe. They are gorgeous and can work for so many special diets. Dreaming may help you finish your new book (how cool!)--you might not need our help after all! I just hope the rest of your dreams aren't from exhaustion, dear.

I am so glad you found that flour. It sure sounds great, as does Lucy. Bob's is not great almond flour IMO. I don't have a Lucy, but I've heard Honeyville almond flour is great. I can always order that online. And, really as far as texture, all GF flours need to be finely ground--why aren't they? But, I digress ...

I like gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free/flourless recipes, but probably a mix of "free" recipes will be good for satisfying everyone's needs.

BTW, I haven't tried the Dagoba chips yet (remember ... no grocery stores that carry them around here), but I love that they don't contain soy. Last, too funny that my Mediterranean Chocolate Cake might have inspired you. :-) Thanks for the mention!


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