The absolute Best Vegan Gluten-Free Cupcakes ever to pass my lips. These are the softest, lightest, most buttery cupcakes and yet they have no butter or oil or gluten in them! Truly fluffy and the most magical texture!
After posting my Vegan Wedding Cake, I received the kindest and most supportive comments I've ever received on a post (besides my cookbook announcement!) and I was so touched, so moved and beyond thrilled you all loved the cake so much!
It also sparked a ton of requestsfor a cupcake version! So, I got right on it for you all! Now, I already shared on social media that I added the cupcake version to that wedding post, but due to all the readers that follow this blog and still receiving so many questions about a cupcake version, I realized that many of you are missing that note on the bottom of that recipe OR didn't see the social media post. I figured it would be a really good idea to do a whole separate post dedicated to those cupcakes with pics and all. Some of you have already made them too!
After all, they deserve their own post and it makes it much easier for you all to follow the recipe this way since that Wedding Cake post was the longest post of my life, hahaha.
Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
Calling these the "best" is a hefty claim but I'm here to tell you it is the absolute truth as far as I'm concerned. I'm talking, a true cupcake texture and flavor, like the ones you would have at a special party made with regular white flour or cake flour. The truly soft, super tender with such a light and delicate texture.
I find that too many cupcakes aren't really a true cupcake in taste or texture, but more like a muffin, more dense or chewy...especially vegan ones. I love muffins, don't get me wrong, but a cupcake is not a muffin and a muffin is not a cupcake. To me, a cupcake should have that truly light and fluffy texture, well....like a soft cake of course! There is a definite difference.
Coconut butter gives these cupcakes an incredibly delicious and buttery flavor, without it tasting like coconut, trust me!
How to Use Coconut Butter in Baking
Regarding the coconut butter...before adding, it needs to be the consistency of oil, as pictured. It should be 100% smooth and runny. This is very important for the batter to mix properly. I use and love the MaraNatha brand, found at most stores, it is 100% smooth. I do NOT recommend homemade coconut butter, as the texture will never be as smooth and yields bits of coconut.
The jars at the store will be solid, so the best way to work with this is to take off the lid, heat up the jar in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or so, just until it becomes soft enough to scoop it all out into a container. I find this much easier and important to store coconut butter, otherwise the oil separates from the coconut meat and is not mixed up properly, which will affect your cake result texture-wise and flavor-wise. The above picture is the coconut butter added to a glass container, then heated just a few seconds until I can stir it enough to fully mix the separated oil and coconut together and reach this very runny texture. You have to be very careful about overheating coconut butter or it will burn it and make it mealy. Depending on your climate, more or less seconds in the microwave may be needed.
Beautifully white cupcakes and frosting, perfect for ANY occasion or a wedding.
A light dusting of silver powder was just the best touch to these beautifully white wedding cupcakes.
Have you ever seen a fluffier cupcake? A vegan gluten-free one at that??
I hope you all love these cupcakes! I know a few of you have already made and raved over them after seeing them on the wedding cake post, so thank you! Can't wait to hear what you all think!
Yields 1 dozen cupcakes
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Gluten-free)
The absolute Best Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes ever to pass my lips. These are the softest, lightest, most buttery cupcakes and yet they have no butter or oil or gluten in them! Truly fluffy and the most magical texture!
15 minPrep Time
21 minCook Time
36 minTotal Time
5 based on 10 review(s)
1 cup (160g) white rice flour
1/2 cup (64g) cornstarch
3/4 cup (144g) pure cane sugar (white sugar will work too and make them even more white!)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/4 cups (300g) full-fat coconut milk CANS (not the carton) shaken well & ROOM TEMP (highly recommend the Thai Kitchen brand, it's the best and always smooth and creamy)
1/2 cup (120g) melted liquid coconut butter (refer to tutorial above)
2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
One 4oz vegan Earth Balance butter stick (1/2 cup, 112g)
1/2 cup (96g) Spectrum shortening
2 1/2 cups (380g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon (15g) coconut milk
1 teaspoon white vanilla powder (for a white frosting) or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Please absolutely use a scale! It's SO important for accuracy in baking, especially with cakes and even more so, cupcakes like this. I cannot stress this enough. I have used this one for years and love it! Make sure you are zeroing out in between each ingredient and add them slowly as to not too much. Do not sub even one of these ingredients, if at all possible for the absolute best result. I worked endlessly to perfect this recipe and each ingredient plays a very important role. If you are allergic to cornstarch, the best sub would be potato starch. DO NOT use tapioca, I tested that and it made it so tough, chewy and dense. Potato starch is very similar to cornstarch, however, it does make things more crumbly and dry out much quicker, so use the same weight amount but I recommend making them the day you want to eat them, as potato starch will make them drier much quicker.
These cupcakes are the BEST made the day of, as they are the most moist and buttery. Due to the high starch amount they will start to dry out by the 2nd day and so on.
PLEASE USE A SCALE. This can make the difference in success or fail in baking. You can find them online or even at stores like Walmart for around $20. Refer to NOTE above for weighing tips if you've never used one before.
For the frosting, set out your vegan butter sticks early in the day or several hours before you want to make the frosting (or the night before), so that they can be totally soft and at room temperature, otherwise it will be impossible to beat the frosting.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
Make sure your coconut milk is at room temperature and you've shaken the cans well and that the milk is creamy and smooth, not chunky, before measuring/weighing. If it's chunky, make sure you whisk or blend it separately until totally smooth before measuring and adding to the other liquids. Also, follow the same steps above in the post regarding preparing the coconut butter correctly. The coconut butter must be a smooth runny consistency like oil almost, not thick!
To a large bowl, add the white rice flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Use a large whisk very well until mixed. To another large bowl, add the coconut milk, liquid coconut butter (see above post) and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Whisk until completely smooth, making sure to get the bottom. Make sure it's all completely mixed.
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 liners. Use an ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measuring cup for ease. They will be filled a bit more than half full.
Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Mine were perfectly done at 21 minutes each time, but ovens vary. They should have risen beautifully with a nice dome top. They will settle down a bit as they cool/ Leave them to cool 45 minutes exactly in the pan, very important for their structure. Then transfer them to the fridge for JUST 15 minutes to further set them. This step is important, so don't skip. Remove from the fridge and frost them. Leave covered at room temperature to keep them moist. Don't store them in the fridge or they will dry out. These cupcakes are best the day made and still good by the 2nd cake, but start to dry out because of the heavy starch content, so I would not make them more than a day in advance.
To make the buttercream, add the room temperature softened vegan butter and shortening to a huge bowl and beat on low until just blended. Add the sugar about a cup at a time blending on low until all is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and beat just until light and fluffy. Cover with plastic wrap to keep it moist until ready to frost. For the frosting, I used Wilton Flour tip #2D.
Nutrition per cupcake (does not include frosting): 204 calories, 8.2g fat, 1.6g protein, 31g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 13.2g sugar (calculated at verywellfit.com)
The Vegan 8
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Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed my husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not counting salt, pepper or water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!