This recipe is for my cupcake fans. Wait until you take a bite of these dairy-free gluten free vanilla cupcakes. They have a surprise inside! Pipe delicious homemade frosting on top and you have a dessert that is perfect for any occasion!

Frosted gluten free vanilla cupcakes on a rack.

Cupcakes have been one of our favorite ways to enjoy dessert. I like them because they allow me to control the portion of sweets more. Put a big cake in front of me, and I will eat way more than a cupcake amount!! These cupcakes are made with simple ingredients, most of which you already have in your gluten free pantry.

Do you ever feel this way? I seem to have no self-control when desserts are involved. Take this Gluten Free Lemon Layer Cake recipe or this Gluten Free Carrot Cake recipe. I would want to cut myself a giant slice!

I love these cupcakes for birthday parties because you can top them with any frosting flavor. For the best gluten free cupcake recipes, check out my Gluten Free Cupcakes resource guide!!

Allergen Information:

These cupcakes are gluten-free, soy-free, oat-free, and nut-free.

This easy gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe comes in three easy variations: gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Note that if you use coconut sugar, these cupcakes will be golden if you use gold coconut sugar or more brownish if you use regular coconut sugar.

Reader Rave

I made these to take to my twin granddaughter’s birthday party. Came out perfectly! This is a keeper!” Dee B., Pinterest comment

Tips For Success:

  • Do not overmix the batter. I also do not recommend using a stand mixer. Overmixing the batter will lead to denser cupcakes.
  • Use parchment paper liners to prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the papers.
  • Do not frost your cupcakes until they are completely cooled.

I wrote up all of my gluten free baking tips to help you! If you are a coconut fanatic like me, you may also want to try making this easy Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes recipe!

Rows of vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate frosting.
You can also make these gluten free vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting!
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Ingredient Notes:

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – I tested this recipe using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work; I have not tested other flours, and I can not guarantee the recipe will work if you use other mixes.
  • Xanthan Gum – If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum, please add 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free for best results.
  • Eggs – Use size large.
  • Dairy-Free Milk – I used almond milk. Other dairy-free milk and regular milk will work, but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter or light oil if you are dairy-free.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – I do not recommend using imitation vanilla.

Step-By-Step Directions:

It is really easy to make cupcake frosting from scratch! The secret is to ensure that your butter is softened to room temperature so that your frosting turns out smooth.

A bowl with whisked dry ingredients in it.

Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend.

Whisking the wet ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add the wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk them to mix them up. If you use butter or coconut oil and they are solid, the one you use in the microwave for 20 seconds to partially melt it.

Pouring wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is “just barely mixed.” If you overmix the batter, your cupcakes will turn out dense.

A bowl filled with vanilla cake batter.

Your batter should have a smooth consistency, like in this photo.

🔑 Sandi says: Every gluten free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. This will affect the moisture of your recipe if you use a flour blend I didn’t test. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour. If your batter is too thick, add more dairy-free milk.

Cupcake batter in a muffin tin ready to bake.

Step 4: Line a muffin tin with parchment paper cupcake liners and fill each cup 3/4 full with the cake batter.

Step 5: Bake the vanilla cupcakes at 350º F for 25-30 minutes. The best way to test whether cupcakes are baked is to insert a toothpick into the middle of one. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cupcakes are finished baking. If you see batter or crumbs, they must be baked a little longer.

Step 6: Mix the frosting ingredients in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment while the cupcakes are cooling. Want to add color or flavor to your frosting? Check out my Gluten Free Frosting Guide for tips!

Step 7: Decorate with sprinkles. Check out my guide to all of the safe gluten free sprinkles brands!

If you genuinely love vanilla, you MUST give this Gluten Free Vanilla Cake a try. It makes a great birthday cake or even a wedding cake! Or, if you also love chocolate, you can make these delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes and serve both flavors!!

A frosted gluten free vanilla cupcake with a bite taken out.

I made these yesterday! Delicious!”

Laura T., Pinterest comment

Recipe FAQ:

How long will these gluten free vanilla cupcakes keep fresh?

These cupcakes will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an airtight container or for up to 4 months in the freezer.

Can you make these cupcakes ahead?

You can easily make these ahead. You can make the batter up to two days before baking the cupcakes, or you can make the cupcakes without frosting and freeze them until you are ready to use them.

Why are the cupcakes dense and heavy?

When your cupcakes turn out dense, you over-mixed your batter. This can be a huge issue in gluten free baking. Mix your ingredients until they are just barely mixed.

Why did the cupcakes sink in the middle?

This can often happen if you open the oven door while the cupcakes are baking. Another reason is that your oven wasn’t at the right temperature when you put the cupcakes in.

Fill the cupcakes!

Another fun idea is to fill these cupcakes. The secret is in this little middle scooper. That is probably not the real name of this handy $4 gadget, but what an awesomely fun way to fill the cupcakes!

A scooper that takes out the middle of the cupcakes.

You can fill these cupcakes with a lot of fun things! You can fill these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with jam, frosting, Nutella, or whipped cream, or stick a fresh strawberry inside! You can also fill these with M&Ms or sprinkles to make a piñata cupcake…which is fun for birthday celebrations.

This gluten-free cupcake batter can also be used to make a sheet cake or layer cake—it is very versatile! All you need are a few simple ingredients!

A gluten free frosted cupcakes on a plate.

Love this recipe!! Just used it for Birthday cupcakes!! Simple to make and absolutely delicious to eat!!”

Lisa P., Facebook comment

More Gluten Free Cake Recipes: 

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This helps others know that this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Frosted gluten free vanilla cupcakes on a rack.

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Sandi Gaertner
Moist, light vanilla cupcakes with a homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. 
4.91 from 32 votes
dairy free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 345 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Muffin pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour blend * see note
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups non-dairy milk * see note
  • Optional filling like jam Nutella, etc.

For Frosting

  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 12 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk You may need to add 1 tablespoon if your frosting is too thick.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • In a small bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • In a larger bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. You want the batter to be smooth, but not too runny.
  • Add parchment paper cupcake/muffin liners to a muffin tin. Fill each 3/4 with the cupcake batter.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes until done.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and put each cupcake onto a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Take the middle scooper if you want to fill your cupcakes and remove the middle of each cupcake.
  • Fill each cupcake with your preferred topping. (There is a list in the post, but ideas include jam, Nutella, M&Ms, etc).
  • In a mixer, add frosting ingredients and whip until thick and creamy.
  • Put the filling into a frosting pastry bag. Make sure to put the frosting tip in! Add frosting, including over the hole with the stuffing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  1. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  2. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
  3. Other dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  4. Be very careful not to overmix the batter. Overmixing will make your cupcakes turn out heavy and dense.
  5. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcakes. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cupcakes need to bake longer.
  6. These cupcakes will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 193mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 2gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 492IUCalcium: 46mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

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Recipe Rating




38 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a really good cupcake recipe. I was worried that I might have over mixed the batter, but it still came out tender. I also used whole milk. I will definitely make this my go to recipe. Thank you so much.