These gluten free vegan vanilla cupcakes are super light and fluffy with the perfect amount of sweetness. Easy to make in 1 bowl and just 9 ingredients! (Eggless, dairy free + oil free).
Since baking up these Vegan Lemon Cupcakes, I've been dreaming about all the cupcake flavours. Black sesame matcha, maple tahini banana, key lime coconut, chocolate chip strawberry, mocha chocolate... and of course vanilla.
I knew vanilla would be the hardest to tackle because the flavour is so simple that anything strange in flavour or texture would be noticeable. Theres a reason chocolate cake is much easier to make and is more forgiving.
I tested these cupcakes about 8 times with different flours, ratios and ingredients to make sure they were perfect and fool-proof. These check off everything I look for in a simple vanilla cupcake:
- pillowy soft and fluffy
- moist but not gummy
- tender-chewy crumb
- subtly sweet
- and so good you can eat it without frosting
It's a bold statement but I think these are the best vanilla cupcakes vegan and gluten free or not.
Ingredients for Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
These easy vegan vanilla cupcakes are made with just 10 healthier and simple ingredients (plus frosting) keeping them gluten free, oil free, eggless and dairy free:
- Super Fine Almond flour: I typically go for oat flour to be the base ingredient but because vanilla is such a simple flavour, we don't want to distract it with any other nutty flavours. Almond flour has more of a rich and buttery flavour and texture which helps enhance that vanilla flavour. Also, superfine is ideal here for the best crumb.
- Potato starch: Since almond flour is a dense gluten free flour, potato starch helps make it lighter and fluffier. Make sure not to mix it up with potato flour!
- White Rice flour: Gives these cupcakes a nice bouncy 'chew' that is missing in the other flours and helps bind the ingredients together. Sweet rice flour will make these cupcakes too chewy so be sure to use white rice flour.
- Corn Starch: Similar to cake flour which is what makes cakes pillow-y soft.
- Non dairy yogurt: Gives extra flavour and gives the perfect amount of moisture to these cupcakes. Use a runnier non dairy yogurt (I use Presidents Choice Coconut Yogurt). If your yogurt is thicker, replace 1 tablespoon with more non dairy milk to thin it out. I've tested these cupcakes with 3 different brands of coconut yogurt and for some reason, some react with the baking soda more than others. If you're unsure about the acidity level of your yogurt add in a bit of apple cider vinegar just incase.
- Cane sugar: The best neutral sugar for vanilla cupcakes! Coconut sugar can be used but the flavour and appearance will be slightly different.
- Lite canned coconut milk: Other non dairy milks can be used but coconut milk gives more richness to the cupcakes.
- Vanilla: Use GOOD quality vanilla extract here!
In addition, you'll also need baking basics such as salt, baking powder and baking soda.
How to Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
- Batter: Add all the wet ingredients and whisk until combined. Then add in the dry ingredients. Sift in the baking powder and baking soda for even distribution and stir until well combined and there are no more large lumps of flour.
- Bake: Fill cupcake liners ⅔-3/4 of the way full. Then bake them on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes. To know if they're done, press on the tops of one of the cupcakes-- it should feel springy and bounce back up. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 1 minute. Then carefully transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and flip them upside down to cool. This prevents the cupcakes from 'sinking' in while cooling.
- Frost: I used a simple coconut whip cream frosting here by whipping up 1 can of 400ml coconut cream with 2 tablespoon maple syrup and piping it with a wilton 2D tip. You can also use a standard vegan butter cream, cashew buttercream frosting, chocolate frosting or this coconut yogurt cream frosting. Be sure that the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting!
Tips & Tricks for Perfect Vegan Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- Check oven temperature: be sure that the oven temp is 350 F for flat top cupcakes. A hotter oven may cause the cupcakes to burst on the top. If insure, set oven to 325 F and bake 5-10 minutes longer.
- Use parchment cupcake liners: to prevent the cupcakes from sticking to the liners. Alternatively, you can spray regular cupcake liners.
- Cool the cupcakes upside down: helps the cupcakes stay tall and fluffy without sinking in the middle.
- Don't let the cupcakes sit in the pan for long: they'll end up soggy on the bottom due to the steam coming out of the cupcakes.
- Make sure the cupcakes cool completely before frosting: to prevent melting.
- Storing: Once fully cooled, place unfrosted cupcakes in a air tight container. They will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature and 2 months in the freezer. When ready, let them thaw before decorating.
- Make Ahead: I highly recommend frosting your cupcakes as close to when you're about to serve them. The day before the event, bake the cupcakes, let them cool and store them in an air tight container at room temperature. Prepare the frosting and keep in the fridge. Before the event/serving, whip the frosting once more, place in a piping bag and decorate. Then serve and enjoy!
I hope you try and love these Vegan Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes! They are so delicately soft, fluffy and perfect for holidays, events and celebrations!
If you recreate this recipe for Vegan Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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