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Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

gluten free vanilla cupcakes with vegan chocolate frosting

I am happy to introduce gluten free vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting and continue on my coconut flour recipe roll. I have been making (and testing) this dessert for close to two years and it is one of my personal favorites. I think it might be a hit with you too based on reports from taste testing friends.

Passover really threw me for a loop. It wasn’t the guests we had visit for the holiday. It was the 100 matzo balls for my son’s third grade seder. That, plus charoset and maror for everyone at the event. My house was overtaken by a cooking frenzy last week; I focused on that and nothing else (except my children).

Now everything has calmed down and I am happily back to this blog! I have been thrilled by the amount of chat in the comments over here. I have also received so many lovely emails from people thanking me for these recipes and all I can say is –you’re welcome! It is wonderful to love what you do and ALSO be appreciated for it. That is the proverbial icing on the cupcake.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

printer friendly

  1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda
  2. In a small bowl, blend together eggs, grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry and blend with a mixer or hand blender until smooth
  4. Pour batter into well oiled muffin pan
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
  6. Cool completely
  7. Top with chocolate frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

My friend Patricia claims she and her son have fought each other over these cupcakes. I hope you like them as much as she does.


posted on April 22, 2008

141 comments leave a comment

  1. Wow. If these taste as good as they look…..

    Wondering, while you were mastering this recipe, did you ever try coconut oil? Just curious as I’ve been experimenting with baked goods and coconut oil.

  2. Brenda

    I was wondering about the celtic sea salt in all your recipes. Could it be substituted with regular sea salt? Or regular salt?

  3. Oh yumm!! I could just lick all that icing off! Did I mention how much I’m addicted to chocolate?

  4. Life -I believe I did try making these with coconut oil; if I recall correctly, they turn out just fine, the only difference is that their is a strong coconut flavor so they are coconut cupcakes rather than vanilla.

    Brenda -I really prefer celtic sea salt, it is the best salt that I have found and the recipes are designed for its use, not sure if they will turn out very well with a substitute. For further info see my faq.

    Meena -The icing is so delicious. Sometimes, when I have leftover icing I eat it by spreading it on crackers. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Katie

    I have tried so many of your recipes and have absolutely loved them all!! One of my favorites has to be the blueberry muffins, which don’t stand a chance around my boyfriend! I also was wondering if you had any ideas for barbeque sauce? Summer is coming fast here in California, and I’d love to start up the grill and prepare some healthy meals. If you have any ideas, that have no sweeteners in them, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  6. mama4ever

    I am really excited to try these they look absoultely delicious. I made the Vanilla Torte with the raspberry filling for my son’s 7th birthday and it was a big hit. Thank you so much for all your fabulous recipes that you so generously share. My son saw the picture of these cupcakes and said “YUMMY can we make those?”

    Thanks again,
    mama4ever

  7. Katie -Thanks for your comment and the encouraging feedback. Thanks also for reminding me that summer is coming –it snowed here today during my son’s baseball game! Really, the warm weather is just around the corner here too. Per barbecue sauce, when you say no sweeteners, does that include agave? Let me know what your parameters are and I will try to come up with something to post during the next few weeks to welcome in the warm weather. Thanks!

    Mama4 -Thanks for your comment. I am so glad that your son liked the torte! If you and your boy make the cupcakes, let me know how he likes them…

  8. mama4ever

    The cupcakes were a hit. I doubled the recipe and took them to our church potluck. My son cannot get enough of them. They are soooo good, really moist. Everyone wonders what you can eat when you are gluten free so when I brought these you can imagine the pleasant surprise. Thank you sooo much. I look forward to more of your delicious recipes. Thank you sooo much.

  9. Teresa

    I recently received coconut flour that I ordered because I’m intrigued by your recipes. One daughter and I were recently diagnosed with Celiac. So far, we have hated the taste of bean flours in baked goods and I don’t like the complexity of mixing multiple flours to overcome that. So, I am excited to try baking with cocunut (and almond) flours. I do need to know whether these flours need to be refrigerated or frozen after opening (like other gluten-free flours), there are no label instructions regarding this.

  10. ~M

    I just wanted to chime in and say that I use regular (not Celtic) sea salt in Elana’s recipes since I have a huge container of it, and they always turn out great. :)

  11. Mama4 -You are so welcome! Thanks for the update

    Teresa -You can go here to read about almond flour storage; I would recommend storing the coconut flour the same way as the almond.

    ~M -Thanks for the input; your comments are so valuable to all of the people that frequent this site! I appreciate them :-)

  12. Katie

    Elana~ I was actually hoping to find a sauce, spread, etc. that has no agave in it. Thanks again!

  13. Around here I am known as the Queen of Cupcakes… last night we watched our DVR recording of Alton Brown’s cupcake episode… I am plotting my modifications of those now. I couldn’t find coconut flour at Whole Foods yesterday… bummed as I have several recipes to try, so I guess I need to order some online and wait a few days. I want to make these NOW! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photograph as well… it is so simple and luscious.

  14. Jamie (aka Queen of Cupcakes) -
    I think you will like baking with the coconut flour, it is very fluffy and light. Let me know how all of your cupcake adventures go.
    Elana

  15. Courtney Holden @ benefityourlifestore.com

    Well Elana-

    I took your innocent recipe for vanilla cupcakes and made it a “big girl” treat. My friend just had her 30th Birthday and we celebrated with Elana’s Vanilla cupcakes… MARGARITA STYLE. My friend adores margaritas so I took on the challenge. I used your exact recipe except I added 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. tequilla, 1 1/2 tsp lime zest, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. I topped off half of the cupcakes with a cream-cheese, agave and fresh orange juice Frosting and the others I topped off with powdered Xylitol I whipped up in my Vitamix. We had a great time enjoying these “Big Girl Cupcakes” without the side effects of Birthday Party Regrets. I now have a request for Pina Colada cupcakes for a Birthday event in June… We’ll see!

  16. Courtney-
    My husband and I went out for dinner last night and I was telling him all about you. How a couple of months ago you were just figuring things out (what to make for you and your husband to eat TOGETHER) and that now you are head cheffing at your parties and renovating recipes (with tequila no less) coming up with all sorts of imaginative treats! I love it. You go girlfriend!

  17. Very Cool! I am having a blast. I often think of how grateful I am that a site like yours does exist. xoxo

  18. Courtney -As you know, I like to answer every comment, however this one is so sweet that you have basically left me speechless! Thanks xo Elana

  19. Christianne

    Elana, now it is official: Europeans love these cupcakes as well… ;-) I made a couple of batches over the last week and my friends and family can hardly wait until they cooled down from the oven… Big hit!
    I made a couple of other things already as well (bluebery muffins, chocolate cake and banana bread), everything is just simply delicious. I am so happy to have come across your blog. I told my boyfriend that if a food blog soulmate exists, I sure have found mine!
    Thanks so much!!!

  20. Christianne -So very happy to be your food blog soulmate!!!! xo Elana

  21. Ashley

    I was so happy to find this recipe because I have a friend who is allergic to gluten, but then I saw that there are eggs in it, and she’s also allergic to that. Is there any way you can take the eggs out and substitute something else?

  22. Hi Ashley,

    Please see my FAQ’s For the answer to this and other commonly asked questions.

    Thanks!
    Elana

  23. Tamara

    These are SO incredibly good, the entire batch didn’t last 5 minutes. I was impatient to try out my coconut flour, so I used the Canola oil I had on hand. They still turned out amazing. I bought grapeseed oil last night, and now I’m off to try the blueberry muffins.

    Thanks for such an easy, but delicious recipe. It’s great to finally have a moist vanilla cupcake!

  24. Tamara- Thanks for reporting back to let me know how they turned out for you :-)

  25. Christianne

    Dear cupcake lovers…

    I love the combo of orange and dark chocolate so I tried to give an orange twist to this great recipe.
    Instead of the vanilla, I put in 1,25 tbs of very finely grated orange peel (organic oranges of course). The result was very fresh and yummy! The only thing I have to add is that my oven lives a life of its own these days (and readily on its way to quit completely Im afraid). The temperature (quite the elementary part yes!) is completely off, so I baked these completely on intuition. But I imagine thay will taste as good when you follow Elana’s recipe. Cheers! Christianne

  26. Christianne- I too love the combo of chocolate and orange. Thanks for sharing your idea and the trials and tribulations you have with your oven. xo Elana

  27. Darla

    Brand new at this – Will the cup cake recipe also work as a cake for my sons birthday?

    • I baked a single 9″ round cake with the recipe last night to perfect results. It did require an extra 9 minutes in the oven. Also, I lined the pan with parchment paper that I oiled on both sides. I inverted it on a plate and then left to cool on a wire rack before frosting with the vegan chocolate frosting. Did I mention I did this last night? We have about 1/3 of a cake left! Perfect results!

  28. Darla,

    I’m not sure, I’ve never tried to convert this recipe over to a cake format.

    If you decide to experiment, feel free to let us know your results here or in the forums.

    Thanks,
    Elana

  29. kmp

    How many cupcakes will this recipe yield?

  30. kmp -Thanks for your comment and for pointing out that I forgot to post the yield. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, I have amended the post to state that this is so.

  31. Claudia

    Up front, as I’m not the best cook in the world (or even in my household), this question may sound silly. I went out this evening and bought all the ingredients (even the Celtic sea salt!) to make these luscious-looking g-f cupcakes for a fairly famous chef’s small gathering as we watch the VP debate tomorrow nite… I really want to knock his socks off. As I looked it over when I got home this evening, I was wondering how 12 cupcakes could be made from 1/2 cup of coconut flour. Did another type of flour get left out of the recipe, or do the eggs make up the volume difference? (In other recipes I’ve seen online it seems multiple flours are used.) Thanks for sharing…

  32. Claudia,

    Yes, ½ cup of coconut flour makes 12 cupcakes, that’s the beauty of coconut flour –it goes very far. Of course, the 6 eggs help too and they are a great source of protein at a reasonable price.

    Hope this helps and have fun at the party!

    Elana

  33. Claudia

    Reporting on the VP (uggghh) “debate”:

    Your cupcakes were a high point in the evening! I should mention that, as I didn’t hear back before making them, I added some Pamela’s mix to the first batch… They were yummy but very muffin-like. Your recipe with coconut flour only make the best-textured-tasting cupcake. The only change I made was to use 1/2 the amt. of agave and 1/2 organic maple syrup as I’m not overly fond of agave unless it’s in tea. Despite the change, the cupcakes were wonderful… They were all gone when I left! Thanks for making gluten-free cooking a lot easier to swallow… “) Claudia

  34. Claudia,

    Thanks for stopping by with the report! I’m so glad these worked out for you and that they were “all gone.”

    Elana

  35. Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentonista @ bestofdenton.blogspot.com

    Hi Elana,

    One thing I don’t understand – how does this work without xanthan gum? My understanding was that you always had to add some to coconut flour-based baked goods- to prevent crumbly-ness.

    YFND

  36. YFND,

    I’m probably not the best one to answer this question as I’ve baked with coconut flour for years, though not ever tried to make anything with xanthan gum –never even had it in my kitchen.

    Hope this helps.

    Elana

  37. VeggieMom

    What a fabulous recipe! I’ve been wanting to use coconut flour due to it’s outstanding nutritional properties, and after a quick web search landed on this wonderful site. I had no doubt this would make a luscious cupcake, and it did!! I used coconut oil and added 3 T of unsweetened cocoa powder, because I looooove chocolate but don’t like frosting. What a great treat. Can’t wait to try some almond flour recipes!

  38. VeggieMom,

    Thanks for your comment and for sharing your adaptation of this recipe!

    Elana

  39. Pia

    Hi Elana!
    Loved this recipe. Since Im from Norway, I find it hard to come by things as almond flour and coconut flour. We haven’t got a good range of glutenfree products here Im afraid. Im having a christmas party for my girlfriends tomorrow, and really had to bake something that I could eat aswell. So I used your recipe as a base, but changed the coconut flour to a white flour-mix with some shredded coconut, and used melted 70% chocolate as a sweetener instead of the agave (agave is in fact not legal here in Norway). I also used a rapeseed oil instead of the grapeseed oil.

    They turned out so lovely! Im going to frost them with a vanilla frosting, and I think it’s going to be delicious. Thank you for a great blog! Im saving this link.

  40. Pia,

    You are welcome and thanks so much for sharing your adaptations to this recipe.

    Elana

  41. rebecca

    elana,
    I’m on the gluten-free, lactose-free, seemingly everything-free ‘SCD’ diet. I stumbled upon your blog yesterday while looking for recipes for coconut flour and made this easy (easy is a requirement for me) recipe posthaste. Having no cupcake pan, I used a round cake pan. Also, agave is not allowed on the SCD diet so I substituted honey.
    The cake is delicious, of course, but the parts concealed by the pan became very dark brown and seem to make the whole cake taste a little bit like a sweet version of my mom’s southern-style skillet cornbread.
    Could it be the honey?
    Could it be the pan?
    Could it be overcooked? (A knife stuck in the middle at 20 min came out a little wet so it baked for about 4 more minutes).

    Anyway, looking forward to trying more recipes from your blog.

    -rebecca

  42. rebecca,

    Thanks for your comment and so glad you found us over here.

    I don’t think this recipe would work so well as a cake. Also, I have not ever tried substituting honey for agave in a coconut flour recipe, so this may also potentially be an issue.

    Whenever you start changing recipes you are gambling with the desired results. I make sure when experimenting to only adjust one variable at a time, that way it is easier to figure out what might have gone wrong.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    Elana

  43. meryl

    Hi, your recipes look great and are a real blessing for special needs diets. I’m seeking coconut flour recipes which I see you are experimenting with. Do you have any coconut flour COOKIE recipes yet? I’m interested in a version of the linzer hearts you posted, in coconut. Also, how about a macaroon cupcake recipe?
    I want to make something sat. morning for valentines day, so please post a cookie recipe right away or e mail it to me, if you have one, sorry to bother you. Thanks very much in advance. Also, I don’t have agave nectar, can I use diebetic sweet sugar? Does it have to be a liquid sugar alternative type thing as a substitute for agave?
    Thanks again, Meryl

  44. meryl,

    Thanks for your comment. Feel free to use the search bar in the upper right hand corner of my site to look for any and all recipes in which you are interested.

    In answer to your question regarding replacing agave with some other sweetener please see my faq’s.

    Elana

  45. Claire

    Cakes – result!
    Frosting – aaaaaaaaaaagh!

    I whisked and I whisked and I whisked and it was still all runny!

    Checked and double checked I’d put the right stuff in – what am I doing wrong? Did the vegan version BTW.

  46. Claire,

    I would check and see what percentage of chocolate you are using, that could affect the outcome of this recipe. Also, you could simply leave it in the freezer longer to firm up. What type of oil did you use? Any other possible ingredient changes?

    Elana

  47. Claire

    just saw your comments as I came on to say… I did it!

    after basically pouring some over some of the cupcakes I left the rest of it in the fridge – working or not I couldn’t bring myself to throw chocolate away!

    once it had time to chill properly it worked great, freezer malfunction on thuis one plus I assumed cooled just meant it needed to get cooler not change in consistency.

    All sorted and tragically have some left. Now what to do with spare frosting!

  48. Cassi @ cassifriz.com

    i’ve totally given up on gluten-free baking over the 8 years i’ve not eaten wheat…. all the crazy ingredients and measuring and mixing that i thought i had to do just made it totally not worthwhile.

    but then i found these recipes, and with almond flour and coconut flour i can have foods back that i haven’t touched for almost a decade!

    thank you so much for putting your simple, effective and delicious recipes out there for us to share!

    i know my family will be FLOORED when i make cookies or bread (we’re all gluten-free, so they’ve suffered with me, albeit graciously) and i look forward to expanding our diet. plus, my doc/pediatrician will be relieved that i’m feeding something resembling junk food to my children. go-figure, he’s always worried that only veggies, gluten-free whole grains, occasional meat, and lots of raw vegan foods are just not right for growing children and pregnant women….

    once again,
    thank you for the simple recipes, and extravagant inspiration.

    peace-
    Cassi
    Holistic Health Counselor

  49. sam

    Great recipe!

    However, when there’s eggs in it, it’s not vegan…

  50. Elana – I was wondering if you have tried this recipe in a cake form? We are looking for a good gluten free cake to top my son’s/fiancee’s wedding cake with. We will probably try this recipe and see how it works…I’ll post and let you know the results.

  51. Hi Marian, Thanks for all of your comments. Your DIL is so lucky to have you! I haven’t tried this in a cake form, hope you will let me know how it turns out if you do :-)

    • I doubled the recipe for the cupcakes, making 1/2 into cupcakes and the other into a round cake pan. It worked beautifully in the cake pan – but I had trouble getting it out. I had sprayed the pan and coated it with coconut flour – but it stuck pretty badly. I will cut a circle of parchment if I make it in a cake pan again. But the cake/cupcakes were delicous. Thanks again!!

      • Marian, although you are new to this website, I want to let you know how much I appreciate your comments. Just as your DIL is lucky to have such a caring MIL, I feel lucky to have such a communicative and adventurous reader who is willing to experiment on their own and then come back to share the results with all of us! You are a gem. I also admire your never ending stream of ideas for improving results. BTW, I think the parchment could be a great solution. Thanks so much :-)

        • Thank you Elana – you’re very kind. I’ve been so excited to find your website because this is exactly the kinds of food I want to feed my family…and they’re loving the results!

          I have bought 3 6″ round cake pans for the top of the wedding cake and will take the finished cakes to the bakery to put on top of the cake. I’ll take a picture and let you know how it all turns out! My latest adventure is into the chia tapioca and we LOVE it! Thanks again!!

  52. Elana – first I wanted to say how sad I was to hear about your diagnosis – and add my prayers that there will be a cure found for MS. I have several friends with this disease.
    Second – the wedding cake turned out beautifully and those who ate it said it was delicious. I did post a couple of pictures on the Flickr group site. The bakery filled it with Bavarian cream and fresh strawberries. Yum! I also shared this site with the lady who made the rest of the cake. I love telling people about your recipes!!

  53. Alicia

    Elana,
    What am I doing wrong?? I’ve made so many of your recipes and they have all turned out beautifully, yet I have managed to botch this one twice. I’m using coconut flour from digestive wellness and I store it in the fridge. Could it be the brand of coconut flour? They puff waaaay up in the oven–my daughter loves to watch them rise–then deflate from the top AND bottom immediately when I take them out of the oven. They end up little rubbery muffin tops. Any ideas? I’m also wondering if you have a s’mores substitute for your kids? Thanks so much!

  54. Hi Elana,

    I took a break from studying, and just put a batch of these in the oven, made with local NC honey. So excited for breakfast tomorrow… :)

  55. Has anyone tried baking these at high altitude? I am at about 5,000 feet.

    I modified it by adding a little more coconut flour and baking it at a little higher temp for less time. They come out OK… just don’t rise as much as the “regular” cupcakes. They still taste great, even though they are a little flat.

    • I baked these for my daughter’s birthday at 5280 ft and didn’t modify one thing; they came out absolutely perfect!

      So I got cocky and tried to make it into a 1/2 sheet pan for her party, and unforutnately, they burned on the outside. But I was determined, so I cut off the edges and baked another layer to make up for the lost bits. Tasted lovely!

  56. Holly

    Hmmmm, I am noticing that the vanilla cupcakes use six eggs while the chocolate ones use 3 but mostly it’s the same recipe. I was able to use egg replacer for the chocolate but wondering if it has any hopes of working in a recipe for six eggs??? Only one way to find out…

  57. Lora

    Hi Elana, I have recently been diagnosed with M.S. and my husband has ulcerative colitis so my cooking and baking is undergoing a transformation. I am so glad to have found your site. So far, we LOVE the raw fudge!!! (Had to start somewhere!!!) Just tried the vanilla cupcakes. Kids are eating them up. They are super ‘wet’ and taste quite ‘eggy’ to me. What size of eggs do you use? Will keep trying your recipes. Thanks for such a great webiste!
    Lora.

  58. Charlotte

    I’ve been noticing lately that my coconut flour based products turn green and have a really odd smell. I’m suspecting baking soda is the problem. Does anyone else have this issue?

    • brigitte

      my batch had the same result! prior to baking these, i had come across another gluten-free recipe blog mentioning the odd smell when baking coconut flour bread, so i wasn’t too alarmed.
      i was using trader joe’s brand baking soda, could that be the cause? i had suspected it was large amount of eggs in the recipe, the cupcakes had an almost frittata-like quality to them. i’m wondering if there’s another ingredient to use as a moistener/binder in coconut flour recipes, the egg flavor strikes me as overwhelming, and i’m concerned about the high cholesterol. perhaps egg whites, flax, chia gel, or gelatin?
      would love to hear if anyone has had success!
      best,
      brigitte

  59. Taryn

    Well, I used coconut flour from a bulk bin at my local health food store.

    The cupcakes turned out wonderful!

    I must say, I was quite intimated by the wet mixture. Lo and behold the coconut flour soaked it up like nobody’s business. I found the mixture to be very reminiscent of a pancake batter, I was relieved to see that the cupcakes bake up beautifully none the less!

    In the morning I will take a crack at some frosting.

    Elana, you are a gluten-free baking goddess!

  60. Claire Yvonne

    Wow… these sound incredibly amazing. I just found your blog by searching “coconut flour, cupcake, recipe”. I want to make these ASAP so I’ve had to change up the recipe a bit… organic olive oil instead of mentioned grapeseed oil, organic raw cane sugar (interested in trying Grade B maple syrup). Then, in the next couple of days I will use your recipe to the T. The photo of your vanilla cupcake is so precious, very dainty! Can’t wait to explore your site.

    Thanks,
    Claire Yvonne.

    ps… never heard of oiling the muffin tins AND using cupcake liners… is there a reason for this?

  61. gabby

    Hi Elana!

    I was wondering if you have made your “very vanilla cupcakes” from your book as a cake? We love them and I would like to make them as a birthday cake.

  62. Tried this. Oh my gosh! Delicious! My family loved it!

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    ~Roc in Chicago

  63. Kathryn

    Mmmmm! They just came out of the oven minutes ago and they are wonderful. I tweaked a bit to use Xylitol instead of Agave (used extra eggs and then an extra T. of coconut flour) as these will be dessert tonight for my parents and they need very low carb. Even with the subs, just perfect. We’ll be topping them with freshly whipped cream and raspberries tonight but will try your chocolate icing next time. Thanks so much!

  64. Lis

    Elena- I made these with hazelnut flour instead of coconut and the batter was just SO soupy. Is that normal? I felt like I had more chances of making an omelette than I did cupcakes…

  65. Odessa

    I love your site, and your recipes have been wonderful. I am new to living without gluten and one adjustment I find challenging is the calorie counts that come with relying on nut flours. Do you have any recommendations on how the caloric impact could be lessened?

  66. mama without instructions @ aarin.blogspot.com

    What a great cupcake recipe! Thank you! I made them once w/coconut oil and once with butter and both times used half agave and half honey and they turned out perfectly.

  67. penny

    do you think it’s possible to make a vegan version of these?

  68. VB

    Hi there! I’m wondering what I did wrong??? Followed the recipe almost to a T! I substituted the 1/2cup coconut flour with 1/2cup almond flour. Was first thrown off by the “batter” — it was more like the consistency of pulpy orange juice! Should I have just used the 6 egg whites? I used the entire egg. The “printer friendly recipe” calls for: 1/2cup coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, 1/2 cup agave nectar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Please tell me there’s a misprint in an ingredient or two!

    I desperately want to find low-carb cupcakes!

  69. mel

    Omg-these cupcakes were aMAZING! Idk how u do it but ur the best. I used this recipe and took a lemon and grated it to make a zest and squeezed its juices and added all of that into the batter to make lemon-flavored cupcakes. I also whipped up a very low-sugar strawberry cream cheese frosting…and yeah so my roommate and I devoured these!

  70. Yum, Can’t wait to try these. I just bought the coconut flour – they actually had it at Shaw’s nearby! Ready to go!

  71. Nikki

    Hi Elana,

    I’m making these as a cake this weekend. I’m trying to do a boston cream pie, gluten free and mostly dairy free. I have the cream and the ganache all lined up. I’m wondering if adding a tiny bit of butter would make this more of a yellow cake? What do you think? I”m clueless obviously.

  72. Tania

    I am going to try making your vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing for my cousin’s family get together, as her son has a gluten intolerance. My son has a peanut allergy and I am wondering about using coconut flour in the recipie…should I be worried?

  73. I just loved your recipe! I did a little take on it with a toasted meringue topping: http://camillaswhisk.blogspot.com/2010/07/toasted-meringue-coconut-cupcakes.html
    it turned out amazing

  74. Kirsten

    These cupcakes look perfect. I think I want to try this recipe next. Elana, thank you so much for posting this recipe up. I know it is hard to believe that a 14 year old girl gets excited about these gluten free recipes but I love all of your recipes for cupcakes. :)

  75. Dear Elana

    I jut wanted to firstly say thank you so so much for all of your wonderful wonderful recipes, ive really only been bothering to bake myself since i found your website with all your amazing andso easy recipes.
    I have just made your cupcakes andthey taste lovely but they have come out a little dense, i did by mistake put double the amount of baking powder in, will that have been the reason as everything else was exact ….i was doing a dry run because i wantedto make this as a birthday cake for my daughter’s first birthday, do you have any other recipes that would make a lovely first birthday cake?

    Again thank you so much, i only ever use your recipes
    Sangeeta

  76. Katie

    Hi Elana! I’ve been following your site for a while now and I have the almond flour cookbook that I practically live by :) This was the first recipe I tried where they didn’t turn out too great. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I made these last night and I the consistency was very strange — I never could get them to cook fully through, even when I put them in the oven for another 15 minutes. They were really damp and mushy – almost like they were too eggy. Do you know what I might be doing wrong? I used the Tropical Traditions coconut flour and followed the recipe exactly. Maybe the eggs I’m using are really, really big, thus making the cupcakes mushy with too much egg?

    Any input would be great. Thanks so much!

    -Katie

    • Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your comment. Hmmm, I’m trying to figure out what could have gone wrong with these as I make them regularly and they come out very well. Since you used all of the exact ingredients that I recommend above, I’m wondering if it is either an oven temp issue (check that your oven is baking at the proper temp with an oven thermometer), or a measurement issue. If you try them again, will you let me know how they turn out?

      Thanks,
      Elana

  77. Meghanne

    I made these yesterday for a group of hungry mountain guides. I didn’t have any agave so I used 1/2 cup local honey and 1/2 cup coconut oil. They were AMAZING. A lovely balance between coconut and vanilla flavours. A bit denser than when I made them with agave last time but still lovely. Thanks for a great recipe.

  78. SuzisSweetz

    I also had the exact same problem Katie had! After 2 very unsuccessful batches I attempted 3rd batch and cut the agave and greseed oil in half and they were too dry. So on my 4th try I just cut the grapeseed oil in half (only 1/4 c.) And doubled the vanilla (2 TBS). They came out wonderful! I’m very I have a successful batch of cupcakes! <3 yum!

  79. Tami

    Thank you so much for your blog recipes in general … and for this recipe which is my new “go to” recipe for birthday cupcakes! I tried it for company tonight and everyone loved them (and I think they are addictive; luckily I did mini cupcakes).

    For those that like to know about substitutions — I always use honey instead of agave nectar and did so here; I did use grapeseed oil here because it was the first time and I wanted to not vary the recipe the first time much but I will use coconut or palm oil next time as they seem to work fine in the other recipes I’ve tried so far from this blog. For the frosting I did use Palm oil. We use palm oil in this house for times when i would like to use coconut oil but I know my husband would object as he is very sensitive to the taste of the coconut oil (even the wonderful organic versions that do not taste strong to me) and he is fine with the palm oil.

  80. Lorraine

    Hi Elana

    All I can say is YOU are AMAZING! We recently realize (through elimination) that a few of our children are very wheat sensitive. Everytime they have wheat they break out in excema (not fun) So I have been trying to find alternatives and new recipes that actually taste good so that when they are at school they don’t look ‘weird’ with the types of food they have. Since finding this site my ‘wheaties’ are soooo happy! I just made these cupcakes and WOW super yummy!! I used a chocolate whipped cream frosting (with xylitol) and sooo good. This will definitely be our go to sweet something recipe. We also love all of your brownie recipes too! Next stop…your breads and cracker recipes!! Thanks for helping me let my kids be kids!

  81. Natalie

    I made these for the first time today. I checked on them after 15 mins and I had a feeling they were done. I waited two more minutes and took them out 3 mins early. When they cooled off I noticed the bottoms were brown, not burned but dark. Next time I will take them out after 15 mins – period. Having said all that, they are REALLY good, despite the darker bottoms. The taste was not effected. Very moist. I bit on the low side (they don’t rise too much) but very tasty. Just watch your oven and monitor. They may be done before 20 mins. Oh ya, I used mediterranian sea salt instead of celtic. Did not effect the taste. Maybe it contributed to the brown bottoms but I doubt it….I will definitely make these again. I am trying the chocolate ones as well.

  82. jennifer

    why don’t you use coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil?

  83. Grace

    I didnt have time to read through the comments…but has anyone used anything besides grapeseed oil?

  84. Tami

    For those asking — I used (melted/liquid) coconut oil or palm oil/shortening (again, melted) almost every time I make one of Elan’s recipes that calls for grapeseed oil. I do use grapeseed occasionally though and I don’t notice a difference either way. I also use primarily honey as a sweetener (have also used an all fruit based sweetener)

  85. shana @ 100lbsandcounting @ 100lbsandcounting.com

    Can you substitute the coconut flour for whole wheat pastry flour? I don’t have gluten intolerance; would it make a difference in the texture?

  86. Amy

    Elana – I was so excited to find your website over a month ago and after pouring through your great information, I bought both of your cookbooks on Friday. Tonight, I made these Vanilla Cupcakes, and I like them so much better than the store bought gluten-free mixes. Moist, dense, delicious, I cannot wait to try so many of your other recipes! Next, I am looking forward to trying the Pina Colada cupcakes. Thank you for making gluten free not only taste good but be nutritious!

  87. corey

    just fyi – this recipe makes a great muffin base. it’s more economic than ones that use a lot of almond flour. i just add any fruit and it works great (ie blueberry muffins)!

  88. Danielle Rafferty

    Elana,

    This looks so good and I have loved all the other things I have tried of yours, especially the strawberry cupcakes and chocolate cake. Have you ever used this recipe as a cake instead? I want to use this for my son’s birthday cake.

  89. I just mad these tonight and I ate so many that I made myself kind of queasy! LOL, they are good! I used dark cocoa for my chocolate frosting and it was yummy!!!!

  90. Theresa Hoffman @ teacup1@yahoo.com

    Is it possible to use another flour other than cocoanut? I am highly allergic to cocoanut. I would love to try this reciepe. Thank You

  91. Maria

    I made the vanilla cupcakes using the recipe from the book (slightly different from this one – 2 less eggs and 2 tblsp coconut flour) and I substituted the agave syrup for Dextrose and it didn’t work. I didn’t get a batter consistency. Instead I had to scoop mixture off spoon into casings. They turned out like rock cakes – visually – but were soft and dense. What should the batter be like and can you only substitute agave for another liquid?

  92. Alice

    Help! I need to make gluten free cupcakes for a friends wedding so was thrilled to find this recipe. However, I must be missing something with the grape seed oil as it was thick, dark green and smelt overpowering. Needless to say the cakes (which had a lovely consistency) tasted solely of this and were destined for the bin :-(

    Can anyone help me understand what went wrong and exactly which oil I should use? I am I. Switzerland and bought mine in France…. Thanks!

  93. teri

    Hi Elana~

    Help! I’m bummed! I did try your Bread recipe and am very happy with the results (I can fool myself into thinking it really is bread!) but, this vanilla cupcake recipe is the only other recipe I have tried and I must say, for me it was a disappointment (especially having used expensive organic eggs). The only change I made was to sub olive oil for grapeseed oil as I have used olive for everything for years with only good results. My cupcakes tasted like Playdoh smells… What can you suggest? Could it really be the substitution of oil that made that much difference? Or must my tastebuds get used to a whole new world? I’ve done gluten free in the past and been satisfied with my baking results, but now must go grain free. Any help for my disappointed tastebuds?
    teri

    • Tracy

      I find that using olive oil as a substitute in dessert type recipes never works out. The strong olive oil tsate makes the dessert really unpleasant. Olive oil can work very well in savory type baked goods like breads, but for dessert and sweet treats you’ll want to use a different type of oil such as the grapeseed oil recommended in the recipe or even coconut oil.

  94. Debbie

    I’ve made the Vanilla cupcakes twice now and both times they come out of the oven perfect. However, after sitting for half an hour to cool, they collapse to almost half of their original size. What am I doing wrong? I did use almond flour instead of coconut because that’s I had on hand. I would love some help!!!!

  95. bella

    I have made the batter and it is super runny. Is that how it is supposed to be? I am baking them anyway so we will see how they come out. I don’t know whether to bother with muffin liners now.

  96. Cheryl Shireman @ n/a

    Elana, Can I use Almond flour instead of coconut flour in the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes? Thanks, Cheryl

  97. Colleen K. Peltomaa @ tromhelp.com

    Did you ever test using coconut flour with yeast to make a yeast-risen dough? How can one make that work using coconut flour. I want to fry up some real fluffy and light dough balls using a mild flavored non-gluten flour, thank you.

  98. LisaC

    Regarding substitutions

    Just want to answer a few folks’ questions about substitutions from my own personal experience; I know tips about baking gluten-free can be helpful.

    For those asking about replacing grapeseed oil for coconut oil: yes, substitute 1:1 and it’ll still turn out great. I’ve baked Elana’s recipes using cocounut oil 1:1 and they’ve all turned delicious.

    You CAN use regular salt in place of Celtic sea salt. Regular salt is a lot more potent, so I’d use 1/4 of whatever sea salt measurement a recipe calls for. For instance, I used a little less than 1/4 teaspoon of regular salt for this recipe. This recipe above calls for 1/2 teaspoon, I just guess at 1/4. Cupcakes turned out great.

    I did add a bit more baking soda as I’ve read comments that the cupcakes fall after cooling. I used about a pinch more baking soda.

    Although the cupcakes were delicious, the texture was a bit dense, I do wonder if using 1 less egg would help. I will try that next time.

  99. JM

    I should try this recipe exactly as it is to compare, but I made them for the first time with several substitutions and really can’t stop eating them, yum. I replaced canola oil for the grapeseed oil and used regular Trader Joe’s sea salt instead of celtic sea salt. Then, instead of bringing myself to use 6 eggs, I used 2 eggs plus replacements for 4 eggs (1: 1/4 cup mashed banana, 2: 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt [I used nonfat Greek] with 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 3: 1 Tbsp. flaxseed soaked in 3 Tbsp water until gooey, 4: same as #3, so a TOTAL of 2 Tbsp flaxseed and 6 Tbsp. water). The cupcakes turned out really dense and moist, but that is how I love cake instead of fluffy and airy, and the flaxseed added a nuttiness that you may (or may not) like. I needed to bake them a couple minutes less too, because the bottoms were too done.

    I will definitely make these again, but next time I am going to use 4 eggs with the yogurt/baking powder substitute, less or no flaxseed, and maybe reduce a little of the oil and substitute applesauce.

    Thanks for a great recipe!!

  100. Tracy

    I have these in the oven right now!

    I substituted honey for the agave 1:1, otherwise made as per the recipe. I used my stand-up mixer and did stop the blending process to scrape down the sides and bottom a few times. It took a few quick bursts to get all the lumps out. The batter IS sort of runny, like cake mix, I am pretty sure it’s supposed to be that way. I baked mine in a silicone muffin tray with liners. I filled the cups slightly over 1/2 full each. They baked for exactly 20 minutes and came out looking lovely! I let them rest 10 minutes or so and then moved them to a cooling rack. I did not notice any falling in size. I would think if you experience this perhaps your baking soda is too old? They smell delicious, but I am saving myself. I still need to make frosting!

  101. alexandra

    Absolutely incredible cupcakes! My dad and my boyfriend both infamous junk food eaters called them the best cupcakes they ever had! And I like them better than real ones myself! :) thank you for making being different easy and delicious! :)

  102. Kathleen

    These are delicious!!

    I couldn’t get my frosting to “whip” like it does in the picture. I tried whipping it after 15 minutes of being in the freezer and it remained liquidy. I put it in the freezer for another 5 minutes and did the same thing. Maybe I used too much oil?

    I ended up just pouring the liquid over the cupcake like a glaze and it was still delicious!
    I will definitely be making these again, hopefully with better frosting results!
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  103. Yvonne @ yvital.nl

    Hoe good I make the cupcakes les sweet?

  104. valleygirl

    This is the second time I have tried a gluten free recipe and I find the final product incredibly dense. Is it due to the flour I bought (brand?) or is that to be expected? The kids ate them up but my husband and I were not big fans. Let’s just say there are 6 more sitting on the table and they will probably remain until I let the kids have more again. Tips anyone? The batter was very thick. I wonder if I needed more baking soda and perhaps a bit more liquid? But I am not a big baker so I have no idea.

  105. Tara

    These cupcakes sound fab! My body doesn’t respond well to Agave. How can I still make the cupcakes with the yummy sweetness of agave and still have the 1/2 C liquid?
    cheers

    • Ruby

      I would need to use Coconut sugar in this recipe because of my son’s allergies. His birthday is coming up and he wants vanilla cupcakes. I have to keep the sugar at about 5-7 grams of sugar per cupcake. since CS is a dry ingredient, should I just add another 1/2 cup of oil or water?

  106. Nina

    Thank you Elana! What a fabulous recipe – I made these for my husband’s birthday yesterday (decorated with a Star Trek theme!) and he absolutely loved them – and from him, that is a huge compliment! The cupcakes were moist and tasty – I had a few doubts as my mixture came out very runny, but they rose beautifully and stayed that way :)We have been much more health conscious over the last few months, and I have started a low GI diet due to health reasons, so it’s great to be able to indulge occasionally and know that’s it’s still healthy!

  107. Caroline

    Has anyone tried any of the cupcake receipes as cake pops? Does it work well? Any changes to recipe needed?
    Trying to be creative for my 3 year olds birthday party at school as he is gluten and dairy free not always easy
    Thanks Caroline

  108. Lys

    I have done so many times this recipe and is always a a fave and a winner. Everybody loves it and gone fast. Delicious the only changes I did was honey instead of agave, vanilla paste 2 tablespoon because I like it very vanillaish :) instead of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I am doing today with nutella toping, pumpkin whip cream topping, and baileys whip cream topping. Super delicious. Thanks Elena! I do also have your cupcake book.

  109. Deborah Madison @ deborahmadison.com

    Hello Elana -

    I just bought some coconut flour and am trying to figure it out. I wanted to use it
    in a crisp topping – have you any experience with that? Would it need to be as wet
    as some of the other dishes you’ve described? I’ll go ahead and try, but would love
    to hear from you if possible. And congratulations on your new book!!

  110. Barbara

    Has anyone successfully replaced all eggs? I am trying to accomodate all the little girls coming to my daughter’s birthday party. This recipe would be perfect…..if there were no eggs in it. Please help!

  111. Deidra Harruff

    Is this recipe correct? Does 1/2cup of coconut flour really make 12 cupcakes?

  112. Amelia

    Hi,
    When I tried your recipe I think there was a teeny tiny bit too much eggs. The cupcakes turned out a little bit not sweet and eggy. Also, I changed the coconut flour to normal flour. Is it because of this? Thanks.

  113. Julie

    Hi Elana,
    My stepdaughter has a birthday in a couple of days. Would it be possible to use this cupcake recipe as a cake recipe? If so what size pan, oven temp and bake time would you reccommend?
    Thanks,
    Julie

    • Raewyn

      I just use the current measurements and pour batter into a sandwich tin (6 inch). Although, I add an extra tbsp of vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of almond flour, and I use only 4 eggs, not 6.

      I’ve also doubled the ingredients and baked (about 20 mins longer than the suggested baking time) in a 9 inch cake tin.

  114. JessMN

    Is this batter supposed to be so thin? I have mixed it up but have not yet put it in cupcake tins – its so think its almost like there’s nothing in it but beaten eggs!

  115. ItalianCypress

    Made these cupcakes with coconut oil. Batter was like typical cake box batter. I sprayed the cupcake liners to prevent sticking. Batter filled cups 3/4 of the way. Came out looking like typical cupcakes. Cake was thick and super moist, borderline mushy. Very sweet. Good by itself. Have a feeling all six eggs weren’t needed. I feel this recipe is lacking something to be a perfect GF cupcake but can’t quite pin down what it is?

  116. Becky

    I love your writings and comments Elana! Don’t stop! That’s one of the reasons I stick to your sight! I love all the recipes for seder’s and the other feasts as well! Have a blessed day!

  117. Misty

    I followed the recipe to a T and baked them in my babycakes cake pop maker for 5 minutes a batch and they are awesome! I’m so excited to have them at my daughters valentine party and know that she and a few of her teammates (also w/dietary restrictions) get to join the cake pop fun!

  118. Heather Fox

    I tried this recipe just recently and it was a hit! They are so delicious! I did substitute coconut oil with grape-seed oil though and added shaved almonds. Kids approved! I had even had a few folks that couldn’t just one! lol

  119. Marie

    I just wanted to say how amazing your recipes are, I love them all. I just bought your cupcake book, its great. I do have a really important question though and I hope you can answer it as I know you receive so many! The vanilla cupcakes in your book, the batter was very dry and the cakes didn’t even out in the oven, they came out all peaky, I definitely didn’t over mix and I am wondering if the quantities are right because of the dryness of the mix? Thanks Elana.

  120. Penny

    I am having a very hard time finding grapeseed oil, can another oil be substituted?

  121. Oh these look super good. I will be making these on the weekend.

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