Simple and delicious, these gluten free lemon cupcakes are a delicious dessert your family will love. These cupcakes are also dairy-free so 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 homemade gluten free dairy free lemon cupcakes are a delicious way to use some of my lemons and celebrate lemon flavors. If you love that sweet-tart flavor you get from lemons, you will love this simple gluten free lemon cupcakes recipe!
Why These Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes Are Great:
- This gluten free lemon cupcake recipe is homemade, made from scratch, and bursting with fresh lemon flavor. If you are looking for 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 really easy to follow so you can make these in your kitchen!
- You can top these with the lemonade icing or add a couple of 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!
- 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 flours.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- Eggs - Use large eggs. You can use them out of the refrigerator and 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 milk 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 - feel free to use another light oil like avocado or canola.
- 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.
Recipe Step By Step Directions:
Making these fluffy gluten free lemon cupcakes is pretty quick. Preheat your oven to 350º F and be sure to 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 mixing bowl. Use a whisk to blend dry ingredients together.
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. Combine the wet ingredients with a spoon.
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 5-10 minutes, but this is optional. For grittier gluten free flour blends, this can really help make the cupcake texture better.
HINT: The air bubbles from mixing your batter by hand gently are what make your cupcakes fluffy. I do NOT recommend using a standing mixer or electric hand mixer. They overmix the batter and this makes cupcakes very dense.
Step 4: Use a large cookie scoop or spoon the cupcake batter into a parchment paper-lined muffin tin to bake. I always recommend using parchment paper liners because they do a good job of preventing the cupcake from sticking to the liners.
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: Allow your cupcakes to cool on a wire rack. Mix up 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 middle and fill the cupcakes with lemon curd if you prefer even more lemony flavor!
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!!
Note this post was updated from an older Feb. 2017 post with better directions and photos.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:
The best way to keep your cupcakes light and fluffy is to be very 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 air-tight container, or store them for up to 4 months in the freezer.
If your cupcakes didn't rise, you may have used expired baking soda, or you overmixed your cupcake batter.
More Delicious 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
"We loved your Strawberry Muffins (I used a bit less sugar) and so I'm going to make these cupcakes for my son's bday this week."Kamala
Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Lemonade Icing
- 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
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- tablespoon lemon zest to top cupcakes with
- 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 up the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps.
- Drizzle the icing over the cupcakes.
- 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 light and fluffy cupcakes, mix your cupcake batter until it is just 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.
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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