Healthy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

  • Author: Claire Cary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


These may be healthy vegan vanilla cupcakes, but they are damn delicious. They’re gluten free, perfectly sweet, moist and spongey, and this vegan buttercream frosting will make your head spin it is so good. Happy baking!







  • 8 ounce non-dairy butter*
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp chilled coconut cream*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combine the ground flax seeds and water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients. Whisk in the flax egg once thickened. 
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together. 
  5. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and beat with an electric mixer. 
  6. Careful not to over mix, only beat until all of the ingredients are combined and no visible flour remains. 
  7. Add to a lined cupcake tray and fill about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way up. 
  8. Bake for 28-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.*


  1. While the cupcakes are baking, we can start the buttercream. 
  2. Add softened (but not melted) butter (if it was in the fridge, add to the microwave for about 20 seconds).
  3. Add to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. 
  4. Add the chilled coconut cream and beat again. 
  5. Add in the sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 – 1 cup at a time, beating continuously. 
  6. It will start to get nice and fluffy but beat until no clumps remain. 
  7. Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool to frost & enjoy!


If using avocado oil, be sure you don’t use extra virign because it has a very nutty taste. The best avocado oil for this recipe is linked here. If using coconut oil, be sure it is melted. The cupcake batter will thicken faster if using coconut oil because it will start to solidify when in contact with the non-dairy milk, but the cupcakes will turn out just the same, so avoid adding extra liquid.

For the buttercream, I found that the Earth Balance brand sticks work best. I have tested it with Miyokos butter sticks, but it melts faster than the Earth Balance. Whichever brand you use, I recommend sticks and not tubs of butter. 

The buttercream can be made without the coconut cream, but it does help retain the shape better. Be sure to chill the coconut cream overnight and only scoop off the top white part, not the watery/milky part at the bottom. 

If not vegan, the flax egg can be subbed for a real egg. This will change the texture slightly but it will still be delicious!

Because these cupcakes are gluten free, dairy free, AND egg free, they require a longer baking time than usual. A toothpick will come out clean around the 20 minute mark, but they won’t fully be done cooking, so be sure to cook for the full 30 minutes or the cupcake will break in half when the wrapper is pulled off. 

Once the cupcakes are cool, put them in an air tight container so they don’t dry out. They should keep for about 5 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake, with frosting
  • Calories: 278
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Fat: 13.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 2.9g

Keywords: vegan vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, gluten free vanilla cupcakes