Flourless German Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

Super moist gluten-free chocolate cupcakes are topped with a naturally sweetened vegan icing for a healthier version of the classic German Chocolate Cake.

Flourless German Chocolate Cupcakes- made from ingredients that are actually good for you!  #glutenfree #bestever

Have you ever wondered where German chocolate cake got it’s name from?

I always assumed that it had something to do with the country of Germany but then I actually went there and asked a few of the locals where I could find some authentic German chocolate cake and they looked at me like I was nuts.

Man, what a let down that was. I thought I was going to get to taste the best German chocolate cake of my life and instead I just made a big ‘ol ass of myself.

Flourless German Chocolate Cupcakes- made from ingredients that are actually good for you!  #glutenfree #bestever

Feeling utterly bewildered by the mysterious origin of this cake, I did what any good Millennial would do and turned to the all mighty Wikipedia.

In case you’re curious, the cake is named after the American chocolate maker Sam German and the recipe was originally known as German’s chocolate cake. After subsequent publications, the possessive form was eventually dropped leaving us with what we now refer to as German chocolate cake. Hmmph.

Yeah well, doesn’t matter where it came from, I love the stuff. But I don’t love that the icing is made with egg yolks and evaporated milk. That just isn’t necessary.

You can get an icing that tastes just as good using dates, shredded coconut, pecans and a touch of coconut milk.

Flourless German Chocolate Cupcakes- made from ingredients that are actually good for you!  #glutenfree #bestever

The icing is actually vegan but unfortunately the cupcake recipe is not. I adapted it from my Best-Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake (which was originally adapted from the cookbook Quinoa 365) but I scaled it down and added a teaspoon of espresso powder for a more dark chocolate flavor.

I’ve told you guys that I don’t drink coffee, right? Well I made these first thing in the morning and after eating one I was the most productive I’ve been in a very looooong time. It.was.awesome.

Flourless German Chocolate Cupcakes- made from ingredients that are actually good for you!  #glutenfree #bestever

If you don’t have espresso powder on hand, you can just leave it out of the ingredients. I’m working on a vegan version of the cake recipe too (as well as a vanilla version) but it’s so finicky that I’m not sure when I’ll figure it out. I’ll try my best not to give up on it though.

In the mean time, enjoy some German’s chocolate cupcakes! ;)

Flourless German Chocolate Cupcakes- made from ingredients that are actually good for you!  #glutenfree #bestever

German Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6


1 cup cooked quinoa*

3 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 eggs

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) vegan butter, melted and cooled**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Vegan Coconut Pecan Icing

1 cup pitted Medjool dates + 3/4 cup water

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons almond milk or coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips, melted for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line or grease a muffin tin for 6 cupcakes.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (cocoa powder to salt) and then set aside.
  3. After you’ve cooked the quinoa, allow it to cool and remove any excess moisture by straining it thoroughly. Next combine  quinoa with 2 eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract and melted butter in a blender and process on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and then fold together using a spatula. Be sure to scrape down the sides so that the mixture is completely combined.
  5. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop the batter into the muffin tin until each is 3/4 of the way full, making 6 total.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and have it come out clean. Allow to cool.
  7. Meanwhile prepare the icing by bringing 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium size saucepan. Add the dates to the pot and then reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for 15 minutes then set aside to cool.
  8. Once dates have cooled, scoop each one out and place into a food processor along with the pecans, coconut, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse for 15-20 seconds then add the almond milk. Continue to blend for another 20 seconds or so that it’s still somewhat chunky but smooth enough to spread. You can blend it more or less if you prefer a different consistency. You can also taste test it and add a teaspoon of maple syrup if you prefer it to be sweeter. 
  9. When the icing is ready, spread it on top of each cupcake. If you want to make them fancy then you can melt 1 cup chocolate chips and drizzle it on top of each one.
  10. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


*1/3 cup dry quinoa yields a little more than 1 cup. Although it isn’t necessary, I recommend soaking the quinoa overnight or for at least 8 hours prior to cooking it. For more information on why I soak it and also how to cook quinoa, refer to this post. Prep time includes cooking quinoa but not soaking it.

**you can also use regular butter or coconut oil