Fluffy golden Vegan Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes with sweet raspberry frosting and a soft delicate crumb you’d never guess is egg and grain free!
There is nothing more exquisitely simple than a classic vanilla cupcake. And even though we’re breaking a lot of ingredient traditions here, the first bite floating away on fluffy sweet clouds of cake and birthday memories part is in full effect.
I lost count of the number or trial half batches and bags of cassava flour and late night baking/tasting sessions around take 7, and I think even my oven lost faith for a while. But we powered through. Tweaked and changed and optimized for fluffiest cupcake crumb. Stayed true to the mission of creating a grain-free and egg-free (nut-free too if you need them to be!) recipe. So finally here they are: Vegan Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes.
Like I said, not exactly traditional. But not too crazy complicated either. Here’s the breakdown:
- Instead of all purpose flour: We are using a mix of cassava flour – grain and nut-free, but the most similar to all purpose that I’ve found – and just a little bit of coconut flour to improve the crumb.
- Instead of sugar: I tested this so many ways, but a combination of granulated and liquid sweetener worked best. This could be cane or coconut sugar for the granulated, and agave or honey or maple syrup for the liquid.
- Instead of butter: Coconut oil works best, sorry to my oil free friends but they were just too heavy with nut butter and too dry without some sort of fat source.
- Instead of milk: As many vegan cupcakes do, we are using a mixture of almond milk and apple cider vinegar. This creates a “buttermilk” like consistency and the acid of the vinegar also helps activate the baking soda for rise.
- The usuals: Gotta have ’em – salt, vanilla, and leavening (baking soda).
The beauty of vanilla cupcakes is that they are a perfect canvas for any kind of frosting or topping you want (or none at all!). Dip or drizzle with chocolate ganache. Dollop on some simple coconut whipped cream and berries. Swirl with a decadent contrast of chocolate frosting. Or make this light and summery, sweet-tart, raspberry frosting.
It is a cashew based frosting partially sweetened and colored pink with freeze dried raspberries. You do need to soak the cashews and chill the frosting so it thickens after blending, so I actually recommend making this part first. It can be a little trickier to pipe than a traditional buttercream, so a messy rustic smear works just as well.
Cupcake Baking Tips
- Err on the side of baking longer rather than under-baking. I recommend toothpick testing or pressing the middles to make sure they aren’t at all mushy. They should be very golden and domed when done.
- Fill the cupcakes 3/4 of the way or even a little more, without eggs they won’t rise as much as a traditional cupcake.
- Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting, otherwise your frosting will melt right off.
- Double the batch if you share a house/kitchen with lots of other humans, they are hard to share.
More Cupcake Recipes
- These vegan/paleo chocolate cupcakes are their dark and decadent counterpart
- Or for an oat flour vanilla cupcake, try this recipe
- These fruit-sweetened chocolate cupcakes (and there is a vanilla version) are a long time reader favorite
- And since it’s almost fall, something spiced
Fluffy, golden, Vegan Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes with sweet raspberry frosting and a soft delicate crumb you’d never guess is egg and grain free!
- 1 1/4 cup (175g) cassava flour
- 2 tbsp (15g) coconut flour*
- 1/3 cup (80g) cane sugar or coconut sugar**
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (105g) maple syrup or agave
- 3/4 cup (180g) almond milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (100g) coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Stir the apple cider vinegar into the almond milk and set aside.
- Whisk together the cassava flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until lump free.
- In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup or agave, cane sugar, milk mixture, coconut oil, and vanilla (all at room temp or warmer).
- Add wet to dry, and mix to combine.
- Scoop into a cupcake pan (either grease or use paper liners) filling each almost to the top. You will get 6-8 depending on your pan.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350ºF until golden brown on top and they spring back when you lightly press the center.
- Cool for 15 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, grind the freeze dried raspberries to a powder. Drain the cashews, and blend with the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt on high until very smooth. Add the raspberry powder one spoonful at a time to achieve desired color. Chill to thicken.
- Frost cooled cupcakes, and eat!
*You can swap it with 1/4 cup more cassava flour, but the coconut flour gives the cupcakes a much more defined crumb.
**Either will taste delicious, the cane sugar will preserve the lighter vanilla color.
***Or be lazy, buy vegan frosting, and just add the berry powder.
****Other freeze dried berries would be fine too, or you can use natural food coloring.
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 455
- Sugar: 21g
- Sodium: 259mg
- Fat: 27g
- Saturated Fat: 16g
- Carbohydrates: 49g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 3g
Keywords: vegan, gluten free, grain free, birthday, vanilla, easy, healthy, cassava, cake, paleo, raspberry, frosting, cashew