When I first became gluten-free, the topic of birthday cake was a HUGE deal to me. How do you celebrate a birthday without cake? (I was diagnosed before gluten-free was as “mainstream” as it is today). I found a recipe on Mind Body Green for a gluten free vanilla cake made with…. beans. My mom was skeptical. I was skeptical. I didn’t really tell anyone else because it doesn’t sound very appetizing. But I made it! And everyone enjoyed a slice and RAVED about the cake. Eventually it came out that it was made with a whole can of navy beans, and people were shocked. I was proud. And thus began my gluten-free baking journey:)
These gluten-free cupcakes are not made with beans. They are more of a classic vanilla cupcake. I first made them for a girlfriend’s bridal shower, and they got raving reviews. I tried them again for a barbecue, and after many requests for the recipe, decided it had to be posted on the blog.
The nice thing about these cupcakes- they’re SIMPLE. Classic. And low in sugar (without tasting like a muffin- thanks to maple syrup and pureed mango). Yep pureed mango! It adds a lightness that I fell in love with. You can sub applesauce or mashed banana too, but try it with the mango! It doesn’t add a mango flavor, only sweetness.
And of course what cupcakes are complete without frosting? So vegan buttercream it was. I adapted this from minimalist baker (<– um those ones are funfetti), but with less powdered sugar. It’s still PLENTY sweet and honestly amazing. Topped with a fresh blackberry, because I can’t get enough lately, and they were perfect.
So if you are gluten-free, or are baking for someone who’s gluten-free, MAKE THESE CUPCAKES! They are delicious, healthy, simple, and only take 15 minutes to prep (plus baking time)- so really, what’s the harm? It’s my first gluten-free cupcake recipe on the site, and now I’m excited to make many more. Because cake is one of the biggest joys I know. I hope you love these as much as we have!
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¾ tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp flaxmeal
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup mango puree (puree fresh mango in a blender, or sub mashed banana or applesauce)
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted (can also use grapeseed oil or melted vegan butter)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅔ cup almond meal (this is different than almond flour as it's more coarse)
- ⅓ cup gluten-free oats (ground into flour in blender or food processor)
- 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- ½ cup vegan butter, softened (let sit on counter until soft)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large mixing bowl
- Whisk and electric beater
- Muffin tin and muffin liners
- Blender or food processor
- Pre-heat oven to 350F and line 12 muffin tins with liners.
- Combine almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine 2 Tbsp flax meal and 5 Tbsp water in a large bowl and set aside, at least 5 minutes.
- Whisk together almond milk mixture, flax meal mixture, and maple syrup in the large mixing bowl.
- Add mango puree, coconut oil, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix.
- Add almond meal, oat flour, and gluten-free flour. Mix until well combined.
- Divide evenly into muffin tins (~3/4 full) and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean.
- Let cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes, then on a cooling rack until completely cool.
- Make your frosting by combining softened butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Use an electric beater until light and fluffy. You can add a bit (~1 Tbsp) almond milk if it's too thick.
- Frost the cupcakes generously, and garnish as desired.