Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes (Dairy Free & Top 8 Free)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you make a purchase using my affiliate links.

Celebrate Spring with these delicious and moist Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes! Our lemon cupcakes are not only gluten free, but also dairy free, vegan, and top 8 free. We also share how to create a 2-tone frosting on your cupcakes for a pretty finish.

image collage of lemon cupcakes

Happy Spring, friends! Easter is just a few days away, and this year Easter will look a lot different for everyone.

Even though we can’t do the things we love on this holiday like gathering at church, celebrating with friends and family over a great meal, we can still enjoy Easter <3

This year we’re staying at home (of course!) and celebrating with a few store bought treats (like Enjoy Life chocolates) and our homemade top 8 free Lemon Cupcakes.

gluten free lemon cupcakes with raspberry on top

Our gluten free lemon cupcakes aren’t just great for Easter, they’re also great for other spring celebrations like Mother’s Day or just to have whenever you want 🙂

Even if your holiday this weekend looks very different, I’m thinking of you and praying for you! Have a great Easter and enjoy our recipe.

How to make dairy free gluten free lemon cupcakes

These vegan lemon cupcakes are made with brown rice flour or sorghum flour (either will work in this recipe), but I haven’t made these with gluten free all-purpose flour.

overhead photo of cupcakes with yellow and white frosting

When I did some recipe testing with these cupcakes, I tried it out at first with gluten free all-purpose flour and they turned out okay but not spectacular. So I scrapped that idea and went with the whole grain flour I was used to baking with.

Because we made these lemon cupcakes without eggs or refined flours, they are a bit more dense than regular cupcakes and they don’t have a peak or dome with them. But they are moist, flavorful, and delicious!

Fresh lemons make all the difference in recipes like this, but if you don’t have fresh lemons, you can try making these cupcakes with bottled lemon juice or dried lemon zest. They just won’t taste as fresh.

lemon cupcake with a bite taken

How to create 2-tone frosting

I had some fun with the frosting for our lemon cupcakes and made the frosting both white and yellow for a cool 2-tone frosting.

You can do this easily by making your frosting, then splitting it in half and adding natural food color powder to half the frosting to make it yellow and leaving the other half white.

  1. Once your frosting is made, divide it into 2 parts and dye one part light yellow and leave the rest of the frosting white.
  2. Add a frosting piping tip to a parchment bag or a plastic gallon bag with a corner cut out and put the white frosting on one side of the piping bag, then add the yellow frosting to the other side of the piping bag. Make sure that both colors go all the way down to the piping tip.
  3. Frost your cupcakes!

For the yellow color, I used 1-2 teaspoons McCormick natural food color powder to make the frosting naturally yellow. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of the yellow food color powder and add more as you like to make it the color you want.

vegan lemon cupcake with 2-tone frosting

I’ve found that the yellow natural food color powder from McCormick actually gets a little brighter and deeper in color as it sits for some reason, so you can start out lighter and see if it deepens in color before adding more.

If you want to use regular food coloring drops, just start with a couple drops at first, then add more a few drops at a time until you get the color you want.

If you want to add even more color to these cupcakes, you can top them with a fresh raspberry or blueberry, too!

Our lemon buttercream frosting recipe is in a separate recipe card below the one for the cupcakes!

gluten free dairy free lemon cupcakes on a black wire cooling rack

Check out our other lemon recipes perfect for spring!

Gluten Free Vegan Lemon Cupcakes (Nut Free)

Celebrate Spring with these delicious and moist Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes! Our lemon cupcakes are not only gluten free, but also dairy free, vegan, and top 8 free.
Top 8 allergen free, gluten free, vegan, nut free; Free of: soy, eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: allergy friendly cupcakes, gluten free vanilla cupcakes, vegan cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 141kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cups + 2 Tablespoons whole fine sorghum flour (OR fine brown rice flour, both work in this recipe)
  • 2/3 cup unbleached cane sugar (coconut sugar can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons ground golden flaxseed (this acts as an egg replacer, don’t skip this ingredient!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/4 cup oil (I use light-tasting olive oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Zest of 2 fresh lemons
  • Lemon Buttercream Frosting (recipe farther down in the blog post)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers or silicone muffin liners and set aside. Both silicone liners and paper liners work for this recipe, just make sure not to leave the cupcakes in the silicone muffin liners too long if you choose silicone. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, ground flaxseed, salt, and baking powder. 
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rice milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  • Add the rice milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to evenly mix to form the batter. 
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 lined muffin cups. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I found that it takes slightly longer (just a few minutes) to bake cupcakes in a stoneware pan than a metal pan.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pan to cool on a wire rack. 
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Store in an airtight container for about 3-4 days. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition info is calculated for just the cupcake without the frosting. The frosting nutrition info is calculated in the frosting recipe card. 

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheFitCookie or tag #TheFitCookie!

Here’s the lemon buttercream frosting recipe for these cupcakes! This frosting is not only amazing for cupcakes, but it’s great for lemon cookies and other treats as well (maybe a topping for lemon blondies…)!

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Top cakes and cookies with this silky dairy free lemon buttercream frosting! This recipe is gluten free and vegan.
Makes 2 cups of frosting (32 Tablespoons)
Vegan, gluten free; Free of: tree nuts, peanuts, soy, eggs, dairy, sesame
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttercream frosting, lemon buttercream frosting, vegan buttercream frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 32 Tablespoons
Calories: 70kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, beat the dairy free butter with a hand mixer or stand mixer until creamy, then add half the powdered sugar and blend.
  • Add the other half of the powdered sugar, along with the rice milk, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest, and dash of salt and beat until creamy.
  • Beat the frosting until it is silky, smooth, and creamy, and a good consistency for piping if you are decorating with a piping bag and frosting tips.
  • Use the lemon frosting to top our lemon cupcakes or lemon cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

For 2-tone frosting:

  • Once your frosting is made, divide it into 2 parts and dye one part light yellow and leave the rest of the frosting white.
  • Add a frosting piping tip to a parchment bag or a plastic gallon bag with a corner cut out and put the white frosting on one side of the piping bag, then add the yellow frosting to the other side of the piping bag. Make sure that both colors go all the way down to the piping tip.
  • Frost your cupcakes! The frosting should come out with 2 colors.

Video

Notes

Nutrients estimated for 1 Tablespoon of frosting

Nutrition

Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Sodium: 28mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheFitCookie or tag #TheFitCookie!

6 thoughts on “Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes (Dairy Free & Top 8 Free)”

  1. What would the equivalent flax replacement be if you used eggs instead? 3 eggs? Love the sorghum flour and dairy-free frosting options!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I have been trying to make GF/Vegan lemon cake for some time and this is the first recipe that really worked. These are delicious! I used soy milk because it’s what I had. The cupcakes were delicious. Hooray for having lemon cake back in my life!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I followed your recipe of lemon cup cakes.i baked n a pan and added some blue berries.I baked no 10 mins due to the thickness of batterI baked n a pan instead of paper cups.Glazed it with half cup suger and 3 tabspoon of lemon juice.I used GF rice flour.It turned out perfect.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating