I dare you to make this recipe and try to tell the difference between these and “non-healthy” cupcakes. I know that’s a bold challenge, but I was mind-blown when I took my first bite. I literally ran into the bedroom and told my husband, “BABE. Oh my gosh. You HAVE to try this!” He was just as amazed as I was! These seriously taste just as moist and scrumptious as bakery cupcakes (and I’ve had some pretty legit bakery cupcakes) with ZERO sugar and 12 grams of protein per cupcake! If you need the perfect healthy Valentine’s Day treat, do yourself a favor and make these 😉

For this recipe, I used Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen Peptides, which are perfect for making protein-packed treats without ruining the taste or texture. If you omit the collagen peptides, you’ll want to use an additional quarter cup of flour or 30 grams of other protein powder (such as whey, whey-casein blend, or plant-based protein). You simply can’t use as much of these other protein powders (without other modifications) because the cupcakes will turn out too dry and dense. 

I used a combination of cassava flour and tapioca flour to keep these gluten-free, but you can substitute three-quarters cup of all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour blend, or maybe another finer flour like brown rice or sweet white sorghum flour. Though I haven’t tried it in this specific recipe, you should also be able to use half as much coconut flour (six tablespoons) for a lower carb version. The texture will just be less tender.

To sweeten these decadent cupcakes without adding sugar, I used Pyure Organic Stevia Blend, a calorie-free blend of stevia and erythritol that’s twice as sweet as sugar. A virtually identical substitute would be  Truvia Natural Sweetener. You could also use twice as much Natvia Natural Sweetener, baking stevia, granulated erythritol, or granulated sugar if you’re not worried about the extra calories and sugar! 

This recipe does call for egg whites and unsweetened almond milk, but you could probably sub half a cup of water in a pinch (the original recipe doesn’t call for egg white). In case you’re wondering, the vinegar helps “tenderize” the cupcakes – but it’s optional (you can use distilled white vinegar too). The coconut oil can be substituted for any neutral-flavored oil such as avocado oil, canola oil, corn oil or grapeseed oil in a pinch.

The frosting is a rich chocolate buttercream frosting, with zero sugar! To achieve this, I used Swerve Confectioner’s Erythritol, which an all-natural, sugar-free, calorie-free alternative to powdered sugar. You can substitute regular powdered sugar, or simply blend granulated erythritol into a powder. If using a stevia-erythritol blend (like Pyure Organic Stevia Blend or Truvia Natural Sweetener), use half sweetener, half “starch” (such as arrowroot powder, cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch). Otherwise, your frosting will be sickeningly sweet! DO NOT sub baking stevia or any type of granulated stevia here or your frosting will be bitter and disgusting.

For the frosting, I also used Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen Peptides (optional), unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened almond milk (any milk or even water will do), Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread (can use dairy butter, coconut butter, or any solid coconut oil), and vanilla extract (optional). 

Now, here’s the printable recipe! I’d love for you to rate this recipe and/or comment below if you try it 🙂

This post contains affiliate links. 

Chocolate Collagen Protein Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)
Makes 9 cupcakes
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  1. 60g unflavored collagen peptides*
  2. 1/2 cup cassava flour*
  3. 1/4 cup tapioca flour*
  4. 1/4 cup stevia-erythritol blend*
  5. 3-4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
  9. 1/4 cup (2 large) egg whites*
  10. 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk*
  11. 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted*
  12. 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar*
  13. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. 1 cup confectioner’s erythritol*
  2. 40g unflavored collagen peptides*
  3. 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk*
  5. 2 tbsp. vegan buttery spread*
  6. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  7. *See above for substitutions.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients (through salt) in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in wet cupcake ingredients (through vanilla) until just combined.
  4. Line nine wells of a muffin pan with cupcake liners and lightly spray insides with cooking spray.
  5. Divide batter between wells, about two-thirds of the way full.
  6. Bake cupcakes for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. While cupcakes cool. mix frosting ingredients until glossy and smooth.
  8. Once cupcakes are completely cool, spoon frosting into a piping bag (or a sealed baggie with one corner cut off) and frost your cupcakes.
  9. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week.
  1. Calories (per serving, including optionals): 151kcal, Fat: 7.7g, Sat fat: 4.9g, Carbs: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 0g, Protein: 12g, Sodium: 142mg
  2. © 2017 No Excuses Nutrition. If you wish to publish this exact recipe digitally (website, blog, ebook) or in tangible format (cookbook, magazine), you must first request permission by emailing If publishing an adapted version with one or more ingredients changed, it is sufficient to mention "inspired by No Excuses Nutrition."
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