Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and made with natural sugar
Servings: 12
Jump to Recipe
Time: 1 hr

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Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

These chocolate strawberry filled cupcakes are fluffy, delicious, and ready in one large bowl! They are the perfect special treat for , filled with fresh strawberries and topped with orange coconut whip cream. They are gluten free, vegan, and made with only natural sugar!


Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes Ingredients

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes Ingredients


Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes Ingredients

How to make Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees! Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick spray. 
  2. Put the can of coconut cream in the fridge. This is for the whip cream. This needs to be full fat coconut milk or cream. See notes below for recommended brands. Regular whip cream can also be used if not vegan.
  3. Mix the liquids and sugar! Beat the sugar, espresso powder, coffee, white vinegar, vanilla, and oil with a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed in a large mixing bowl. Pro tip: use the silicon paddle attachment to thoroughly mix.
  4. Add dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, and salt to the liquid mixture. Mix.
  5. Add baking soda and baking powder. Mix well to combine.
  6. Fill muffin tins with cupcake batter. They should be filled ⅔ full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check that they are done by gently tapping on the top of a cupcake and watch it see if they spring back up. They can also be checked with a tooth pick to poke the cupcake and see if the toothpick has any batter on it when removed.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin.
  9. Make the coconut whip cream.  Remove the coconut cream from the fridge and open. Use a spoon to carefully remove the cream at the top of the coconut can and place in medium size bowl. There will be coconut liquid at the bottom of the can and we do not want this. This can be saved for smoothies. Add orange zest and powdered sugar, if using. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment to blend for 4-5 minutes until soft peaks form. Place this mixer in the fridge until ready to use.
  10. Make the fresh strawberry filling. Add strawberries, orange juice, orange zest, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder to sauce pan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce to simmer and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes until sauce has thickened and reduced. You can also use a spoon or immersion blender to slightly purée or smash the strawberries for a smoother texture.
  11. Assemble the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are cool, use a cupcake corer, apple corer, or a spoon to remove the middle of the cupcakes. Spoon a small amount of strawberry filling into the center of each cupcake. Add coconut whipped cream to the top of the cupcake (either with a piping bag or spoon) and enjoy!  Also, adding a whole strawberry on top is the perfect way to finish it off!


Quick Facts

How long does this dish take? 1 hour 

How much does this make? 12 servings

Does this meet my dietary needs? This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free

How long does this keep? 1 week in a airtight container at room temperature or 2 months in the freezer, in a sealed container. 

Is it freezer friendly? Yes. These can be kept in the freezer, filled with the strawberries, and topped with whip cream. Just pop in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute prior to eating

Can I pack this for lunch? Yup! If packed frozen just let it soften at room temperature throughout the morning. If packed at room temperature, pack the strawberries and whip cream separately to keep from getting soggy. These homemade cupcakes are great for special occasions such as birthday parties and valentine’s day!

Are all coconut milks the same? No! My favorite is this Thai Coconut Cream, which can also be found at Costco. This coconut milk is so creamy and does not need to be placed in the fridge. It helps to place in the fridge to firm up, but it is not necessary. 


Substitution Options

1:1 Gluten Free Flour Blend:  The great thing about 1:1 gluten free flour is it has xanthan gum in it, meaning it literally can replace regular flour at 1:1 in many recipes. The opposite can also happen, and for this recipe you can sub regular flour in place of the gluten free flour. We love Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour (also found at Target and local grocery stores) and Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend (found at Costco).

Cocoa Powder: Melted chocolate chips can be used in place on cocoa powder, but because chocolate chips have sugar already in them, the sugar must be reduced by half. Also, depending on the type of chocolate chips, many have processed sugar and dairy in them. Some great ones that meet dietary restrictions are Lily’s Baking Chips (no added sugar, but have dairy) and Enjoy Life Mini Chips (dairy, soy, gluten, and nut free).

Coconut Sugar: Regular white sugar can be used in place of coconut sugar. Coconut sugar can be found here.

Espresso Powder: This can be omitted but I highly recommend using it. I use this instant espresso powder.

Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Sorry, no substitute for these.

Vegetable Oil: Any vegetable oil can be used. We use avocado oil.

Avocado Oil: Olive oil can be used in place of avocado oil.

Brewed Coffee: Hot water can be used in place of coffee, but I highly recommend hot coffee.

White Vinegar: Rice vinegar can be used in place of white vinegar.

Vanilla: Vanilla paste or imitation vanilla can both be used in place of vanilla extract. If using vanilla paste, cut the amount in half.

Homemade Strawberry Cupcake Filling: Lemon zest and lemon juice can replace the orange zest and juice. There are also a few ways to get that strawberry flavor: Strawberry puree or strawberry jam can also replace the real strawberries.  You can also try other fresh fruit!

Coconut Whip: Regular whip cream can be used if not dairy free. Or frosting of choice such as cream cheese frosting, strawberry frosting, or buttercream frosting. Using powdered sugar for the coconut whipping cream is optional and will mean the recipe uses a processed sugar.


Fun Fact! 

Chocolate, in its pure form, is high in fiber and packed with antioxidants.  Cocoa powder shares these benefits.  It is packed with antioxidants and has the ability to neutralize “bad” free radicals.  When tested, one study showed it to neutralize better than most fruit, including açaí and blueberries!  I’m not saying eating chocolate cupcakes are going to result in this high level of antioxidants and fiber, but I am not not saying it.  The more chocolate the better! (Source).


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Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Servings: 12
Total Time: 1 hour
These Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes are fluffy, delicious, and ready in one bowl They are gluten free, vegan, and made with natural sugar.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, cupcakes, fluffy, gluten free, natural sugar, orange, strawberry, vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 179 kcal


  • 1-1/2 cups 1:1 gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin papers. Place coconut cream in fridge if you haven't done so yet.
  • Beat sugar, espresso powder, coffee, white vinegar, vanilla, and oil in a bowl with hand mixer.
  • Add cocoa powder, 1:1 gluten-free flour, and salt to same bowl. Mix to combine.
  • Add baking soda and baking powder to same bowl. Mix well to combine.
  • Fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way fill with mixture.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check that they are done by gently tapping the top of the cupcakes, they should spring back quickly.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Enjoy as is, or make strawberry filling and whip cream.
  • To make the strawberry filling - add strawberries, orange zest,orange juice, corn starch or arrow root powder to pan and bring to boil.  Mash with back of spoon as it cooks.  Cook until reduced, 8-10 minutes.  Take off heat and let cool in fridge.
  • To make the coconut whip cream - remove coconut can from fridge and scoop out coconut cream from top of can.  There will be coconut water at the bottom so be careful to avoid using this.  Whip coconut cream, orange zest, and powdered sugar (optional) in a bowl until soft peaks form, usually 2-3 minutes.  Place in fridge until ready to use.
  • Once cupcakes are completely cooled, hollow out cupcakes with knife or spoon and add strawberry filling and top with whip cream.



Nutritional Information is an estimate and for informational purposes only.
*Note: substitution options can be found above in the substitution section of this post.


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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Welcome to Joy to the Food! We’re so glad you’re here. We’re Mika and Dan, and the two Nalas (our spunky pups). We’re all about easy and affordable recipes that bring joy to the kitchen and make life stress free!