Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe – an absolute classic bake which doesn’t taste gf AT ALL, promise! You can optionally fill the middle with jam too.
Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe, anyone? This recipe couldn’t be easier to make using the all-in-one method, then just simply whip up some buttercream and enjoy. You can’t go wrong!
I thought I’d take things back to basics today with my gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe. You wouldn’t believe how something so simple could taste so good!
(especially if you’ve spent years eating a lot of dry, crumbly gluten-free cakes like I have! 😆)
Lots of you guys always ask me how to make awesome vanilla cupcakes and I always say: “just use my gluten-free Victoria sponge recipe and put it into cupcake cases”.
And yep, this recipe is as simple as that. But it’s better to have it all written out so it’s easy to follow like this, right? Plus, I also then get to throw in the steps to make my best ever vanilla buttercream. Oh and the steps to optionally fill your cupcakes with jam too.
So basically, these are everything I love about a Victoria sponge – jam, with vanilla buttercream and a lovely, soft, golden sponge. What more could you want in a bake?!
Why make my gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe?
- Super easy to make – just make cupcakes, whip up some icing and construct!
- Making the cupcakes is incredibly simple by using the all-in-one method. Just bung it all in a bowl and mix!
- You can optionally core the middle of each cupcake and fill it with jam.
- This recipe includes the top secret recipe for my ULTIMATE fluffy buttercream that holds perfectly when piped.
- You’d never know this recipe was gluten-free AT ALL – yes, even muggles will eat these, so watch out!
- This is one of the few recipes on the blog with a recipe tutorial video AND step-by-step photos. So you absolutely can’t go wrong!
So what do my gluten-free vanilla cupcakes taste like?
Firstly, you’ve got a super-soft sponge texture that nobody would EVER know is gluten-free. It incredibly moist and definitely isn’t crumbly or dry AT ALL.
Then, you’re instantly greeted by that whipped vanilla buttercream for a wave of sweetness. And if you go for it, the jammy centre is so worth the effort – trust me.
It finishes off this recipe perfectly, giving you all those Victoria sponge vibes that you just can’t beat.
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list! Keep scrolling until you see the recipe card for the measurements and method 👇🏻
Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe: Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
- gluten free self raising flour
- baking powder, (ensure it’s gluten free)
- xanthan gum
- softened butter / margarine / spread, (dairy free if necessary)
- caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- raspberry / strawberry jam
- vanilla extract
For the buttercream:
- icing sugar
- softened butter / margarine / spread / (dairy free if necessary)
- vanilla extract
So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling!
But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time baking this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!
Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe: Frequently asked questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make that that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.
Can I make your gluten vanilla cupcake recipe dairy free?
Yep – you can easily make this dairy-free with a couple of simple swaps.
- For the sponge cakes, all you need to use is a softened block of hard margarine or a dairy free margarine spread like this, instead of butter.
- Whilst you can use a dairy free margarine spread for the cake, DO NOT use it for the buttercream. It’s far too soft and won’t hold like buttercream should. Use the hard block of margarine instead for that – you may need to add a little more icing sugar to bring it together as hard margarine is softer than butter.
If using dairy-free margarine to make buttercream, I’d always recommend chilling the buttercream before piping. It’ll be much softer than buttercream made with actual butter.
Can I make your gluten vanilla cupcake recipe vegan?
Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.
Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.
- 3 tablespoons of aquafaba – water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
- 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed and 3 tbsp of water
- Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
- 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- 3 tablespoons of applesauce.
I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below 👇🏻
Is your gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe nut free?
Yep, this is a nut-free recipe as far as ingredients go, BUT make sure you check the ingredients label on ALL the products you use to bake this cake just to be safe.
Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.
You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
Yes! One cupcake is safe serving size for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
Can I make this using the creaming method?
Of course – I prefer to use the all-in-one method for these as I find it’s always a safe bet with cupcakes.
But of course, you’re more than welcome to cream the sugar and softened butter together, then add the eggs and mix, THEN add the flour and mix once more.
It works perfect both ways so it’s totally up to you!
Can I make your gluten-free vanilla cupcakes in a food processor or standing mixer?
Of course you can, but you definitely don’t need to. I use both a stand mixer and an electric whisk for this recipe. Here’s a link to the electric whisk I use.
A stand mixer makes making buttercream a breeze and an electric whisk speeds up mixing the cake batter.
You can of course, use either for both tasks too, just make sure you clean your stand mixer bowl in between of course.
Can I make this recipe completely by hand?
Of course! Just a good ol’ fashioned wooden spoon or spatula will do. Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent!
Making the buttercream can take a little longer by hand, but it’s definitely do-able.
Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free vanilla cupcakes?
Certainly not! You will need a good quality muffin tray, so here’s a link to the one I use.
Do I need weighing scales to bake your gluten-free vanilla cupcakes?
In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any of my recipes without them.
A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.
I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.
Can I bake your gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with less sugar?
I can definitely understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but this is one of the recipes where I wouldn’t advise removing it from the cake batter itself.
Of course, the sugar isn’t just for sweetness. It’s integral to the structure of the cake once baked and is sooo important.
However, if you want to reduce the overall sugar, you can always omit the jam filling, or reduce the amount of buttercream on each cupcake.
Can I make this recipe without xanthan gum?
In some of my recipes, yes, but I wouldn’t recommend leaving xanthan gum out of this one. You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten-free baking.
Without gluten to bind the cake batter together, you can be left with a very loose and crumbly sponge texture which won’t work for this recipe.
Some people have asked if they can use psyllium husk powder instead of xanthan gum, but I’ve found that it definitely results in a denser sponge so I wouldn’t overly recommend it.
If you’re really against xanthan gum or you simply don’t have any, you can omit it if pushed. There’s a little in gluten-free self-raising flour anyway, so they should still turn out fine.
Can I make this recipe using other gluten-free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?
There’s a big difference between ‘gluten-free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten-free flour. When I say ‘gluten-free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten-free flours, not just one, singular flour.
Most gluten-free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!
In gluten-free self-raising flour, there’s usually even a little baking powder and xanthan gum in it too which always helps.
So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten-free flour blend.
How long can I keep your gluten-free vanilla cupcakes for?
I usually find that my cupcakes last for around 3-5 days in an airtight container. It’s usually eaten by that point, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping it for longer than that.
If it’s any longer than that then I’d highly recommend reading the next question…
Can I freeze your gluten-free vanilla cupcakes?
Of course! I’ve frozen them for up to a month and after allowing them to fully thaw, you’d never know they were frozen.
Simply leave each cupcake out at room temperature for 4-5 hours to defrost.
How can I tell when my gluten-free vanilla cupcakes are done?
Grab a skewer and give one a poke in the centre. If it comes out clean, then it’s done!
But if the skewer comes out moist and cake-like, it’s best to pop them back in for a bit longer.
Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe: Method
For the cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a cupcake / muffin tin with cases. Adding a little rice under each case helps to reduce the chance of a ‘soggy bottom’!
Place all your sponge ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined and thoroughly mixed (1 minute should do it).
Divide the mixture between the cases. I fill mine just over 2/3 full.
Place in the oven for between 20-25 minutes until cooked through. To check if the cupcakes are cooked, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean, it’s done!
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the buttercream
For the buttercream, ensure your butter is soft and at room temperature. I find it takes a good hour out of the fridge to soften, but never let it go too soft! Place your butter into a stand mixer and mix on a medium speed for about 5 minutes until the butter has gone a lot more pale in colour.
Here’s what your butter should look like after being mixed. It should be nice and noticeably paler in colour.
Add your icing sugar gradually. I add it in 2-3 stages and beat for about 3 minutes between each addition. Start your mixer slowly to save your kitchen from a real icing sugar mess, but then increase the speed to medium / high for each of your 3 minutes.
Add your vanilla extract and mix once more – it should now be done. Ensure it’s the right thickness – it should be if you’ve beaten it for long enough. However, if it’s too thick you can add a tiny amount of milk. And if too thin, sieve in a little extra icing sugar – this might be the case for dairy free buttercream using hard margarine.
Here’s what your finished buttercream should look like:
For the assembly of the cupcakes
Once the cupcakes are cool, you need to make little holes in your cupcakes to fill with the jam, use something circular to make a small hole – just make sure you don’t go too deep as you need some of the cake beneath to hold the filling!
Spoon some filling into the hole you’ve made in each cupcake.
Spoon your buttercream into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Then pipe your buttercream on top. If you don’t want to pipe it, you can spoon it on top too!
Oh and here’s a printable version of my gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️ Feel free to leave your written reviews in the comments below this post 👇🏻
Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe - my BEST EVER easy-to-bake version that never fails. You can optionally fill with jam! Wheat-free and Coeliac-friendly. See the FAQ section above for advice on adapting this recipe to be dairy-free or vegan. You don't have to fill the cupcakes with jam, you can just leave them plain 🙂 Nutritional info is estimated and not always accurate.
For the cupcakes:
For the buttercream:
For the cupcakes
For the buttercream
For the assembly of the cupcakes
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 560Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 506mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 1gSugar: 56gProtein: 4g
Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes recipe - my BEST EVER easy-to-bake version that never fails. You can optionally fill with jam! Wheat-free and Coeliac-friendly. See the FAQ section above for advice on adapting this recipe to be dairy-free or vegan.
You don't have to fill the cupcakes with jam, you can just leave them plain 🙂
Nutritional info is estimated and not always accurate.
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo.
If you want to send me a photo of how your bake turned out, you can request to join my Facebook group and post it there. Myself and everyone else would love to see it!
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!