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Classic Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Gluten Free and Sugar Free options)

Whether it’s for a birthday party, a wedding, or a Tuesday, sometimes we all just need a perfect vanilla cupcake.  These classic vegan vanilla cupcakes are deliciously moist and light, topped with a luxurious vanilla buttercream frosting, and of course, fully vegan and gluten free!

Artistic shot of many cupcakes

There are a lot of fun, fancy, and funky cupcake options out there.  Flavors and colors, toppings and fillings, cupcakes topped with entire other desserts.  Sometimes those are AWESOME.  And sometimes those are EXHAUSTING and can’t I please just have an old school vanilla cupcake like when there were school birthday parties as a kid??

Well, ask and ye shall receive!  These vegan vanilla cupcakes will transport you to a happy place, a simpler time, but this time around with less stomach aches (if you’re like me and were harboring a gluten, dairy, and egg intolerance unknowingly for years). 

These cupcakes are the base for my Funfetti Cupcakes, and of course can be used as the base for adding other easy fillings as well like chocolate chips or nuts.  Fruit filled cupcakes will get their own entries!

How To Make Them:

These are as easy as they are classic and delicious, and made in ONE BOWL.

Simply mix together the gluten free flour (or all purpose flour), sugar (see the Ingredients Needed section to learn how to make these sugar free!), baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Then add in non-dairy milk, neutral oil, and vanilla extract, and mix until just combined. That’s it! That’s your batter!

Once the batter is ready, I like to transfer it from the bowl into a large measuring cup, since I find it easier to pour into tin that way.  Less spills. Not no spills, but less spills. Fill each liner around 2/3 of the way up. This amount of batter will give you exactly 12 beautiful cupcakes. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 20-24 minutes (my sweet spot is around 22.5).

Batter in a bowl

When they get out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then move them to a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy.  While they are cooling is when I make the frosting, since you want them to be completely cool before actually frosting them.  Use butter straight from the fridge so it is cold and hard.  I use a simple hand mixer (you can use a fancier mixer if you have one!) to whip the butter on its own until it is fluffy, then add in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time until it hits your desired frosting consistency.

And that’s it! Time to eat your vegan vanilla cupcakes!! Nutritional info can be found in the Notes section below the recipe instructions.

Storage:

After they have cooled, seal in an air-tight container and store at room temperature.  Ideally if you know you aren’t serving them that day, I’d suggest making the frosting fresh, but it will certainly hold if you are eating them over a few days.  They should last for around 3 days.

Close up shot of one completed and frosted cupcake

Pro Tips & Tools:

  • Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Make sure you measure your liquid ingredients using liquid measuring cups.  This will ensure accuracy!  I love this set.
  • As I mentioned, using a hand mixer with the frosting is the way to get the best results there.  I use this very simple and effective one.
  • If you haven’t used piping tools for frosting, or if you just need new ones, this set is my favorite. I love the medium and large sized tips.
  • Missing any of the basics? Here is my go-to muffin tin, and my go-to cupcake liners.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Non-dairy milk – any should do here!  I usually use soy or almond.
  • Neutral oil – again, any should do, I always use grapeseed.  I have not tried these oil free.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar – If you want to make these sugar free, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
  • Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Baking powder – I recommend using baking powder that has no added aluminum. This one is my go-to.
  • Salt
  • Vegan butter – for the frosting. I use Earth Balance sticks.
  • Powdered sugar – for the frosting. If you want to do this part sugar free, you can use this Monkfruit Powdered Sweetener in place of powdered sugar.

What To Bake Next:

Artistic shot of many cupcakes

Classic Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Gluten Free option)

Whether it’s for a birthday party, a wedding, or a Tuesday, sometimes we all just need a perfect vanilla cupcake.  Moist and light, topped with a luxurious vanilla buttercream frosting.  And of course, fully vegan and gluten free!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 24 mins
Total Time 34 mins
Course Birthday Party, Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Cupcake Ingredients

  • cups gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see “Ingredients Needed” section for further info.
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan butter cold, straight from the fridge
  • cups powdered sugar *if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite powdered sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar baking powder, and salt. Then add in the non-dairy milk, neutral oil, and vanilla extract, and mix until just combined.
  • Pour your batter evenly into the cupcake liners.  Note – I like to transfer the batter from a bowl into a measuring cup, since I find that easier to pour from.  Each cupcake should be filled around 2/3 of the way up.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes.  I find my sweet spot to be around 22.5 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, take cold butter from the fridge and mix with a hand mixer.  Add in the vanilla, and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing until smooth each time.  Once it’s combined and creamy, top your cupcakes either by spreading on or piping. 
  • Eat and enjoy!

Notes

NUTRITION INFO

Total amount: 12 cupcakes
Serving size: 1 cupcake 
Per serving amounts: (note – this does not account for frosting)
  • Calories – 225
  • Grams of fat – 9.4
  • Grams of carbs – 30.2
  • Grams of protein – 4.6
Keyword buttercream frosting, cupcakes, gluten free cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, vegan cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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