I get really excited about making small batch recipes. I live with just my husband (and cat) so a lot of the time we find making 12 of anything is just too much. Making 6 cookies or 4 cupcakes is kind of the way to go when you live on your own or there are just 2 of you. That way your baking is always fresh! These Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes just happen to be small batch. So they are basically perfect for Valentine’s Day! Make these fluffy and simple dairy free cupcakes for yourself, your partner or your gals! The vegan buttercream is basically heaven so you could even just skip making the cupcakes and just eat the buttercream. Sounds pretty dreamy to me. But if you do want the full recipe for these gluten free vanilla cupcakes and not just the buttercream, keep scrolling.
Why You’ll Love These Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes
- These dairy free cupcakes are small batch! That’s right this recipe makes 4 beautiful cupcakes. So all 4 can be for you, go halfsies with your partner or make them for your 3 best friends. The great thing about small batch is there won’t be any thrown out because eating 4 cupcakes to yourself is a lot more manageable than 12…
- There are zero artifical dyes in the strawberry buttercream. The colour and strawberry flavour come 100% from REAL STRAWBERRIES.
- These gluten free vanilla cupcakes are the perfect lil’ Valenine’s Day treat. They are fluffy, vanilla-y, and topped with the most delicious vegan buttercream.
How to Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting
The strawberry buttercream is super simple to make and is the perfect pair for these gluten free vanilla cupcakes. The buttercream only requires 3 ingredients. You need room temperature butter (I used Miyoko’s), vegan powdered sugar, and strawberry puree. Start by getting that butter to room temperature and sifting the powdered sugar. Sifting is optional but I like doing it so there are no clumps in my buttercream. Next, prepare the strawberry puree. I found using a cup blender (like a magic bullet) works best for this. Add two small strawberries (leaves removed) to the cup attachment and add a splash of water (less than 1 tbsp). Blend it until smooth. If you are having trouble blending it, add another splash of water. It should be completely smooth.
Add the butter to a bowl and use hand beaters to mix until fluffy. Then add 1 -1 1/2 tbsp of the strawberry puree. Beat until incorporated and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar, roughly 1/4 cup at a time. If you aren’t piping the cupcakes, it is good to ice them with a knife right then. And if you are piping the cupcakes, it’s best to pop the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes just to help the buttercream stiffen. After 10 minutes in the freezer, I find the vegan buttercream to be the perfect consistency to pipe. The last step is to pipe those beautiful gluten free vanilla cupcakes!
Tips to Make The Best Small Batch Cupcakes
- Follow the oven temperature instructions. When the instructions say bake for 5 minutes at 410ºF and then drop the temperature to 350ºF WITHOUT opening the oven- it means don’t open the oven. I know you are tempted to check out your very cute dairy free cupcakes but DON’T. Wait another 18 minutes and then check on them.
- I highly suggest using hand beaters when making the strawberry buttercream. Because these are small batch cupcakes the buttercream is small batch too. I typically use my KitchenAid stand mixer to make my frosting but not when it comes to small amounts. I actually went to Value Village and bought used hand beaters for $6.99 to see if the buttercream would turn out better than it had with my stand mixer (because the consistency wasn’t great when I used my stand mixer). Honestly, that $6.99 purchase made the strawberry buttercream turn out 100x better. With the smaller amounts it was harder for the stand mixer to fully mix it.
- Little but important things to remember for the vegan buttercream are room temperature butter and sifted powdered sugar. This ensures no clumps in your buttercream. Which in turn, ensures your gluten free vanilla cupcakes turn out perfectly.
For More Dairy Free Cupcakes, Try These
These small batch cupcakes are a great dessert for Valentine’s Day or honestly, any day of the week. This recipe only makes 4 cupcakes so it’s kind of ideal if you just want a sweet treat without having 12 to eat. The strawberry buttercream is amazing and I highly recommend reading the tips above so it turns out perfectly for you. These gluten free vanilla cupcakes are moist, perfectly sweet, and such a great shareable treat!
Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
- 1/3 cup soy milk (room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tsp coconut oil (melted and cooled)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup ` +2 tbsp oat flour
- 2 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
- 1-1 1/2 tbsp strawberry puree (roughly 2 small strawberries blended)
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
- Preheat the oven to 410ºF and line a muffin baking tin with 4 liners.
- Add the milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, let sit for 5 minutes.
- Melt the coconut oil and set aside to cool.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Set the bowl aside.
- Add the coconut oil to the milk mixture after 5 minutes, along with the vanilla and the apple sauce. Whisk together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and thoroughly mix together.
- Evenly divide the cupcake batter among the 4 liners. The batter should fill the liners almost to the top.
- Bake in the oven at 410ºF for 5 minutes. WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN, after 5 minutes lower the temperature to 350ªF and bake for another 18 minutes. The cupcakes will be golden and puffy on top. Take out of the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, take them out and place them on a cooling rack to finish completely cooling.
- Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Soft, but not liquid.
- Make the strawberry puree. Add 2 small strawberries (leaves removed) and a splash of water (less than 1 tbsp) to a blender. I found a cup-size blender (like a magic bullet) works best here. Blend until smooth. If the blender process isn't going well, add another splash of water. The puree should be smooth.
- Add the butter to a large bowl and use hand beaters to beat until fluffy. I highly suggest using hand beaters over a stand mixer for this process because it is a small batch recipe. I found my Kitchen Aid stand mixer didn't produce the same fluffy results as the hand beaters.
- Add 1 tbsp of the strawberry puree to the butter mixture. If you find you want a deeper colour, add 1/2 tbsp more. Beat until fluffy and incorporated into the butter.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Beat until thick.
- If you are piping the buttercream, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes to stiffen up before piping. If you are icing the cupcakes with a knife, the icing is ready as soon as it has been mixed with the hand beaters.
- Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before icing them. Once cooled, either use a piping bag to frost the cupcakes or use a knife and spread evenly on.
- Cupcakes are best fresh. Store in a sealed container on the counter.