Recipe: Cocoa Butter Cupcakes (SCD/GAPS, Paleo/Primal)

Recipe: Cocoa Butter Cupcakes (SCD/GAPS, Paleo/Primal) post image

Let’s be more exotic and call these cacao butter cupcakes. But whether you call it cacao or cocoa, it is still the same — the pure fat from the cacao bean. The fibrous part of the bean is the powder. When you put both together you have chocolate. Here is an amazing and I mean amazingly moist cupcake with a surprise ingredient.

Not only is there a secret ingredient that no one has to know about except you, but it adds to the flavor and texture of the cake. These cupcakes are reminiscent of the ever so popular red velvet cake except these are extraordinarily healthy and legal on SCD and GAPS. (Note that the cupcake is legal on SCD but the chocolate icing is not).

Pure cacao butter

The purest chocolate comes from organic food grade cacao butter. This is 100% fat and is legal on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which allows no starches. This cacao butter imbues a mild chocolate flavor to any baked product. Many goodies can be made that are full of nutrition and satisfying to chocolate lovers.

Cocoa butter is also well tolerated by people who are caffeine sensitive, because there is no caffeine in pure cacao butter. I personally, feel no effects at all from cocoa butter — but I do feel the caffeine in cocoa powder because I am very sensitive to caffeine and do better without it.

Beets — a root generous with nutrition and protection

Beets are an earthy root vegetable that contains unique antioxidants and phytonutrients. The two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that have been found to offer protection against coronary artery disease, stroke and have anti-aging effects. Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful protectors against free radical damage, particularly with respect to the macula and retina of the eye.

Beets also are a unique source of betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The betalains also lower the levels of homocysteine in the body which can be harmful to the blood vessels. Thus, beetroot offers protection against cardiovascular diseases.

Beets are rich in vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium and have also been shown to protect against cancer, particularly of the skin, liver, lung, prostate and breast. You really can’t beat the nutrition here.

Cocoa Butter Cupcakes




  1. In a food processor process the pecans until they are as smooth as a nut butter
  2. Add the cooked beets and process with the nut butter until they are pureed
  3. Don’t freak out — the batter will be pink!
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add to the processor and mix
  5. On the stove melt the cocoa butter on a low heat or in a double boiler (don’t over heat or it will become bitter)
  6. Add the cocoa butter, honey and vanilla to the food processor and mix
  7. Add the coconut flour, salt and baking soda and mix
  8. The batter should be firm — if it is not firm, add coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time
  9. Pour the batter into a bowl and from there spoon it into muffin cups in your muffin tin
  10. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Where to buy high quality cacao/cocoa butter

Icing options:

This post is shared at: Monday mania, Barnyard Hop, Real Food 101, Meatless Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday Traditional Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasty Tuesday 33, Allergy Free Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Gluten Free Wednesday, Mommy Club, Whole Foods Wednesday, Health 2Day, Whole Food Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Creative Juice Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Foodie Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Sunday School, Seasonal Celebration, Trio of Tastebuds


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Leave a Comment

  • Laura @ Stealthy Mom April 22, 2012, 11:01 pm

    I’ll take a dozen to go…. Thank you for reaffirming our decision to plant beets this year.

    • Jill April 23, 2012, 6:54 am

      Hi Laura,
      Yes, you’ll want to have plenty of beets on hand for this!

  • Marcella April 23, 2012, 9:16 am

    So is the WFN Coconut Spread what’s supposed to be the coconut butter?

    • Jill April 23, 2012, 9:55 am

      Hi Marcella,
      Yes the coconut spread from WFN is also coconut butter.

  • Judy@Savoring Today April 23, 2012, 10:05 am

    These sound really tasty, I haven’t used cocoa butter before, I’ll have to try it.

  • Jennifer April 23, 2012, 11:44 am

    Is there a way to leave out the nuts or substitute with something besides nuts (seeds, maybe)?

    • Jill April 23, 2012, 1:12 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      The pecans are a large part of the recipe. I guess you could try just coconut flour but it would probably be 1 cup and would change the flavor.

  • Sarah April 23, 2012, 3:35 pm

    How about using sun butter in place of the pecan butter?

    • Jill April 23, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Hi Sarah,
      I’m sure you will get a cake but the taste will be significantly different.

  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife April 26, 2012, 3:21 am

    This recipe definitely proves that healthy can be scrumptious too! Your cocoa butter cupcakes look and sound delicious, and I love all the healthy ingredients you have used, especially the ‘secret ingredient’ beets!

  • Cindy April 27, 2012, 7:56 am

    How many does this make? It sounds great, son on special diet, need to run nutrition numbers before I know if this will work.

    • Jill April 27, 2012, 9:40 am

      Hi Cindy,
      I made some regular size and some mini cupcakes — but I think you should get about 12 regular cupcakes from the recipe.

  • Miz Helen April 27, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Hi Jill,
    These are great cupcakes and your recipe looks awesome. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Michelle @ The Willing Cook April 28, 2012, 12:29 pm

    That’s interesting combination of ingredients, but they look and sound really good. Thanks for sharing this week at Allergy-Free Wednesdays! We’d love for you to join us again next week.

    Have a great weekend!
    ~Michelle, AFW Hostess

  • Me and My Sweets May 1, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Yummie! I just found your blog on Foodie Friday. I’ll host my own party every month called My Sweet Party and I would love you to join. Please visit my blog for mor info.

    Have a nice day!


  • Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network May 3, 2012, 4:58 am

    These look extremely tasty and I love the secret beet ingredient- you’d never know to look at them! Thank you for sharing this with us at Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecac @ Natural Mothers Network x

  • Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network May 3, 2012, 4:59 am

    These look extremely tasty and I love the secret beet ingredient- you’d never know to look at them! Thank you for sharing this with us at Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network x

  • Heather October 25, 2012, 10:34 am

    I can’t find where to purchase crispy pecans nor how to make them…….:(

  • Natalie C December 16, 2012, 3:15 am

    Hi Jill,
    These are absolutely superb. I just made them with walnuts instead of pecans and all 4 of us love them. The recipe made a batch of 42 mini muffins.
    I’m really excited to have found your site. We’ve been eating Paleo for 3 years and it’s always fun to find some new recipes and inspiration. These are every day ingredients for us so it’s great to find recipes that don’t require multiple substitutions.
    Many thanks. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
    All the best,

  • Nicole July 8, 2013, 5:36 am

    Hi Jill,
    can I omit the egg white from this recipe? it looks so tasty and i like to try it but my daughter has intolerance on egg white.

    • Jill July 9, 2013, 12:20 pm

      Hi Nicole,
      Yes. I would just add in another yolk for each white.

  • Michelle April 11, 2016, 12:39 am

    I just tried this recipe (only the muffin/cupcake part, not the frosting) and these are so delicious! The texture was really great – very moist. Probably one of the best paleo muffins I’ve ever had. I did modify it a bit by replacing the honey with 2 bananas and some stevia. I also added some cocoa powder. These work great for me as a quick breakfast. This recipe is the base from which I’ll be making all my breakfast muffins from now on. I might try replacing the cocoa butter with coconut oil in a future iteration. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Jill April 11, 2016, 3:48 pm

      Hi Michelle,
      Yes we love this recipe too! So moist!

  • Ruth June 25, 2017, 3:25 pm

    These sound delicious! Wondering how you measure the 1/2 cup cacao butter since it comes in chunks – do you measure after melting, or grate it first to measure? Thanks!

    • Alyssa Keeley July 6, 2017, 8:51 pm

      Ruth, I would melt the cocoa butter first and then measure. If you melt too much, just put the excess back in the fridge or freezer to reharden.