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Did someone say Vegan AND Gluten Free Cupcakes!?

These super easy vegan vanilla cupcakes are gluten, egg and dairy free, and made with simple ingredients.

And what’s more, there is no fancy egg replacer needed at all.

If you’re vegan as well as gluten free, or have multiple intolerances, then these vegan gluten free vanilla cupcakes are the ones for you.

The recipe is super easy with a really quick-to-make gluten free cake batter and a vegan buttercream frosting to decorate them with.

They’re perfect if you want a sweet treat and a great gluten, dairy and egg free cupcake recipe to bake with kids.

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Baking vegan vanilla cupcakes

I’ve wanted to try and tackle some gluten free and vegan bakes for some time now, especially for those of you have multiple allergies or intolerances.

So starting with a simple bake like gluten free cupcakes seemed like the best place to start.

And actually, I couldn’t believe how well these vegan vanilla cupcakes turned out.

The gluten free cupcake itself is spongey and springy; really light and fluffy and on a par with my classic gluten free cupcakes.

And the vanilla vegan buttercream frosting is just like the real deal – deliciously whipped like a classic American cupcake.

I even found that a lot of the cake sprinkles in Sainsbury’s are gluten free and vegan.

I know a lot of sprinkles can contain egg and/or wheat starch so this was a really pleasant surprise.

It’s definitely worth checking the ingredients!


How to make egg free cupcakes

The biggest hurdle for me was replacing the egg in this cupcake recipe.

Replacing the dairy was easy as I used oil instead of butter – this creates a lovely moist cupcake which isn’t at all greasy.

But replacing the eggs took a little more thought.

There are lots of classic egg replacements for cakes, including mashed banana, apple sauce and even aquafaba (chickpea water).

But I wanted to use something which was A) simple and B) wouldn’t affect the flavour.

I tested out a few different ideas but the best results definitely came from creating a vegan buttermilk.

By mixing unsweetened almond milk and white vinegar together, it thickens and curdles to create a vegan buttermilk.

This binds the mixture together and helps to aerate it as it bakes, creating a super light and fluffy sponge.

You can also use soy milk or gluten free oat milk – I would not recommend using sweetened almond milk as I found this made the cakes very sicky.


What ingredients do I need?

There’s a full printable recipe card below, but for the shopping list you will need:

  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 220g plain gluten free flour
  • 2.5tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum

I definitely recommend using unsweetened almond milk, or try soy milk if you can’t tolerate almonds.

If you’re using a self-raising gluten free flour blend then you only need to add half a teaspoon of baking powder.

This may already have xanthan gum in too – if it does you can omit this as well.

I also use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract – this seems a lot but it helps to replace some of the buttery flavour you’d have in ‘normal’ gluten free cakes.

For the vinegar you could use apple cider vinegar instead, but I would not recommend any other kind of vinegar for this.

You could also replace the vinegar with lemon juice if you prefer.

For the vegan buttercream frosting you will also need:

I recommend using a 50/50 split of vegan butter and spread as this stops the buttercream from becoming too soft.

I really like the consistency when using the Pure Dairy Free Slightly Salted Butter and the Vitalite Dairy Free Spread.

How ever for the vegan butter, any dairy free variety, or something like Stork baking block, would work just as well.



Don’t worry – you only require the very basics! To make these gluten free vanilla cupcakes you’ll need:

All of these are really simple kitchen staples which you can re-use for loads of my recipes.

Once you have the cupcake tin and piping bowls it’s really simple to make cupcakes in any flavour you like!

Top tips for making these vegan cupcakes

First of all, it’s important to note that the batter for these vegan gluten free cupcakes will be runnier than a ‘normal’ cake batter.

Don’t worry though, I promise this is how they’re supposed to look!

Once baked they will be delightfully springy and delicious.


It’s also worth remembering that the vegan buttercream frosting will be a bit softer than a standard buttercream.

If you want to pipe it, I would suggest trying to not let the frosting get too warm.

You may find the heat of your hand will cause it to go very soft so you can always pop it in the fridge to firm up a little.

However, it does hold together well – check out this cute batch I created using my Russian Piping Tips set!

vegan gluten free vanilla cupcakes

My vegan gluten free cupcakes recipe

Here they are, my simple vegan and gluten free vanilla cupcakes recipe.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, and it’s SO EASY – you’ll want to make them again and again.

They are perfect for making with children and are also a great option for a gluten free birthday cake too.

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your bakes!

And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me. 

Yield: 12

Vegan and Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These vegan gluten free cupcakes are a really simple gluten, egg and dairy free cupcake recipe. Vanilla cupcakes with vegan buttercream. This recipe 12 cupcakes in a standard cupcake tin.


  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 220g plain gluten free flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum



  1. Preheat the oven to 180'C / Fan 160'C / Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cake cases. 
  2. Pour the almond milk into a jug and add the white wine vinegar. Stir well and set to one side for 2-3 minutes. It should start thicken slightly and may appear like it’s curdling – this is fine, you’ve made vegan buttermilk!
  3. Add the caster sugar, oil and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk briefly. Pour in the buttermilk and then briefly mix again until combined. 
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the gluten free flour, baking powder and xanthan gum. Pour into the cake mixture and then beat to combine. You don’t want to over-mix it, just enough so that there are no lumps of flour. 
  5. Evenly pour the mixture between the cupcake cases. The batter will be quite runny – don’t worry, it should be like that! 
  6. Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake for 25-27 minutes. They should rise nicely and be springy to the touch – they will stay quite pale but don’t worry, this is just due to the lack of egg in the recipe! Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. To make the frosting, add the vegan butter and margarine to a large mixing bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat again until fully combined. 
  2. Add the frosting to a piping bag (if it’s a particularly warm day and the icing is too soft, place the piping bag in the fridge to cool for half an hour).
  3. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes as desired (I used a 2D piping nozzle) and decorate with gluten free and vegan sprinkles.


    • If you're using a self-raising gluten free flour blend then you only need to add half a teaspoon of baking powder. This may already have xanthan gum in too - if it does you can omit this as well.
    • You can replace the white wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice if you prefer.
    • These cakes should be stored in an airtight container and will keep for 3-5 days. You can also freeze them.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 39gProtein: 2g

Need some more gluten free and vegan inspiration?

Want to have a go at some of the other gluten free and vegan baking recipes on the blog?

Give some of these other gluten free cakes and bakes a try and see what you think!

There are plenty to choose from – here are a couple of easy baking ideas to get you going:

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. 

And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!

Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter where you’ll know about all my latest posts and competitions first!

Like this Vegan Gluten Free Cupcakes recipe?

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Do head over and follow me on Pinterest too for more gluten free recipe inspiration.


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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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  1. Would be nice to know which gluten-flours you are recommending here. Are you talking about a blend, or are you saying – rice flour, oat flour, tapioca, cassava, potato, or etc. Each of the individual flours would have very different results. As such, I’m guessing you intended to say gluten-free blend, however it’s not clear. Can you help with this?