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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Buttercream

To kick of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I thought we would tackle a big summer challenge, birthday parties! These versatile gluten-free vanilla cupcakes are free of the top eight allergens, and yes, they are even vegan! The recipe was created by Sarah Bakes Gluten Free and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free for an everyone-friendly treat.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Buttercream

Sarah uses her own homemade gluten-free flour blend (see the link in the recipe below), but you can use a store-bought gluten-free flour blend or your own favorite homemade version, as desired. Just note that Sarah does use xanthan gum in her mix, so you will want to use a mix with xanthan or guar gum already in it, or add some as a separate ingredient (about 1 teaspoon in this recipe to equate her flour blend) to get similar results. Also, I recommend leaning toward a rice flour, brown rice flour, or sorghum flour blend with starches to yield the most dessert-like results.

For a discount on the creamy coconut milk beverage or coconut creamer used in this gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe, print this So Delicious Coupon

Have tree nut allergies and concerned about coconut? See this post: Are Coconut-Based Dairy Alternatives Safe for Nut Allergies?

Vegan & Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


These amazing gluten-free vanilla cupcakes, along with a rich and creamy vegan frosting, were created by Sarah of Sarah Bakes Gluten Free and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free
Serves: 14 cupcakes

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes:
  • 1-3/4 cups gluten free flour blend (see Sarah’s homemade blend)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup So Delicious vanilla coconut milk beverage
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seed oil (or other neutral baking oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Dairy-Free Vanilla Buttercream:
  • ½ cup dairy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance), softened
  • ¼ cup organic non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk coffee creamer
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line 14 cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut milk, water and vinegar. Allow to sit for 1 minute to curdle.
  4. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture. Beat for 1 minute. The batter will become smooth and start to thicken.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared cupcake pan.
  6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  7. Place cupcakes on cooling rack and cool completely.
Dairy-Free Vanilla Buttercream:
  1. To make buttercream, beat together the margarine with the shortening for 1 minute.
  2. Add the sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons coffee creamer and vanilla. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add another tablespoon or 2 of the coffee creamer if needed, and beat the buttercream until light and fluffy.
  4. Place in piping bag with large star tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Best enjoyed within 1 to 2 days.

For best results on texture and taste, be sure to make the lighter flour blend by replacing the 2 cups sweet white sorghum flour with white rice flour.

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. Food Allergy Awareness Week: News, Recipes & Resources - Go Dairy FreeMay 14, 2013 at 11:01 amReply

    […] Allergy Awareness Week here on Go Dairy Free, starting with a recipe for gluten-free, top 8 free Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and a review of one of my favorite new kid-friendly finds for food allergies, Better Batter Energy […]

  2. MufidahMay 15, 2013 at 4:32 amReply

    Hello there,

    I’m from singapore n am interested in trying out this recipe but there is no So delicious vanilla coconut milk beverage nor the same brand coconut milk coffee creamer. May I know what I can substitue these with?



    • Alisa FlemingMay 15, 2013 at 4:10 pmReplyAuthor

      You can use any milk alternative or light canned coconut milk.

      • MufidahMay 16, 2013 at 8:12 pmReply

        Thank u.

  3. DIY, Gluten Free Bridal Shower: A Perfect Gluten-Free Party. | Life Without BunsJune 23, 2013 at 6:03 pmReply

    […] Since it was her own personal recipe, I can’t share it, but you can find similar recipes here and here. […]

  4. maggieSeptember 21, 2013 at 6:37 pmReply


    I am thinking about trying out the frosting part of your recipe for my daughters birthday party next week. My question was, if you pipe the frosting, does it stay in shape at room temperature? Thank you!

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 22, 2013 at 9:26 amReplyAuthor

      Yes, it should hold up like most frosting would, so long as you don’t keep your home to toasty!

  5. poppySeptember 26, 2013 at 2:58 amReply

    do you have to use the soda in the cupcake

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 26, 2013 at 9:39 amReplyAuthor

      You need the leavener, yes. If omitting the soda, you would need to adjust with baking powder and omit the vinegar. Other adjustments may be needed as it hasn’t been tested that way.

  6. MelFebruary 3, 2014 at 12:35 pmReply

    Hi there, can you tell me how much icing this recipe yields?

    • Alisa FlemingFebruary 10, 2014 at 8:48 amReplyAuthor

      It should be enough to cover the 14 cupcakes, and may be enough for a 2-layer cake.

  7. AnnaOctober 29, 2014 at 10:04 pmReply

    I’d like to make a single layer cake with this recipe, do you know how long I’d need to bake it?

    • Sarah HornacekOctober 30, 2014 at 10:00 amReply

      Bake in 8-inch or 9-inch round cake or 8-inch square pan for 30-35 minutes.

  8. mariaNovember 17, 2014 at 11:18 amReply

    Hi! I want to do the cupcakea. But in my country you can’t find diary free butter or margarine (the margarine we can find here is the brand mazola that is not really healthy). What else can I use so it won’t change the texture?

    • Alisa FlemingNovember 17, 2014 at 12:04 pmReplyAuthor

      You can use all shortening maria – it will affect the consistency slightly. Add a pinch of salt, too.

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