Perfectly moist, fluffy and based on easy to find whole food ingredients. You’d never guess these vegan vanilla cupcakes are easy to make and gluten free!
If I didn’t bake these myself I’d never guess these were vegan and gluten free. The texture is so amazing, it’s hard to believe they are based on whole food ingredients. No white flours, no butter, no oils!
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
As much as I like chocolate, there really is nothing quite like a pure vanilla flavor, especially when it comes to cupcakes. There are so many possibilities and ways to get creative with them. My absolute favorite are vanilla bean cupcakes.
And when they are vegan, gluten free and made with great ingredients and no butter or oil, count me in for double!
What does vegan cupcakes mean?
Traditional cupcakes recipes include many animal products like milk, butter and eggs. When a cupcakes is vegan it has none of those. Instead you have to get creative so that you can bake a vegan cupcakes that tastes amazing.
Are vegan cupcakes healthy?
A common misconception is when people thing vegan means healthy. Vegan cupcakes can simply use vegan butter or oil, dairy free milk and an egg substitute as ingredients. But since I try to focus on more whole food plant based recipes, I really had to put my thinking cap on.
In these vegan vanilla cupcakes, I use no white flour, butter oil or refined sugar. Instead the final recipe I settled on included:
- oat flour for those extra nutrients and fiber
- almond flour for whole food fat
- unrefined cane sugar for sweetness (you can also use coconut sugar but the flavor will change a bit)
- apple sauce
- coconut milk
It’s incredible that you can get such a great result without using all the unhealthy ingredients.
Tips for making vegan vanilla cupcakes ahead of time
These cupcakes need to be baked and cooled completely before frosting them. So I highly recommend baking them at least 4 hours before you want to serve. You can also make them the night before, they stay fairly fresh tasting overnight.
How long to vegan cupcakes last?
Vegan cupcakes are still great 1-2 days after they are baked. After that, they tend to dry out and you lose that fresh flavor. However if you store them right, they can last you longer.
How do I store vegan cupcakes?
After baking, leave them on the counter until they are completely cooled. After that, put them in an airtight container. They can last a few days this way.
Your best bet for storing them in order to maintain the most freshness is to freeze them. If frozen, they can last a few months.
How do I freeze vegan cupcakes?
Freezing cupcakes is the best way to keep them fresh if you aren’t using them right away. I would freeze them without frosting, then frost when you are ready to serve.
Here is how I freeze cupcakes for the best results:
- Make sure they cool completely, at least a few hours. One friend I know says to freeze them while hot so that the moisture stays in the cupcake, however I am not sure how this would affect the gluten free texture.
- Wrap the cupcake tightly in plastic wrap, making sure to cover the whole thing.
- Then wrap them in foil.
- Put the cupcakes in an airtight container or ziploc freezer bag.
How to Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
It really is amazing how easy these are to make! One bowl, nine ingredients. Nothing crazy!
- Put the dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk to break up clumps.
- Add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Put into cupcake liners.
- Frost and serve!
Frostings to use on top
Here are some of my favorite frostings to use with these vegan vanilla cupcakes. There are so many possibilities!
Ideas for mix ins and flavorings
The best thing about vanilla, is the ability to mix in whatever you want! Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- sprinkles, because duh!
- chocolate chips
- cinnamon swirl
- slivered almonds
- choppes pistachios
- raspberry/strawberry jam
- freeze fried strawberries or other fruit
- almond extract
And if you like these try my vegan chocolate cupcakes! Just as easy and way more wholesome than store bought!
More delicious cupcakes/frostings:
Perfectly moist, fluffy and based on easy to find whole food ingredients. You'd never guess these vegan vanilla cupcakes are easy to make and gluten free!
- 1 cup oat flour , gluten free if needed
- 6 tablespoons fine grain almond flour
- 10 tablespoons cane sugar (see note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder , or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 tablespoons lite coconut milk ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 120 C.
Put all the dry ingredients (oat flour to sea salt) into a medium bowl. Whisk to mix and break up any clumps.
- Make a little well in the middle and add in the coconut milk, apple sauce and vinegar.
- Whisk again to combine and get a smooth batter.
Place large spoonfuls of the batter into 10 muffin tins lined with baking cups. Fill a little more than half full. I use foil baking cups as they don’t stick like paper does and also they don't trap in the moisture like paper does. If you use paper the end result will be a little more wet. I also smoothed the batter down on the top by using a moistened finger, this helps them rise evenly as they bake.
- Bake at 350 for 17-19 minutes. Depending on your oven, your baking time may vary by a minute or two. Start checking them at 15 minutes and take out when a toothpick comes out clean and the tops just begin to get firm.
- Let cool in the muffin tins. Once cool to the touch, remove and continue cooling on baking racks until completely cool, about an hour.
- Once cooled you can top how you choose.
- If stored in a container with a little bit of airflow, these will still be good the next day!
- I trialed these with many different sugars and cane sugar gave the best flavor. You can use coconut sugar but it will give you a deeper flavor that won’t be as sweet.
- Nutrition facts are for cupcakes only, no toppings.