These easy gluten free vanilla cupcakes are moist and pillowy soft without being cloyingly sweet. You will want to add this recipe to your collection and come back to it time and time again, trust me.
Sometimes you just need a super simple recipe. And because everyone loves a good cupcake, I figured I would share my take on gluten free vanilla cupcakes (without eggs, of course), complete with buttercream frosting. If chocolate is more your thing, be sure to check out my gluten free chocolate cupcakes!
My vanilla cupcake recipe is straightforward but these little guys are far from basic. They're not cloyingly sweet, because we're getting plenty of sugar in our frosting. And they're extra soft.
One thing I learned as I developed and tested this recipe (a few times...) is that it's actually kind of hard to get that perfect texture. My first attempt ended up too dense and chewy for my liking, so I ended up cutting the sour cream completely, increasing the milk, and decreasing the egg replacer.
I've also tested this cupcake recipe using only oil, only butter, and a mix of both. I've found that using both oil and butter is the key to achieving the perfect texture AND flavor. So that's what we'll be doing here.
These gluten free vanilla cupcakes are perfect for birthdays because you can get really creative with the decorating. Feel free to tint your buttercream using gel food coloring, add sprinkles, try out different piping techniques... you can have much fun with it!
Why I Love These Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes...
- They're the perfect little treat when you want to indulge. A single cupcake is enough to satisfy that sweet tooth (though no one will judge if you go in for seconds...).
- There are no complicated ingredients or techniques involved here.
- This is a great base for just about any frosting and decorations you want to top them with! I personally went for a classic buttercream.
What You'll Need...
- Flour: I always get asked about my favorite GF flour blend, and the answer is always Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1. However, any blend should work well in this recipe.
- Egg replacer: Again, Bob's Red Mill is my go-to here. See below if you'd like to use eggs instead.
How To Make Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes From Scratch...
To make my easy vanilla cupcakes, start by combining your dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate, larger bowl, beat the sugar with the butter and oil until it's nice and smooth. Add in the egg replacer, sugar, and vanilla.
You'll want to add your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients next, but we're doing this in 3 parts. Start with a bit of your dry mix, then stir in half of the milk. Add dry mix again, then the rest of the milk. Stir to combine, then add the rest of the dry mix and stir until you have your batter.
Fill up your cupcake liners just a little bit more than halfway. Bake on 350ºF for about 18 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
To make the buttercream frosting, beat a stick of butter until it's light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stream in the powdered sugar while continuing to beat, then add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency. Pipe or spread onto your cupcakes... and enjoy!
Tips For Making The Best Vanilla Cupcakes...
- As with all of my recipes, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your flour. This is the only way to ensure 100% accuracy, and too much flour can really mess with the texture of the finished cupcakes. We'll need 222 grams for this recipe.
- If you want completely even cupcakes, the best way to achieve this is by measuring the batter that you're pouring into each liner. I've found that a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop is a great one to use for this recipe. The cupcakes will rise and fill up the entire liner as they bake.
- For the buttercream frosting, you really want to take your time beating the butter before adding any of the other ingredients. Set a timer for 5 minutes and let your mixer run. The butter should be completely smooth and lighter in color.
- Depending on how clumpy your powdered sugar is, you may have to sift it before adding to the butter. I usually don't, but it depends on the sugar.
Vanilla Cupcake Ingredient Substitutions...
- To make these vanilla cupcakes vegan, you would need to substitute the butter and milk. You should be able to use your favorite non-dairy butter and milk but I haven't tested it myself.
- If you are not allergic to eggs, you can go ahead and use 1 egg instead of the egg replacer.
Did you make my easy vanilla cupcakes? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog!
For More Gluten Free Cupcake Recipes, Check Out My...
Easy Vanilla Cupcakes - Gluten Free, Eggless
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups (222g) gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tbsp water
- ⅔ cup (133g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120ml) whole milk room temperature
For the buttercream frosting:
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar until smooth. Add the prepared egg replacer and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add in the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk and making sure to start and end with dry ingredients. Beat briefly between each addition to incorporate.
- Spoon batter into the cupcake liners, a little over halfway full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
For the buttercream frosting:
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar and continue to mix until combined.
- Add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time while continuing to beat until the buttercream is the desired consistency. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
- Be sure to follow the instructions on the package of Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer. Once mixed with water, the egg replacer must sit for just a few minutes to thicken.
- If you are not looking to replace eggs, you should be able to use 1 egg instead of the egg replacer.
- You may not end up using all 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, but you will not need more than that.
Note: this post was originally published on Just As Tasty in June 2020. I updated the post in July 2021 to include new photos and more context. I also made adjustments to the recipe. The original recipe called for oil only, while the new recipe calls for both oil and butter. I've also adjusted the buttercream recipe to yield more frosting for piping.