Even if you have food allergies, you can still indulge a little! These Gluten Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes are top 8 allergen free and delicious. They’re vegan, nut free, peanut free, soy free, and fit many special diets.
I’m back this week with another great cupcake recipe! I took a little time off last week to have hip surgery (thanks to torn labrum from hip impingement), but I was able to get a bunch of recipes made up ahead of time so I can keep posting while I’m stuck not moving around very much. Planning ahead saved my bacon!
Our Vegan Vanilla Cupcake recipe is one of One of my older recipes, Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes, has always been a fan favorite, but it was made with wheat, so I decided to make a gluten free version that’s also vegan and nut free so everyone can have it!
Quite a while ago, I had made a gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe, but decided instead of just redoing that old one, I needed to make a completely new recipe to make sure that it works great. So these new gluten free cupcakes are better than my old recipe and easier to make. Yay!
Baking notes for our vegan cupcakes
Since our gluten free and vegan cupcakes are whole grain and don’t have eggs, they are a bit more dense and don’t peak as much as regular cupcakes do. But these are still moist and delicious!
These cupcakes sink slightly in the middle. You can reduce or prevent this by dividing the batter into 14 cupcakes rather than 12. I didn’t mind that these sank slightly since it will be covered in frosting and no one will see it 🙂
When making our gluten free cupcakes, make sure that you don’t skip the ground flaxseed. We use ground flaxseed as an egg substitute regularly in our baking, and it works great. It acts as a binder for baked goods since there are no eggs or gluten to bind the ingredients together. Don’t skip the ground flaxseed!
Gluten Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Nut Free)
Top 8 allergen free, gluten free, vegan, nut free; Free of: soy, eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts
- 1 ⅓ cups + 2 Tablespoons whole fine sorghum flour (OR fine brown rice flour, both work in this recipe)
- ⅔ cup unbleached cane sugar (coconut sugar can also be used)
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons ground golden flaxseed (this acts as an egg replacer, don’t skip this ingredient!)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup rice milk
- ¼ cup oil (I use light-tasting olive oil)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Vegan Vanilla Buttercream, recipe below
- 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.
- Add to the flour mixture the rice milk, oil, and vanilla 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!
Vegan frosting recipe notes
Here’s the Vegan Vanilla Buttercream frosting recipe below. If you store this vegan frosting recipe in a container, it does separate a little bit in the container. If you make this frosting ahead of time, just make sure to beat it again with a hand mixer before topping your cupcakes with it.
I like to add a few drops of dairy-free imitation butter flavor to my frosting just to add a bit of butter flavor, but this is completely optional and tastes fine without it. I also like using the non-dairy butter-flavored palm oil shortening when I can find it for homemade frosting, it’s delicious!
If you’d like to add color to your dairy free frosting, there are great natural food colors available now. I use the McCormick natural food color powder since it’s available in my local stores, but you can use whichever brand you prefer. We used the pink McCormick natural color for this frosting, and it turned out beautiful!
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- ⅓ cup palm oil shortening* (I use sustainably sourced Spectrum or Nutiva palm oil shortening)
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Couple drops of imitation butter flavor (optional, if you use non-dairy butter-flavored palm oil, you can skip this)
- Natural food color powder, optional (I use McCormick natural food colors)
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the palm oil until softened.
- Add in slowly the powdered sugar, rice milk, and vanilla. Beat until mixed thoroughly and smooth.
- If you need, you can adjust the thickness to your liking by adding a little bit of rice milk (1 teaspoon at a time) to make it less thick, or powdered sugar (1 Tablespoon at a time) to make it more thick.
- Optional: add some natural food color powder to add color. I use McCormick natural food color powders, start out with a small amount and add more until you reach the color you like.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
14 thoughts on “Gluten Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Nut Free)”
Looks delicious. Just want to confirm the sorghum flour measurement- is it 1 cup plus 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp?
Yep! Those are the correct measurements 🙂
I just made these cupcakes at 5,000 feet (And adjusted them), and although the batter was delicious, the actual cupcakes came out a bit gummy. Is this your experience? Is there a better way for me to prepare the ingredients so they ‘cake up’ a bit more? Thank you!
Hi Audrey! What altitude adjustments did you make for these? I’m at about 4500 feet elevation here and when I created the recipe, so it should work good for high altitude without adjustments. My son baked a batch of these today for homemade cake pops and they turned out good. Let me know if you try this again if you try it without the altitude adjustments and keep me posted with how they turn out 🙂
Thank you for getting back to me! I did two batches again without altitude adjustment (one with sorghum and one with brown rice flour). The brown rice ones sank heavily in the middle, but the sorghum did not. Have you had this experience? Neither batch of cupcakes rose much and still the sorghum had less obvious sinks in the middle. They are no longer super chewy or anything, but I’m still unsure how to make them rise. Thank you for your help!
I’ve noticed that some of my cupcakes do sink a bit in the middle since they don’t have eggs. Maybe add a bit more baking powder to them (like an additional 1/4 teaspoon) to see if that helps? I also noticed that they will sink more if they are filled more full, so I’d fill them only about 2/3 full rather than 3/4 full. I haven’t noticed a difference between the sorghum and the brown rice flour with the cupcakes sinking, but I’m not sure that I’ve tried this particular recipe with the brown rice flour yet, most of my other recipes work interchangeably between those flours so I’ll have to try it and check.
I’d also maybe add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of brown rice flour to the batter to see if that helps a bit to keep it from sinking as much.
Hello! I know these are but free, but would almond flour work? Thank you
Hi Andrea! I’m not quite sure if almond flour would work in this recipe since I haven’t cooked with almond flour before and don’t know how it works in my recipes. My daughter has tree nut allergies, so I can’t experiment with almond flour in my kitchen, but if you try it out let me know how it turns out for you.
These look like absolutely perfect cupcakes! Can’t wait to give them a try!
Thank you Monica! They are really delicious, and whole grain, too. I think you’ll enjoy them! 🙂
This is coming at the perfect time! I’m making my husband cupcakes for his birthday this week 🙂 I can’t wait to give your frosting recipe a try!!
Thanks Jenna! This frosting is super yummy and so simple, I even have a chocolate version that’s delicious too 🙂