These gluten free vanilla cupcakes are perfect year round for birthdays, entertaining or just for a sweet treat now and then. This is the perfect classic vanilla cupcake recipe made both gluten free and dairy free. This batch makes 12 cupcakes, which makes it perfect for a small gathering or to make for yourself and freeze some for later. Plus, they can easily be colored with food coloring or topped with festive sprinkles to match any occasion.
If you're looking for more gluten free cupcake ideas, check out my small batch chocolate cupcakes, my favorite gluten free carrot cake cupcakes or these fun rainbow tie dye cupcakes.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's so easy to make - the cupcakes are mixed in a bowl, no mixer required.
- These cupcakes are both gluten free and dairy free.
- Thanks to the oil in the batter, these cupcakes stay moist.
- They are perfect for freezing for later.
- Only 8 common ingredients needed.
- It only makes 12 cupcakes, so there are just enough to share.
- Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend - I use Bob's Red Mill flour in all of my bakes. You can use the flour blend of your choice, but ensure it contains xanthan gum or a similar additive.
- Baking Powder
- Oil - I use olive oil most frequently in baking, but any light flavored cooking oil work. While you can replace the oil with butter, I don't suggest it, since oil will provide a more moist cake.
- Non Dairy Milk - I use unsweetened coconut milk in this recipe, but any non dairy milk will work. If you're not dairy free, then use regular milk in the same measure.
- Vanilla - Use pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
For the frosting, you will need: powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla, and non dairy milk.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Personalize It - Add a few drops of food coloring to the cupcakes or frosting to make them personalized for your occasion. Top with colored sprinkles for even more fun!
- Make it vegan - Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients. You'll want to cool the cupcakes completely in the pan if making them vegan to avoid a dry texture.
- Add another flavor - Add any flavor to this classic cupcake base using extracts - orange, lemon, peppermint or more.
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These cupcakes are easy to make and only require 2 mixing bowls and a whisk.
STEP 1: Add gluten free flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
STEP 2: Combine eggs, oil, dairy free milk and vanilla in a second bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
STEP 3: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until all the flour has been incorporated.
STEP 4: Fill a 12 cup pan with cupcake batter. Make sure to only fill each ⅔ full.
Hint: I use an ice cream scoop to perfectly portion out my cupcake batter. Don't overfill you cupcake liners or you will end up with overflowed cakes that look more like mushrooms than cupcakes. Cupcakes are meant to have flat tops.
Dairy Free Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
I've topped these cupcakes with vanilla American buttercream frosting. This recipe makes the perfect amount of frosting for 12 cupcakes. Making buttercream frosting is simple, but does require an electric mixer.
- Step 1 - Add vegan butter to your mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until soft and smooth.
- Step 2 - Add the powdered sugar to your butter and mix until it's incorporated. It will look like a thick paste.
- Step 3 - Add the vanilla and dairy free milk. Mix on low speed until it's incorporated, then turn the mixer to high speed for 4-5 minutes for the buttercream to get fluffy and soft.
HINT: If you're planning to pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes, you'll want to knock some of the air bubbles out of the frosting with a spatula before filling the bag, otherwise you'll end up with pockets of air and won't get a smooth shape from your piping tip.
Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you want to add another day of storage, you can place your container in the refrigerator.
These cupcakes are also great for freezing. That makes them perfect for a quick sweet treat or for things like school parties when your kid needs a gf treat. Place your cooled and frosted cupcakes in the freezer for a few hours to freeze them solid. Once they are frozen, wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap and then place them all inside a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for 3-4 hours at room temperature before serving.
There is no reason they should taste differently. I make these cupcakes both gluten free & dairy free and no one can tell the difference. Just make sure you're following the recipe carefully.
The most common reasons your cupcakes might sink are: 1. You've overeaten the batter, incorporating too many air bubbles. 2. You've added too much baking powder. 3. You didn't bake long enough. Make sure to bake until the top springs back when gently poked or you may end up with dense sunken centers.
My friend Katie at Wheat by the Wayside has an awesome post about which brands and types of vanilla are gluten free.
More gluten free cupcakes:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes (Dairy Free too!)
For the cupcakes
- 1 ⅓ Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- 6 Tablespoon Olive Oil or other light flavored oil
- ⅔ Cup Non Dairy Milk
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla
For the vanilla buttercream
- ¾ Cup Vegan Butter room temperature
- 3 Cup Powdered Sugar sifted
- 1 Tablespoon Non Dairy Milk
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla
For the cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined.1 ⅓ Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, 1 Cup Sugar, 2 teaspoon Baking Powder, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla to a second bowl. Whisk until smooth.2 Eggs, 6 Tablespoon Olive Oil, ⅔ Cup Non Dairy Milk, 2 teaspoon Vanilla
- Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix until all flour is incorporated.
- Divide the batter amongst the 12 cups using a spoon or a measuring spoon.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, until tops spring back when gently poked.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan. The remove from the pan to a wire cooling rack to cool for at least one hour before frosting.
For the buttercream frosting
- Cut the vegan butter into cubes and place it into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and smooth. Scrape down the bowl.¾ Cup Vegan Butter
- Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on the lowest speed until incorporated. It will look like thick paste.3 Cup Powdered Sugar
- Add the vanilla and milk. Beat on medium-low speed until the milk is incorporated. Then turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 4-5 minutes. The buttercream should be very light in color and have increased in volume.1 Tablespoon Non Dairy Milk, 2 teaspoon Vanilla
- Move to a piping bag to decorate the cupcakes or apply with a spatula.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.
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