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Gluten Free Cupcakes

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There have been quite a few requests for a basic vanilla gluten free cupcakes recipe.

Healthy Cupcakes

To be honest, I went through many failed gluten free cupcake attempts before arriving at the recipe posted below. One experiment was too dry; another too crumbly; still another tasted like plaster of Paris poured into cupcake liners and baked.

(In case you were wondering, that experiment went straight into the trash.)

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

I’m glad I didn’t give up on the gluten free cupcakes recipe (although I did seriously think about it after the unfortunate plaster debacle…). These basic vanilla gluten free cupcakes turn out soft, perfectly domed, and delicious every single time.

Above, the gluten free cupcakes are iced with my Healthy Nutella Recipe.

Gluten Free Cupcakes Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

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Gluten Free Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp Bob’s gluten free flour (regular white flour or spelt will work for a non-gf version) (90g)
  • 1/4 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (90g)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise spread (such as Earth Balance, Vegenaise, or even homemade cashew mayo) (58g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp water (95g)
Total Time: 25m
Yield: 6-7 gluten-free cupcakes


Gluten Free Cupcakes Recipe: Preheat oven to 350F. Place 6-7 liners inside a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients and stir well. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together until the mayo spread is completely smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just evenly combined.  Divide among the liners (these cupcakes rise a lot), and bake 22 minutes or until cupcakes have domed and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let sit 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Refrigerate for optimum freshness. (The recipe for the healthy chocolate frosting shown in the photos is linked under the second picture in this post.)

*View Gluten Free Cupcakes Nutrition Facts*

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Question of the Day:

Have you had any recent recipe failures?

With my job requiring multiple recipe experiments each day, I have recipe failures all the time! Some recent ones would include chocolate cheesecake cupcakes that blew up in the oven (not exactly a joy to clean up), super gummy quinoa cookies, and an extremely unfortunate attempt at a Butterfinger pie. (Butterfinger pie sounds really good, right? It wasn’t!)

Ooh, or remember the exploding cake in my post on Food Photography Gone Wrong?

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Jessica Rose says:

    I will have to give these a go at the weekend…look completely yummy…although I may eat more than one!!

  2. Charlotte B says:

    I really don’t know how I feel about gluten free cupcakes. Whenever I think of gluten free I always think of a dry doughy recipe. I guess there is only one way to find out….

    1. Some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had have been GF! Delicious, moist, rich GF cupcakes are definitely possibly with the right recipe.

      1. Charlotte B says:

        I will have to try them out Erica! Thanks for your reply 😀

  3. I’m surprised it was so hard – I’ve made a lot of baked goods with GF flour that have turned out great. But I’m glad you kept persevering, it can be frustrating!

  4. K Bains says:

    Fabulous job Katie! As someone who is gluten free (vegan and sugar free), I’ve also been playing around with your recipes. For the most part, Bob’s flour works great but I can’t actually have Bob’s 🙁 So I’ve come up with some subsitutions. 1/3 cup white rice, 2 tbsp potato starch, 2 tbsp white bean flour- just be sure to add lots of wet ingredients (like apple sauce instead of milk). I’ve also had success with half light buckwheat flour and half quinoa flour. For 4 muffins, 3 tbsp buckwheat, 3 tbsp quinoa, 2 tbsp potato starch worked.

    For example, if I make a single serving cupcake it would be: 2 tbsp gluten free flour, ¼ tsp salt, 1.2 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or honey/agave). Add 2- 3 tbsp apple sauce, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp oil. Plus add-ins of choice.

    For chocolate, I’ve had success with ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp baking powder, 3 tbsp gluten free flour, 1 tsp cocoa powder (carob also works). Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp oil/melted margarine or omit, 3 tbsp of date puree (or apple sauce, sweet potato, cauliflower, pumpkin, beets).

    I hope that helps out some readers. Keep up the awesome work Katie! You’re an inspiration!

    1. JJ says:

      Thank you for sharing that! I am writing that single cupcake recipe down to try 🙂

      1. AmandaM says:

        Super helpful. Thank you!

        1. K Bains says:

          Happy to help out! Please let me know if you have any questions. I realize it’s not striaght forward 🙂 But it’s soooo worth the cupcake in the end!

  5. Cindy says:

    Are these mini cupcakes or regular size?

  6. Becky says:

    Perfect timing! I just made these for breakfast and they turned out fabulous! Although, I did make some changes–I didn’t have mayo so I used homemade coconut yogurt and additional oil; I used maybe 1/6 of the sweetener called for (that just seemed like way too much, and 1/6 of it was perfectly sweet for us–and they were breakfast, after all 🙂 I also used my own gf flour blend as I don’t like the prepared ones; I used flax seed and no xanthan gum; and lastly…I increased the recipe by eight! I have four ravenous boys and these will definitely be gone by this evening! They are fluffy with a beautiful, tender texture, and taste delicious. Thank you for the recipe–I am very grateful for good, gf, vegan recipes.

    1. Wow, thank you for making them so quickly!

  7. Raquel says:

    Hi Katie!

    just to let you know that I’m very grateful for your generosity in posting such wonderful recipes! And also I kind of have to hate you because sometimes I browse through your website when I’m at work, and then I desperately want to go home…but can’t!!

    Any way, thank you so much! I’ve done some of your “creations” at home and I’ll keep it up, obviously…


  8. Sylvie says:

    Yumm, i’ll have to give these a try tonight and instead of mayo I think I will try replacing it with mashed avocado’s, I think that would work, I hope!
    Thanks Katie, your recipes are awesome!!

  9. Chelsea says:

    These look delicious! I’m going to have to try them with Just Mayo. 🙂 Have you had that yet?

      1. Chelsea says:

        It’s suuuuper yummy. I think most Whole Foods have it.

  10. Kim W says:

    I just found your website and I love it! I am a fledgling vegan and I love baking. I find the ww points very useful. I have already tried the chocolate chip mug cake – twice. It came out wonderful! The same can not be said for my vegan almond butter bars 🙁 straight into the compost they went.

  11. Katy says:

    Gluten-free baking is so tricky not to make the treats taste like chalk! These look delicious though and you did an awesome job. That frosting…yum! 🙂

  12. These look like perfect gluten-free cupcakes! I can totally relate to the obnoxious trial-and-error escapades (especially when experimenting with GF baked goods. Wow, it can be so aggravating!)
    These cupcakes look delicious, though. Kudos for persevering!
    Pinning this!

  13. Kara L says:

    Could you use almond or coconut yogurt instead of the vegan mayo?

  14. Melissa says:

    Your cheesecake remark reminded me about my biggest dessert failure… in grad school, in my first apartment (shared with friends), I was in charge of making a pumpkin cheesecake for our joint Thanksgiving dinner. When I was putting the springform pan into the oven, the bottom popped out and cheescake batter slopped all over the inside and outside of the hot oven. What a mess! I had to clean it up, walk to the store (no car!) to get more ingredients, and make it all over again. To this day, I’ve never forgotten to put a cookie sheet under my springform pan.

  15. Jessica says:

    I really only had one spectacular recipe failure: Sourdough breadsticks. That was back before I actually understood how sourdough starter worked, so they didn’t rise whatsoever. They were also so dense and hard that the fish in the retention pond wouldn’t eat them. I’ve learned a lot since then.

  16. EVA says:

    WHOA, chocolate cheesecake cupcakes, can you PLEASE make that work?! My first and second attempt at pancakes was such a mess. I didn’t know that you were supposed to leave it clumpy. It’s so embarrassing that I actually had to look up several how-to pancake tutorials.

    And thank you for thinking of us gluten-free folk. This will be great when the holidays roll ’round and I need to make a volume to last me through the holidays. Anywho, I’ll be continuing to make your single lady cupcakes with Bob’s GF because it always turns out great.

    1. Jill says:

      Is there a sub for the mayo? Wondering if applesauce, yogurt, coconut oil might work? Can’t wait to try these for my kids!

      1. EVA says:

        Don’t ask me, I’m not the genius behind this site!

  17. Cindy says:

    Can you do a king cake recipe for mardi gras for us? 🙂

    1. I can put it on my list of things to try… maybe for next year? I should have been more prepared!

  18. Laura says:

    Once, in 5th grade, my friend and I were doing a project on Germany and we wanted to bake a type of German cookies. Unfortunately, the recipe we had was in German and measured in grams, etc., and something went wrong. When we took them out of the oven the cookies had spread out and formed a burnt sheet 😛 (We decided to buy gingersnaps instead.)

  19. Sue says:

    These look so delicious! Thanks for sharing. The would go really well with the Voluspa Macaron candle. YUM:))))

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