A classic vanilla cupcake recipe made gluten free and vegan. These gluten free vanilla cupcakes are topped with a rich, decadent chocolate frosting that’s dairy free!
I’ve been working for a while on trying to develop a recipe for delicious gluten free vanilla cupcakes, and I finally came up with a yellow cupcake that we love. When a reader emailed me recently asking about gluten free vanilla cupcakes, I knew it was time to photograph these and get them on the blog.
I know that many of you make cupcakes ahead of time in order to store them in the freezer so that your child has allergy friendly cupcakes ready to go for a birthday party or other special occasion. These are just perfect for any parties or picnics you have planned this summer – they certainly don’t taste any different than “regular” cupcakes. The cupcake is tender and the frosting is rich and decadent.
What type of gluten free flour is best for cupcakes?
I prefer a lighter gluten free flour blend for this recipe – you don’t want these to be too dense. For this recipe, I like to use my own gluten free flour blend. It’s light and results in nice tender cake and cupcakes.
Two store bought brands that would work well are King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour, and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Both of those brands don’t work for my family’s dietary needs – I am not comfortable with their allergen policies and procedures. Everyone has different allergies and needs, so I wanted to mention those blends here in case they work for you.
Will this recipe work with coconut flour or almond flour?
I don’t recommend that. Coconut flour and almond flour result in very dense baked goods. They work best when you include an egg in the recipe. Without the eggs, that would result in heavy and dense cupcakes.
Can you freeze these cupcakes?
Yes, these can be frozen. Just store them in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. They should stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you’d rather do a vanilla frosting on these, you can use this easy recipe for dairy free vanilla buttercream. I used a Wilton #1M tip and just piped the frosting on in a simple design. You can frost them in any way that you choose – if you wind up using more frosting, just make up another small batch as needed.
I hope you’ll love these!
These gluten free vanilla cupcakes are:
- tender and light
- rich in flavor
- easy to make
- delicious when topped with chocolate buttercream
- perfect for a birthday party
- free of the top 8 allergens
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold water
- ½ cup organic canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk vanilla yogurt
- 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the frosting:
- ¼ cup soy-free Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar sifted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-3 Tablespoons coconut milk or any non-dairy milk
- sprinkles for topping if desired
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
Put the gluten free flour blend, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add the water, organic canola oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar.
Mix by hand until combined.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about halfway full.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely, then make the frosting.
Beat the vegan butter spread until fluffy, then sift in some of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Alternate adding powdered sugar and cocoa powder and drizzling in a little bit of coconut milk while beating.
Once you have added all of the powdered sugar, check the consistency. It should be quite thick so that it pipes onto the cupcakes well. If needed, add a little more milk or powdered sugar.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a #1M tip. Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.
Enjoy! Leftover cupcakes should be refrigerated.
These cupcakes will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2-3 days. You could refrigerate them to keep them longer.
You can freeze these cupcakes - store in a freezer safe container or freezer bag. They should stay fresh for about 3 months.
This recipe was originally posted in May 2016. It has been updated.
Delicious recipe! 👍
I need a recipe for Sugar Free cupcakes, Will need to make 30 cupcakes.
I need a recipe for Sugar Free cupcakes, Will need to make 30 cupcaies
Do they freeze well without the icing ?
Yes, they should freeze well! Just wrap well in plastic wrap and put in a freezer bag.
Will it turn out ok if I do not have the yogurt?
You can use an egg in its place, or applesauce.
How would the baking time be affected for a cake instead of cupcakes?
I just made these and they turned out amazing! I didn’t have any vegan butter, but I did have organic grass-fed, so I used that and they still turned out amazing. Thank you for the recipe I am definitely going to share it.
SO glad you liked this recipe! Thanks for letting me know!
Could I successfully sub lemon juice for the apple cider vinegar?
Yes, that should be fine!
I decided to make these for my daughter’s birthday party tomorrow. I found that the first batch was such a liquid and so oily, that they basically fried in the wrappers in the oven. I double wrapped them, and had to unwrap that batch and throw the wrappers away. They were drenched in oil. For the second, third and a half batches, I used half the oil (or less) listed. I even added some extra flour to thicken them up. They are plenty sweet with the sugar and vanilla yogurt. Much happier, much less oily. Very excited to try the finished product tomorrow!
Interesting! What gluten free flour did you use? Glad that they worked out with your changes!
this recipe is very tasty. thanks!
Jen | Baked by an Introvert
I would have never guessed these are gluten free! They look delightful!
Lucy - (Recipes @ Globe Scoffers)
Your frosting looks perfect! They look and sound delicious.
Bethany @ athletic avocado
Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting are my fav! Yay for a gf and vegan verison!
You frost cupcakes like a CHAMP, m’dear! They’re beautiful! I have yet to try King Arthur’s GF blend – I really need to get on that via these cupcakes!
Thank you so much!
These cupcakes look delicious- love that they’re GF!