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a bite taken from a gluten free cupcake

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

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4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15 cupcakes
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These gluten free cupcakes are so moist and bouncy that you would never even know they’re gluten free! They’re also baked with a tablespoon of vanilla for extra flavor and topped with a smooth chocolate buttercream.


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (195g) gluten free baking flour*
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (190ml) buttermilk**

Chocolate Frosting *see notes for vanilla option

  • 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or dutch process)
  • 3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
  • 23 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Rainbow sprinkles


Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line one cupcake tin with 12 liners an another with 3 liners. This recipe makes 15 cupcakes total.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth, light, and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the remaining sugar and vegetable oil until smooth, followed by the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Dump in half of the dry ingredients and mix. With some flour still showing, pour in the buttermilk and mix again.
  6. Dump in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.
  7. Scoop the batter into the liners, filling each about halfway.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs. The cupcakes bake pretty flat, so it’s normal to not see rounded tops.
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
  10. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. You can pop them in the refrigerator to speed this up.

Chocolate Frosting

  1. In a bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cocoa powder and mix until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the bowl and begin to mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Between each cup, mix in a tablespoon of milk, along with the vanilla and salt.
  4. In the end, the frosting should be thick but smooth and glossy. If it’s TOO thick, mix in another tablespoon of two of milk. 
  5. Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Enjoy!


*GLUTEN FREE FLOUR – Make sure to use a cup for cup gluten free baking flour blend, one with xanthan gum in the mix. I used both Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 and King Arthur Measure for Measure flour and they worked the exact same! Also, when measuring, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. Don’t scoop directly into the flour or shake the flour down into the cup. We want a light and fluffy cup of flour.

**BUTTERMILK – You can also make your own buttermilk. Pour 3/4 cup of milk and remove a scant tablespoon. Then replace with a scant tablespoon of vinegar. Mix and let it sit for about 10 minutes to curdle before use.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM – If you prefer vanilla frosting for these cupcakes, use the frosting recipe I used for my perfect vanilla cupcakes. My cream cheese frosting recipe is another good option!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
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