Cherry Ripe Muffins

How do you enjoy the taste of chocolate when you need to be dairy-free & gluten-free for your health?

I wanted to bake an afternoon tea treat for a friend who loves chocolate with a deep passion without all the nasty side effects that milk and butter cause in my body.  

I also didn’t want a lot of fast-release sugar in the treat to ruin the rest of my day.  Sugary snacks leave me tired, cranky and itchy – a hat trick I’m keen to avoid.  And let’s face it if you have any sort of autoimmune issue it might just be helpful to avoid gluten (Visser et al, 2009).

Hmmm so a rich chocolatey taste without butter, flour, fast-sugars nor the hours needed to soak raw cashews?  Challenge accepted!

Googling dairy-free, low GI and chocolate I landed on the ‘WholeFood Simply’ page with this yummy dessert…who doesn’t love a Cherry Ripe?!

Hunting through my fridge and pantry I had all the items excepting cherries.  I decided to use a left over stash of frozen blueberries from a short lived detour into the world of detox shakes instead. OK so it didn’t taste anything like a Cherry Ripe but the mix of chocolate, blueberries and coconut was rich, flavourful and deeply satisfying.

Do I keep calling my recipe Cherry Ripe even though there were no cherries?

So for the lactose intolerant, casein intolerant and milk allergy peeps as well as those who are quitting sugar, going paleo, gluten free, reducing their GI, watching their insulin response here’s a easy to make chocolate muffin that is both healthy and delicious.

Also suitable for autoimmune paleo diet (AIP) followers once they have finished the elimination phase and know they are ok to eat the foods listed.

Cherry Ripe Muffins
Dairy free, gluten free, low GI & paleo


•          1 cup desiccated coconut

•          1 cup coconut cream

•          1 cup almond meal

•          3 tablespoons raw cacao or plain cocoa

•          5 tablespoons of coconut sugar (low GI sugar)

•          2 eggs

•          1/2 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract

•          pinch salt (not iodised if you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, Hashimoto’s, Graves or hyperthyroidism please)

•          1 cup cherries frozen or fresh is ok. If fresh make sure you remove all the seeds!


1.      Preheat oven to 175C or 350F Grease muffin tin or line with muffin/large cupcake patty cases.

2.      Pour coconut cream into a medium mixing bowl and add desiccated coconut and combine.

3.      Add almond meal and mix.

4.      Add cacao or cocoa and sugar and combine.

5.      Add eggs, vanilla and salt and combine.

6.      Add cherries or whatever berry you have on hand and gently mix

7.      Spoon into prepared muffin pans.

8.      Bake for 35minutes.

9.      Remove from the oven and let cool in tray for 15 minutes before transferring to cooling tray

10.  Don’t be put off by my rather insipid photography these muffins were yummy – eat and enjoy!

What is your favourite healthy sweet treat?

In health,

Sonia x


Visser, J., Rozing, J., Sapone, A., Lammers, K., & Fasano, A. (2009). Tight junctions, intestinal permeability, and autoimmunity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1165(1), 195-205.doi:  10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04037.x

Naomi Chambers