Gluten-Free Blueberry Cake Cupcakes

Gluten free blueberry cake cupcakes
Love blueberry cake? Here's my cupcake version.

A Blueberry July

Just in time for July Fourth, here's a sweet little recipe for blueberry cake cupcakes. I know that's redundant- calling it a blueberry cake cupcake. I mean, how can a blueberry cake be a cupcake too? It's either cake or cupcake. It can't be both.

Or can it?

These may be...

Blueberries by Karina Allrich, @ Gluten-Free Goddess Recipes.
Colander filled with blueberries. ©2009 Karina Allrich.

Karina's Blueberry Cake Cupcakes Recipe

Recipe posted June 2008- updated.

The flour blend as well as the kind of sugar you use will influence the flavors in these cupcakes. If you don't care for the taste of buckwheat, use a brown rice flour instead. Also- I like to use organic golden brown sugar in my gluten-free dessert recipes because I think it adds more flavor and depth to my recipes. Gluten-free flours often taste a little strange. That is also why I use at least 2 teaspoons of bourbon vanilla in my recipes. Bottom line? Gluten-free baking needs a little flavor spike.

This recipe is loosely based on my pre-gluten-free recipe for wild blueberry cake. I haven't made this recipe as a large cake since going gluten-free, but I'd like to. If you try it as cake- please share how/what you do with it. I used to bake it in a loaf pan.


Whisk together in a mixing bowl:

3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup rice flour or GF oat flour
1/4 cup GF buckwheat flour or GF millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca or potato starch
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon very fine lemon zest- save the lemon for glaze, if you desire

In a separate mixing bowl beat together:

2 large free-range eggs, beaten- or Ener-G egg replacer
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening or organic coconut oil
1/2 cup warm non-dairy milk, more as needed
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.

Add the wet into the dry ingredients and beat to combine; beat on medium for 3 minutes. If the cake batter appears too dry, add more non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time until it becomes a smooth batter.

And if the batter is too wet, add a little extra rice flour, a tablespoon at a time to thicken it a bit. (Humid weather can make flours damp.)

Stir in by hand:

1 heaping cup fresh (or frozen unthawed organic blueberries).

Note: If using fresh berries, I save a few and press them into the tops. Frozen berries don't seem to sink as much, but you could also do the same with frozen berries. Note- frozen berry batters take longer to bake.

Spoon the blueberry batter evenly into the twelve baking cups. Sprinkle organic golden brown sugar or raw sugar on the tops, if you like.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes- until firm. Check with a wooden pick for doneness, if you like. Fresh vs. frozen blueberries will influence the baking time (frozen takes longer).

Cool on a wire rack very briefly, then tip the cupcakes out of the pan and place them on a wire rack to continue cooling (this way, they don't develop soggy bottoms).

If you'd like to do a lemon glaze, combine:

Juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup confectioner's (icing) sugar, more as needed

Drizzle glaze over still warm cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Recipe Source:

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Gluten-free flours absorb moisture during humid summer days, so use your best judgment when baking. If batters seem wetter than usual, add a tablespoon or two of more flour. 

If the opposite is true and your batter is too stiff, add a little more liquid, a tablespoon at a time.

Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.

xox Karina


Penny said...

I'm thinking I'll use half blueberries half strawberries and make a red white and blue cake. Thanks, Karina!

Alicia (aka Veganrella!!!) said...

This looks amazing and super easy to veganize. I'll try them as soon as I get back from my holiday.

Sharon said...

I like your new name. I suppose you'r right that a cupcake needs frosting or else, is it a muffin? So confusing :)

These look great!

Anonymous said...

mmmMMMM, sounds delicious and excellent for my dairy-free, GF sister :)

Jenny said...

I just took these out of the oven. Perfection! I love the nutmeg & the extra vanilla.

Sharing my egg-free tip - after much trial and error, I've found that egg-free (gluten-free) batters should NOT be cake-like. At least in a dry climate. Something closer to really soft cookie dough batter or drop biscuit without the bubbles gets a better end product. In fact my pancakes look really weird when I gloop them on the pan - just like giant flat biscuits - but they come out perfect! No more chewy-rubbery pancakes. My 7-year-old is very happy about this. I finally got the perfect bread out, too, using the same consistency. I just leave out some of the water/hemp milk. You do have to shape your goods - they won't smooth over as they cook.

The consistency I just got would work perfectly in a cake pan. Kinda like coffee-cake.

BTW - THANK YOU for recommending hemp milk! Best non-dairy cook's friend ever!

Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes. I couldn't have made it the last 6 months without the help!

Paula said...

I adore that name! Babycakes! I just like to say it over and over! What I'd really like, though, is to eat one of these little blue babies! Great recipe!

glutenfreeforgood said...

Oooh, I like the idea of lemon glaze in lieu of frosting! Yum!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Anonymous said...

Are there any pre-made gluten-free flour/baking mixes you'd recomend for a recipe like this? I want to get into baking but hope to save a bit of money and not have to buy so many differnt flours. Thanks and I love your blog!

Karina said...

20somethingceliac- In the beginning of my gluten-free baking I used gluten-free baking mixes for that exact reason- simplicity.

My favorite was Pamela's Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix. It worked in every recipe I tried. For those (like me) who must avoid dairy and almonds, however, it isn't an option. (I was sad to learn I could no longer use it.)

Other GF baking mixes that work-

I've tried several from Whole Foods brand: 365. They're very simple blends based around rice flours; and the ones I tried were dairy-free.

Another maker of GF mixes is Namaste- my son Alex has great luck with Namaste - but I have found that their mixes do not work without eggs (at least here at high altitude). If eggs are not an issue, he says their mixes are great.

Gluten-Free Pantry and Bob's Red Mill also make several basic mixes that you could use. Check the ingredients for the flour blend you prefer (Bob's has bean flour, for instance, which I cannot stand- but some people love it).

In a recipe like this, a basic gluten-free baking mix would work one-to-one as a sub for the flours and xanthan gum. I find you can still add a little boost of leavening with gluten-free baking, so I keep half the leavening from the original recipe when I use a baking mix (half of the baking soda and/or baking powder). And I skip the salt.

Tip- a gluten-free pancake mix is often a great sub for flours in a sweet recipe- cake, muffins, cookies. Keep the leavening; skip the xanthan gum and salt.

I've also used muffin and scone mixes for odd things, including making savory herb rolls.

Find a mix you like and experiment. Have fun!



Simply...Gluten-free said...

Yum. I always think of blueberries in the summer, especially arounf 4th of July. These look so delish!

Sorina said...

I like the sound and look of this. I shall mark this on my to do list.

reddhedd said...

My neighbor has celiac's, and my son is G-intolerant...I have been told it worsens over time, so I have begun creating a repertoire of recipes he'll be able to eat for a life time...this blog has been instrumental in helping me keep my little guy healthy!
Anyway, I decided to whip up a couple of batches and share them 'round.

I made these yesterday, using Pamela's Ultimate Baking etc mix. I used half cherries, half blueberries, and added way more soy milk, because Pamela's mix seems heavy for cupcakes. Good for muffins, but I wanted a lighter end product. Also, used NRG egg replacer, and I added a dollop of agave nectar, after a finger-in-the-bowl taste test determined that the batter wasn't quite sweet enough. Baked them for 22 minutes.

Out of 32 muffins baked yesterday evening, I have 14 left this morning. 4 non gluten-free, non vegans have confirmed their even saying it was the "best freakin' cupcake I've ever eaten." My GF neighbor hugged was love all around.

Happy fourth, y'all. I'm taking the rest of these muffins to my MIL's house this afternoon, so I gotta go hide them now!

You rock, Karina. Thanks for all you do.

Grimmy said...

Lovely, lovely Karina. These muffiny cupcake things were fantastic (even though I tweaked them a bit ;D). My gluten-eating grandparents are in town and they wolfed them down. (I produced 18 cupcakes and 2 were left the next morning)

I have a question for you, mostly because google has failed me thus far. I'm looking for something that I can replace tofu with in baking since I can't do soy as well. Do you have any ideas? It's mostly for cupcakes and the like. I read a lot of vegan cookbooks since I can't do eggs or dairy as well, and I'm sure you know how much they love their tofu. ;)

Thank you for posting such lovely recipes and giving hope to the newly diagnosed. (By the way, your uncheese sauce was another hit tonight for dinner)

Jessica said...

Karina....I just made these yummy Babycakes and they are just so perfect and so tasty! I had to skip the icing part since I realized after I made them I didn't have powdered sugar for the icing, but they are still wonderful. Thank you so very much for making mouth-watering recipes for us "Celiacs".

Karina said...

SimplyGlutenFree- Yay for blueberries.

Sorina- Delish, I'm tellin' ya.

ReddHead- Thank you SO much for your kind words! I love hearing this- "best freakin' cupcake?" and your neighbor hugging? Yay! xox You made my night.

Grimmy- Oy- you and me both. I don't bother with most vegan cookbooks because they rely so heavily on tofu and soy. Discouraging.

I've had pretty good luck veganizing my recipes with Ener-G Egg Replacers and a touch of something extra- sometimes a spoonful of agave, or some pureed pumpkin or banana, or applesauce for structure. It depend upon the flavors of the recipe.

Not a pat answer, I know. I'm still learning and navigating this whole food allergy thing. :)

Jessica- Thank you for your kind words- and it's my pleasure!

be well!



Grimmy said...

Hello again, Karina :]
I've got another quandary for you. Maybe. Just an ickle baby question really. :D

Anyway. Yesterday I decided to make these for breakfast. Except I didn't have blueberries. I rummaged around, found some cranberries and decided to make a few changes.

I did about a cup of cranberries, half a cup of light brown sugar, used a cup of orange juice (and some water to get the batter the right consistency afterwards) and instead of nutmeg, I used cinnamon.

The muffins were great, but had that bitter aftertaste from the egg replacer. Since I stopped trying to stir in the replacer with the water and THEN putting it in the batter, I haven't had this result in any of my concoctions. (I just add the powder to the myriad of dry ingredients then add the necessary amount of water when I add in the wet ingredients; when I tried to stir them together before, I couldn't ever get it to dissolve so I'd always get clumps of bitterness in the midst of yumminess.)

Anyway. On to the actual question, what do you think I could do to fix this? More sugar? Less replacer? Eek. This stuff's absolutely boggling sometimes. Glad we have someone to talk to though! ;D

Happy holidays.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that there are AWESOME people out there that come up with recipes that not only look good but taste good too. I only became gluten-free about two or three years ago and I had no idea where to start or what to eat. Blogs like this make life flavorful again. When my food allergies grew into dairy and soy-free (and possibly sugar) as well I thought I would be eating pot roast with veggies for the rest of my life. It is so wonderful to have someone like you who makes this great food and shares with the rest of us. I can't wait to try this one out on my family!

Anonymous said...

I have two gluten/dairy free children and I'm always in need of a recipe for something!! This is the best site I have found so far. You have great tips...great looking recipes...and I love reading your comments. THANKS!

Cliff Girl said...

I just made these and they are lovely! It took me quite a bit more milk than the recipe called for, though.
I am so happy to have some amazing cupcakes to take to school tomorrow and share with the kids GF and non-GF :)

jocelyn said...

I know this is an older post, but I just wanted to thank you. These turn out consistently awesome. I use EnerG egg replacer (so my vegan friend can help me eat them) and the batter is satiny and smooth. I also use frozen blueberries.

Back in the "old" days, I used to toss blueberries in a bit of (gluten-evil) flour to keep fresh ones from sinking. It worked pretty well and I bet tossing them in a safe flour or starch would work just fine. I prefer wild blueberries, so I only use frozen when baking these days.

Karina Allrich said...

Grimmy- I'm wondering if it's the orange juice- because if you use a n acidic juice you need less egg replacer- the citrus activates the baking soda. I whip my egg replacer till foamy and frothy first (using warm water or hemp milk)- it dissolves better in warm.

Christy- Thank you for your lovely message. I appreciate it!

Anon- Thanks- and I'm glad you found my blog. Welcome!

Cliff Girl- Yay. I'm glad. Thanks for the feedback. I say start with a half cup and add more as needed because flours can be humid or dry (depending on weather and altitude and storage).

Jocelyn- Thanks so much for stopping back and commenting. I'm so happy you enjoy these- older post or not!

Take care, everyone.


Anonymous said...

This recipe was wonderful. I made a few changes to specific ingredients because I either didn't have them or don't really care for their flavor.

I did not have any plain rice flour, so I used coconut flour instead. I also used buckwheat flour instead of brown rice flour (as suggested) because I have found I don't really like the texture or taste of brown rice flour. I also added a little more vanilla than it asked for.

I did find I had to use quite a bit more almond milk than it called for. I'd say I used at least 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups more.

But it turned out really great and a friend who is looking into GF cooking has decided to give it a try after trying these.

Thank you for all you do.

Karina Allrich said...

Lacie, Coconut flour is more dense and way more absorbent than rice flour; it swell and soaks up the liquid. That's why you needed more almond milk. Good for you, though, to see that the batter needed more liquid. ;-)



Anonymous said...

Made these using frozen wild blueberries and pressed fresh blueberries into the tops and sprinkled with demara sugar. Also used the Ener-G egg replacer. I am not vegan/gluten-free, but was making these for a baby shower where a guest has several food allergies. We all thought they were quite yummy! I think they would probably work well with cranberries and cinnamon.

Dana said...

When you say "rice flour" do you mean white or brown? I'm making these tomorrow (with lemon frosting) for an afternoon tea party -- the entire menu is gluten-free and vegan except for the cream scones from my grandmother's recipe! :-)

Karina Allrich said...

Either one should work. Choose the rice flour you like best, taste-wise.



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