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Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Cupcakes Are Not Mini Cakes (exactly…)

Did you know that not all cake recipes make good cupcakes? It’s true! Just like not all muffin recipes can be made as quick breads (or vice versa).

When you bake cake batter in miniature portions, even if it bakes flat in a round or square cake pan, it may dome quite a bit when portioned into the wells of a cupcake tin.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

I like a cupcake with a nice, flat top, so it’s easy to pile on a nice fluffy frosting. You can see for yourself that this recipe for gluten free vanilla cupcakes is the perfect frosting delivery system. 😋

My recipe for the very best gluten free vanilla cake is one of the most popular recipes on this site. It is truly perfect in every possible way—and it does happen to make very nice cupcakes. But it requires some sifting and other fussiness in the method, and the cupcakes don’t bake up as flat.

These gluten free vanilla cupcakes effortlessly rise into a flat top, anddon’t require any sifting of the dry ingredients. Just be sure not to overfill the wells of the cupcake tin (2/3 of the way full is absolutely perfect), bake at no more than 325°F, and only until the tops spring back when pressed very lightly in the center. The toothpick test is not the best test for doneness here.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Speaking of Frosting…

Although I do love a traditional buttercream frosting, my favorite vanilla frosting is this “Best” Vanilla Frosting. It’s a cooked flour frosting that can be made in stages. Instead of relying upon confectioners’ sugar for the proper consistency,

Since it doesn’t rely upon confectioners’ sugar for the proper consistency, a cooked flour frosting has significantly less sugar than buttercream. And it’s soft and velvety, but still stable at room temperature.

I haven’t ever tried making it with dairy-free butter, I’m afraid. I bet it would work with butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated shortening, though.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Dairy: These cupcakes can easily be made dairy free by using Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening in place of butter. Nondairy milk (I like unsweetened almond milk—be sure your nondairy milk is not nonfat) works well in place of cow’s milk.

Eggs: It’s a little tricky to replace the egg and egg white here than it would be if the recipe called only for whole eggs. I haven’t tried it, but you can try replacing the egg and egg white with 1 1/2 chia eggs. Be sure to use ground chia seeds, not whole seeds, though. And avoid flax eggs, particularly in a recipe as simple as this, as flax has a strong flavor.

Sugar: If you need to replace the granulated sugar, I always recommend trying Truvia baking blend sugar.

These never-fail bakery-style gluten free vanilla cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender. They can even easily be made dairy free, too!

Click play ▶️ to watch this quick how-to video. For visual learners, and the generally curious!

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 cupcakes

Ingredients

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) + 1 egg white (25 g) at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I like Better Batter here)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fl. oz.) milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease the wells, and set the tin aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the butter, sugar, egg, egg white and vanilla, and beat to combine well. Set the bowl of dry ingredients aside. In a small bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine well. To the large bowl with the butter mixture, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk or buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat lightly after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter should be light and fluffy.
  • Fill the prepared wells of the muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full with the batter. Shake the tin back and forth to evenly distribute the batter in each of the wells. Place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cupcakes are very lightly golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the center (about 20 minutes). Don’t over bake. Allow the cupcakes to cool for at least 5 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cupcake batter. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting and/or decorating.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Pamela
    June 22, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    I have made GF cupcakes in the past. They were great fresh out of the oven. I made them a couple of days in advance and froze them so I could take my time decorating them. When I defrosted the cupcakes, the texture was like riced cauliflower and had a doughy taste. Is that just the nature of GF flours, or is there something I can do to avoid this problem?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 22, 2017 at 4:16 PM

      Hi, Pamela,
      It’s really hard for me to say for sure, since you didn’t use one of my recipes, but it sounds like an issue with a gritty rice flour. That, and unbalanced, poorly-written recipes, are the most common problems with gluten free baking. I recommend taking a look at my Gluten Free Flour Blends page for full information.

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