These quick and easy gluten free one bowl vanilla cupcakes are fluffy, tender, and delicious. Perfect for the next birthday party, family get-together, or just because. Because let's be honest - every day is a good day to enjoy these delectable vanilla cupcakes.
This vanilla cupcake recipe is made with oil which makes them naturally dairy free.
For a special treat topped them with my Dark Chocolate Sourcream Frosting or use the American Buttercream Frosting provided in this recipe. No matter what, you (and your family members) will love these One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- How to make Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- How to decorate Vanilla Cupcakes
- Storage and Freezing Tips for Gluten Free Cupcakes
- FAQ about Gluten Free One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I have tested this recipe for One Bowl Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 and my own gluten-free flour blend. Both flours produced a beautiful, light crumb. I have not tested this recipe with Cup4Cup but it should not be an issue at all. If you make this recipe with Cup4Cup please substitute the 15 grams of cornstarch with additional Cup4Cup. All those gluten-free flour blends are considered multi-purpose blends and do contain xanthan gum.
Vanilla: A good vanilla cupcake starts with good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. It's the key to giving this vanilla cake its vanilla flavor. I make my own vanilla extract or use Vanilla Paste from Nielsen Massey.
Neutral Oil: the tenderness of these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes comes from the vegetable oil since it stays liquid even after cooling. Cakes made with butter normally should be brought to room temperature before serving. I use grapeseed oil in my baking but a neutral oil such as vegetable oil will work just fine. I do not use coconut oil in my baking.
Milk: In my test bakes I used whole milk as well as Almond Milk. I was not able to tell a difference in taste or structure but the cupcakes made with almond milk have a lighter color (due to the lack of casein which will help with the browning of the cupcakes)
Sprinkles: Not all Sprinkles are created equally and I always recommend checking the ingredient lists and labels of the sprinkles you purchase. Wilton is widely available and their Rainbow Jimmies are gluten-free. Please be advised that some of their products may contain soy and are made on equipment that also processes tree nuts. Another brand I like a lot is Supernatural Brand. They offer a wide selection of gluten free sprinkles which are also dye-free.
Cocoa Powder: For the chocolate frosting I use dutch processed cocoa which gives the buttercream a rich, chocolatey flavor.
How to make Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
This one-bowl gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe comes together in no time. By the time you have the cupcake batter made and scooped, your oven will be fully preheated.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard cupcake tin (or muffin tin) with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Step 2: In a small bowl combine the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and kosher salt and set aside. Make sure they are well combined and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Step 3: In a medium bowl combine the granulated white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk until the mixture is light and the sugar is fully dissolved. Whisking the eggs, oil and sugar helps to create light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes.
Step 4: Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk to the oil mixture and whisk together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Adding the liquid and dry ingredients alternately to the batter helps to reduce the amount of mixing needed to make a smooth batter. Many recipes call for adding all the wet ingredients to dry ingredients at once which often can cause lumps of flour in the batter.
Step 5: Using a large cookie scoop equally divide the gluten free vanilla cupcake batter. Make sure to only fill each cavity ¾ full. I use a #20 cookie scoop (ice cream scoop) for this recipe.
Step 6: Bake the cupcakes at 350F for 20-22 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Make sure not to overbake your cupcakes since overbaking will try them out.
Step 7: Remove the gluten-free cupcakes from the oven and allow for them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
American Buttercream is made by creaming together unsalted butter, powdered sugar, milk/heavy cream, and flavorings (like cocoa powder). This american butter cream can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to 3 days or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Start with room temperature ingredients. I prefer to use soft but cool butter, which should not appear shiny or greasy. The ideal temperature for butter is actually 65F which is a lot colder than many of us consider room temperature. To test if your butter is at room temperature nudge it with your finger. You should see an indent but the butter should not feel like you can poke right through it.
Cream your Butter: Cream the butter, vanilla extract/paste, and salt for 2-3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. This helps to aerate the butter and give your finished buttercream body and volume.
Mix in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder: We all know powdered sugar and cocoa powder have a mind of their own. With the mixer running on low, add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder one third at a time. Make sure to scrape down the sides in between additions. Once all the dry ingredients have been added, turn up the speed of your mixer and mix for 2 minutes.
Add Liquid: A lot of times American Buttercream needs to be loosened up a bit. I use milk for this (non dairy works fine).
How to decorate Vanilla Cupcakes
To decorate these Gluten Free One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes, I use a cookie scoop. You can also use a piping bag fitted with a star tip (like this Wilton Star Tip). Several years ago I was part of a fundraiser event where we hand-decorated 75K cupcakes with piping bags. Believe me, when I say, I have hand-decorated enough cupcakes for my lifetime.
I use a melon baller to take out a small scoop of the center of my gluten free vanilla cupcakes. With a small spoon or a small offset knife, fill the hole with some chocolate frosting. Top with a scoop of toasted buttercream frosting. Garnish the gluten free vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles if you like.
Storage and Freezing Tips for Gluten Free Cupcakes
Depending on how warm your kitchen is, you may store these gluten free one bowl vanilla cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you live in a warmer, humid climate, I recommend storing them in your refrigerator or a cool room.
To freeze cupcakes, I recommend using an airtight container that is deep and big enough to hold the frosted cupcakes without smashing them down. Please be aware that some toppings don't freeze well (like fresh fruit and candied nuts). These cupcakes can be frozen for up to 4-6 weeks. If stored longer they tend to become dry and lose their flavor. To thaw frozen cupcakes, leave them at room temperature for a couple of hours. Do not microwave them (unless they are not frosted).
FAQ about Gluten Free One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes
How do I make gluten free dairy-free vanilla cupcakes?
Replace the milk used in the cupcake batter with your favorite non-dairy milk. As for the buttercream, please replace the butter with your favorite non-daiy butter such as Miyokos European Style butter (which comes in a block). Personally, I prefer blocks of vegan butter vs the spreadable kind. Miyokos vegan butter tastes and performs like traditional fine dairy butter.
Can I make this recipe without eggs?
I have not tested this recipe with an egg substitute.
Why did my cupcakes sink?
Reasons for cupcakes sinking include overmixing the batter, underbaking the cupcakes, or a measuring error. Make sure to check the cupcakes with a toothpick before removing them from the oven.
Can this recipe be made with all purpose flour?
To make this recipe with all-purpose flour, please substitute the gluten-free flour with 160 grams of all-purpose flour.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to baking. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
For the Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- 175 grams gluten-free multipurpose flour
- 15 grams cornstarch
- 1 ¾ teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- 140 grams granulated white sugar
- 100 grams neutral oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 125 grams milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For Chocolate Frosting
- 113 grams unsalted butter, room temeprature
- 175 grams powdered sugar
- 30 grams cocoa powder, dutch processed
- 2-3 teaspoons milk or heavy cream (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Gluten Free Sprinkles
Gluten Free One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a standard cupcake tin (or muffin tin) with cupcake liners. Set aside
- In a small bowl combine the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and kosher salt and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the granulated white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk until the mixture is light and the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk to the oil mixture and whisk together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Using a large cookie scoop equally divide the gluten-free vanilla cupcake batter. Make sure to only fill each cavity ¾ full.
- Bake the cupcakes at 350F for 20-22 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove the gluten-free cupcakes from the oven and allow for them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate buttercream frosting
- Cream the butter, vanilla extract/paste, and salt for 2-3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl.
- With the mixer running on low, add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder one third at a time. Make sure to scrape down the sides in between additions.
- Once all the dry ingredients have been added, turn up the speed of your mixer and mix for 2 minutes.
- Add milk/heavy cream as needed to thin out the frosting.
Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for 4-6 weeks.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341
Calories are a guestimate.