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.
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.
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.
- 1 cup (92 g) sifted fine-ground blanched almond flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) dark chocolate (63% to 72% cacao) or semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
- ¼ cup (55 g) palm shortening
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) chocolate chips
- 16 tablespoons (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (75 g) coconut sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (240 ml) cold water, divided
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) light-colored raw honey
- ¼ cup (32 g) maple sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 tablespoons, or 2 (¼-ounce/7-g) envelopes, unflavored gelatin (225 bloom strength)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper baking cups; set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients—almond flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon—and stir together using a fork until combined; set aside.
- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut milk together in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir together until smooth and combined. (Another method is to place the chocolate chips and coconut milk in a large (3-quart/2.8-liter) heatproof glass or metal mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water). Stir intermittently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the coconut milk. Then add the palm shortening and stir it into the mixture as it melts, until completely combined. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Stir the vanilla and eggs into the melted chocolate mixture. If you used a double boiler to melt the chocolate rather than a large mixing bowl set over water, transfer the melted chocolate and egg mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the melted chocolate mixture and stir using a rubber spatula or whisk until just combined. Over mixing could cause the middles of the cupcakes to sink.
- Use a small cookie dough scoop (1 tablespoon) or a large spoon to transfer batter into the cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, then pipe it onto the cupcakes, using a piping bag fitted with desired tip or use a small offset spatula. (A Wilton 1M tip was used to frost the cupcakes shown in the photo, opposite.) Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic for up to 2 days.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set to medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy and the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until mixed. Then add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture in three additions beating well after each. Make sure the chocolate has cooled enough so it doesn’t melt the butter when combined. Continue to beat until smooth.
- Use an offset spatula to spread or transfer to a piping bag fitted with desired tip. Store any remaining in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 days. Do not place in the refrigerator; the cold temperature will cause the butter to harden.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine ½ cup (120 ml) of the water with the honey, maple sugar, and salt. Whisk together and heat over medium-high heat while you prepare the gelatin.
- Pour the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) of water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, then pour in the vanilla. Lightly stir using a spoon until the mixture resembles applesauce; set aside and tend to the honey mixture.
- The honey mixture will start to bubble vigorously and rise in the pan; whisk intermittently. Boil until the mixture reaches 240°F (116°C) on a candy thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Once it reaches temperature remove from the heat.
- With an electric hand mixer or the stand mixer (with the whisk attachment inserted) set to low, very slowly pour the hot honey mixture down the side of the mixing bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once all the mixture has been poured in, increase the speed to high and continue to beat until the mixture turns white, thickens, and ribbons start to form. Use immediately; the mixture will continue to thicken as is sits and become too firm to use easily. If the mixture starts to firm up, beat again on high until the mixture becomes smooth again. If the mixture sits out too long and firms up too much, it may not be salvageable.
- Be sure to sift the coconut sugar in the frosting recipe. Coconut sugar is very granular; sifting it will break down the grain and help the sugar to incorporate into the butter. If you skip this step the frosting may be slightly gritty. If the chocolate wasn't cooled enough it will soften the butter. If this happens, place it in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to firm up, then beat again with an electric mixer.
- Subs: Maple syrup in place of maple sugar in the marshmallow creme.
59 Comments on Rocky Road Cupcakes
3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Rocky Road Cupcakes
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tabithasglutenfreedishes.comMay 12, 2014 at 10:18 am (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasMay 12, 2014 at 11:07 am (9 years ago)
Haha! I’ll keep that in mind! Please let me know if you try them, I’m really excited about these cupcakes! Thanks for the sweet compliments. (Pun intended) 🙂
alifemomentMay 12, 2014 at 10:59 am (9 years ago)
Wow these cupcakes are wonderful not only delicious but very nice to look at! 🙂
Vanessa BarajasMay 12, 2014 at 11:07 am (9 years ago)
Oh why thank you! We eat with our eyes first, am I right?! 😉
alifemomentMay 12, 2014 at 11:24 am (9 years ago)
I totally agree, I love cooking and the dish presentation is really important 🙂
My Life of SpiceMay 12, 2014 at 11:14 am (9 years ago)
I just got off the 21 day sugar detox and trying not to eat dessert right away….but uggghh these look SO good!!
Julianna BanannaMay 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm (9 years ago)
these look amaaaazing!
erinMay 12, 2014 at 4:16 pm (9 years ago)
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. 😉
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 9:43 am (9 years ago)
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! 🙂
KatelynMay 13, 2014 at 8:36 am (9 years ago)
This sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try!
Vanessa BarajasMay 13, 2014 at 9:24 am (9 years ago)
Let me know if you try them! They were such a hit, I’m making another batch this weekend! 😉
BradMay 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm (9 years ago)
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?
ultrarunnergirlMay 16, 2014 at 7:44 am (9 years ago)
um, did you read the recipe? no grains, no dairy. move along, Brad …
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 8:22 am (9 years ago)
Ha! Love you Ultrarunnergirl!
Mary AnneMay 16, 2014 at 8:27 am (9 years ago)
You could’ve asked a little nicer. Sheesh. You catch more flies with honey (which is Paleo)….
JENNurseMay 16, 2014 at 1:05 pm (9 years ago)
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.
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm (9 years ago)
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. 🙂
JENNurseMay 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm (9 years ago)
LOL… even Mick Dodge got chocolate chip cookies once in a while from his lady friend.
EmyMay 16, 2014 at 7:25 am (9 years ago)
Hi! Can I substitute the palm shortening with butter? Thanks!
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 8:17 am (9 years ago)
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! 😉
EmyMay 16, 2014 at 8:44 am (9 years ago)
Thanks for the quick response! I am looking forward to trying them with some fabulous raw cultured butter!
ultrarunnergirlMay 16, 2014 at 7:41 am (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 8:19 am (9 years ago)
Yum! Now I want Baskin Robbins! Butter Pecan sounds so good right now, even though it’s only 8am. Ha!
JenniferMay 16, 2014 at 8:53 am (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 9:09 am (9 years ago)
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! 🙂
LorettaMay 16, 2014 at 8:59 am (9 years ago)
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 🙂
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 9:13 am (9 years ago)
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!
NatalieMay 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasMay 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm (9 years ago)
Yay! I’m so happy you liked them! What an amazing compliment, thank you! I’m dying to make a chocolate cake with this recipe too. 🙂
JackMay 17, 2014 at 6:54 am (9 years ago)
These look awesome! I might try making some of them with the “marshmallow” in the center. Think Hostess cupcake…
Vanessa BarajasMay 17, 2014 at 10:23 am (9 years ago)
Yeah buddy! Now we’re talking! Let me know how they come out so I can copy you! 😀
mlcarvalho4May 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasMay 29, 2014 at 10:54 pm (9 years ago)
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!
mlcarvalho4May 30, 2014 at 9:07 am (9 years ago)
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!
mlcarvalho4June 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasJune 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm (9 years ago)
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! 🙂
ReggieRaeJune 20, 2014 at 9:02 am (9 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasJune 20, 2014 at 9:06 am (9 years ago)
Sorry! I will adjust the directions to clarify! It’s 1/2 cup of honey AND 1/2 of maple syrup for 1 cup TOTAL. I hope you love them as much as I do!
Cassandra ADecember 27, 2014 at 7:38 am (8 years ago)
OMG DIRTY MIND CRAZY DELICIOUS!!!
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!!
RachelJanuary 22, 2015 at 8:22 am (8 years ago)
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!
Vanessa BarajasJanuary 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm (8 years ago)
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!
Corinne HFebruary 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm (8 years ago)
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.
Vanessa BarajasFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:55 am (8 years ago)
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! 🙂
Lemons 'n LymeFebruary 19, 2015 at 8:06 pm (8 years ago)
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 🙂
HoneyApril 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm (8 years ago)
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?
Vanessa BarajasApril 30, 2015 at 9:16 am (8 years ago)
The frosting’s hold up very well at room temperature and you could definitely torch the mallow! I have like 400 Smore’s recipes in my upcoming cookbook. Haha! 🙂
AngelaOctober 24, 2015 at 8:47 pm (8 years ago)
can the cupcakes with the buttercream be kept out at room temp or do they need to be stored in the refrigerator?
Vanessa BarajasOctober 25, 2015 at 4:33 pm (8 years ago)
Room temp is best! 🙂
JanetNovember 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm (8 years ago)
These look so good! I am diabetic though, and unable to have maple syrup or honey. I can have Swerve, which is mostly erythritol. Have you ever used it? It measures the same as sugar, so if I subbed it how much would I need? I would love to try these…
Vanessa BarajasNovember 7, 2015 at 11:31 pm (8 years ago)
I’ve never used swerve before. Is it liquid, dry? It may work for the frosting fine, but for the marshmallow cream you have to boil down the maple syrup/honey so I’m not sure how it would work for that, but you can always leave the marshmallow cream off. 🙂
TanyaNovember 13, 2015 at 7:00 pm (8 years ago)
I am thinking of doubling the recipe to make two rounds cakes and put the marshmallow in the middle. Have you tried that? Any suggestions?
Vanessa BarajasNovember 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm (8 years ago)
I have and it will definitely work! Doubling the recipe works well for a 2-layer, 6-inch cake. I like to use springform pans, line the bottom with parchment, and then grease with palm shortening. I’m making one myself this week for a birthday! 🙂
KendraMarch 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm (7 years ago)
What kind of childcare chips do you recommend to keep it paleo? Most have sugar (even enjoy life chips have cane sugar).
Vanessa BarajasMarch 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm (7 years ago)
Don’t you just love auto-correct? It seems as though you’re asking me for childcare tips. 😉 Haha! I’m going to go ahead and guess that you meant chocolate chips. 😉 All chocolate is going to have sugar, regardless of what kind you buy. The key is, you want to keep the sugar as low as possible, so go for a darker chocolate. I prefer the Guittard Dark Chocolate chips which are 63% cacao. You can go up to 85% dark and have a pretty low sugar content. You can also use a chopped chocolate bar in place of the chips just be sure to weight it out to make sure you are using the correct amount. Another option is to check out Eating Evolved who makes all of their chocolate with natural sugar like maple sugar or coconut sugar. http://eatingevolved.com
CrystalSeptember 17, 2017 at 11:00 am (6 years ago)
Making these for a shower today, from your book. Says on both cremes to use immediatly, how much time can they be out before separates or hardens on cakes before devouring??
Vanessa BarajasSeptember 19, 2017 at 8:58 am (6 years ago)
Hi Crystal, I sent you an email about this, let me know if you didn’t get it!