To kick of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I thought we would tackle a big spring and summer challenge, birthday parties and barbecue potlucks. These versatile gluten-free vanilla cupcakes are free of the top eight allergens, and yes, they are even vegan!
This recipe was created by Sarah Bakes Gluten Free and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free for an everyone-friendly treat.
Sarah uses her own homemade gluten-free flour blend (linked 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 picking a rice flour, brown rice flour, or sorghum flour blend with starches to yield the most dessert-like results.
Special Diet Notes: Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetairan, and generally top food allergy-friendly.
Have tree nut allergies and concerned about coconut? See this post: Are Coconut-Based Dairy Alternatives Safe for Nut Allergies?
- 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
- 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
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line 14 cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.
- Sift together the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut milk, water and vinegar. Allow to sit for 1 minute to curdle.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into your prepared cupcake pan.
- Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
- Place cupcakes on cooling rack and cool completely.
- To make buttercream, beat together the margarine with the shortening for 1 minute.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons coffee creamer and vanilla. Beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add another tablespoon or 2 of the coffee creamer if needed, and beat the buttercream until light and fluffy.
- Place in piping bag with large star tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Best enjoyed within 1 to 2 days.
Hi there.. did a trial run of these cupcakes last week. I am looking to make them for Thanksgiving and am planning to make them today. What’s the best way to store them? Could I keep them in the fridge overnight and then just leave them at room temp tomorrow?
Hi Katie, if you are making the frosting ahead, too, chill the frosting separately and frost just before serving. You can chill the cupcakes, too, but they should also keep at room temperature until tomorrow without a problem. I would just avoid using the cupcake liners that have a non-stick, metallic-like lining (just use standard cupcake liners) as I’ve found that they can separate from the cupcakes when made ahead.
I’m planning on making this icing for my daughter. I’m going to put it on top of a wacky cake (because it contains no milk or milk alternatives). My daughter is also intolerant to almond milk due to the thickener they use in it. Since it was so bad when she drank the almond milk, I have yet to try any other milk alternatives (because I hate to put her through any more “testing”). It is my understanding they all use thickeners to make the texture better. Can you do this buttercream recipe without the coconut milk creamer? Thanks so much for posting!
Hi Jessica, you can use any liquid really. If you can, I would sub in canned coconut milk (light would work fine), which tends to have less funny business, but you can use any non-acidic liquid, just adding enough to get the consistency you want (start with just 1 tablespoon).
I asked So Delicious (via Facebook) if they have carrageenan in their Creamers and they said they have re-formulated so that the entire line of coffee creamers are carrageenan free and titanium dioxide free! So I’m going to try using the recipe as is! Very excited to see how it turns out. Thanks for posting and replying to comments.
Yes, dairy-free creamer should work well – enjoy!
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Hi! My daughter is egg, nut, dairy, soy AND coconut free. :-/ yipes. I want to make this icing for her first birthday cake on Saturday. Can I subsitute rice milk or some other dairy substitute for the coconut milk or would it make it taste odd? Thank you so much!
You can use any dairy-free milk beverage – the difference in flavor will be minor.
Can I replace the shortening with dairy free butter? Will it make the icing too runny?
The shortening gives it a little more structure, but it should still work with all dairy-free butter.
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Hi, I just made your frosting for cupcakes, it is so delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
Fantastic! Glad you liked the recipe!
Where can I find non-hydrogenated shortening, and if I can’t find any, can I use regular shortening instead? I’m mostly looking for a dairy-free frosting.
Hi Julie, most shortenings are dairy-free, so you should be able to use a “regular” one too with success. A few natural ones that aren’t hydrogenated are Earth Balance, Spectrum, and Nutiva.
i just used this recipe and they turned out really gooey. What did I do wrong?
Hard to visualize your results – did they rise? deflate? Just not cook through? Did you use exactly the ingredients listed or make any changes at all?
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Hi, so I’m planning on making this recipe this weekend for my friends that have dairy and gluten allergies. When I was buying coconut milk though, I realized that I accidentally bought the regular flavor and not the vanilla one. Can I just use vanilla extract to make up for that?
Don’t worry, the bottle that has the vanilla extract nor the extract itself hasn’t been in any contact with any allergens 🙂
Yes, that should be fine!
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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?
You can use all shortening maria – it will affect the consistency slightly. Add a pinch of salt, too.
I’d like to make a single layer cake with this recipe, do you know how long I’d need to bake it?
Bake in 8-inch or 9-inch round cake or 8-inch square pan for 30-35 minutes.
Hi there, can you tell me how much icing this recipe yields?
It should be enough to cover the 14 cupcakes, and may be enough for a 2-layer cake.
do you have to use the soda in the cupcake
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.
Just got these in the oven. Made your flour mixture.
My other granddaughter wants chick cupcakes. How would I convert this to a sugar free chocolate recipe. I have added a few chocolate chips to see how that turns out as the other wants white cupcakes with chips.
Hi Anne, here are three gluten-free chocolate cake / cupcake recipes
Sweetened only with maple syrup – https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/dairy-free-desserts/chocolate-cupcakes-vegan-wheat-free
I’m not an expert on sugar-free sweeteners. But in most cases, I think you can swap a granulated sugar-free sweetener for granulated sugar. It should say on the package if it is good for baking.
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!
Yes, it should hold up like most frosting would, so long as you don’t keep your home to toasty!
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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?
You can use any milk alternative or light canned coconut milk.
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