These dairy free cupcakes are soft, fluffy and made in one bowl! With a rich vanilla flavor and topped with a dairy free buttercream frosting, this is a total crowd pleasing dessert recipe.
Cakes and cupcakes are among my favorite things to make, decorate, eat and photograph.
These cupcakes rise beautifully thanks to eggs and baking powder and take only 30 minutes from start to finish!
COCONUT MILK. Because these are dairy free cupcakes, I wanted something that would create a richness that you sometimes miss out on when you omit dairy.
Light canned coconut milk will not add a coconut flavor, but it will keep the cupcakes moist and rich!
EGGS. You need two large eggs for these cupcakes. I do not recommend a vegan substitute, instead, try my vegan gluten free vanilla cupcakes.
SUGAR. I used regular white granulated sugar to keep the color nice and light. You can try subbing for something like coconut sugar to make these refined sugar free, but the color will be much darker.
OIL. I love using butter in cakes and cupcakes, but since these are dairy free, we’re using oil! I do not recommend coconut oil, but any neutral oil like vegetable or refined avocado oil is great.
FLOUR. I used gluten free all purpose flour, but regular all purpose works great too!
How to make dairy free cupcakes
Combine the coconut milk and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside for 5 minutes.
Whisk together all wet ingredients, adding in the milk after 5 minutes.
Whisk in the dry ingredients, making sure to spoon and level the flour.
Whisk until smooth, then add to the cupcake tin, filling each about 3/4 of the way up.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I usually do mine for 22 minutes, but all ovens are different.
Frost with the dairy free buttercream and enjoy!
How to store and freeze
Once prepared, these dairy free cupcakes will keep for about 3 days at room temperature. If you store them without the frosting, keep them in an air tight container.
If you store them with the frosting, you don’t want things to get too hot in a container or the buttercream will melt, so I suggest a plate or cake stand covered with a loose cover or foil so they have a bit of room to breathe.
You can also store these cupcakes before frosting! Just wrap each tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer safe bag and store for up to 2 months. Let defrost before frosting and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Is butter or oil better for cupcakes?
I usually use a mix of both! Butter will create a rich flavor but can lead to a dense texture. Oil doesn’t do much flavor wise but will create a light and fluffy texture.
For this recipe, I kept things simple and used all oil! Any neutral flavored oil will work here.
Are they gluten free?
Yes! These dairy free cupcakes are also completely gluten free (as are all of my recipes). I used the Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour. You can just a different blend, just make sure it has xanthan gum.
As a side note, most baking powder is gluten free, just be sure to check the label!
Do cupcakes contain milk?
Most cupcakes use some kind of milk as the liquid base. These dairy free cupcakes call for light canned coconut milk to add moisture and create a rich flavor.
If you do not have canned coconut milk, you can sub for another kind of non-dairy milk such as soy or almond, but the texture may be a bit different.
More cakes and cupcakes you’ll love!
Dairy Free Cupcakes
by: claire cary
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup plain oil
- ½ cup light canned coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⅔ cup (gluten free) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dairy free butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12 cavity muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
- Combine the coconut milk and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Whisk together all wet ingredients, adding in the milk after 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients, making sure to spoon and level the flour.
- Whisk until smooth, then add to the cupcake tin, filling each about 3/4 of the way up.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I usually do mine for 22 minutes, but all ovens are different.
- Add the softened butter to a bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and beat for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the cocoa and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
- Beat in the powdered sugar, followed by the milk, salt and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
- To thin it out, add more milk, to make it thicker, add more sugar as desired.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost and enjoy!