Orange Creme Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Goddess Orange Creme Cupcakes - Vegan + Dairy-Free #glutenfree

Sunny Sweetness with a Twist

On my To-Do List for nearly forever has been creating a gluten-free vegan recipe for my favorite birthday treat- a fresh and fragrant orange cake with orange creme frosting. Since it isn't my birthday until June, I decided to experiment with making cupcakes instead of a layer cake. You know. Strictly for taste testing. Research. And well.

Orange cupcakes just sounded refreshing.

Sunny and sweet.

I had such a good time in the kitchen this week making these sweet little gems. In fact, I'll be working on more recipes for vegan cupcakes in the near future, including basic vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, carrot, perhaps, and a few other tasty flavor combos.

Now that I know how easy it is to bake delicious gluten-free vegan cupcakes, the sky's the limit.

Gluten-Free Goddess Orange Creme Cupcakes - Vegan + Dairy-Free #glutenfree

Karina's Orange Creme Cupcakes Recipe - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Recipe originally posted April 2009.

These light, refreshing little bundles of orange creme goodness remind us of angel food cake (most likely because of the lift potato starch imparts). They make a perfect tea cake or party cupcake. And the best thing is, not only do they taste like a certain retro frozen confection (you know the one- that orange Popsicle with a vanilla ice cream center), these beauties are gluten, dairy, soy, egg and rice free. An allergen-free indulgence.


3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon raw organic agave or honey
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice at room temperature (fresh juice gives the batter a fresh, bright taste)
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flours through xanthan gum. Add in the orange zest, oil, agave, orange juice, Egg Replacer and vanilla.

Beat on medium speed for two minutes minutes until the batter is smooth and fluffy. Make a 'figure eight' motion if the batter climbs the beaters.

Let the batter sit a minute before spooning it into cupcake liners.

Spoon the batter evenly into twelve lined cupcake cups.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and firm (they should be slightly tender but too soft). Try not to open the door to peek until the very end of baking time- you don't want to jar the cupcakes and make them deflate. These cupcakes rose quite high, then slowly settled down to a slightly rounded shape at about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove and cool on a wire rack.

When the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with my vegan Orange Creme Frosting (recipe follows).

Karina's Notes on gluten-free vegan batter:

Gluten-free vegan batters are a tad different than wheat and white flour batters. They are stiffer at first, then stretch and get sticky as the xanthan gum and egg replacer do their thing.

Don't beat the batter to death. Let it sit for a minute or two after mixing to let it relax and settle in.

If the batter "climbs" the beaters, slow down the speed and slightly lift the beaters to encourage the batter to move back down into the bowl. Move your beater around the bowl in figure eights, at a slight angle. Practice your technique- soon you'll be winging around gluten-free vegan baking like a pro.

Gluten-free frosting for cupcakes.

Vegan Orange Creme Frosting Recipe

Use your favorite vegan buttery spread instead of the soy-free Spectrum Organic Shortening, if you prefer.


2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening (or organic semi-solid coconut oil)
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice- as needed (start with less)


In a mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the shortening and vanilla. Begin beating. Add in the orange juice a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Don't add too much juice too soon. Go slowly.

Beat on medium high until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If it is too thin, add more sugar; too stiff, add a spoonful of orange juice. You want a medium bodied icing.

Spoon the frosting into a zip-closing plastic sandwich baggie, press out the air and seal tight. Cut a very small hole in one of the bottom corners-- not too big. To frost, place the cut tip over the cupcake, near an outer edge, and squeeze the bag of frosting, gripping it tightly and moving in a circular motion, spiraling in toward the center, until the swirl of icing covers the cupcake.

Top with a few pieces of orange zest. Or try a sprinkle of flaked coconut, finely chopped pecans or walnuts.

Place in a freezable container to chill or freeze. Once frozen, you can wrap each cupcake individually for single treats, if you like. Remove wrapping before thawing. To keep the icing intact.

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 12

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GFG Baking Notes:

This cake batter would make a luscious orange birthday cake. The amount of batter in this recipe should make one 7 or 8-inch round layer. Double it for a two-pan layer cake; and double the frosting.

If you prefer eggs, use 2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten.

Orange juice should be fresh squeezed at room temperature. I used California navel oranges. Using an ice cold commercial orange juice with added vitamin C, or citric acid, may affect the batter's consistency and rise (too much acid).

Before you grate the zest, wash the orange. And don't include the bitter white layer.

For those of you needing a citrus-free birthday cake, try my Banana Spice Cake and Cupcakes recipe.

For those of you unable to find sorghum flour, I imagine you can substitute rice flour. I'm not a big rice flour fan, but if it's the one gluten-free flour you can use, try it and let me know how it works. I might let the batter sit for a few minutes, too, if using rice flour. This helps soften the gritty texture of it.

Sugar provides some of the structure of this cake. If you shun cane sugar and use a liquid sweetener instead, you may have to add more structure. Those of you more adept at baking with agave, please leave a comment if you have some insight for our sugar-free readers. 

xox Karina


Mandee said...

Beautiful looking cupcakes, Karina! And it's great to see another vegan and gf recipe :) I will be trying this out as I have never baked with sorghum!

VeggieGirl said...

Vegan AND gluten-free??? THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! :-D

thewholegang said...

Wow, these look so good. Someday I'm going to start baking up your treats. I've made a few because you make food I actually can eat. Thank you for creating such great recipes! Now, what's the delivery cost so I can get some of those cupcakes!

Kalyn said...

Wow, those cupcakes are gorgeous. I've never baked anything even remotely that good looking. This is why I bow to your baking prowess! Wish I could see them in person!

Joy said...

These look and sound amazing! And I can't wait to try your English Muffin recipe. My husband, Mark, was diagnosed with celiacs two years ago. I've gotten more useful, delicious recipes from your website than any other source(esp bread--he dislikes anything baked with rice flour-too gritty. I was so excited when you posted your bread recipes using sorghum flour instead. He likes them so much better!)

Thanks so much for all your hard work on behalf of celiacs. I look forward to receiving your email updates and search your site all the time for new recipes!

Joy McG.

Rach said...

Those are beautiful!!!! The garnish looks like little gems.

Lucinda said...

You are a gem! Being celiac and allergic to dairy and egg, I have found your website to be a haven for wonderful recipes I can use. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Cheryl said...

I absolutely love your blog and reading about all the delicious gluten-free goodies you drum up. Question....the recipes always include so many ingredients and different flours. I realize, being gluten-sensitive myself, that white, wheat or rye flour are out for us folks, so are the flours you use necessary to create light and airy baked goods? Most of the bread and baked goods I've had that are gluten free are so heavy.

CeliacChick said...

GORGEOUS!!! And yes, I yelled that! :)

Caroline said...

Karina, these look really yummy. Let's work together again soon! xxx

Oregon Hippie said...

Question for you, Karina: Can a person substitute Pamela's baking mix for the homemade gf mix in a pinch? In the midst of moving, I'm not up to mixing and matching flours at the moment. Wondering if the cheater method will do the trick? ;)

Nancy said...

These may just be the most beautiful cupcakes ever. I'm not a cupcake baker but I will try these -- I know I'll love the flavor. Thanks for yet another great, creative recipe.

moonwatcher said...

Karina, these are absolutely gorgeous and they look yummy too! Thank you for this. I just purchased Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Do you know that book? It is a delight They have a couple of gluten free options in there that use quinoa flour in them. Now I have even more options when I want cupcakes for a special birthday or occasion. I look forward to the others you come up with as well. :)


alison - said...

I think gluten-free vegan cupcakes are a challenge -- I still haven't found one that I think is fabulous... so hats off to you for coming up with what looks like a good one! Looking forward to trying it.

Christelle said...

These are beautiful!! :)

I find Soya flour great for sweet recipes btw :)

DJ Karma said...

Beautiful cupcakes!

Ricki said...

Those are just beautiful! I've been experimenting more and more with GF baked goods. . . can't wait to try these!

GFE--gluten free easily said...

Those are just gorgeous, Karina. I confess when I saw the post title, I immediately thought of those Hostess cupcakes from back in the day, but knew I'd find something much, much better when I read on. The difference is night and day, of course.

Thanks, Karina!

Shawn said...

THANK YOU for such a gorgeous recipe! I actually made these cupcakes this afternoon and my whole family is so pleased. Like a previous poster, I didn't have sorghum flour or potato starch on hand (next on my list of flours to collect), so I subbed in the brown rice, corn starch, tapioca starch mixture I use as an all-purpose flour. You're right that the texture was a little more muffiny, but it wasn't grainy at all. And the flavor was heavenly. I'll probably make these again this weekend for a wheat-free guest who will be visiting.

The amazing part to me is that my kids are gluten-free, but my husband and I are not. This cupcake recipe is so good (like many others you have) that I have no desire to make two versions (you know, one "good" one with wheat). We are all happy to be eating these gluten-free treats.

Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

I Am Gluten Free said...

You are a vixen. These look divine! I am digging right into this recipe for sure.


Dianne's Dishes said...

Those looks great! Jamison wouldn't eat these, but I think I may make a batch anyway! :)

Joy the Baker said...

These are simply beautiful! Just perfect for spring! And Happy (waaay early) birthday!

Roberta said...

Absolutely love your blog and your photos are so well done! In your spare (ha!) time I think you should become a product photographer too. Can't wait to try out your recipes.

Vicki said...

I wasn't able to buy sorghum flour in the local supermarkets & didn't have time to go to the natural food store, so I used white rice flour. I also used 2 large eggs rather than the egg replacer. The flavour turned out great, but the batter was extremely dry and doughy. Do you have any idea why that might have happened?

Hannah said...

these look amazing.

glutenfreeincleveland said...

These look amazingly delicious. It's hard to believe their so food-allergy friendly!

I can't believe how beautiful that frosting is!!!

Steph said...

those look so pretty AND yummy!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

How did you get the frosting so perfect? That's always the hard part for me. I love them, Karina.

kippi said...

I made these cupcakes last night and they are delicious! Definitely on the sweet side. My cupcakes are much denser than yours. I used the same flour combination you suggested.

What should the batter look like? Mine was very liquid. And would not be considered "smooth and fluffy". At a higher altitude are you required to use more liquid therefore I should use less?

I used regular eggs instead of egg replacer. I measured my large egg at 1/4 cup, so only used one thinking I should match your stated liquid measurement of egg replacer.

My oranges were large so for the frosting (which is a total winner...yum), so only needed a quarter of the orange or about 2 TBS.

I learn more from your website about cooking and baking than any other and greatly appreciate the service you provide. If it weren't for you I would never venture out into the lesser known flours. Thanks for expanding my horizons. :-)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I really love it when you bake gorgeous looking stuff like this that does not seem gluten-free at all but is! I'm sure my friends who are on a gluten-free diet will love this. :)

darkynite said...

Thank you! My GF/CF/EF/SF son is having his third birthday party in May. I am going to give these a whirl. I've been using your recipes for sometime now, and they are ALWAYS delish!!

Theresa said...

YUM. Like a cupcake version of my favorite yogurt flavor - orange1

kelly b said...

does anybody know what would happen if i left out the sugar from the dry ingredients? should i substitute something else? thanks!

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks to all for the enthusiastic support.

I'm not really a baker, either, but I'm getting into baking vegan cupcakes (and looking forward to the new cookbook by Babycakes bakery in NYC- vegan and gluten-free).

The small size is a big plus for egg-free gluten-free baking.

I have not seen the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World book. I looked at her vegan cookbook, but I have soy and bean allergies. Too many substitutions for me to make it worthwhile; wondered if the cupcake book would be the same?

Susan- LOVE being a vixen. *Kiss*

Kippi- A difference in measuring dry flours, perhaps; I use nested cups, spoon flour into cups and shake it even (I don't dip into the bag). Sounds like your batter needed more flour or sugar- did you cut back on sugar? Or xanthan gum?

I am also thinking that when you sub eggs in one of my recipes calling for a "2 egg replacement" you need to use 2 eggs and not worry about it matching the 1/4 cup of Ener-G Egg Replacer.

Vicki- I'm surprised your changes made that much of a difference, but it sounds like your batter needed some liquid..? Also- rice flour behaves differently. I'm not a fan. Maybe try getting sorghum on-line? Amazon or Bob's Red Mill.

KellyB- Leaving out the sugar will make for a smaller, more dense and sour cupcake. You could try subbing with another sweetener.

I'll know more about baking vegan cupcakes when I get the Babycakes bakery cookbook.

There will be LOTS more cupcakes in our future! (I made a vegan chocolate cupcake this week; still tweaking the recipe before I post it).

Thanks, everyone- you're the best!



Mom said...

Made these today for my about to graduate college daughter & her housemates- the group included one who is also GF & another who is DF. (go figure) They were a big hit! We all loved the light citrusy flavor.

I do need to invest in a juicer though. :)

Thanks for your efforts in making my GF/DF "experiments" delicious!

Angeline said...

Your recipe was a life saver! And super delicious. I just did a test run and they came out perfect. I was a little worried because I don't have a mixer, but I tried to beat a little air into the batter the old fashioned way (with a spoon and my muscles). This weekend is my mom (GF & egg free)and brother's (DF) birthday. I am so happy I can make one yummy dessert for everyone to share and no one feels left out. Thank you!

Amy said...

I made these cupcakes and they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious! How would I go about converting this recipe into a you think it would work?

Karina Allrich said...

Mom- We just juiced the oranges by hand- but a juicer would be easier! ;-)

Angeline- I'm so glad. :-) "No one feels left out" is my goal.

Amy- Aren't they good? I don't see why it wouldn't work as a cake- I'd bet on a 9-inch round cake pan. Keep an eye on it- bake as long as it usually takes in your oven for a round cake- 25 to 30 minutes, maybe? Would love to hear back if you try it- will add your note to the recipe.



Nova said...

We made these for my birthday earlier this week but we doubled the recipe and made a layer cake. We used some happy eggs and cream cheese frosting instead of vegan butter cream. It was so so so so good. Thanks for helping make my transition to 30 a little sweeter!

Nova said...

PS The 9" rounds baked in 25 minutes and we are at about 4500 ft.

'lil j said...

Karina, I made the cupcakes and the cakes themselves were divine! I followed your recipe with the only change being using 2 VERY happy eggs rather than the egg replacer. As for the "frosting" though, it was a different story. I used the ingredients you suggested and what turned out was a disaster. It was a goopy mess. ICK. It never mixed together and the veggie shortening just curtled and was really gross looking. I add alot more powdered sugar and that didn't even help. I started to get desperate and tried adding goat yogurt and arrowroot powder with still no luck. Eventually, I just chilled the "goop" and strained off all the yucky shortening curtles and used the remaining orange/sugar liquid as a glaze which worked nicely. What the heck could've happened here? I am really not sure! But, wow, the cupcakes were so moist and delicious!!!
If I could only get the frostening part down... yours looks so perfect and beautiful and mine looked like.... :(

Karina Allrich said...

Lil J- I'm sorry to hear that. We thought the frosting was amazing.

Without seeing exactly what you did, it's difficult to know what happened. I'm wondering if you used an orange, fresh squeezed (at room temperature) or cold juice from the fridge? That could be the difference. The shortening should be soft enough to blend right in (it melts at warm room temperature). It's quite warm here- so maybe temperature is the issue?

I'm assuming you used confectioner's sugar. I use organic confectioner's from Whole Foods.

Last thought- maybe too much liquid at the outset so it got too thin.

Chilling frosting will help thicken it. And adding more sugar will thicken it.

Did you beat it with a mixer (recommended)?

Hope this rings a bell or two.


moonwatcher said...

Hi Karina,

Just wanted to check back in and say I made these as a celebration of my son's girlfriend's college graduation. The frosting didn't come out like yours, either, but it was fine--just thinner. In my case I don't fault the recipe, I think it is because I put too much orange juice in initially and maybe not quite enough spectrum spread. I added more sugar and that helped. It was a fine consistency to spread, though, and tasted great. They looked pretty with some orange zest and finely chopped walnuts on top, even without piping the frosting on and just spreading it. Everyone LOVED the cupcakes--so thank you, again. :)


moonwatcher said...

ps: forgot to mention: I did make the cupcakes lower fat by substituting most of the oil for a combination of Susan's tofu sour cream and some of my homemade pear sauce. It worked fine. The tofu "sour cream" from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen works well as part of an oil alternative in many of your recipes (for those that need an even lower fat alternative and can do soy). The cupcakes do not brown as much on top and neither do the breads, but they taste great. And, as I said, everyone seriously LOVED these cupcakes!! Thanks again.



moonwatcher said...

Okay, this is really strange. Sorry for all the comments lol. When I looked at this just minutes ago these 2 initial comments I posted about actually making the cupcakes were not here. So I reposted. When I hit "post comment," I got this page with the comments I made a couple of days ago now showing, but no notification about the one I had just posted as a result of not seeing my other two comments. Now I'm posting again about THAT --Yikes! Stuck in a virtual revolving "post comment" door! lol sorry for the repetition, Karina. You don't have to post them all. I just wanted you to know the cupcakes are great! lol



the veggie paparazzo said...

Karina, you know I love your recipes, and your blog is one of my favorites, but I made these for family---without testing them in advance, assuming they would work---and they didn't work at all for me. I followed your recipe to a T, only I ended up baking the cupcakes longer (until the tops were overdone, finally) trying to get the insides to finish cooking. In the end, they were gummy, small, and very dense. (And I use my flours, baking powder, etc., regularly, so I don't think anything was bad.) I ate them, but I was sad because I was trying to demonstrate to my extended family that gf (etc.) cooking doesn't have to mean subpar food, and these cupcakes definitely weren't a way to demonstrate that.

I was wondering if the lack of a protein flour in the recipe might be part of the problem? I assumed that was to make them fluffier and lighter, but I'm not sure. I still love all your other recipes I've tried, and of course I'll keep trying new ones you post, but I won't make these again unless I alter the recipe a lot.

Karina Allrich said...

Veggie Papparazzo- Really? How frustrating for you.

Something must have been *off* because these cupcakes are light and delicious. I'm sorry you had trouble.

Several readers above have had success with the recipe, so I'm not the only one with good results.

As always, so many factors can affect outcome in vegan and gluten-free baking-

Using a silicone pan (I don't use one)

Variations in oven temperature

The length of baking time

Weather and humidity

Using a different fat, or flour mix (using potato FLOUR instead of potato STARCH, for instance)

How you store, measure and mix your ingredients all have an impact.

I use a gas oven (technically propane). I use a metal cupcake pan with paper liners.

I measure liquid ingredients in glass liquid measuring cups, and dry ingredients in nested dry cups, pouring or spooning the flour into the measuring cup and evening it off (I don't scoop into the bag of flour).

I mention this about different measuring cups because Babycakes author Erin uses dry nested cups to measure liquid in her recipes- but I do not- the amount of liquid in a dry cup does not equal the measure in a wet cup.

Anything ring a bell?


laura said...

Tried these tonight and they were delicious, best gluten free anything I've ever made and I've been trying for 8 years!! Even my extremely picky husband liked them, that's the true test for sure!! Thank you so much for this site, I can't wait to try more of your recipes.:)

Suzanne said...

After months of reading your fabulous blog, I finally made one of your recipes. The results were well received. The whole family is now requesting that the "Vegan Orange Creme Goodness" be a regular Sunday dinner treat!

trishtator said...

These just came out of the oven (and the frosting out of the mixer). They smelled so good I had to eat some before they were cool enough for the frosting to stay on.

I loooove sorghum flour - it's just so delicious. Thanks again for the beautiful recipe.

bess said...

gosh, i found your blog years ago, in and out of the blog world (we actually corresponded personally a few times then before you moved and all) and i fall out of desire to even cook being celiacs for so long...but you are so thorough precise caring and giving. do you still paint?
i really want to have these eat now. ha ha ha.
but i mostly just want to applaud your consistency and diligence. i dunno, i admire it, your years of dedication.
well, be well and i am virtually having vegan gf cupcakes (they are even bean soy and it seems corn-- which i seem all too sensitive to, too!!!)
yummy happy tummy here by sheer imagination!

Anonymous said...

Karina- I have just come across your site. First of all let me tell you how amazing you are to share these recipes with GF/CF world! My daughter will be thrilled to eat fabulous cupcakes again. The pictures look soooooo yummy!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try these! Quick question, have you ever tried making these in mini-muffin tins? I'm having a party and would love to have bite-size snack options. How should I adjust the baking time, etc.? Thanks!

Karina Allrich said...

Anon- These would make tasty little mini-cakes. Great idea! Unfortunately, I don't have a mini-muffin pan so I have not experimented with baking mini-cupcakes. I would suggest you start with the same baking time as the other mini-muffins you have baked. Keep an eye on them. They should be firm and domed.


Anonymous said...

Hi, muffins look amazing. Truly truly amazing. But I have an allergy to sugar. I should give up baked goods altogether.. but I'm not quite ready to lose one more of lifes littel joys. I was wondering if you have any ideas for making a sugar free icing?

Anonymous said...

Pretty good recipe. I would suggest to not use shortening but instead use soy milk. It won't leave that waxy taste in your mouth.

KimG said...

Thank you for a great recipe, Karina. My kids and hubbie loved them. One question: I am in Albquerque (near your old stomping grounds) and I wonder if the altitude affected my cupcakes. They baked up high, as you described, but fell and were rather gummy. I doubled the recipe to have more cupcakes to freeze - maybe doubling the xanthum gum is a bit too much (I used 3 tsp of it). Are there any high altitude modifications I should make to the recipe next time?

Karina Allrich said...

Kim, It sounds like two factors, perhaps. Too much xanthan gum and too much liquid. I'd cut back on the gum by a teaspoon. I'd cut back on the liquid by 2 tablespoons to start. See my responses above for additional info on measuring, etc.

You used potato starch not flour, right?


Karina Allrich said...

Anon- Sugarfree icing is tough. You'll need something to replace the structure...such as cream cheese/vegan cream cheese. I'm no expert in this; you might try googling "sugar-free frosting".


julie said...

Yesterday I doubled this recipe and made a beautiful birthday cake for my daughter's 10th birthday. Thanks Karina! My husband (who isn't a cake man) had seconds. I (who wasn't really feeling up to eating anything rich) had seconds. My daughter wanted birhtday CAKE (but isn't a frosting girl) so I added orange zest to the frosting and made it into something between a frosting and a glaze. Delightful!

Marnie said...

These were great! My 3 yr old wanted pink strawberry cupcakes so I did make a couple of changes. No orange zest and instead of orange juice we used a cup of defrosted strawberries that I whizzed in the vita mix for a second. They came out wonderful!! Although after baking they were more brown than pink ;) She didn't mind as long as I added pink frosting. Thanks Karina!

Joanie said...

Love, love, love this recipe! The first time I made them (for Easter), I only had 1/2 cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice and added 1/2 cup of organic o.j. ~ everything else as you stated and what a success they were! Even our son, who is not a gluten-free fan, loved them! Made them a second time for that same son's senior French Horn recital reception (at the local university) and they received wonderful reviews again! They are now on the approved list for one of the cupcake flavors for their wedding this June.

Any suggestions on how I could make this a lemon chiffon cupcake too?! I can follow a great recipe and reproduce, but am not a chemist in the kitchen... Keep your wonderful recipes coming! I share your blog with others and am glad to see you're on facebook. :)

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks, bakers, for stopping back to let me know you enjoyed this recipe. I love that it translates to a cake. And I love the strawberry idea. I'll have to try that.

As for lemon- I think lemon would be heavenly. Since it is so much more sour than orange juice, I'd use less juice, add more sweetener; add water to the batter if necessary for same volume; though I wonder how sweetened lemonade would work? I'll need to think about this.


Jenna the Great said...

I am a newbie to the GF/DF world (more bitter about the lack of cheese in my diet than wheat thins). I have purchased several types of mixes for when I get a hankering for something sweet, but this was my FIRST attempt at GF/DF baking.

I had to make a few substitutions, due to ingredient availability, however:
*I used Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour mix (garbanzo flour, sorghum, etc) instead of straight sorghum flour,
*I used 2 large free range eggs instead of the egg substitute.

These cupcakes turned out FANTASTIC! Even my boyfriend, who would rather have the "real thing," can't stop eating them. I have to say, it was worth it to squeeze out all that juice! I will never use rice flour for baking again, as I am not a fan of the grittiness and the weird aftertase. I am so happy to start baking again!

I think I might try lime juice and coconut for a variation on this recipe. :)

broccolihero said...

Hi Karina, thanks so much for this recipe! My 3 year old niece is allergic to wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, and nuts and I have been trying different recipes for cakes and cupcakes for her and she's always taken one bite and set it down and run off. I tried the vegan orange creme gems and she ate 3 of them! Exclaiming, "Ti-ti, you make the best cupcakes!" So thank you for that. You are so right about the fresh orange juice! It makes all the difference.

kamille said...

i'm making these right now and can't wait to try them!

the only thing though is i think they would make more than 12 cupcakes. i filled the liners too much (3/4 full) and the 12 cupcakes are HUGE. next time, i will only fill them 1/2 full and get more cupcakes out of the batter.

Crystal said...

Thank you very much for this, I just pulled this out of the oven an hour ago and ate 3 of them! I have a bit of a problem, though: It never rose. So the result was very delicious, but dense and a tad gummy. All my ingredients were new, just bought this morning for this experiment. I measured the same way you do.
I did two things different: I dont have a mixer, so I beat by hand, and I used "Baker's Sugar" which is white granulated sugar that is 'extrafine' texture. I'm at 400ft. elevation. I mixed all my wet ingredients together first then poured it into the mixed dry ingredients all at once- is that bad?
Save me the pounds of eating 'mistakes', Karina!

Crystal said...

Update! I switched out the refined white sugar for the appropriate sugar and dusted off the Kitchenaid...worked great! Perfect! Just an FYI: for the frosting, "the juice of one orange" equaled 1/2 cup juice for me, so I had to add a ton more confectioner's sugar..hee hee, extra frosting for me to eat!
Twas yummy, thanks!

Nicole said...

Hello Karina! I have a quick but very important question for you. I was/am planning on making these cupcakes for a celiac support group (Tuesday) in my area however, I don't have the money to purchase all of the ingredients right now. I don't want to short-change these folks in any way because I am hoping to start a gluten-free/vegan baked goods business from my home in the near future. I noticed at the market today that Arrowhead Mills makes an all purpose baking mix. Would you be able to guide me on using this mix as a substitute for your ingredients? I have already promised them a dessert and don't want to have to back out at the last minute.
I know you receive so many comments so any feedback you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Nicole Armstrong

Karina Allrich said...

Nicole- I've never used that mix, so I can't give you experience based advice on this. In theory you should be able to do it. I won't vouch that the texture will be the same though- I bet the baking mix is rice flour based (in my opinion, not as tender as sorghum flour). I suggest doing a test run before you bring them to a meeting. ;-) Karina

EddiE & Rosie Kourian said...

I have just made these! Since I couldn't fine sorghum flour, I used cornmeal instead! They turned out fantastic! Next time, I will substitute for almond or millet flour, which I believe will work well as well. Thank you for this awesome recipe! :)

Rosie Kourian

Willow said...

This was great! I admit that I changed the flavoring from orange to lemon because the person I baked for who is allergic to wheat, dairy, and soy is unfortunately also allergic specifically to oranges. So I substituted 1/4 lemon juice and one lemon zest for the orange juice and added in 3/4 cup rice milk so it would have the same amount of liquid. Turned out fabulous, he really loved them!

Willow said...

I just made these yesterday! They were really great, but since the person I was baking for is allergic specifically to oranges as well as wheat, dairy and soy, I changed them to lemon cupcakes. I just added in 1/4 cup lemon juice and a lemon zest instead of the orange and added in 3/4 cup vanilla rice milk so it would have the same amount of liquid, since I didn't want them to be too sour. They turned out really great! Thanks for the recipe.

dewfromheaven said...

I made these, they are delicious. I used arrowroot starch instead of potato and I ran out of fresh OJ and added 1/4 c. water instead.

However mine only fit 9 cupcakes though. But it's all good because it was so delicious!

Marsbar said...

Haven't been able to find a local supplier of sorghum flour here in Melbourne, Australia. What would be the best sub for this Karina? Mia

Karina Allrich said...

Someone above (in comments) used cornmeal as a sorghum sub and said they turned out well. You might try a fine brown rice flour, or oat flour, if you can find a gluten-free oat flour. I imagine regular white rice flour would work- but may be be a bit gritty or gummy. What other choices do you have there? Karina

homeschoolmama said...

Hi Karina! I must thank you for this recipe. My daughter & I have been planning a garden-party, and just baked up a batch of these AND a batch of your chocolate-mint cookies (our absolute favorite cookie recipe) for our friends.

I've been hanging onto this recipe for today, and am SO glad I did because they are so light, summery & yummy that I KNOW the party will be a hit! For some reason, the last three cupcakes just didn't fit on my serving-plate so the kids & I just HAD to try them and they are perfect!

The frosting however came out really REALLY runny... and after literally doubling to 4 cups, I ran out of powdered sugar & had to use it as-is. (I chilled the frosting for 2 hours before icing the cupcakes, but it still ran down the sides & looks more like a thick "icing" than actual frosting... pretty, but not quite what I had been expecting)

Now the orange I used was pretty big - it yielded just over 1/2 cup of juice so I'm guessing that was my problem. But because I'm trying to watch my sugars, do you think that substituting 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract & maybe the juice from 1/2 orange in my next batch would turn out more frosting-y?

Karina Allrich said...

Yes, too much juice. Start with maybe two tablespoons, then add more as needed. Four tablespoons equals 1/4 cup liquid, so eight tablespoons (1/2 cup) is probably too much. The other thing you can do to thicken frosting is add more shortening/vegan margarine or butter. You can try adding organic orange extract for flavor as well- start slowly with it- you don't want it to taste artificially "orange". Glad you liked the cupcakes! xox Karina

KathyinMD said...

YUM! These are fantastic. I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out great.

jennifergupta said...

As a first time user of vegetable frosting, I have to say that yes I did have to make two batches of the frosting as the first one was a crumbly mess. After thinking to myself "what would butter need to be like to make this work?" it all came together. I gave it about 20 seconds in the microwave and it stirred up right away.

Thanks for a great alternative! I got the assignment of making GF/vegan desserts for a dinner party. Who assigns that?! Clearly someone not willing to reach outside of their comfort zones. Thanks again!

Mama Gupta said...

I made these for some people at a dinner party last night (some people were vegan, some GF, some just normal eaters) and everyone loved them! Thank you so much!

Srilatha said...

Thanks for this recipe. I made a cake version of this one and turned out great! I have used 1 and half cups sorghum flour,1 cup starch, and half cup of brown rice so that its not starchy rest is all the same.Its a great cake the day baked but it got little dry next day when I stored it in the refrigerator is this how it is with the gluten free products? Thank you so much again!

Karina Allrich said...

Regarding storing gluten-free baked goods- the best way to store them is wrapping and freezing. It preserves the texture. Some things will survive a day in the fridge- but the texture won't be quite the same. I always wrap cooled GF goodies and freeze them the day I bake them. xox Karina

Kitty said...

Thank you thank you thank you for these amazing recipes!! I am a new-comer to the GF world, although my sister is GF/CF with multiple other allergies. I've tried a few of your recipes and they came out wonderfully!! Thank you so much for letting me once again enjoy the baking world that I thought I had lost!!

runningmommy said...

Thanks gosh! I just figured out I have allergies after 3 years of illness! I am a new woman with your recipes and made these cupcakes today with my 4 year old. She loved squeezing the oranges and I felt wonderful teaching her how to bake GF and vegan as she's an allergy kid.

Jenny said...

My daughter is turning 4 soon, and I want to make gluten free cupcakes for her to take to school. I have already tried making the chocolate cupcakes and they turned out great. I would like to try another recipe, and I was wondering if you ever tried making a lemon cupcake? Like substitute the orange zest with lemon zest, and lemonade for orange juice for the frosting? She's sensitive to oranges, but can have lemons fine. I love your recipes by the way.

Karina Allrich said...

Jenny- I think lemon would be delicious. Yes, sub the orange juice with sweetened lemonade (not pure lemon juice) and use lemon zest, to taste. You might also wish to add a natural lemon extract (taste test the batter- if egg-free only- to see if it needs a half teaspoon or so of natural lemon extract). xox Karina

Michelle said...

Thanks you so much for this delicious recipe! Made these little beauties the other night and the family loved them. Gives me so much hope for my gf/cf/egg free future.
Please keep up the great work :)

Anonymous said...

I never thought I would find a GF recipe that I could honestly say, "It's better than the real thing". I can say that now. These are beyond good. I'm a Nurse Practitioner with Celiac Disease. I do a lot of lectures on the topic. These cupcakes will be my "food to share" when I go to parties. I have shared this recipe with so many people. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sonja said...

If you can't find Sorghum Flour, look for Jowar Flour at the stores or indian stores. Same thing.

Sam Ruiz said...

I am cupcake obsessed because little cakes are so adorable! I first tried orange cupcakes at a bakery in Maine and they were AMAZING, but I was curious on a vegan animal-friendly version. So thanks Karina! I might top them off with a candied orange peel too. But one question, what if I don't have EnerG egg replacer?

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks again- all! You rock. xox

As for replacing the egg replacer ;-) ... I've only made this with the Ener-G Egg Replacer which contains leavening and some starch for binding. If you can do eggs, I might suggest using two whipped egg whites. Other than that, I have no experience with flax seed replacer or seed gels and would hate to recommend a replacer that might not work in this recipe- ie make it rubbery or tough (like so many egg replacers do).



Kimberly on the Gulf Coast said...

The kiddlets and I made these with fresh oranges from our trees and toasted the New Year with them! Thank you VERY much!

Anonymous said...

The flavor of these cakes are out of this world delicious but mine were a little rubbery in texture. I noticed my batter was slightly slimey for lack of a better word. I followed you recipe exactly - any ideas what may have gone wrong?
They were good but the texture was definitely a little weird.

Thanks for any suggestions. I.d like to make them again. ~Renee

anu said...

I have a 4 year old with severe multiple food allergies and i am desperate to get these cup cakes right,just like they look in your picture.I
followed your recipe exactly,but the batter turned out thick and sticky.I was not any where close to the cupcakes you did.What could have gone wrong.How thick the batter should be?

Karina Allrich said...

Renee- Vegan batter is different, for sure. If you beat it too long it can get a little tough, I think.

Anu- It sounds like you used potato flour instead of starch, perhaps? Though vegan gluten-free batter is sticky.


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