Simple and delicious, these fluffy gluten free lemon cupcakes are a delicious dessert your family will love. These cupcakes are also dairy-free so that everyone can enjoy them! Top them with either lemonade icing or frosting for any celebration!
Our lemon tree is overflowing with huge juicy lemons, and we have to keep picking lemons off the tree to prevent the heavy fruit-filled branches from breaking off the tree. Most of our lemons turn out as large as grapefruits, and each lemon yields a lot of lemon juice.
These gluten free lemon cupcakes are incredible and are a delicious way to use some of my fresh lemons. If you love that sweet-tart flavor you get from lemons, you will love this simple, gluten free lemon cupcakes recipe!
Why This Recipe Is Great:
- This gluten free lemon cupcake recipe is homemade, made from scratch, and bursting with fresh lemon flavor. If you want a tried and true cupcake recipe, this is it!
- These cupcakes are also dairy-free!
- Store-bought gluten free cupcakes will never be as good. I made this cupcake recipe easy to follow so that you can make these in your kitchen!
- You can top these with the lemonade icing or add a few drops of yellow food coloring to my easy gluten free frosting recipe! Also, be sure if you use sprinkles to check my gluten free sprinkles list to verify the brand you use is gluten free!
This gluten free lemon cupcake recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free.
- 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 other flour mixtures will not work; I just have not tested other flour.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon. See the Substitutions section below for a gum-free alternative.
- Eggs - Use large eggs. You can use them from the refrigerator; they do not need to be at room temperature. Note I have not tested this recipe with any egg replacer.
- Sugar - You can use organic or regular. Both work perfectly fine.
- Lemons - I prefer fresh, but bottled is okay to use. If you have a lemon tree like me, use fresh!
- Non-Dairy Milk - I used almond milk, but you can also use a different one, like flaxseed or soy milk. I do not recommend canned coconut milk. Oat milk is great to use, but check to see is oat milk gluten free.
- Coconut Oil - Any brand is fine; depending on the temperature in your house, be sure to melt it before using it.
- Vanilla Extract - Use pure vanilla extract.
- Baking Soda - I use baking soda because it works better in acidic recipes.
- Powdered Sugar - You can use this for the yummy lemonade glaze recipe below or in a homemade buttercream frosting.
If you love fruity cupcakes, try my Gluten Free Peach Cupcakes recipe!
- Make these cupcakes gum-free (aka gluten free lemon cupcakes without xanthan gum) using my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend. It uses psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum as a binder.
- If you can't have coconut, swap the coconut oil for another oil like avocado or canola oil.
- If you are dairy-free, use plant-based butter (aka margarine) for the frosting.
Tips For Sucess:
- Do not use a stand or electric mixer. These tools usually overmix your batter, leaving a dense cupcake.
- Use parchment paper cupcake liners. The cupcakes come away from these liners cleanly.
Check out my Gluten Free Cake Troubleshooting Guide for even more baking tips.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Making these fluffy gluten free lemon cupcakes is so easy. Preheat your oven to 350º F, and move your oven rack to the middle position. You do not want your oven rack too low, or your cake bottoms can burn. Gluten free baking is easy with these simple directions:
Step 1: Add your gluten free flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a large
To measure your gluten free flour, I recommend using either the spoon method or leveling method.
Spoon Method: You can also use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour.
Leveling Method: Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, add the oil, lemon juice, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and non-dairy milk. Whisk the wet ingredients.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. For best results, mix them together until they are just barely mixed.
I like to let my batter sit for 15 minutes, but this is optional. For grittier gluten-free flour blends, this can help make the cupcake texture because it helps soften the rice flour in your flour blend.
🔑 Sandi says: The air bubbles from gently mixing your batter by hand help to make your cupcakes fluffy. Overmixing the batter will eliminate these air bubbles, leaving denser cupcakes.
These muffin pans are a great deal. They are high quality at a low price. Use them to make muffins, cupcakes, and egg muffins.
Step 4: Use a large
Fill each cup about ¾ full of the gluten free cupcake batter so they can rise up but not spill over the top of the liner onto the muffin tin. This will also give you an even surface on top if you are going to frost the cupcakes.
Step 5: Bake at 350º F for 20-25 minutes until done. You can test to see if they are finished baking by inserting a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are finished baking. If you see crumbs or batter, they will need to bake a little longer.
Step 6: Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow your cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.
Now is a good time to mix the icing or frosting.
Do not frost the cupcakes until they are completely cooled. You can use this contraption to scoop out some of the middles and fill the cupcakes with lemon curd if you prefer an even more lemony flavor!
TIP: If you want your frosting to be more lemon colored, add a few drops of lemon food coloring to the frosting as it mixes in your standing mixer. Here is an excellent guide to gluten free frosting, including how to color it.
Note this post was updated from an older Feb. 2017 post with better directions and photos. This is what the older photo looked like. It had lemonade icing instead of lemon frosting.
These gluten free lemon cupcakes have a wonderful lemonade icing drizzle, making them so refreshing. For an extra fancy occasion, top them with your favorite frosting. Dig in!!
The best way to keep your cupcakes light and fluffy is to be careful not to over-mix the batter.
To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cupcakes need to bake longer.
These cupcakes will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container. These cupcakes also freeze really well and can be stored for up to 4 months in the freezer. I place cooled cupcakes into a freezer-safe zip-style bag.
If your cupcakes didn't rise, you may have used expired baking soda or overmixed your cupcake batter.
Check out all of these incredible Gluten Free Lemon Desserts!
More Gluten Free Lemon Dessert Recipes:
- Gluten Free Lemon Donuts
- Easy Gluten Free Lemon Yogurt Cakes
- Gluten Free Lemon Bundt Cake
- 3 Minute Gluten Free Lemon Mug Cake
- Gluten Free Lemon Tart
"So yummy! Love this recipe"Lauren T, Pinterest User
Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Lemonade Icing
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- 2 ¼ cup gluten free flour blend * see note
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 ¼ cups almond milk * see note
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest to top cupcakes with
- ½ cup unsalted butter Softened, use dairy-free butter if you are dairy-free
- Optional: 3-5 drops of yellow food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Be sure that the oven rack is in the middle setting.
- Line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners. I like to use parchment paper liners so the cupakes don't stick to the paper.
- In a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients.
- Whisk to blend these ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and whisk to blend them all together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until they are just barely mixed. This will help to keep your cupcakes light and fluffy.
- Use a large cookie scoop to add the batter to each cupcake liner. Fill each cup about ¾ full. Try not to overfill the batter or your cupcakes can rise too high.
- Sprinkle the top of each cupcake with lemon zest.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until done. (*See note to test if they are fully baked)
- Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- Mix all of the frosting ingredients in a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment to make this frosting really fluffy.
- I have tested this recipe with two gluten free flour blends. King Arthur Measure for Measure GF Blend and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 GF Blend. This does not mean they are the only two that work for this recipe. It just means I haven't tested all of the gluten free flour blends out there.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain Xanthan Gum, please add 1 teaspoon to the dry ingredients. For gum-free, use my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend.
- Mix your cupcake batter for light and fluffy cupcakes until it is barely mixed; it will help make your cupcakes lighter and fluffier.
- To test to see if your cupcakes are done baking, insert a toothpick into a cupcake. if the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are finished baking. If you see batter or crumbs, you will need to bake them a little longer.
- You can top these cupcakes with the icing in the recipe or frost them with buttercream frosting.
- These cupcakes will keep fresh for up to 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 4 months.
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.
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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