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