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Gluten Free Cupcakes

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

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Total Time: 25m
Yield: 6-7 gluten-free cupcakes
Print This Recipe [mrp_rating_result show_count="false" show_rich_snippets="false"]


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)


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?

Published on February 24, 2014

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  1. 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….

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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…


  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

  7. Abbie @ Needs Salt says

    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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.)

  12. 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! 🙂

  13. Kim says

    If you have sensitive taste buds, this will taste like beans to you. Bob’s GF flour is Ok in chocolate, or other highly flavoured cupcakes, but vanilla is just too delicate to cover it up. If you have access to Authentic Foods Classical Blend, I recommend that instead.

  14. Kim @ says

    I never try to make gluten free things, but I have many friends who now are gluten intolerant and I feel bad when they can’t try all of the food at get togethers. I will have to try these for the next time so they can indulge too!

  15. [email protected]h says

    Hi Katie. Thanks for sharing those. They look yum! My GF baking is not great and trying to get better at it. And yes, a few recent recipe/ baking failures, the best one was GF banana bread. Still not sure went wrong but it was so dense and had no banana taste. I ended up throwing it out 🙁

  16. sophie says

    Those look really great! I love your website and all the healthy recipes you post and I was wondering if you could do a healthy, vegan take on meringues? Thanks!

  17. Bruce says

    To minimize the mess from exploding foods in the microwave I have two tools.

    First, is a sheet of microwave safe plastic-like material with lots of holes to let out the heat. I picked it up at the “Dollar” store and I have since run into duplicates at kitchen stores for more than 5 times that amount.

    Second, is an old microwave safe bowl with a large crack in it I saved for this purpose. I invert it over my dish and the crack allows the pressure to vent while containing my experiments. I have a concern that it may effect the cooking time and I’m considering drilling 1/16″ to 1/8″ holes to allow in it (or another bowl) to allow heat/steam to vent easier.

  18. Amy says

    Katie, these were both simple and delish!!! I used coconut sugar as the sugar and doubled the batch. They came out great and were nice and domed. I had to try them right out of the oven, they smelled so good. I haven’t decided on peanut butter or chocolate frosting, yet. Maybe some of each!!! Thanks for making healthy eating a pleasure. I couldn’t do it without some of your awesome recipes!!!

  19. Allison @ Clean Wellness says

    It’s always nice to have a basic gluten-free and vegan cupcake recipe on hand!

    I’ve had a recent recipe “failure” for sure -although I managed to salvage it. It was supposed to be a cauliflower puree, but it ended up as a very thick soup. Everyone said it was “the best cauliflower soup ever.” So, I’m not sure if this qualifies as a failure! 🙂

  20. Kathryn says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I need t bring a gf cake this weekend…I think I am going to try these. You’re such a dear, Katie, you make my life happier. 😉

  21. Judith says

    I am wondering why you don’t use a much lower carb count flour like almond flour for your recipe development. Not only is almond flour significantly lower in carbs and higher in protein but it also makes a good contribution of potassium.

    One muffin with 15.7 carbs is extremely high considering that’s a lot of one’s daily allowance devoted to a single bite in your mouth! Way too expensive for me.

    • Michelle says

      First of all, carbs aren’t bad for you. Second of all, how is a whole cupcake a “single bite”? Third of all, 15.7 grams is about 5% of one’s daily recommended allowance of carbs, so that’s not even a lot.

      • Judith says

        First of all, more carbs than you need, especially sugar carbs including starches in a gluten free flour, is DEFINITELY bad for you. The nutritional info for the recipe says 1 serving is 53 grams which is less than 2 ounces of muffin. That sounds like one really tiny muffin and yet it says 15.7 carb grams per serving not including the frosting shown in the pictures. So you tell me what is wrong with that info. If a “serving” is 2 muffins that wouldn’t be so bad. But the nutritional content info doesn’t say it is 2 muffins it says serving size is 53 grams. That’s not much and I doubt it is 2 muffins. A single 53 grams of muffin would be a single bite in my book. But if one wanted to nibble, crumb and pick at a 53 grams item for an hour, I suppose that could be done.

        If you think 15.7 carb grams of starch is good and only 15% of what one should eat, that means you think 90 carb grams a day is a healthy diet? I would strongly and professionally disagree with that assessment.

        I would never waste my net 15 net carbs per meal on ANY muffin made from gluten free flour when no carbs almond flour is a good alternative. But that’s me. I was just curious as to why that wasn’t considered as a good and healthy alternative to regular gluten free flour that has starch in it. I wasn’t trying to irritate you, I just asked a question.

        Nutritional labeling information is NOT health advice and should never be interpreted as such. It is based on 2000 calorie intake per day to get at the 5% labeling info only. The recommendation for adult females is NOT 2000 per day. That is for labeling purposes only. If one is extremely active, they could need more than 2000 calories a day.

        • Judith says

          If you think 15 grams is 5% of a daily intake, that means you think people should consume 300 carb grams per day? I’m curious as to where that came from. I did the math incorrectly in my posting awaiting moderation. This is the more correct math for your comment of 15 grams is only 5% of carb allowance per day. That would mean 15 grams times 20 would be 300 grams carb for a daily intake and that is insane.

          • Michelle says

            Basically, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Most women are recommended to consume in the ballpark of 2000 calories if they’re even moderately active. Since carbs should make up 45-65% of your calorie intake, then that means somewhere around 300 grams of carbs per day. If you’ve even taken a nutrition class or looked at a reliable website about nutrition, you will find the same information. Of course, those websites also recommend the consumption of dairy and this is a vegan website (and I am a vegan) so that can be debated endlessly. However, this conversation is regarding carbs. And yes, somewhere in the ballpark of 300 grams per day is recommended if you eat about 2000 calories a day. You said you don’t eat that many calories, so obviously your carbs intake (along with fat and protein) would be lower. Nonetheless, for most people, it is true.

          • Judith says

            Not only have I taken many classes in biochemistry and nutrition, I have 2 degrees in it, a BS and a double MS in Food Science Technology and Food and Nutrition Research plus I’m a LDE (licensed diabetic educator) and have 35 years experience in running several research projects including one in the incipient WIC program. There’s no such level of 2000 calories for all women, period. Most that are moderately active have 1200 to 1500 maximum. You continue to mistake the Nutrition labeling level of 2000 calories for the level of what ALL women should eat. This is one of the many reasons why the labeling information has been changed. People simply didn’t know how to interpret it. This is a great example of just that. The 15.7 CHO of a single muffin is way too high.

          • Michelle says

            I’m not sure how you can possibly argue that ACTIVE women need 1200 to 1500 calories per day, unless they are trying to LOSE weight, which you never indicated. I didn’t “misinterpret” the label. The nutrition label is based off of a 2000 calorie diet – if you need less then don’t follow the guidelines on the label – I mentioned that if you’d read my previous comment. I personally DO require about 2000 calories a day and so do many others. People who are TRULY moderately or highly active WILL require ABOUT 2000 calories a day to maintain their weight unless their metabolism is completely shot. I’m going to step out of the argument now because it’s obviously going nowhere.

          • Judith says

            Here’s a yo0utube presentation on sugar and carb metabolism that also covers the carbs one needs so hopefully this will give you a more accurate background on the reality of how bad too many carbs and sugars especially fructose and its relationship to diabetes and metabolic syndrome are for everyone. Maybe it will convince you and maybe not. But at least I and the UCSF endocrinology dept tried.


          • Heather says

            Wow! I know this is an older post but I just have to say … this is a cupcake recipe!!! It isn’t something you would eat every day nor is it something that you would eat till they are gone. It’s a splurge. A treat for goodness sake!

          • Judith says

            And it can STILL cause hardening of the arteries because it is an added sugar even if you see it only as a “cupcake for goodness sake” treat and therefore having NO effect whatsoever. That’s simply not true but keep on thinking that way and when you’re not so young, it will possibly catch up to you. I hope it doesn’t.

  22. Faith says

    I want to try these but don’t have any vegan mayo on hand. Could I substitute coconut oil or Earth Balance?

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      If you try it, please report back with results. I might also reduce the liquid a smidge and add a little vinegar for rising.

      • Faith says

        Thanks… Could you recommend amounts of how much oil, what to reduce and by how much, and how much vinegar to add?

  23. Bailie says

    These look so good! Of course, I tried them and they did not come out like yours….dun dun dun. I did use Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Blend. The batter was very thick and the cupcakes did not rise at all…..any thoughts?

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      It’s always advised to use the recipe exactly as written, especially the first time making it. For these, the recipe states Bob’s so that is what I would use. You can also check out CCK’s recipe FAQ page at the top of the blog for trobleshooting. Hope that helps!

  24. Hannah Fairchild says

    What consistency should the batter be? and how much should you fill the cups?
    Mine didn’t turn out too well, but I’d like to try again. They were dry open and cracked like bread on the top, and mushy underneath.And can you give the flour amount in weight? because it was way too dry to mix without adding more water and I know how a 1/2 cup of flour can vary wildly depending on how compacted it was in the bag. I realize a few things may have contributed to it:
    I used stevia and then apple fiber powder to make up the 1/2 cup of xylitol.
    I had to overmix because it was too dry even for dough, and had to keep adding more water.

    What do you think I did wrong?

  25. Hannah Fairchild says

    oops. didn’t realize you did give the 90 grams for that 1/2 cup. I’ll definitely try it again.

  26. Stephanie says

    Hi Katy,
    The Bob’s GF that you use… is that the garbanzo/fava based all-purpose flour mix? I’ve not used Bob’s yet, and want to try these as Pamela’s does not turn out fluffy light cupcakes like you got here.

    Thanks for your work! My gluten-free/dairy-free/egg-free/cane sugar-free/nut-free family SO appreciates all you do!

  27. Heather says

    So yummy! We have tried several gf cupcake recipes and they have all turned out dense. Several called for so many eggs that they came out more like a baked custard than a cupcake. These had a crusty outside and a flaky inside. I used sugar, not xylitol. I did cut back on the amount of sugar a bit to suit our tastes. Every thing else was to the letter and like I said, they turned out wonderful! Thank you.

  28. Audrey Eugénie Schlegel says

    Dear Katie,

    I have one question and one remark.

    First the question: if using homemade cashew mayo (and therefore making your own mayo), should you forgo the pepper in the mayo? I mean, it might just taste… weird. Or do you have any recipe (yours or another blogger’s) to recommend?

    And now the remark: I have the celiac disease, so I always make your recipes glutenfree. One of the best solutions I have found is to use buckwheat flour (the slightly nutty taste works SOOOOOO well with any chocolate-based recipe, also with vanilla, and I have found it nicely complements any pumpkin recipe).

    I prefer using buckwheat, and sometimes I experiment with almond flour, maybe mixed with buckwheat, garbanzo flour or something else, because I find too many of the ingredients in most GF flours have “strange” (read: “chemical”) names,.

    I am writing this because next time you are looking for a perfect GF recipe, you can maybe try buckwheat? I would be thrilled to know what your creativity makes out of it!

    But seriously: with vegan mayo?!! That’s so inventive!!!!!!! I can’t wait to try that this evening!!!

    Lots of love and cupcakes


  29. Theresa says

    I’d like o make these in ‘mini’ size for my book club. The ladies tend to preserve small bites.
    How would in adjust the baking time?

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