Saturday, January 18, 2014

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes, ..made with Organic Coconut Sugar!

I've received quite a few requests to post a gluten-free cupcake/cake recipe, and the reason I haven't until now is because I simply haven't been completely overjoyed with the results. I need to feel joyous about a recipe before I share it, ..after all this blog is about sharing recipes that are successes, ..and so I leave the failures and trials and errors behind the scenes, and only bring forth the successful, scrumptious recipes. :)

I've tried a number of gluten free flour blends, and most don't produce a great gluten free cake crumb. Gluten-free baking is tough, no pun intended! Often when baking gluten-free cakes and breads the end result is a very dense, dry cake or bread, ..and some I've tried produce a very grainy texture, too! ..not very appetizing at all!

But with this recipe here, ..well if you follow it to the letter, and have a decent oven, I can almost assure you that you will get a moist, fluffy and delicious result! I say almost, 'cause you just never know, right!? I've made this recipe a few times now, and I'm OVERJOYED, with everything about this cupcake, sans gluten!
So, after quite a bit of experimenting with different flour blends, some which I've mixed on my own and some pre-made, I have found THE ONE that I absolutely love to use when baking gluten-free! It is a pre-made gluten free all purpose baking flour made by Bob's Red Mill.  I love that guy, Bob!

Also, I've tried different gluten-free Vanilla cake/cupcake recipes which I've found online and in some of my gluten free baking books that turned out ok, but not quite where I wanted my gluten free Vanilla cake/cupcake to be. After more experimenting, and more experimenting I came up with my own gluten free Vanilla cake/cupcake recipe using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour! ..nope, I am not advertising for Bob, btw, ..promise! :) I just simply adore this gluten free flour! Plus, it doesn't smell or feel funky like some gf flours can,'s actually quite sweet smelling and very silky to the touch, ..however the key is to always sift this flour for a  moist and fluffy result! *I will also share my gluten free chocolate cake/cupcake recipe next week, using this same gluten free flour.

And so without too much further ado, below is my version of the Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake, ..made with organic coconut sugar. You can use regular sugar for this recipe as well, but for 'eating healthier' sake, I went with the coconut sugar. I use organic coconut sugar quite often in my baking these days! It's fantastic!

FYI: organic coconut sugar and regular sugar measure 1:1. You can buy organic coconut sugar at most health food shops or some grocers carry it in their 'health' food section. I buy mine online, sometimes at
Guar Gum in picture above acts as the gluten in gluten-free baking.
Click HERE for more on Guar Gum or Xantham Gum (Xantham Gum can also be used as the 'gluten' substitute)

Did you know? Organic Coconut Sugar has naturally occurring nutrients including magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins and amino acids, ..and it is sustainably grown and harvested! Now that's what I call SWEET!

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
..made with Organic Coconut Sugar

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time:  18-20 minutes
Amount: 12 cupcakes (double recipe (frosting, too) to make an 8 inch cake or 24 cupcakes)
Level: Easy

Printable Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I use Bob's Red Mill), sifted. Measure first, then sift.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Guar Gum or Xantham gum (one of these ingredients acts as thickener/emulsifier, they mimic what gluten does, basically)
  • 1/4 cup butter/62 grams
  • 1 cup organic coconut sugar or white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen Massey)
  • 1 large egg (I use free range eggs)
  • 1 cup 2% milk

Vanilla with a hint of lemon Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line 1 cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Combine and stir together gluten free flour, baking soda, baking powder, Guar Gum or Xantham Gum and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In another medium-sized bowl, cream butter and organic coconut sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Add egg and mix for about 1 minute. Do not over mix the egg.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix for another minute.
  • Alternate 2x each and on low speed the milk and flour mixture into batter. Use a spatula in between mixing to ensure you do not get any large lumps in your batter.
  • Scoop batter evenly into 12 liners, about 3/4 of the way up.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Remove cupcakes from cupcake pan and let completely cool on wire rack.


  • Cream butter for 4 minutes at medium speed.
  • Add your icing sugar, and mix for 2 more minutes at low speed. Ensure your mixer is at the lowest speed when adding icing sugar to avoid sugar from flying everywhere.
  • Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes more.
  • Scoop frosting into piping bag, with a round tip (I use Wilton 1A round tip)  already in place, and frost each cupcake. If you do not have a piping bag or tip, frost your cupcakes with a spoon or stainless steel spatula. Just a little dollop of frosting on this cupcake, not to overdo it on the icing sugar, unless you want to overdo it!
  • Sprinkle a little coconut sugar on frosting.



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  2. I love a good gluten-free recipe. These look delicious. Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

    1. Thanks Cynthia! ..these are truly delicious, the key is to use the flour mentioned. I will join in this week for sure! ..thanks again..


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