This gluten and dairy free vanilla bean cupcake recipe is moist and rich, with flecks of whole vanilla bean throughout the cupcake and whipped coconut cream topping. It is also soy free, nut free and low oxalate.
Below I provide instructions on making these vanilla bean cupcakes from scratch, options for ingredient substitutions, as well as directions on making it vegan and lower calorie.
Product brands I recommend for this recipe
- Robin Hood gluten-free flour
- So delicious coconut milk
- So delicious coco whip
- Nutiva butter flavoured coconut oil
- Bob’s red Mill baking soda
- Real salt
- Paper chef parchment baking cups
Equipment you will need for this recipe
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- Muffin tins
- Parchment paper baking cups
- Piping set or sandwich bag
Recipe substitutions or variations
Gluten-free flour substitutions: instead of using a gluten-free flour blend, you can also use straight white rice flour or any other gluten-free flour alternative.
Coconut milk substitutions: instead of using coconut milk, you can use any other type of dairy free milk.
Butter flavoured coconut oil substitutions: Instead of butter flavoured coconut oil, you can use regular coconut oil, a vegan butter substitute, or any other cooking oil of your choice.
Vanilla bean substitutions: If you can’t find whole vanilla beans, sometimes you can find vanilla bean paste. Or if not, you can just stick to the vanilla extract only.
Golden or brown sugar substitutions: Using golden or brown sugar for this recipe creates a super rich and moist texture and a beautiful golden colour. But if you want your cupcakes to look lighter, swap out the brown sugar for white granulated sugar.
Make this recipe lower calorie/fat: Make sure to use unsweetened coconut milk that you get in tetra packs (not canned – these usually have more fat). Cut down the coconut oil to ⅛ of a cup and add an additional 2 tablespoons of coconut milk.
Make this recipe low vegan: Replace the 2 eggs with 2 egg substitutes.
Make this recipe lower oxalate: Make sure to swap out the gluten-free flour blend for white rice flour, or a mixture of white rice flour and potato starch.
How can I make my cupcakes more moist?
There are a number of ways to make your cupcakes more moist, including making sure your batter is not too dry (it should be fairly thin). Using brown sugar instead of white sugar can add additional moisture and flavour. Using adequate oil or butter in your recipe can also help keep your cupcakes moist.
Are cupcakes better with oil or butter?
Because oil is liquid at room temperature and in the fridge, if you use oil in your cupcakes they will be a more soft and moist consistency. Whereas butter is hard at room temperature so your cupcakes may feel more firm, especially after you first take them out of the fridge.
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Vanilla bean cupcakes recipe (Gluten & dairy free)
- KitchenAid Stand mixer
- Muffin tins
- Parchment paper baking cups
- Piping kit (or plastic sandwich bag)
- 1 3/4 cup gluten free flour white rice flour for low oxalate
- 1 cup golden sugar or white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup coconut milk or other dairy free milk
- 1/4 cup butter flavored coconut oil melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 package coconut whipped cream So Delicious
- Preheat your oven to 325°F
- Blend all dry ingredients together in a stand mixer or large bowl.
- While mixing on low, add melted coconut oil and then once that is mostly mixed in, add remaining wet ingredients (coconut milk, white vinegar, vanilla extract, eggs). Blend until smooth.
- Cut both of your vanilla beans down the centre lengthwise and using your fingers, pull back the sides of the vanilla bean and scrape all the insides out with a butter knife or small spoon (see examples of this in my cooking video above). At this point you can compost the actual beans once you’ve got everything out of the middle.
- Put half of the vanilla bean mixture into the cupcake batter and beat until well mixed in.
- Line a muffin tin with 12 parchment baking cups and evenly pour the batter in.
- Bake the cupcakes for roughly 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While your cupcakes are baking, empty out one entire package of So delicious coconut whipped cream (thawed) into your KitchenAid stand mixer and add the remainder of the vanilla bean mixture. Beat these together until the vanilla beans are mixed in evenly.
- Empty your vanilla bean whipped coconut cream into your piping set or plastic sandwich/freezer bag (with a very small hole cut in one of the corners to dispense the icing).
- Place the piping set or plastic bag into the fridge until later.
- Once your cupcakes are cooked and have cooled completely, you can top them with the coconut whipped cream topping (see example of this in the cooking video above).
- Keep your cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. Tara helps people clear up cystic acne, balance hormones and blood sugar + improve anxiety and gut health NATURALLY with food.