Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes

Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes: Starring Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Marshmallow Fluff!

Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes

Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes

Okay so I normally don’t say this (yes I do) but, these cupcakes are the best thing I’ve ever made. Ever. I may have said that last week about the Paleo Twix Bar Tarts, which at the time was true, but then…these happened. I was super craving Rocky Road ice cream this week. It used to be my favorite flavor as a kid, when I had a less refined grown-up palate. Now I like pretentious ice cream flavors like Salted Caramel and Goat Cheese Cabernet. A little CEWADM trivia: my favorite ice cream flavor of all time is Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter and Chocolate. That’s not pretentious, that’s delicious.

So I whipped these up yesterday all quick like for Mother’s Day and handed them out to all the Mom’s in my life and they FLIPPED OUT. You guys, not even like regular Mom flip out (“of course I like them, you made them!”) but like flipped out flipped out. Like might have cut a bitch for seconds flip out. Brad even flipped out. I made him try a bite and he exclaimed, “WOW! These are the best thing you’ve ever made!” See I told you. So that long winded self-indulgent explanation was just to convince you to make these because they are that ridiculous and you need these in your life. I’m also very proud of my chocolate buttercream frosting. It was my first time making a buttercream, and I literally threw stuff into a bowl and mixed it together and it worked. That’s what we in the business like to call, “Lucking Out”. Phew.

So what else is new besides these cupcakes? Have you guys seen any good movies lately? I want to see that chick flick with Cameron Diaz, The Other Woman I think it’s called. I could Google it right now but that seems like a lot of effort. I just love chick flicks. They’re my fave. That and Sci-Fi. Weird right? I love Sci-Fi. I blame my Father…and Star Trek: The Next Generation because it infiltrated my young developing mind in the early 90’s. I was impressionable. “Dessert, the final Paleo frontier. These are the voyages of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind. Its continuing mission: to explore delicous new desserts, to seek out new life in classic recipes, to boldly go where no Paleo dessert has gone before.” Please tell me you aren’t still reading this. Stop geeking out with me and go cupcake.

Rocky Road Cupcake 2

  • Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes
  • *Makes 12 servings

    1 cup sifted fine blanched almond flour
    1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    few dashes of cinnamon
    1 cup dark chocolate chips
    1/2 cup canned coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
    1/4 cup organic palm shortening
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 organic free-range eggs
    toasted almond pieces for garnish

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
    2. In a medium sized bowl combine your dry ingredients, almond flour, coconut palm sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir together and set aside.
    3. In a separate medium sized bowl combine chocolate chips and coconut milk and melt using the double boiler method by placing the bowl over a pot of simmering water set to medium heat and stirring until the chocolate is melted and the coconut milk is combined. Remove from heat. Using a rubber spatula stir in the organic palm shortening. Then stir the vanilla and eggs into the melted chocolate mixture.
    4. Now fold the dry ingredients into the melted chocolate mixture and stir until completely combined.
    5. Use a cookie dough scoop or a large spoon to transfer batter into the cupcake liners and fill about 2/3 full, they will rise slightly when baking.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean. Let them completely cool before frosting.

    Rocky Road Cupcake 4

  • Paleo Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • Ingredients:
    1 cup dark chocolate chips
    1/4 cup coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
    1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, sifted
    4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, cold
    1/4 cup organic palm shortening
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Melt the chocolate chips using the double boiler method by placing the bowl over a pot of simmering water set to medium heat and stirring until the chocolate is melted. Then stir in the coconut milk. Remove from heat.
    2. Add the coconut palm sugar, butter, palm shortening, and vanilla to the melted chocolate mixture. Beat the ingredients together using a hand mixer set to medium speed. Then set to high and mix until all the ingredients are combined and you have a nice soft buttercream frosting. If needed place in the refrigerator to slightly firm up for about 10 minutes then beat again on slow speed.
    3. Transfer to a piping bag with desired decorating tip or to a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. Set aside.

    Rocky Road Cupcake 5

  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • *Adapted from The Urban Poser

    1 cup filtered water, split into 1/2 cups
    2 tablespoons powdered grass-fed gelatin or 2 envelopes of Knox brand
    1/2 cup organic light colored honey
    1/2 cup organic maple syrup, grade b
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. In your mixing bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 1/2 cup of water. Allow to bloom for about 10 minutes.
    2. While the gelatin is blooming, pour the other 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan along with the honey and maple syrup, the vanilla, and the salt. Turn the burner on at a medium to medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil (watch it though as it likes to really foam up). Place a candy thermometer in the sauce pan and continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 240-242 degrees This could take anywhere from 10-40 minutes depending on how hot the burner is size of your pot and even the humidity in the air.
    3. Set your hand mixer or stand mixer to medium. Pour the honey/syrup mixture into the bowl with a steady stream, combining it with the softened gelatin. Avoid pouring it directly on to the beaters or the syrup will splatter and hit you or the sides of the bowl. Pouring somewhat slowly is also very important, otherwise the sugar syrup will be too hot when it hits the gelatin causing the marshmallow mixture to break.
    4. Turn the mixer to high and continue beating until it triples in volume, becomes white in color and the bowl is more or less cool to the touch. This can be anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on your beaters.
    5. Once you get a marshmallow cream fluff texture, transfer the marshmallow fluff to a piping bag with desired decorating tip or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off. You’ll know you’re at the right consistency when it’s similar to a frosting like texture or when you remove your beaters from the bowl and nothing drips off. The marshmallow fluff will thicken as it sits so try to work somewhat quickly.
    6. To assemble the Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes, first pipe a layer of chocolate buttercream frosting on top of a chocolate cupcake, and then pipe the marshmallow fluff on top of the buttercream. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted almond pieces and enjoy!

    I wanted to take a quick second to address the Palm Shortening ingredient in this recipe. I get a lot of questions regarding sustainability and whether or not the ingredient is healthy. First let me start by saying this is a vegetable shortening but not made from vegetable oil. Palm Shortening is derived from palm oil, a natural oil extracted from the fruit of palm trees. When people see the word ‘shortening’ they immediately think Crisco which is loaded with trans-fats in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Crisco is BAD NEWS. Palm shortening isn’t. It works similarly to Crisco though in the fact that it’s stable at high temperatures and is a light flavorless fat that is great for baking and frying and does NOT require hydrogenation. The only ingredient in Palm Shortening is Palm Oil. Also be sure to only buy Palm Shortening from SUSTAINABLE sources like Tropical Traditions or Spectrum. Both companies source their ingredients from from small scale family farms. These farmers are certified by ProForest, which ensures that they meet strict social, environmental and technical criteria.

Rocky Road Cupcake 3

After eating one (three) of these Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes I’m in love. Deeply. In fact I got a birthday request from my “Mom In-Law” to make these for her birthday. Brad thinks I should make an actual two layer cake out of it. I think that scares me. What do you guys think? Can it be done? What are you looking at? Do I have marshmallow fluff on my face still? I thought I got it all off. #paleorockyroadcupcakeproblems

Oh guess what else? I did my first Podcast on Friday! It was so fun! I’ll let you guys know all the details as soon as I have them. And then you can hear me talk for 30 minutes. Like you aren’t sick enough of reading my blog posts already. I’m scared to listen to it because I hate how my voice sounds on recordings. Do you guys feel like that too? Why do our voices sound so different? What if they don’t and that’s how we really sound all the time? Ugh. I hate it. See how much I love you and all the things I go through for you. Like eating cupcakes and talking about myself. It’s really rough guys. Just kidding love you long time.

Rocky Road Cupcake 6

Vanessa Barajas
Vanessa Barajas


  1. Your amazing concoctions need to come with a warning label.. will make you feel hungry have severe cake envy. Wow. I will be trying these thank you!

  2. Wow these cupcakes are wonderful not only delicious but very nice to look at! :)

  3. I just got off the 21 day sugar detox and trying not to eat dessert right away….but uggghh these look SO good!!

  4. these look amaaaazing!

  5. Whoa, can you please just come make these FOR me? Also, side note for the pretentious ice cream flavor comment, have you tried Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Goat Cheese with Red Cherries because OH-EM-GEE it’s like a grown-up cherry cheese danish in an ice cream. I die. You’re welcome. 😉

    • I LOVE Jeni’s! I haven’t tried the Goat Cheese flavor because I usually grab the Salty Caramel, but I have seen it! I’m TOTALLY gonna have to try it now! Thanks for the recommendation! :)

  6. Katelyn Says: May 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

    This sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  7. what makes them paleo? your financial need to lie so more idiots check you out? paleo people had no butter, cream, marshmallow, etc., nor did they have ANY of the unnatural crap ingredients you say make up this recipe. please explain the “paleo” in the title?

    • um, did you read the recipe? no grains, no dairy. move along, Brad …

    • Mary Anne Says: May 16, 2014 at 8:27 am

      You could’ve asked a little nicer. Sheesh. You catch more flies with honey (which is Paleo)….

    • JENNurse Says: May 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Paleo people had no toilets either but I’m sure you don’t mind using modern day conveniences… It’s not about living like a caveman it’s about eating whole real food that is pre-agricultural revolution.

      • You rock Jenn! I agree with you 100%! The caveman is just a mascot. I think the only true Paleo person on the planet is someone that lives like that ‘Legend of Mick Dodge’ guy. He lives in the woods and literally hunts and gathers all his own food. Maybe I should bring him a cupcake. :)

      • JENNurse Says: May 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm

        LOL… even Mick Dodge got chocolate chip cookies once in a while from his lady friend.

  8. […] could range from plain chicken with veggies and coconut oil to the really creative people who make Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes–yea that’s a thing, I would not joke around about that. So who is right? The answer […]

  9. Hi! Can I substitute the palm shortening with butter? Thanks!

    • Hi Emy, I think butter and even coconut oil would work. They are absolutely perfect though with the palm shortening. They taste just like real chocolate cupcakes, in fact I’d love to do a Pepsi challenge with them against their gluten counter parts! Haha! 😉

      • Thanks for the quick response! I am looking forward to trying them with some fabulous raw cultured butter!

  10. You had me at Baskin Robbins Chocolate Peanut Butter. Normally my top ice cream choices are mint choc chip, butter pecan, or rum raisin, but at 30 Flavors that is the best, bar none!

  11. Jennifer Says: May 16, 2014 at 8:53 am

    When making the marshmallow fluff, do you use the honey and syrup? In the ingredient list it says to use both but in the directions it says use either one? Just wanted to clarify!

    • In The Urban Poser directions she says to use either honey or maple syrup or half of each. So I used both, 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of maple syrup, and it came out perfect! The last time I made them I used all honey and I definitely prefer the combination of the honey and maple syrup. Hope that helps! :)

  12. Anyone tried these as a cake yet? My daughter’s birthday is coming up and she wants a chocolate cake. If not, I guess I have a lot of yummy experimenting to do :)

    • My Mom “In-Law” wants me to make this as a cake for her birthday! I would double the recipe for the cupcakes and buttercream frosting. You will definitely have enough marshmallow fluff already. Then make a two layer cake (maybe 9″ springform pans) with a buttercream layer on the inside and for the frosting on the outside. Then I would pipe the marshmallow cream in pretty designs on top and garnish with the toasted almond pieces. :) YUM! Let me know how it goes!

  13. Natalie Says: May 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Made these this morning and they are absolutely to die for! So delicious! I didn’t make the marshmallow topping because I didn’t have the ingredients but the cupcakes with the buttercream frosting are so so good. I even say they’re better than any non-paleo cupcakes I’ve had!

  14. These look awesome! I might try making some of them with the “marshmallow” in the center. Think Hostess cupcake…

  15. I’m usually too busy or tired to leave comments but had to on this one! WOW what an amazing cupcake so moist and better than the real thing. I made these for my sons bday to take to his school (luckily no nut allergies just gluten). The kids devoured it and I got a lot of compliments. I am going to double to triple this for his cake for his party this weekend. Has anyone tried this? I didn’t do the marshmallow just the cupcake and chocolate frosting. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

    • Yay! So happy to hear they were a hit! I think if you doubled the recipe it would probably be enough for a 2 layer cake using a small springform pan. Trust me it’s on my to do list too! I think it would make a phenomenal cake! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  16. Well I doubled the recipe and used a 9×13 pan with parchment paper on the bottom and it’s in the oven as we speak. I’ll keep you posted how it turns out. My son wants a minion cake I need all the luck I can get with decorating it!

  17. […] Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes: Starring Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Marshmallow Fluff – Cle… […]

  18. Doubling the recipe and using the 9×13 pan baking for 25 min the cake turned out so fabulous. I got a lot of compliments and the kids scarfed it up. Making the cupcakes again for another event can’t thank-you enough!

    • Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing the pan size and baking time for others! I’m so happy it was such a success! Glad to know the kids couldn’t tell the difference between this and regular cake! :)

  19. ReggieRae Says: June 20, 2014 at 9:02 am

    For the marshmallow fluff, can you please confirm if it is 1/2 cup honey AND 1/2 cup maple syrup; or is it only one ingredient? (i.e., 1/2 cup sweetener or 1 cup sweetener, total)… There is discrepancy in the recipe. Listed it looks like it would be a full cup of sweetener but in the instructions it reads “honey OR maple syrup….” Making these tonight for a party! Excited!

  20. Cassandra A Says: December 27, 2014 at 7:38 am


    I made these and their outstanding texture exceeded my expectations!!
    They are better then any cupcake I have ever had. Not too dense, not too dry, not too cooked. My non paleo eating friend loves them!!! They are moist and perfect. No lie, I didn’t even make the marshmellow. The frosting was yummy and fudgy.

    Will definitely be making again. Merry Christmas!!

  21. Wow these look like they could convert anyone! What is the best sub for palm shortening? If you use coconut oil, I assume you’d leave it in its firm form?? Thanks!

    • Actually use it melted. Using it firm will end up using more than needed I think, which could lead to the recipe being over oily. Please try it and let me know how it comes out!!! I haven’t had a chance to test them with coconut oil yet!

  22. […] a photoshoot that day. They are insanely good. No, really. Thankfully that recipe is on her site (here) and it will also be included in her upcoming cookbook if you’d like to take a peek at that […]

  23. Corinne H Says: February 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Have made these twice now. First time I didn’t have ingredients for marshmallow. Still yum. Just finished another batch for my daughter’s birthday. This time with marshmallow and it is double yum!
    Made it with spelt flour and no nuts as it’s going to school. Still love it but prefer the almond flour.
    Only complaint is I have way too much marshmallow left. What do I do with it? More cupcakes for next week’s birthday? Little too hard now to pipe onto cupcakes though. Any ideas let me know because it is too tasty to throw away.

    • This recipe is one of my all-time favorties! You could transfer the remaining marshmallow to a parchment lined baking dish and let it harden, dust with tapioca or arrowroot flour, cut into squares and make marshmallows! Another thing you could do is turn the cupcakes into a chocolate cake and then use the marshmallow for frosting over a bigger surface. You could also try cutting the ingredients in half for a smaller batch, it should work fine. Hope that helps! :)

  24. Question about making ahead/storage. Can I make everything and assemble these the day before I’ll be serving them? Or could I at least make each part (bake up the cupcakes, make the frosting and the marshmallow) and then save overnight and assemble the next day? Thanks :)

  25. Do the frostings hold up well in room temperature? And could you lightly toast the marshmallow frosting with a burner or would it just cause it to melt?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: