Vegan cupcakes with swirls of vegan frosting are delicious, nut free, and gluten free, but you would never know it! Make this allergy-friendly cake recipe for your holiday gatherings.
Then, top them with fluffy coconut whipped cream or vegan cream cheese frosting. You can have the happiest holidays ever!
ALLERGY-FRIENDLY DESSERT OPTIONS
It makes me happy to share recipes that kids with food allergies can enjoy. No weird ingredients, so they’re simple to make, and honestly, they taste like traditional cupcakes.
If you’ve been eating gluten free for a while, you may remember how few TASTY gluten free baking options there were. Dry gluten free cake with very little flavor. Thank goodness we have better options now. Not only for us, but more importantly, for the new generation of kids with food allergies.
There are SO many options for parties and holiday celebrations now. For a school treat or afternoon snack, make some moist, fluffy gluten-free Coconut Sugar Cinnamon Cake Bites.
For grown up celebrations like graduations, bridal or baby showers, you can serve Naked Almond Flour Chocolate Cake, and NOBODY will be able to tell that it’s an allergy-friendly dessert.
Or, make a batch of light, delicious oat flour vegan cupcakes; they are perfect for ANY occasion!
With swirls of fluffy whipped coconut cream frosting or vegan cream cheese frosting on top. Oh yes, the options are endless!
Tips for making vegan cupcakes
As I mentioned above, there are plenty of allergy-friendly baking options available. The thing is, it’s important to understand that they are not all perfect for baking light desserts like cake.
To create light, moist cake, you need to avoid using thickeners like guar or xanthan gum. Instead of adding fluffiness, those thickeners just weigh down the batter. As a result, you end up with heavy, dense cupcakes. All of the frosting in the world can’t fix that problem.
CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS + SUBSTITUTIONS
- Flour – Instead of a 1:1 baking blend, we use oat flour for this recipe. As long as it doesn’t have any starch or thickener in it, you can use any gluten free blend you like. However, using gluten free flour gives them more of a muffin consistency.
- Sweetener – Any fine grain sugar of your choice will work, like coconut sugar. If you want to cut some calories, you can substitute traditional sugar for sugar substitutes like monk fruit sugar.
- Non dairy milk – This recipe calls for a vegan buttermilk substitute. You’ll make it by combining apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk.
TIP: For the best results, use a non-dairy milk with some fat in it, like coconut milk. The fat helps to curdle the milk, creating the tangy flavor of buttermilk.
- Apple cider vinegar – If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar, white vinegar will be just fine.
- Naturally refined coconut oil or vegan butter – You’ll be melting this, so feel free to use any neutral flavor of cooking oil that you like.
- Other ingredients – The remaining ingredients are basic cake ingredients; vanilla extract (for flavor), baking powder, baking soda, and salt
NOTE: The color of the cupcake batter will vary depending on the type of flour you use. Don’t worry, the color doesn’t matter because they’ll have fluffy vegan frosting on top. It’s ALL GOOD! 🙂
Vegan frosting options
Decisions, decisions! Obviously, you can top your cakes with anything you like. I have two favorites, so in typical Cotter fashion, I’ll give you both options and let you decide which to use.
- Coconut cream whipped frosting – You can use this frosting as is, or add a little extra flavor to it. I like to use 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 2 -3 tbsp powdered sugar. Or, you can use a dry sugar substitute.
- maple cashew cream cheese frosting – This frosting is a bit thicker, so you might want to use a pipping bag or ziplock bag when frosting the cupcakes.
Making the oat flour cupcakes
Making this recipe isn’t any different than making traditional cupcakes. SUPER SIMPLE! But, unless scrubbing cupcake pans is therapeutic for you, be sure to use paper liners. 😉
- Make vegan buttermilk – Stir the apple cider vinegar into your dairy-free milk. It will take about 5 minutes to curdle, so go ahead and mix your dry ingredients while you wait.
- Combine dry ingredients. I like to sift the dry ingredients together; it removes any clumps of flour and helps to distribute the leaveners (baking soda and powder)
- Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If you’ll be using vegan butter or coconut oil, warm the buttermilk mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds before you stir it in. It helps to prevent the melted butter/oil from hardening. Note: If you use traditional oil, you can skip this step.
- Bake, cool, decorate, and DEVOUR!
Bake in a preheated oven for 18- 22 minutes. Vegan cupcakes made with oat flour take about 20 minutes to bake. If you use gluten free all purpose flour, check for doneness at 18 minutes.
Cool them in the pan, set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and decorate with frosting of your choice.
To create the fluffy swirls of frosting, I pipe it through pastry bag, using a star tip. For a touch of glittery goodness, sprinkle some raw sugar on top!
Alright my friends, happy allergy friendly baking! And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need substitutes for this recipe. I am happy to help! Just comment below or shoot me an email.