Oh my gooooodnessssss, these gluten free passion fruit cupcakes taste AWESOME. I made a batch yesterday and Dave and I guzzled two each (it took a lot of self-restraint to not eat them all).

These little fluffy gluten free cupcakes have a vanilla cream cheese frosting and a passion fruit syrup topping, which turned out to be the most glorious combo. Sweet vanilla and zingy passion fruit is a match made in heaven.

I have extra good news for those of you who are short on gluten free self raising flour…these can be made with rice flour instead! I’ve tried the recipe using both and the rice flour ones were just as good. Fluffy and light, Dave said they reminded him of normal cupcakes and they reminded me of those lovely little cupcakes you get at bake sales. You know, simply but joyful to eat.

These photos show the rice flour bake and the snap below really shows how fluffy and wonderful the cupcake texture was. This was a fab discovery for me, as we are reeeeally low on standard gluten free flour blends now, but two massive bags of rice flour.

I used the FREEE by Doves Farm rice flour for my bake, which is a preblended white and brown rice flour. If you have a plain white or brown rice flour that should work too. I have plain rice flour in my cupboard as well, so will try that next time. I’m simply so happy that I can now make lots of yummy cupcakes even when I don’t have the flours I usually use :D.

These little cupcakes are very easy to make as the base recipe is a classic, all-in-one style sponge. Bake them, leave to cool, then top with my all time favourite cream cheese frosting (which is thick, smooth and tastes glorious) and a little pool of passion fruit syrup.

The syprup only needs two ingredients as I wanted to showcase the lovely passion fruit flavour and simply thicken it slightly to ensure it sits well on the cupcakes.

You can see from the picture above that I have created a little pool in the cream cheese frosting for the passion fruit syrup to sit in. This is super simple to do, but creates a visually stunning effect and makes them much less messy to eat.

I used my beloved Tala mini palette knife to spread and shape the frosting. It’s one of my fave pieces of kitchen kit and only costs a couple of quid on Amazon. However, you could use a spoon or knife to create the little indent too.

Right, enough chatter from me, let’s get to the recipe!

Gluten Free Passion Fruit & Vanilla Cheesecake Cupcakes (Makes 12)

Passion Fruit & Vanilla Cheesecake Cupcakes
Yield: Makes 12 Cupcakes

Passion Fruit & Vanilla Cheesecake Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes


For the cupcakes:

  • 200g (7oz) salted butter
  • 200g (7oz) golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g (7oz) gluten free self-raising flour (I use Dove’s Farm)*
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder (I use Isabel’s)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • A quarter tsp of xanthan gum (I use Dove’s Farm)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 450g (16oz) icing sugar
  • 70g (2.5oz) butter
  • 200g (7oz) cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/vanilla essence

For the passion fruit syrup topping:

  • 3 passion fruit (flesh and seeds once scooped out should equal approx 75g/2.5oz)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan).
  2. 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, like me, 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, either with a handheld whisk or a wooden spoon. Then add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, combining well after each. Finally, sift in the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum and mix for a few minutes until everything is perfectly smooth.
  3. Line a 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.
  4. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, until your cake tester comes out clean from the centre of your test cupcake. Then transfer the gluten free cupcakes from the tray and onto a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
  5. While the cakes are cooling, you can make the passion fruit syrup. Scoop the flesh, seeds and juice from the passion fruit directly into a saucepan. Add the caster sugar and bring the mixture to the boil, before turning the heat down and allowing it to simmer for 3 minutes or until it has thickened slightly. Set aside to cool, after which time you should have a runny gel-like consistency for your passion fruit syrup.
  6. Once the cakes have cooled entirely, you can go ahead and make the cream cheese frosting. In a clean bowl, mix your butter with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until it has been whipped smooth.
  7. Add the cream cheese to the butter and mix well to combine. Then you gradually mix in the sifted icing sugar – doing this gradually will help avoid any lumps forming. I would use a wooden spoon to initially mix the icing sugar in (as if you use an electric whisk straightaway you’ll end up with an icing sugar cloud in your kitchen!). Then add the vanilla. If you have an electric whisk give everything a final blitz, or use some arm power to mix. You should end up with a lovely smooth, thick frosting.
  8. Now to assemble the cupcakes, mmmmm. Dollop a heaped tsp of cream cheese frosting on top of each cake. Then use a small palette knife to spread the frosting. Use the palette knife to create a small pool in the middle of the frosting (see photos below). This is where the passion fruit syrup will sit.
  9. Spoon a tsp of syrup onto each frosting pool, gently spread it with the back of your spoon and voila! Finished passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake cupcakes ready to be eaten.


*You can substitute 200g rice flour (I used FREEE by Doves Farm), plus an extra 1 tsp baking powder and a quarter tsp xanthan instead, if you do not have self-rasing.

gluten free cake mix

These cupcakes are best eaten within a couple of days as after that the sponge will start to dry out. Store them in an airtight container, in a cool place.

I hope you all enjoy making and eating these gluten free passion fruit cupcakes. I’m already planning to make another batch as writing this recipe up has made me hungry!

While you are here, why not check out some of my other gluten free cupcake recipes too:

Happy baking! x