These vanilla cupcakes are moist, light, gluten-free AND dairy-free. The recipe is super simple and can be mixed up in one bowl for easy clean up!
If you prefer a store bought blend, I like King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. This is their blend that includes binders (xanthan gum, guar gum). It is widely available and works well in may of my recipes. Be sure to check out my collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour recipes.
Cup4Cup and Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan Blend will work well too. These are all certified gluten-free options that contain binders. Omit the xanthan gum in the recipe if your flour blend already contains it or other binders like inulin and guar gum.
I prefer to mix up my own gluten-free flour blend. My blend has better flavor than your average rice flour blend. The best part is that DIY flour blends can be a more affordable option. Here is the mix that I prefer:
- 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
- 1/2 c brown rice flour
- 1/2 c millet flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 c tapioca starch
For more info on mixing up your own flour blend, check out my post on the best Gluten-Free Flours for baking.
Vanilla – Seems so simple but there are options. I prefer to get vanilla flavor into my cupcakes without the alcohol in extracts. Cook’s Vanilla Powder is the perfect way to do this. It’s slightly sweetened, pale and bursting with vanilla flavor. Vanilla bean pastes still have some alcohol in them, but I do like the flavor.
Milk – I am mostly dairy-free (other than butter) so I use a dairy-free milk substitute. Any unsweetened one will work in the recipe. Dairy is very helpful in getting gluten-free cakes to brown, so expect yours to be more pale if you you use a sub.
Xanthan gum is a binder used in most gluten-free baked goods. If your flour blend has it, just leave out the 1/2 tsp called for in the recipe.
My absolute favorite tool for cupcake and muffin making is this Wilton Perfect Fill Batter Tip. It’s a tip that fits into a piping bag and allows you to fill paper liners with out the messy drips and glops of batter all over the pan. It has a silicone tip that opens and closes with pressure on the piping bag. I NEVER make cupcakes or muffins without it. Unless of course there are blueberries or something else that would clog it up – it must be a smooth batter like this cupcake batter.
Cupcake liners are a pretty basic item but I love a natural cupcake liner without chemicals.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- 1 1/4 c gluten-free flour blend*
- 3/4 c + 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour has xanthan gum, guar gum or inulin)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c oil neutral oil like sunflower or canola
- 1/2 c milk or non-dairy substitute
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and vanilla, if in powder form, into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Beat the eggs, milk, oil and (liquid) vanilla. This can be done in a 2 cup measuring cup (or larger) to save using another bowl.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir until the batter is smooth. An electric mixer is not necessary.
- Divide the batter evenly between the liners (about 2/3-3/4 full)
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the top is set and bounces back from a gentle tap.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
A simple DIY gluten-free flour blend
- 2 c brown rice flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch