Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

Gluten-free Goddess wheat-free gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with mocha icing
Gluten-free wheat-free vanilla cupcakes. Let's celebrate.


The world is my oyster. No. Wait. I don't even like oysters. All that prying and shucking. All that shimmying. All that clinging, gelatinous muscle. You can have my share. Take it. Please.

I much prefer a cupcake.

No slimy abductor to deal with. No quasi-fishy liquor. Just tender, soft sweetness in exactly the right portion. Not too big. Not too heavy. Not too much.

Just right.

Texture, frankly, can be an issue for me. Size is another issue (portions bigger than my head? A serious turn off). And taste, well, that goes without saying (you know how I loathe bean flour).

If I was a storybook character I would inhabit The Princess and the Pea.

Except that it would have to be The Gluten-Free Casein-Free Princess and the Pea (which by the way, I may also be allergic to; the pea, that is). While others around me appear to sail without pause through the onslaught of sensory stimuli and proteins that is life in the twenty-first century, I have been blessed (and I use the term ironically) with the uncanny aptitude of hearing, smelling, feeling every little particle and nano nuance packed into our molecular frenzy of unstable equilibrium. I can sleep on a stack of twenty foam topped mattresses but if there is a single lonely hint of pea beneath, I am sure to sense it.

And it will keep me up all night.

And give me schpilkis.

Which brings me back to cupcakes.

For those of us with acute sensory awareness (what some might dub just chill the f**k out disease) a cupcake is a small and rather lovely gift. When done right, a cupcake is tender and not too chewy, not too crumbly, mealy, or assertive. It's not abrasive in its flavor or flaccidly dull. It's not too clean skinny-chic or too over-the-top use a bucket of butter ya'll sweet.

It doesn't stuff you till you're stupid.

And it doesn't demand attention. It's not a diva. It's not competitive, you see. A simple cupcake is perfectly happy to be just what it is even if it won't garner food awards or get its own TV show and cookware line. A cupcake is very postmodern zen and unapologetic. It is what it is. You can take or leave it.

The cupcake doesn't care.

Because a cupcake well done is simply perfection.

A tidy little beauty of a bite. Gluten-free.

Karina's Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Mocha Icing

Originally posted August 2009 by Karina Allrich. Updated.

I frosted these little vanilla beauties with mocha flavored icing because I love the combo of coffee and chocolate. But straight up chocolate would also be delicious. As would vanilla.


1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk
1/4 cup organic free-range eggs, beaten, or Ener-G egg replacer, mixed per directions
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cupcake tin with paper or parchment liners.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, starch and dry ingredients together. Add in the non-dairy milk, eggs or egg replacer, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat with a mixer until the cake batter is smooth. Do not over-beat.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop the batter into the twelve liners. Smooth out the tops with wet fingers.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven until firm and dome shaped. For me this took about 15-18 minutes at sea level but they may take up to 20 to 22 minutes, depending upon your particular oven and altitude.

Cool the pan on a wire rack briefly, then gently pop out the cupcakes and continue cooling on a rack (this avoids steaming the bottoms).

Make your icing.


Dairy-Free Mocha Icing Recipe

When making frosting, start with a small amount of liquid and add a little bit at a time until you achieve the consistency you want. If the icing gets too runny, add more confectioner's sugar to thicken it. You can also put the icing in the fridge for an hour to help stiffen it.


2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons Earth Balance sticks or vegan butter
2 ounces cold strong coffee, more as needed (or use vanilla coconut or rice milk if you don't like coffee)
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla


Starting with a small amount of liquid, beat the sugar and cocoa powder to incorporate the shortening, coffee and vanilla. If you need more liquid, add a tiny amount at a time. Beat for two minutes or so until smooth to see what you've got- it becomes more moist as you beat.

If you need to stiffen the frosting, add more confectioner's sugar.

Chill the frosting before using it. I chill it, covered, for roughly an hour. Frost the cupcakes. Cover in an air-tight container until serving. best eaten the first day. If making ahead of time, chill frosted cakes briefly in the freezer before wrapping individually and freezing.

Cook time: 1 hour Yield: Serves 12

Recipe Source:

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GFG Notes:

Gluten-free and vegan batters are often stiffer at first. Then they get sticky and stretch. If the batter climbs the beaters, slow down the speed and slightly lift the beaters to encourage the batter to migrate back down into the bowl. Move your beater around the bowl in figure eights, at a slight angle.

For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

Yes, yes. This recipe has sugar. We enjoy our sugary treats in moderation, don't we?

xox Karina


Rach said...

I was just thinking about attempting a chocolate frosting for some chocolate cherry brownies I'm gonna be making - and here you have provided me with jumping off point! Thanks! It will be an experiment (if I even do it) to see if palm sugar will work instead of confectioner's (probably not).

These cupcakes look so good.

I haven't thought of the The Princess and the Pea story in forever - but it is a great story of Sensory Integration Disorder! :D

Helen said...

What a lovely homage to the humble cupcake! Gorgeous pictures too.

City Girl said...

These look great. I may make my own frosting-less (still on the no-chocolate, no-coffee restriction, among others) and use agave. Oh, this is SO exciting. THank you thank you thank you :)

kotzebue said...

Would potato starch work in place of tapioca? Try as I might, I just can't handle the taste of tapioca.

Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) said...

I didn't ever think of smoothing the tops with wet fingers. It's a great idea,though, because those tiny cupcake liners don't seem to accommodate any of my kitchen gadgets.

They are beautiful!!

Kim said...

I'm in a wedding this weekend and want to bring my own little treat to eat when the rest of the banquet hall is stuffing their face with that banal sheet cake that is always at weddings.

I never cared much for sheet cake. Cupcakes, on the other hand, are a different story. I love cupcakes.

Since these look positively heavenly, I am going to try whipping up a batch with agave or stevia, and a different egg replacer (I can't do Ener-g). Thanks for sharing, I'm drooling over these and thinking of all the variations that could come out of such a great sounding recipe!

Leigh said...

Yesterday I found "Karina's Kitchen"
Thank you for making baking and cooking interesting & yummy again!!!!!
I have already made the banana bread sooooo good. Thank you

j.cro said...

YUUUUUUUUUUUM!!!! I can't WAIT to try making these!! I think I might bake them on my grill - it's far too hot in NJ right now to even consider turning on the oven. If I did that, my husband might divorce me on the spot.

aBfwJLARo5BFjEnQW3K2mNsevq3f2qE8SJ9O said...

I wanted to chime in about the palm sugar. I tried it for the Orange Creme cupcake frosting recipe last week and it did beautifully. Although, I forgot the part about chilling the frosting for an hour before using so ours was runny by the time we were done. Also, I ended up using lots of palm sugar to thicken the frosting, maybe another thickener would help. My mom and I have been enjoying these delicious treats right of the freezer every few days--heavenly to eat a sweet treat that's safe.

Anonymous said...

I love you.....


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Karina, these look so splendid that I simply must try them tomorrow, diet or not. :) ~~Dee

I Am Gluten Free said...

You are the cupcake queen and I am your humble servant. I can't wait to try these!


bess said...

i keep coming back and looking at this post...i think today, i am actually smelling the cupcakes. i showed my 13 year old son...i shouldn't have. it's such a tease since i am not the baker in the gf family...yeah. yum. he kind of did a pre-teen cursed out OH MY GOD mom can you make me that...yikes. and you wax poetic perfect on it's simple but oh so poignant purpose in a life! quite similar to so many little things.
much love
and thanks for the inspiration

dreaminitvegan said...

Finally, a gluten-free vegan cupcake and without chickpea flour. Sorry I can't do much of the bean flours in my sweet baked goods.
When my son's stomache starts feeling better I seem to digress to regular(gluten) baking then next thing I know, it acts up again.
I can't wait to make these. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Rach said...

ok - I just made my Chocolate Frosting using palm sugar. It's the tiniest bit gritty - no matter how long I creamed it, it wouldn't get completely smooth. However, I think I have found the perfect stabilizer - so perfect I bet I could make agave based frosting - Sweet Potato Starch!

The frosting is in the fridge so it can set-up, but so far it looks like a huge success!

Thank you Karina! :)

lydiatheperfectpantry said...

I really need to practice with a pastry bag -- the icing on these cupcakes is beautiful, and my cupcakes never look beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh gee....I just made these, but didn't smooth out the tops with wet fingers before baking. They are some good tasting lopsided cupcakes! The other thing I noticed is that they look a little oversized by comparison to your photo. Did you get a dozen even?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe. I just made them, and unlike most of the GF/vegan recipes I pull from the net, there will be no tinkering before the second batch. THESE ARE PERFECT! (finally, a recipe that starts out vegan, GF, and soy free ... usually I get one of the three and have to tease the other two out on my own).

The Gluten-free 'Dish' said...

The best pictures! They look like I could pick them off the screen and just them!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

Is there anything sweeter than a god cupcake? Over the weekend I was at a yoga retreat and they served banana chocolate chip 'muffins' in the morning. I thought they were more like cupcakes but apparently unless there's icing, it's not a cupcake.

liz said...

I just made these into a cake & used butter instead of olive oil, 1/2 cup of the sugar & 1/2 tsp of stevia, a dash of cinnamon, 2tsp of vanilla instead of vanilla milk & poured it over hot fresh fruit in a cast iron skillet. OMG. Thank you for the's the best I've ever made.

Winnie said...

So so so beautiful!
Its too hot to bake but I'll try these soon!

Lone Acorn said...

Any type of icing goes well with vanilla cakes. They are just simple and fabulous. I am sure Vanilla cakes with mocha icing must be delicious. I love mocha shake.

Joy McG said...


We need help! I know you are not a nutritionist, but I am hoping maybe either you or one of your readers can give me some answers--
My husband was diagnosed with celiacs two years ago. He does fine on a GF diet but he reacts to some GF grain-substitutes and I cannot figure out what his body is reacting to. Most breads upset his digestive system, yet he can eat rice, corn, soy, etc. no problem. It's driving me buggy--it really limits what he can eat. He can tolerate GF pastas no problem, GF angel food cake, but not breads. Could yeast cause celiac disease-type symptoms?

I appreciate any thoughts--thanks!

Joy McG

Anonymous said...

Hi Joy McG,
I had the same problem and it drove me spare too. I could eat gluten free pasta but every bread I tried was a disaster. I spent ages thinking I had some type of weird problem with corn. I also have an allergy to sulphites (in Australia they are preservatives 220 - 228, or 222- 228 (I can't quite remember, i just avoid all the 220's). I finally worked out that 99% of the gluten free breads have sulphites in them. I had never even thought to look as I have a completely different reaction to sulphites normally. Now I have found a gluten free, sulphite free bread (mainly rice flour) and it's perfect. And so nice to be able to eat bread again, wonderful! Maybe your husband has a similar problem with sulphites or another common ingredient. Good luck!

Jennifer said...

These are picture perfect!!!

Karina said...

Yes, you can switch out the tapioca starch for potato starch, arrowroot or cornstarch.

Recent blog:=- Curried Apple Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe with Art School Rice

Karina said...

Rach, I am wondering if you could make confectioner's sugar by grinding the palm sugar in a Vita-Mix first. Basically, that is what they do to cane sugar- pulverize it into a powder.

Karina said...

Lydia- I am new to the whole pastry bag experience. And I must admit. It's very fun.

Karina said...

I did- it came out to an even dozen.

Karina said...

I suggest working with a knowledgeable physician or certified nurse practitioner to track down additional food sensitivities, food allergies or bacterial and/or yeast issues.

Karina said...

As I mentioned to Rach, I bet pulverizing the palm sugar first might help. Is that possible?

Rachel said...

hmmm....maybe? I don't have a vita-mix. But even if I did, I'm not sure if it would work. Palm sugar has water in it, and when I first tried to run it through my tiny food processor, the part that actually got ground up turned into a paste - which maybe would work?

My newest approach is to smash the palm sugar with a mallet (it's in a bag when I do this). I suppose I could dissolve the sugar into the earth balance buttery sticks, then chill the whole thing before beating it with the sweet potato starch.

Speaking of which, I think I'm really onto something with this sweet potato starch! I think I could make frosting using agave with the starch as a stabilizer (and thus no grittiness at all).

It's been too hot to bake anything - when I start experimenting again I'll let you know what I come up with.

Guest said...

Hi! These look great. I am looking for a cupcake recipe to send a care package to my friend who just moved to Montreal. I was wondering, since he doesn't have a casein allergy, can i substitute regular milk instead of rice milk, and would butter work instead of olive oil? Or another oil? I'm afraid of an olivey taste. (I know, i'm sure they don't come out olivey, but with my track record, i'd rather not leave it to chance).

Karina said...

Yes, you can safely sub all my recipes with real dairy. I find the dairy/non-dairy choices are interchangeable.

Molly Beth said...

I just got asked to be my son's room mother at his minischool. His teacher was so sweet and said she wanted to ask me so there would always be a special treat that he could have. I am so so excited that you came up with a vanilla cupcake. I have used several of your recipes for myself, but usually can't give them to him. I tried giving him the vegan vanilla brownies (or one of the other bars, which are a fave of my btw!), but he reacted to even the enjoy life choco chips! And most of your cakes and cupcakes either have a citrus juice or banana, neither of which he can have. But these, they are just perfect! And I won't have to make a single substitution to the bater. I am so very pleased! These will be perfect for all those holiday parties. I'm hoping to make them for his bday as well. Last year I made so apple muffin cupcake crap I created and it was a mess! I am going to make just a plain vanilla frosting with spectum, vanilla, powdered sugar! Hoping I can make them as beautiful as these! Thank you!

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

Anon- Yes, I ended up with an even dozen. Measuring differences, perhaps? Or humidity/temp differences?

Joy- It's possible he is reacting to baker's yeast or some other ingredient (guar gum for instance has a laxative effect on many). Some folks share they react to xanthan gum or tapioca. Or perhaps it is what he eats with the bread that you assume is safe? Maybe another allergy? Mustard or alfalfa sprouts or some cold cut spice for instance (I'm very allergic to mustard, for example). Fine tuning with a food diary may help; and talk to your doctor.

Molly- Glad your little guy can enjoy these. You can leave out the chocolate chips in any of my recipes. And recipes that call for mashed banana, you can sub another fruit puree for him- pumpkin, or pear baby food, etc.

What fruits can he handle?

Thanks again, everyone! xox


j.cro said...

I used this recipe last weekend to make cupcakes - I altered it by added ginger pulp (that I got from juicing ginger) and some ginger powder for a little extra umph. I also used a mixture of coconut and almond milks. They came out GREAT! I ended up making rose water "butter cream" frosting - not mocha. They were DELICIOUS!

j.cro said...

Oh yeah! I made this mocha icing recipe for to go with your chocolate cupcake recipe instead! SO good there weren't any left to photograph!

Carrie said...

Karina -- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I am making a cake for work and tonight I tested several gf vegan vanilla cakes, I tried two others I found online before i found yours, I'm not sure why I didn't stop here first! lol... At any rate, the other two cakes? COMPLETE FLOPS... Yours, it's still baking, but I could just TELL by the "feel" of the batter that it was going to turn out really well compared to the other ones I tried. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! You have no idea how thankful I am... I was about to turn to Betty Crocker... I'm glad I didn't have too! You rock woman!!

Paul H. said...

I just made these..excellent recipe! The cupcakes are moist and fluffy.

Bridgette said...

I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you. We have been making the millet bread recipe for some time now. It is great - especially because I can make it in the bread machine and it tastes so good. I have a son who is allergic to everything. His 3rd birthday is right after Christmas and I have been stressing about where to find good cookie recipes for the holidays and cupcake recipes for his birthday without becoming some sort of amateur chemist. Last year's cake was a disaster. I don't have the patience or time to try different things have them not work out - which is why I love your recipes. I'm eager to try the buckwheat cookie and vanilla cupcake recipe. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Karina! These cupcakes are fab!!! Finally a simple (and tasty I might add) vegan, gluten free vanilla cupcake! Heaven! I substituted sucanat for the cane sugar. Worked wonderfully! You're the best!

Anonymous said...

My kids love these. I don't care for them because they are spongey and remind me of angel food cake of which I am not a fan but as long as my GF people are happy, I'm happy!

mokarena said...

I tried these cupcakes, so I could have a treat at my son's birthday, and they were delicious. I think a little citrus in the cupcakes, like orange juice or zest would be perfect. Thanks for all your recipes. I've started to explore more the wonders of gluten-free cooking.

Deepa said...

What can i use instead of Spectrum Organic shortening? I live in India and I don't think it is available here.


Karina Allrich said...

Deepa, If you can use butter I would vote for butter. Best flavor.


Jennie said...

I just made these for my daughter...they are wonderful...Thank you!!

Berkheiser Family said...

Hi Karina, we love all your recipes. We made these cupcakes for my daughters birthday. The cupcake turned out great but the icing...not so much. My daughter is allergic to corn so we tried pulsing regular sugar in the food processor so it would be like confectioner sugar and added some tapioca starch. It still turned out runny and weird. Any suggestions for a creamy icing that doesn't use corn starch. Thanks.

rubinder said...

All of the cupcake recipes look great... i can't decide which to try out first!

-What is a cup equivalent to? In terms of grams would be really helpful.

Thanks :)

rubinder said...

Also, where would I be able to find xanthan gum and the egg replacer? I am in the UK... I am guessing I would be able to order these online- a recommended website would be very helpful

Thank you!

Karina Allrich said...

Rubinder- In the side bar you'll find the link to: US to UK and Metric Conversion, and the link to my Amazon Store (where you can order xanthan gum and egg replacer, etc) online.


Tree said...

YUM!!! These are so good. I didn't have cocoa powder, so I used carob powder - yummm! thanks for all your hardwork!

Joanie said...

Thank you, thank you for this recipe! Had just decided to make a vanilla cupcake with lemon buttercream frosting (dairy-free) for our son's upcoming wedding reception ~ and needed to find a good recipe that I could hopefully make ahead and freeze... You are amazing! Thank you for helping me out again. I'm also making your orange creme cupcakes, which freeze beautifully and taste divine!

I agree with Ellen ~ you are the cupcake queen! ...and when is your 'cookbook' going to be published? :)

Rach said...

Did you change anything Karina?

Karina Allrich said...

Tree and Joanie- Thank you! xox

Rach- No- I just brought the post forward (still on a soft foods diet, so haven't made anything new this week). xox k

Shawn said...

Karina, you are absolutely my favorite blogger. Thank you for reprising this recipe! In my 3 years of GF baking for my son, I feel like I've gotten really good at it, but vanilla cake had been the elusive goal. I can't wait to make this recipe for all the upcoming summer kids' birthday parties. Of course we'll be bringing our own cake.

And I also wanted to thank you for your encouragement to use flours besides rice flour. We too experimented with all those bean flour recipes. Yuck! Because of your lovely recipes, I finally ordered a bunch of sorghum flour, and it is my favorite. I usually add it to everything, including recipes that don't call for it. Our food finally tastes like everyone else's food and our non-GF friends rave about it.

Best wishes for a continued recovery!

Sharon said...

As always, you rock woman!! Thanks again & I hope the soft food days are behind you soon. Best wishes!

The Celiac Diva said...


Hippie Martha said...

I halved the recipe and then used the juice of 2 limes instead of lemon, some coconut, a bit of lemon extract, the zest of one lime and voila!
Lime in the coconut cupcakes with out all the stuff that makes me itchy and bumpy and stuffy and cloggy.

EsquireD said...

I have these baking in the oven right now. :) The dough is amazing - fluffy, light, stretchy - so fun to work with!
I sub'd carob powder in the frosting (out of cocoa powder) and the frosting is delicious! I can't wait to cool and frost these babies.
Again - Karina, what can I say... your recipes are unbelievable and have made this GF-girl very, very happy (again).
Because i LOVE cupcakes. I used to stare into the bakery window to stare longingly at the cupcakes. I still covet the beautiful and artistic cupcakes at local bakeries.
You have brought my childhood-love back to me. The vanilla cupcake.
Simply perfection!

redsonya59 said...

My dear Karina--thanks as always for the "food porn" pictures and the wonderful recipes for the cuppy-cakes and MOANIN' MOCHA frosting! :-) One glass of wine before email and I'm embarrassing myself already. Anyway, I have passed on your website/blog to more people than you would ever imagine, YOU ARE THE BEST!! I hope your diet will bet a little more solid very soon, with some crunch and snap as well! All the best, Susan

Sophie said...

Hello Karina!

What fabulously loking cupcakes & that frosting loooks incredibly tasty too!


Many greetings from Brussels!

Kendra said...

I made these amazing cupcakes last night. They were a hit with all the dairy and wheat eating family members, especially the kids. Thanks for making gluten-free, dairy-free eating so much more fun!

carieherman said...

Could agave be substituted in place of the sugar?

Broni said...

Hi Karina,
I love your site and have made your banana bundt cake which is absolutely fantastic - my whole family will eat it, which is great (and new) for me.

I live in Australia though, and I am having great trouble trying to get Sorghum (particularly as I need preservative free).

What would you suggest to use in your cakes as an alternative (we can't use coconut flour because of the high salicylate levels in it)? I used a millet blend in the bundt cake which was OK but was wondering what you would suggest. Also - how do you get your egg replacer to froth in rice milk? I can only get it to froth in water! Cheers Bron

Karina Allrich said...

Thank you all for the fabulous comments and tips (love the lime and coconut twist!).

As far as a sub for sorghum, it's tough. Sorghum is soft, slightly sweet. And rice flour doesn't perfectly match it- but it can be subbed, if necessary. You'd need a medium weight flour- so rice flour is a good match, weight wise. Millet is heavier, as is buckwheat.

If you warm the rice milk and beat it well it should froth- maybe not as much as plain warm water, though. Using water is fine.


Broni said...


I have just made the cupcakes using 1/2 millet, 1/2 buckwheat four instead of the sorghum. They look lovely and I think they taste lovely too! My little girl however (who needs the gluten, dairy, egg free cooking)didn't like the taste :(

Would potato starch be a suitable substitute or would that be too gluggy? I know you don't like rice flour, but I was thinking maybe a potato/rice combination would have a milder flavour for her?

Thanks again for your site, it has been a godsend for me :)

Lisa Milone said...

i really want to make a cake from this recipe! do you have any suggestions on how to adjust the bake time & what size cake pan to use?

Karina Allrich said...

Broni- Millet and buckwheat are assertive tastes, too overpowering for a simple vanilla cake. If you cannot use sorghum flour (which is soft and slightly sweet) your best bet might be rice flour (though the texture won't be quite as good). Or half rice, half starch. Good luck!

Lisa, I have not made anything but cupcakes with this recipe. I imagine an 8 or 9-inch cake pan would work. What size cake pan do you have?


Lisa Milone said...

I just doubled the recipe to make two 9 inch cakes for a double layer cake. The cake has a great flavor, but it's pretty chewy. Do you think doubling could have done this or maybe just cooking the two layers longer than the cupcakes messed with the texture?

Karina Allrich said...

Lisa, Perhaps in doubling the recipe for two layers it now has too much baking soda, salt and too much xanthan gum - which could make it tough. Doubling is hard- especially when you're starting from a cupcake recipe, not a single layer cake recipe. And I'm not sure I would have doubled the egg replacer. Hmmm. I wish I could give you specific advice, but since I have not done this myself, I'm only guessing.

Browneyedgirl said...

I just made these, I used hemp milk and brown sugar instead! I didn't make the frosting because I was out of cocoa and I had no instant coffee. It still tasted great though.

Btw can I use arrowroot to sub for the tapioca starch?

Thanks, I love your website!

Ren said...

I did these for my son's birthday yesterday. I used Lupin flour instead of sorghum (because that's what I could get). Used Grapeseed oil instead of olive oil (I can always taste olive oil in baking!). I also used vanilla extract and in the icing, I used vegan margarine. They didn't look as fab as your photo, but I was impressed! They tasted awesome. I have always been scared of making icing - scared no more! I am about to invest in a piping kit!

Ghetta said...

Hi i'm Ghetta from Argentina,i'm celiac, i have a blog too, but in spanish(is not all gluten free) if you like to visit it go to
you can translate with google
this recipe is great i made it in a few days!

Anonymous said...

Oh yummo!! I have just discovered your site and am so excited to try out your recipes, you make GF look so delectable, thank you!!!!!

MamaRae said...

I will search elsewhere for this, but figured I might as well as here since this is the recipe my boys (2y and 5y) and I like the best. We often bake ahead of time and bring treats along to various homeschool functions "just in case" (and it almost always seems to be the case!), so a mini-muffin size would be a little more economical and practical.

What do you suggest for a baking time when using a mini-muffin pan instead of standard cupcake-size?

Leslie S said...

First off, I am new to GF baking, by choice just to try something new. I am an avid baker and it's really the only reason I'm not vegan- can't give up egg and butter!

Anyway, I made the GF Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Mocha Icing. They are great, my only question: are all GF baked goods so "gummy"? Maybe I missed a step, but they taste fine, so is it just a characteristic of GF baking to produce very soft, spongy and "gummy" texture?

Thanks so much!

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks, Everyone, for the cupcake love!

MamaRae- I have not made these as minis but I suspect the timing would be the same as a mini-muffin.

Leslie- No these aren't gummy. The batter (especially if vegan) will be strange to a non-GF baker, as it is sticky and viscous (from the xanthan gum). But the cupcakes bake up soft and akin to angel food cake. If they are gummy, too much liquid was used, or too much starchy flour (or a substitution altered the ratio), or they were not baked long enough.

Karina xox

Karina Allrich said...

Browneyedgirl, Yes arrowroot starch should work as a sub for tapioca starch- they are quite similar.

Karina xox

Meredith said...


If you are The Princess and the Pea then I am Goldilocks ... and those cupcakes were just right!!!

Catch the Beans said...

You are a genious

Melissa said...

Hi Carina,

I've tried a few gluten free recipes now for cupcakes and the cake always comes away from the cupcake wrapper after they have cooled. Do you know what the reason for this could be? It doesn't make for a very pretty cupcake as the wrapper is falling off. :( It only happens with my gluten free ones.

Melissa said...

Decline my last comment! sorry about the C instead of the K in your name! no idea how I let that by....appologies again, but would love to know the answer to the question if you know it!

Karina Allrich said...

Melissa- That has not happened to me. You are using paper not silicone? Odd.

Renee said...

Thank you so much! My daughter was invited to her 1st post allergy/celiac diagnosis birthday party tonight. So I made these today with chocolate frosting so she can take them to the party! I am so thankful for your recipes!!!!

Carla Lopez said...


This recipe looks perfect. My daughter wants cake, is there a way to make this a cake instead of cupcakes? Can I just double the recipe? Also, could I use coconut oil instead of olive oil?


Karina Allrich said...

Carla, doubling the recipe might not work. If you want a layer cake, I would make two batches and use two 7 or 8-inch cake pans (9-inch would be too large I suspect). Or try making one 8x8-inch cake; I have not made this as a single cake, but I imagine it will work. Karina

Devon Smith said...

Just made these and they are so so good! Had to cook them around 24 minutes because of my oven but they are so delicious! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes, Karina. I like to bake ahead and freeze treats for birthday parties and teacher gifts. That way I'm freed up to do other errands and all I have to do is defrost and decorate the night before. Do you know if these freeze well?


Karina Allrich said...

Thanks again, Everyone! xox

Donna, I have found most gluten-free treats freeze quite well if wrapped, then bagged. I would freeze the cupcakes long enough to set the frosting, then wrap in foil or plastic wrap, bag in freezer bags, and freeze.


Robin said...

Can you please help with my egg substitution question? I'm super duper confused...
When you recommend using Egg Replacer as a substitute for the
1/4 C. eggs in the cupcakes, are you saying we should measure out 1/4 C. dry powder from the Egg Replacer box and put it in the batter? I do not know how many eggs 1/4 c. makes, so I have no idea how to do the 1:1 swap out for the egg replacer powder....Help?

I'm really looking forward to making these after all the wonderful comments on how they taste. ;D


Karina Allrich said...

Ener-G Egg Replacer for two eggs (when mixed with water as directed on the box), equals 1/4 cup liquid. See box directions.

hillary biscay said...

oh these sound incredible. and while i am sure mine will not look nearly as pretty as yours, i will give this a try anyways!:) love that they are easily vegan as well. thank you!

Laureen said...

Karina, what can I say that hasn't already been said? You are the Princess Goddess or is it Goddess Princess? Your photos and recipes are delicious...I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your amazing recipes Karina....can not wait to try the cupcakes this week......
To Broni from Australia, Sorghum flour was hard for me to find too until I discovered via the net after searching for hours, that you can find it in the Indian Stores. They call it Jowar flour. I found this site that might be useful too, I hope its ok for me to post it here.

The InTolerant Chef said...

These really are perfect aren't they? Like me :) and yes, I'm a princess too, I need to take a chill pill too, and can't settle unless things are 'just so'. These cupcakes, are 'just so' gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina!

I love everything I've made from your blog. I'm thinking about making these cupcakes for a party! However- I'd like to make them mini cupcakes. Any suggestions on how long they will need to be in the oven? Also- I'm in a high altitude climate.

Thank you so much!!!

Anonymous said...

I am huge fan of your recipes, and your blog is my "go to" for baking inspiration. Unfortunately, I recently made this recipe (and followed the directions exactly, using a mix of sorghum and brown rice flour) but they did not turn out. The cupcakes felt very soft when I was removing them from the pan, but as they cooled they hardened, and by the time that I frosted them they were very dry and dense. Any idea what may have gone wrong?

Laurie said...


Sorry if this has already been asked! My son has a coconut allergy. Is there a substitute you recommend for the coconut oil? Thanks!

kathydillon said...

Thank you for this recipe. I use it all the time as a cake with lemon icing! Tastes so good!

melissacollins3 said...

Is there a difference between tapioca starch & tapioca flour? I am craving a good cupcake and want to make these but need to go to the store if there is a difference between the two!

Thanks for your recipes! I have lived on your brownies while giving up my beloved Dr. I am free of high fructose corn goal is the sugar

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