Moist Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes

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Moist Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

When I have desperate families ask me for help…most often, especially in the very beginning of food elimination….they are looking for some very basic recipes to replace their kids favorites.  Chicken nuggets, bread, pancakes, and birthday cupcakes and cakes!!  I have more cookies and pancakes than I can shake a stick at already on here…but I shockingly have very few options in the cupcake/cake department.  I was overdue with his recipe!

I have another vanilla cake recipe that I love, but it has eggs, and I knew I wanted one free of the most allergens I could muster, and eggs are a common one.  Besides…my son still can’t have eggs either!!

Here is a basic vanilla cupcake with a wonderful moist crumb.  No real fancy ingredients, and worthy of any allergen-full cake out there.

You have  a couple of options with ingredients here.

  1. Flours:  You can easily sub one of the flours if you don’t have one of them on hand.  You will need to keep a starch for best texture, and every flour you change will effect the end flavor and texture a bit.
  2. Fat: My three favorites are melted coconut oil, ghee, or light olive oil.  They each have their own flavor, but all work well!
  3. Sweeteners: Since we don’ use refined sugars much anymore, we have adapted our taste-buds to using less.  These were plenty sweet for us, especially with the frosting, but you could add up and additional 1/4 cup if you like.  You can use all cane sugar, or all coconut sugar, or part xylitol or stevia.  It is really up to you, let me know if you need help tweaking!

So make your little sweeties happy with a normal vanilla birthday treat!


Moist Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes


4.0 from 1 reviews
Moist Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour
  • ⅓ cup sorghum flour
  • ⅓ cup millet or rice flour
  • ⅓ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon guar gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk ( I use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
  • ⅓ cup palm sugar
  • ⅓ cup organic cane sugar or xylitol
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup light olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare 10 muffin tins (liners or grease, up to you!)
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (the first 8).
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the remaining ingredients and whisk together. If you are using coconut oil, be sure your ingredients are room temp so as not to harden the oil up!
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together to fully incorporate.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins, about ⅔ fulls.
  6. Bake for about 18-22 minutes, until the tops are just set.
  7. Remove from the oven, cool completely and frost!



Vegan frostings are very easy.  This one is a very traditional frosting..I am not going for a health food here!  Just fluffy, allergen free goodness!


  • 1 cup favorite vegan butter or replace up to half with palm shortening
  • 1 pound (scant 4 cups) of powdered sugar.  Most powdered sugar contains cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons non dairy milk


  1. In a mixer, beat the butter for a minute or two at high speed to start some fluffiness.
  2. Beat in the vanillas and powdered sugar.
  3. Add in some non-dairy milk a teaspoon at a time to achieve your desired frosting texture.  I usually add about a tablespoon, sometimes a touch more.
  4. Beat for a minute or two at high speed, or up to 10 minutes to get lots of extra fluff!

Moist Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes


This post was shared on Natural Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday, Mostly Homemade Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Hearth & Soul, Traditional Tuesday, Tuesday Greens,   Waste Not Want Not, GF Wednesday, Seasonal Celebration, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Foods Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday,  Eco Kids Tuesday, Well Fed Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Wellness Weekend, GF Friday, Whole Foods Friday,Wheat Free Wednesday, Healthy Vegan Friday,

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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17 comments on “Moist Gluten Free & Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes
  1. genie says:

    I’m still loving for a vanilla cake recipe. Will have to give this a try.

  2. oh wow how beautiful! i want to eat one right now! haha

  3. These look super yummy and are very pretty too!
    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday.

  4. Becky says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe on Tuesday Greens!

  5. Wow, these look so inviting!! YUM Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Hope that your week is fantastic!

    Cindy from

  6. Rebekah says:

    Hi Tessa, this looks wonderful and I’m planning to serve them for my sons’s birthday. Do you have any recipes for gluten,corn, nut, and egg free chocolate cake (or cupcakes)? My daughter’s birthday is coming up and she has requested chocolate. :) or recommendations? I could always get a GF store-bought mix but the egg thing gets tricky at times and your recipes are SO much healthier. :) thanks!!

    • I publishing one today Rebekah, and I have linked to a couple of other options too! You can also make this one chocolate by subbing one of the flours with some cocoa powder. Start w/ 1/3 cup to see if it is chocolatey enough for you and sweet enough, add more palm sugar if you need!

  7. Rebekah says:

    Thanks Tessa!!! This is SUCH a great resource! Truly appreciated!

  8. Ceci says:

    You did an excellent job with these cupcakes! Even my husband liked them and he doesn’t like Vegan things. Definitely will be keeping this to make when my daughter has a birthday celebration at school. We found out that she is allergic to eggs, cow’s milk, and gluten. So it has been quite a challenge for me to cook for her. Thanks for your hard work in developing these recipes.

  9. Lisa says:

    I was wondering what you’d recommend substituting if I was not wanting to use brown rice flour. I would greatly appreciate any help you could provide : )

    Thank you!!

  10. Nilla says:

    I have been trying a lot of cupcakes and cake recipes in the past week. I am looking for a vanilla cake to use as a birthday cake, and thought I would give yours a try. If I want to make this into a cake instead, how long should I leave it in the oven? 30-40 minutes?

    • yes Nilla, I would bet about 30 minutes for a 9″ cake pan, just until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean or has a few moist crumbs left on it! Good luck, look forward to hearing back from you!

  11. Nilla says:

    I made it into a cake and 30 minutes was just right. It was very moist inside. A little too sweet for my taste so I will try less sugar next time. I used coconut sugar so the cake was darker in color than vanilla cake. The taste was excellent!

  12. Pattie says:

    I was just wondering if the already mixed all purpose gluten free flours would work as well instead of the several different types of flours. I have been looking for a cake recipe that is gluten free and egg free. Very hard to find. Thanks so much for your site it is wonderful.

    • Hi Pattie! Every single gf flour has it’s own flavor and lends its own texture to baked goods. There are so many all purpose mixes with so many different types of flours mixed in. While some all-purpose mixes should *work*, the flavor and texture may not be what is intended. And I know for a fact, some all purpose mixes do NOT work well without eggs, while others lend super dense texture or beany flavor.

      Sometimes other flour certainly work both in function and preference…but in my experience (I have tried more all-purpose mixes than I can shake a stick at over the last 4 years!)…no one mix will work with every recipe. Hope that helps!

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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