This amazing gluten-free cupcake recipe makes moist and fluffy cupcakes that are perfect for any occasion.

This recipe was originally published in 2014 and continues to be a reader and family-favorite! PS – If you’re looking for a great cake recipe, try this gluten-free vanilla cake!

close up shot of gluten free vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles


Looking for the best gluten free cupcake recipe? You’re in the right place. This post has all the tips and tricks you need to make fluffy, light, and moist gluten-free cupcakes, every time.

There are so many occasions in life that call for perfect, fluffy vanilla cupcakes. From birthday parties to special occasions, there is no need to miss out on cupcakes if you eat gluten-free!

VIDEO: How to Make Them

This gluten-free cupcakes recipe is my go-to anytime I need a good cupcake base. The gluten-free vanilla cupcakes are delicious topped with any kind of frosting and are made with ingredients that I always have on hand.

These gluten-free red velvet cupcakes, gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes also turn out amazing every time!

For more gluten-free cake recipes try this gluten-free angel food cake, gluten-free pineapple upside down cake, gluten free carrot cake and gluten-free birthday cake.

You also might like this flourless chocolate torte or these gluten-free chocolate cupcakes.

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Light, tender crumb
  • Made with pantry staples
  • Come together quickly
  • Perfect for so many occasions!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: These gluten-free cupcakes turn out best when you use a high-quality 1:1 gluten free flour blend. Look for a gluten free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum to give these gluten-free cupcakes the structure they need. This is my favorite gluten-free flour brand for this easy recipe.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar and almond milk act as a great substitute for buttermilk. The cider vinegar helps to “curdle” the milk and creates a pleasant tang!
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent to give the batter the perfect consistency—moist, but light and fluffy!
  • Egg yolk: Adding extra egg yolk to these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes helps the batter hold more liquid and create a more moist, rich cake that has an improved structure.

NOTE: I use King Arthur gluten-free flour for many of my baked goods, but I like Bob’s Red Mill best for these cupcakes. (KAF will still work!) Gluten-free flour tends to be dense so be careful not to pack the flour into the measuring cup when you measure.

How to Make Gluten-Free Cupcakes

how to make gluten-free cupcakes
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, including the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the room temperature, unsalted butter and white sugar to a stand mixer or using a hand electric mixer, mix until creamy. Mix in the large eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients (almond milk and apple cider vinegar) and dry ingredients alternately. This allows the flours to absorb and creates fluffy cupcakes.
  5. Stir any cake batter up from the bottom and sides then mix again briefly.
  6. Scoop the cupcake batter into a lined muffin pan and bake. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  7. When the gluten-free cupcakes are cooled, using a piping bag to frost and give the cupcakes a professional-looking finish. I love topping these with chocolate buttercream frosting! You could also use vanilla buttercream to keep this a vanilla cupcake recipe.

Recipe Tip

Be sure you almond milk, butter and eggs are all room temperature for best results. This allows the gluten-free flours to absorb properly into the batter and make perfect gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. 

Storage/Freezing Tips for Gluten-Free Cupcakes

TO STORE: These easy gluten-free cupcakes cake will stay moist and soft for up to 2 days. To store, simply cover the cooled cupcakes tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

TO FREEZE: Want to prepare these gluten-free cupcakes ahead of time? No problem! Bake the cake as usual, let it cool, and then wrap it tightly before freezing in an airtight container or freezer bag. When you’re ready to assemble and eat the cupcake, take it out to frost and let it thaw for a couple hours before eating. (Don’t frost the cupcakes before freezing.)

shot of gluten free cupcake with bite

Gluten-Free Cupcakes FAQ

What flour should I use for this gluten-free cupcakes recipe?

I recommend using a high-quality, gluten-free all-purpose flour for gluten-free baking. For best results, pick a blend that contains xanthan gum or another binder. These blends are usually called measure-for-measure or 1:1 baking flour.

This is my favorite gluten-free measure-for-measure baking flour. I also add a little cornstarch to the dry ingredients for these cupcakes. A little extra starch mimics cake flour and yields a nice fluffy cupcake.

How do you make gluten-free cupcakes moist?

Using the right kind of flour and the right flour-to-starch ratio will help these cupcakes bake up nice and moist, along with mixing on medium speed (instead of high speed), and using quality cupcake liners.

Do you need xanthan gum in gluten-free cupcakes?

Yes, xanthan gum is a key ingredient in high-quality gluten-free flour. It makes all the difference in producing cupcakes with a light, moist, crumb and sturdy texture.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Adding a little cornstarch to the gluten-free flour helps to mimic cake flour in this recipe. This combination will create nice fluffy gluten-free cupcakes!
  • These gluten-free cupcakes are delicious with any frosting recipe you like! My favorite combination is vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. But you can also try vanilla frosting, strawberry frosting, or any other frosting flavor you dream up!
  • Make sure you mix the batter on medium speed rather than high speed. Mixing some air into the batter is good, but if the batter is beaten to hard of for too long it can incorporate too much air and the cupcakes will fall.

You also might like this round-up of the TOP 25 gluten-free desserts!

Original photo from 2014!

More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes

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

close up shot of gluten-free cupcakes
5 from 54 votes

Perfect Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
This PERFECT gluten-free cupcake recipe makes moist and fluffy cupcakes. It's sure to become your go-to cupcake recipe! 



  • 3/4 cup almond milk or regular milk room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 6 1/2 ounces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 1 ounce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 7 ounces
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk and cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the 1/3 of the milk mixture alternately with 1/3 of the dry ingredients, beating on medium speed to combine after each addition.
  • Scoop the batter into the lined muffin pan. The batter will be slightly thick. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Careful not to overbake.
  • Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely. Top with frosting of choice. Enjoy!

For the Frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cocoa powder. Mix to smooth any lumps. Add the butter and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on low until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!


  • Be sure you almond milk, butter and eggs are all room temperature for best results. This allows the gluten-free flours to absorb properly into the batter. 
  • I recommend using a high, quality gluten-free all-purpose flour for gluten-free baking. For best results, pick a blend that contains xanthan gum or another binder.
  • Adding a little cornstarch along with the gluten-free flour mimics cake flour in this recipe. This combination will create nice fluffy cupcakes.
  • It also helps greatly to use a good quality cupcake liners any time you’re baking gluten-free cupcakes or muffins.


Calories: 211.66kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.83g | Protein: 2.93g | Fat: 10.04g | Saturated Fat: 5.4g | Cholesterol: 66.26mg | Sodium: 193.81mg | Potassium: 105.2mg | Fiber: 0.88g | Sugar: 16.87g | Vitamin A: 296.3IU | Calcium: 55.45mg | Iron: 0.69mg

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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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  1. 5 stars
    Making these currently for my daughter’s 5th birthday. I followed the recipe exactly (I found that weighing the ingredients works best so thank you for including oz). They turned out perfect! My daughter said they were the best cupcakes ever and I need to make them everyday.

  2. 5 stars
    My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after her 4th birthday, so leading up to her 5th we took a tour of cake — she’d never really been a fan (obvious now we know why!). She settled on yellow cake after having these cupcakes — they were so delicious!

    For her birthday, she wanted a big four layer cake, so I went for it with no adjustments to the recipe because lord knows I don’t know that much about GF baking yet, but, of course, adjusted baking times. Probably around 30m total for the cakes. I doubled the recipe twice to get my four layers in 8″ round pans and it worked perfectly.

    Everyone raved about the cake which made this baker mama who has pivoted to GF for her girl so happy. Anyway, long story short, we are a big fan around here and I’ll be keeping this as my go-to. THANKS ERIN!

  3. 5 stars
    I”ve made this recipe several times. I recommend increasing the baking time. I always have to let these bake for 24-25 mins and then let them cool off in pan for about 5 mins. Also they taste better the next day after flavors have time to settle. Great recipe when I am craving cake!

  4. I’m going to try this recipe for a young bit who loves cupcakes! They have to be gluten free and dairy free. His momma asked me to make some for him because she doesn’t bake much and it’s hard with 2 other children going somewhere that has these sweet treats that they can have but he can’t…
    Oh, my daughter is also Erin Collins!!

  5. 5 stars
    I made these into cupcakes and they are now my go to for gluten free cupcakes. My daughter is celiac but the other four in my family are not and can’t tell these cupcakes are gf. Thank you for this great recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Lovely texture and taste– took longer than 20 minutes although I filled them smaller (15 standard size). They still looked wet on top but were cooked inside, so watch carefully! Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    I was looking for a yellow cake recipe for my husband’s birthday and I’m so glad I chose this one. It was SO good. This will be my go to yellow cake recipe from now on. Thanks! I knew it would come out good based on your banana bread recipe which is also amazing!

  8. 5 stars
    I made these for my MIL’s birthday (she, my husband, and several family members have been gluten free for a while). I used Bob’s Red Mill GF 1 to 1 flour and whole milk and they turned out perfect! No gritty texture or weird after taste. Honestly, if you didn’t know the were GF, you would have no idea!

  9. Hi Erin- I am making gf strawberry cupcakes for a baby shower. I love the sound of this recipe and my research shows the addition of corn starch to mimic cake flour too, so am forging ahead! Do you think I can add a strawberry reduction to this batter without hurting the structure? It’s from fresh strawberries and becomes a paste but packs a strawberry punch! Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated- Janie

    1. Hi Janie! I love the idea of strawberry cupcakes! I think you could swap our the milk for strawberry reduction with good results. That way you won’t have too much liquid. Let me know if it works! 🙂

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