These delicious vegan (and gluten-free!) treats from cupcake queen Debbie Adler are a double dose of cookie dough without any eggs, dairy, wheat, or nuts.

By Debbie Adler
June 01, 2017
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Allergy-Friendly Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Credit: Carl Kravats

When my son was diagnosed with severe food allergies a few years ago I decided to revamp my already-thriving, sugar-free bakery—Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes in Los Angeles—into one that was completely free of the top eight food allergens, in addition to gluten and sesame.

I consider this recipe the ‘great experiment.' I never had cookie dough anything before I tried to make it on my own, but according to everyone in the world, cookie dough is something to get really excited about. My curiosity got the best of me and I’m very grateful it did. Now I’m hooked. And since it’s called cookie dough, I made it into cupcakes. This way you can get a double dose of the cookie dough. One in the filling and one in the frosting. Makes sense, right? And with no raw eggs to worry about, it’s safe for everyone. Everyone in the world who loves cookie dough. (That's everyone, right?)

Some of the ingredients may look unfamiliar, but these are the ingredients that make vegan, allergy-friendly baking delicious as well as healthy. Look for them in health food stores or online.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Makes 12 standard-size cupcakes


For the cookie dough filling:

1 cup all-purpose, gluten-free flour

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ cup coconut nectar

3 tablespoons applesauce

¼ cup sugar-free, vegan, soy-free chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1¾ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/3 cup cacao powder

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon guar gum

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ cup applesauce

¼ cup coconut nectar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/8 teaspoon stevia powder

1/3 cup vegan, soy-free plain yogurt

For the cookie dough frosting:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose, gluten-free flour

½ cup powdered erythritol (I use Swerve Confectioners)

¼ cup coconut nectar

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup sugar-free, vegan, soy-free chocolate chips (such as Lily’s Sweets brand)


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9 x 9-inch square baking tin with parchment paper. Line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper baking cups.

2. To make the cookie dough filling, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle. Add the coconut nectar, applesauce, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Divide the dough into 12 balls using a melon baller. Place the balls on the prepared baking tin and freeze for about a half hour.

3. To make the cupcakes, mix together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.

4. Whisk together the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.

5. Add the applesauce, coconut nectar, vanilla and stevia to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Next add the coconut milk mixture and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the batter is smooth. Stir in the yogurt until well combined.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about two-thirds full.

7. Take the baking sheet out of the freezer and place a frozen ball of cookie dough in the middle of each cupcake. Bake the cupcakes until they bounce back slightly to the touch, about 16 minutes. Rotate the cupcake tin from front to back after 10 minutes of baking. Transfer the cupcake tin from the oven to a wire rack and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes to cool completely.

8. To make the frosting, mix together the flour and powdered erythritol. Make a well in the middle. Add the coconut milk and chocolate chips and stir to combine.

9. Frost the completely cooled cupcakes. Keep unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap and freeze them for up to 3 months. Leftover frosting keeps in the fridge for about 1 week if stored in an airtight container, but if I were you I’d eat if off a spoon way before then.

Serving size: 1 cupcake CALORIES 150; TOTAL FAT 2.1g; PROTEIN 4.0g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0g; SODIUM 30mg; FIBER 4.9g; SUGARS 6.0g; TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 29.1g

Sweet, Savory, & Free cookbook cover

Recipe excerpted with permission from Sweet, Savory, & Free: Insanely Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Without Any of the Top 8 Food Allergens. Copyright 2017 by Debbie Adler. Photos by Carl Kravats. Published by BenBella Books.