These simple gluten free cupcakes are a wonderful base for all sorts of tasty toppings. Fluffy, soft sponge that tastes way too good to be gluten free, a freshly baked batch of these will always go down a treat!
These gluten free cupcakes are the perfect bake to start with if you are new to gluten free baking. Here I have included a vanilla buttercream recipe, but you can also top with ready-made condiments such as caramel sauce, jam and fruit. Or even scoff them plain as my husband inevitably does as soon as they are out of the oven :D.
Gluten Free Ingredients
With gluten free baking, many ingredients are the same as in gluteny bakes – sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla essence are all naturally gluten free. Baking powder is often gluten free, but please always check the label as some cheaper varieties can contain wheat starch. Then after that you’ll need gluten free self-raising flour and an ingredient called xanthan gum, which is probably new to you. Let me tell you more about each below.
Gluten Free Flour
For these cupcakes I generally use the FREEE by Doves Farm self-raising flour, which is available in the free from section of all UK supermarktets. I also love the Lidl own brand gluten free flour and the Marks & Spencers own brand gluten free flour. Schar have recently launched an All Purpose Baking mix, which I have found to be excellent too, but am yet to test it on this recipe.
Can’t find self-raising flour? No problem! Simply add an extra tsp of baking powder to your 200g plain flour and mix well.
You can normally find xanthan gum in the free from section of the supermarkets, alongside the flours. It’s generally the Dove’s Farm variety, which is in a small round white pot (similar size to baking powder) with orange writing.
Xanthan gum mimics gluten and acts as a binder in your bakes, stopping things from becoming very crumbly and falling apart. Trust me the texture will be vastly better if you use some (add even if your flour blend already contains xanthan), and a little bit goes a long way. One pot of it will last you for ages.
Can I Make These Dairy Free?
Yes, simply use the Stork Baking Block in place of butter and you can make lovely gluten and dairy free sponge.
Perfect Gluten Free Cupcakes Recipe (Makes 12)
This recipe makes 12 gluten free cupcakes, plus the option of adding vanilla buttercream (a generous amount).
You’ll find the method below with pictures to guide you through it. Feel free to email me any questions or comments you might have. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram/Facebook @myglutenfreeguide.
If you enjoy these cupcakes, I would be really grateful if you could leave a star rating on the recipe card below. Feel free to share on social media too and tag me so I can see your wonderful creations :). Thank you!
For the cupcakes:
- 200g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 0.5 tsp vanilla essence
- 200g gluten free self-raising flour (I use FREEE, M&S or Lidl)
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 0.25 tsp of xanthan gum
For the buttercream:
- 180g butter
- 390g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence
- 2.5 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan).
- If you have a food processor, combine all the cake ingredients in the blender bowl and whizz until you have a smooth cake mix. Not to worry if you don't have a blender - this gluten free cupcake recipe can be made just as well using human power! In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until smooth. Then add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each, then add the vanilla and stir through. Finally, sift in the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum and mix for a few minutes until everything is perfectly smooth.
- Line a cupcake or muffin tray with cupcake cases. Divide the gluten free cupcake mixture between the cases, so that each is filled to about 2/3 of the way up the case.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until your cake tester comes out clean from the centre of your test cupcake.
- Gently take the gluten free cupcakes out of the tray and onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
- Once the cakes have cooled entirely, you can go ahead and ice with a topping of your choice. Ready-made caramel is a brilliant easy cheat topping, or if you want to use buttercream follow the step below.
- To make the vanilla buttercream, simply beat the butter in a bowl or stand mixer until pale and smooth. Then add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla. Mix well until smooth and fluffy. Add the milk and beat again until you have a nice consistency for piping/spreading. Use a small palette knife to spread the buttercream on top of the cooled gluten free cupcakes, or piping bag if you prefer. Then finish with any other toppings you fancy!
If you would like to make coloured buttercream, simply add a few drops of food gel colouring before you add the milk. Then stir through and add a tbsp or two of milk to ease the consistency. The food gel will thin the buttercream slightly, hence not as much milk will be needed. Have fun!
If you liked this recipe, why not try some of my other gluten free bakes:
- Salted Caramel Swirl Brownies
- Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Dulche de Leche Baked Cheesecake
Enjoy! Laura xxx