These gluten-free vanilla cupcakes are perfectly light and fluffy, with tall, domed tops! They make the best bakery-style birthday cupcakes!

Looking for the BEST gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe? You’ve found it! Check out my expert tips to make amazing gluten-free cupcakes every time.

gluten-free vanilla cupcakes on a countertop

These gluten-free buttermilk vanilla cupcakes have become our new go-to recipe!

I want my cupcakes to be just a light, fluffy, and delicious as cupcakes made with all-purpose flour. I want cupcakes so tasty, no one will ever guess they’re gluten-free!

These gluten-free vanilla cupcakes check all those boxes and more. They have an AIRY crumb, thanks to the extra time spent whipping the batter. The combination of oil and butter ensures the perfect texture.

They also have perfectly domed tops that look just like your favorite bakery-style cupcakes.

There’s really so much to love about these cupcakes, which is why they’re my go-to for birthday parties, special occasions, class parties, and more!

Trust me, your whole family is bound to love them!

For more gluten-free cupcakes, try these gluten-free red velvet cupcakes and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes.

For more gluten-free cake recipes, try this gluten-free lemon cakegluten-free pound cakegluten-free angel food cakegluten-free banana cakegluten-free mug cake and gluten-free carrot cake.

You also might like this family-favorite gluten-free german chocolate cake!

We also love theses cupcakes for a gluten-free thanksgiving dessert.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Dry Ingredients

Vanilla cupcakes dry ingredients on a countertop
  • Gluten-free flour: It’s important to use a high-quality gluten-free flour blend for this recipe. I recommend using one that contains xanthan gum. For cakes and cupcakes I really like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour.
  • Cornstarch: Adding a little cornstarch to the gluten-free flour is a trick to create easy gluten-free cake flour. It helps to lighten the gluten-free flour blend.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder helps create a light, fluffy cupcake with the perfect rise.
  • Salt: I like to use fine sea salt for this recipe. It balances the sweetness of the cupcakes and brings out the vanilla flavor!

Gluten-Free Cake Flour

Use a combination of gluten-free flour and cornstarch to create your own gluten-free cake flour. The cornstarch helps to lighten the gluten-free flour.

For the Wet Ingredients

Vanilla cupcakes wet ingredients on a countertop
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a key ingredient that helps set these cupcakes apart from the rest. It creates an ultra-moist, fluffy cupcake!
  • Sugar: For the best gluten free cupcakes, I like to use a fine granulated sugar like the brand Domino.
  • Oil: A combination of oil and butter make the best texture for these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes.
  • Eggs: This gluten free vanilla cupcakes recipe requires four large, room-temperature eggs.
  • Butter: I like to use salted butter for all of my gluten-free baking. It has more depth of flavor than unsalted!
  • Vanilla: I always recommend using real vanilla extract for cupcakes. Vanilla bean paste is another great option!

Frosting Ingredients You’ll Need

frosting ingredients on a countertop
  • Powdered sugar: Any brand of powdered sugar will work for these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes!
  • Milk: I like to use regular milk for this frosting, but almond milk or soy milk could also work.
  • Butter: I prefer using salted butter for this frosting, since it creates more depth of flavor than unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla: Real vanilla extract is best for this vanilla cupcake recipe!
  • Salt: I love adding a pinch of salt to my frosting recipes. It adds the perfect bit of complexity and really brings out the flavor.

Frosting Tip

A pinch of kosher salt makes the frosting extra delicious! It helps to cut the sweetness and bring out the flavor.

How to Make Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Make the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F place paper liners in every other liner of 2 cupcake tins. Lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cupcake dry ingredients in a bowl
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. 
Butter and oil mixed in a bowl
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a large bowl with an electric mixer), beat the softened butter and oil together until they become homogeneous, about 3 minutes. 
Sugar added to the butter and oil
  • With the mixture running on medium-low, slowly add the granulated sugar to the oil and butter. Beat on high until the mixture is light and fluffy and turns a very pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
Eggs blended into the cupcake batter
  • Add the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract, then beat on high for another 2 minutes. You want to incorporate lots of air!
Dry ingredients mixed into the wet ingredients in a bowl
  • With the mixer running on low, add the dry ingredients alternate with the buttermilk, in 4 additions starting with the buttermilk and ending with the dry ingredients. 
Gluten-free vanilla cupcake batter in a muffin pan
  • Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way with full with cupcake batter. This recipe makes about 20 cupcakes, so you can refrigerate the rest of the batter to bake after the first batch if needed.  (You can line every other cup of the cupcake pan for extra high cupcakes if you like!)
  • Bake one for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs. Repeat with the remaining batter if needed. 
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.

Make the Frosting

Frosting in a glass mixing bowl
  • In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and powdered sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the vanilla, salt and a tablespoon of milk one at a time. If the frosting seems to be getting too runny, stop adding milk. Beat the vanilla buttercream frosting for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • Transfer the vanilla frosting to a piping bag fit with a large star tip and frost the cooled cupcakes while on the wire rack. Top with rainbow sprinkles or leave plain. Enjoy!

Storage Instructions

Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to three days. You can also store these cupakes in the freezer for up to three months.

gluten-free vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles on a countertop

FAQs

Is gluten-free flour good for cupcakes?

Yes, a high-quality gluten-free flour blend can create delicious cupcakes with a light, fluffy texture. For best results, use a flour blend that contains xanthan gum, such as King Arthur Measure-for-Measure flour or Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour blend.

Do gluten-free cupcakes taste different?

If you use a high-quality gluten-free flour blend, gluten-free cupcakes can have the same light, fluffy texture and delicious flavor of cupcakes made with all purpose flour. For best results, follow a gluten-free cupcake recipe (rather than substituting gluten-free flour in a normal cupcake recipe.)

Do gluten-free cupcakes need to be refrigerated?

No. Like regular cupcakes, gluten-free cupcakes can be left at room temperature for up to three days. If you’d like them to last longer, you can store them in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to three months.

a gluten-free vanilla cupcake with a candle in it

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • I use these cupcake liners. They never stick!  
  • Be sure the butter is completely at room temperature! It won’t whip up with the oil correctly if it is too cold.
  • Use a combination of gluten-free flour and cornstarch to create your own gluten-free cake flour. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour for cakes and cupcakes.
  • A combination of oil and butter makes a delicious texture. I highly recommend using both!
  • This batter requires a secret ingredient – AIR! Whipping the cupcakes helps add lots of air to the cupcakes and creates a light, airy texture.
  • Adding a pinch of kosher salt to the frosting helps to cut the sweetness and bring out the flavor.

MORE GLUTEN-FREE CAKE RECIPES

I hope you love these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes as much as we do! If you try these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you! 

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Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes on a countertop
5 from 5 votes

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes (Bakery Style!)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 20 cupcakes
These gluten-free vanilla cupcakes are perfectly light and fluffy, with tall, domed tops! They make the best bakery-style birthday cupcakes!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 pounds (680g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk

Instructions 

Make the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350F place paper liners in every other liner of 2 cupcake tins. Lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a large bowl with an electric mixer), beat the softened butter and oil together until they become homogeneous, about 3 minutes.
  • With the mixture running on medium-low, slowly add the granulated sugar to the oil and butter. Beat on high until the mixture is light and fluffy and turns a very pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract, then beat on high for another 2 minutes. You want to incorporate lots of air!
  • With the mixer running on low, add the dry ingredients alternate with the buttermilk, in 4 additions starting with the buttermilk and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Fill each liner ¾ of the way with full. This recipe makes about 20 cupcakes so you can refrigerate the rest of the batter to bake after the first batch if needed. (You can line every other cup of the cupcake pan for extra high cupcakes if you like!)
  • Bake one for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs. Repeat with the remaining batter if needed.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting

  • In a stand mixer, beat the softened butter and powdered sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the vanilla, salt and a tablespoon of milk one at a time. If the frosting seems to be getting too runny, stop adding milk. Beat for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy
  • Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fit with a large star tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Top with rainbow sprinkles or leave plain. Enjoy!

Notes

RECIPE NOTES
  • Use a combination of gluten-free flour and cornstarch to create your own gluten-free cake flour. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour for cakes and cupcakes.
  • I like to use salted butter in all of my gluten-free baking. It gives the cupcakes and frosting a nice depth of flavor!
  • I use these cupcake liners. They never stick!  
  • Be sure the butter is completely at room temperature! It won’t whip up with the oil correctly if it is too cold.
  • Lining every other cup of the cupcake pan will help these cupcakes bake up with a perfectly domed top. This allows the heat to evenly surround the whole cupcake as it bakes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 504IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was looking for a gluten-free cupcake recipe and this was perfect! These cupcakes turned out so fluffy and delicious, thank you!!

  2. 5 stars
    I am guilt-free with these gluten-free cupcakes! They are so adorable and festive! kids helped me top them with some sprinkles!

  3. 5 stars
    I love that you have the option to refrigerate the remaining batter. The cupcakes are very light and fluffy that made me want one more after the first one!

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