Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe

Some of my gluten free recipes are pretty naughty; filled with sugar, butter, cream, fat and calories. Some of my recipes are what we might call nice; not just gluten-free but grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and low in fat and calories. Some might say that my nice recipes are delish enough to seem naughty and some might say that my naughty recipes are very, very nice.

These cupcakes are definitely nice with just a hint of naughty; they are a remake of a very naughty old family favorite – chocolate cherry cupcakes. I took a gluten-free cupcake recipe that was filled with gluten-free flour, starch, sugar and butter and made it grain-free, dairy free and very low in refined sugar. They’re a little naughty because they are packed with chocolate chips and maraschino cherries and topped with a sinfully rich, dairy free, whipped chocolate ganache. But in defense of the naughty let me just say that chocolate is filled with all sorts of health benefits and you can even get maraschino cherries that are free of red dye and corn syrup.

gluten free recipes almond chocolate cherry cupcakes

So what do you think? Naughty or Nice?

gluten free recipes almond chocolate cherry cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Calories: 442kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract – use divided
  • 1 ¾ cups dairy free chocolate chips – use divided
  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs - separated
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ¾ cup agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries – drained - dried and roughly chopped
  • 12 maraschino cherries with stems for garnish
  • Slivered almonds for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Make the frosting by bringing the coconut milk just to a boil in a saucepan. Turn off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 1 ¼ cup of the chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir well until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour into a medium mixing bowl and refrigerate until cold, at least half an hour.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Put the egg yolks in one mixing bowl and the egg whites in another. Beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the remaining tablespoon of vanilla to the yolks along with the oil, agave and almond extract. Beat on high speed until the mixture becomes thicker and lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Take a scoop of the beaten egg whites and stir into the yolk mixture. Fold the remaining whites into the yolks. Add the flour mixture and fold in until fully combined. Add the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips and the chopped cherries and mix. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes or until the cupcakes are browned, feel springy to the touch and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • When the frosting is cold, whip it on high speed with a hand held mixer until fluffy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry and a couple slices of almonds.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 442 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 93mg4%
Potassium 73mg2%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 72IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 141mg14%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Almonds Cherries Chocolate Dairy Free Ganache Maraschino Cherries
  1. Donna
    October 6, 2011

    Hmm, they look naughty but sound nice :)

    1. October 6, 2011

      Thanks Donna :)

  2. Anita
    October 6, 2011

    I think they are like you – they look naughtier than they are :)

    1. October 6, 2011

      Haha, I think you are right!

  3. October 6, 2011

    I agree with Donna! Yum!

    1. October 9, 2011

      Thanks Maggie!

  4. October 6, 2011

    Well those look like keepers!!

    1. October 6, 2011

      Thanks Laura!

  5. October 6, 2011

    Wow, Carol! These are beautiful. Naughty and nice!

    1. October 6, 2011

      Thanks Nancy – naughty and nice is the best!

  6. October 6, 2011

    Does it have to be one or the other? Can’t they be a little bit of both–?? ;) That inside shot–OMG!

    1. October 9, 2011

      Yep, they can be a little bit of both – just like us :)

  7. October 6, 2011

    Naughty or nice…those are some beautiful cupcakes!
    Looking at the inside filled me with cupcake-need.

    1. October 9, 2011

      Thank you Miel!

  8. October 7, 2011

    Lovely cupcakes! They look so scrumptious.

    Thanks for passing on my blog and for leaving a comment.



    1. October 9, 2011

      Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely words!

  9. October 7, 2011

    They just look and sound plain amazing, naughty or nice I don’t care! Yum :-)

    1. October 9, 2011

      Haha, thanks Emma!

  10. I WANT. And I’ve been nice… I think I deserve them :)

    1. October 9, 2011

      Ah yes, if you ahve been nice you definately deserve one, even if they are a little naughty :)

  11. October 7, 2011

    Hmm, how about just yummy :-)

    1. October 9, 2011

      Thanks – yummy works!

  12. October 7, 2011

    Wow, those are such perfection Carol! I’m always amazed at how lovely grain-free cupcakes can turn out. Nice :)

    1. October 9, 2011

      Thanks Alisa!

  13. October 7, 2011

    These look incredible! I cannot wait to try them out. I was so excited to read that last line of the post that mentioned corn-syrup and red dye free maraschino cherries, YAY!!

  14. Although these look so terribly naughty, I have to say that they are just WAAAAY more than a simple “nice”! I want one of those right now! And loving loving those photos. ;)

    1. October 9, 2011

      Ah, thanks Kim! :) xo

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  16. October 9, 2011

    Nice! And good info on the Cherries, no red dye, no corn syrup … definitely nice, too!

  17. October 10, 2011

    I am going to bookmark this and make it For Sure!!! I’ll definitely be putting this recipe on my new “Recipes That Shine” tab. Thanks :)

  18. Holly
    February 2, 2012

    I don’t know why…but my frosting will not get fluffy :(

    1. February 2, 2012

      Hi Holly. I can think of two possibilities – one you didn’t let it get cold enough before whipping or it could be the kind of choooclate you are using. Some chocolate chips have wax and other fillers in them, you need to use chips that are just chocolate. If thats the case then just add about another 1/4 cup of chips to make the mixture thicker to begin with. Oh and make sure you whip it on high speed. Let me know if that helps.

      1. holly
        February 3, 2012

        Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I think it is definately that I used the wrong chocolate chips! I will try it again tonight after work :)

        1. February 3, 2012

          No problem and keep me posted!

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  20. Jenny
    June 9, 2012

    What kind of chocolate chips do you use?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      June 11, 2012

      I used Ghiradelli bittersweet but if you like your chocolate sweeter you can use Enjoy Life dairy free semi sweet chips.

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  22. Julia
    November 6, 2012

    These look good, however I am not a cherry fan. Would I be able to use a different fruit, say strawberry?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      November 9, 2012

      I think that should work fine Julia.

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  25. Jenny
    May 21, 2016

    Hi! I’m going to try these, but I’m curious about the coconut milk for the frosting. Is this the full fat canned type, or the kind you drink? Thanks!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      May 23, 2016

      Hi Jenny,
      Yes I mean the canned kind. Enjoy!

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