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4.91 from 30 votes

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 this delicious homemade chocolate frosting on top and you have a dessert that is sure to please everyone!

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!!

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! And if you want to try something cool and different…give these Gluten Free Black Velvet Cupcakes a try!!

For the best gluten free cupcake recipes, check out my Gluten Free Cupcakes resource guide!!

Why Make Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes:

  1. These cupcakes are made with simple ingredients, most of which you already have in your gluten free pantry.
  2. They are easy to make and bake up light and fluffy!
  3. This easy gluten free vanilla cupcakes recipe comes with three recipe variations. Gluten free, dairy-free, and you can even make them refined sugar-free. Note 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!

Made these 1/18/23 to take to my twin granddaughter’s birthday party. Came out perfectly! This is a keeper!”

Dee B., Pinterest comment

I love these cupcakes for birthday parties because you can top them with any frosting flavor.

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

If you are a coconut fanatic like me, you may also want to try making this easy Gluten Free Coconut Cupcakes recipe!

Tips For Success:

  • Do not overmix the batter.
  • 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!

Top Pick
King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour 3 lbs

This is one of my favorite gluten-free flour blends for cookies, cakes, pie crust, biscuits, and muffins! (Do not use this flour blend for yeast recipes.)

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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 1 teaspoon.
  • Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free for best results.
  • Eggs – Use size large.
  • Almond Milk – Other dairy-free milk will work, but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – I do not recommend using imitation vanilla.

Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:

It is really easy to make cupcake frosting from scratch! The secret is ensuring 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.

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.

Cupcake batter in a muffin tin ready to bake.

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

Step 5: Bake at 350º F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.

Step 6: Decorate with sprinkles. Check out my guide to all of the safe gluten free sprinkles brands!

A hand peeling the cupcake liner wrapper off the cupcake.

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.

Want to add color or flavor to your frosting? Check out my Gluten Free Frosting Guide for tips!

I made these yesterday! Delicious!”

Laura T., Pinterest comment

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:

How do you know when the cupcakes are done baking?

The best way to test whether cupcakes are baked is to insert a toothpick into the middle of a cupcake. If the toothpick comes back clean, they are finished baking. If you see batter or crumbs, they must be baked a little longer.

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.

How long will these gluten free vanilla cupcakes keep fresh?

These cupcakes will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an air-tight 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.

What makes vanilla cupcakes light and fluffy?

The best way to make your cupcakes light and fluffy is NOT to overmix your batter. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until they are just barely mixed.

Why did the cupcakes sink in the middle?

Often, this can happen if you open the oven door while the cupcakes are baking. Another reason is if your oven wasn’t at the right temperature when you put the cupcakes into the oven.

Variation:

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.

Grab chocolate, pudding, sprinkles, M&Ms, or your favorite jam! I scooped out the middles of these cupcakes and added a seedless raspberry jam.

Filling ideas:

You can fill these gluten free vanilla cupcakes with jam, frosting, Nutella, or whipped cream, or stick a fresh strawberry inside! You can 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 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: 

Frosted gluten free vanilla cupcakes on a rack.

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Sandi Gaertner
Moist, light vanilla cupcakes with a homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. 
Love this recipe?Give it a star rating!
4.91 from 30 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

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Equipment

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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Your go-to haven for gluten-free living, where I share hundreds of delicious, family-friendly recipes, helpful gluten-free resources, and allergen-friendly options for everyone!

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