Fluffy, moist Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes – a classic dessert but healthier, these gluten-free cupcakes made with oat flour are easy to make and irresistibly delicious!
I know, I know. The cherry on top look is supposed to be for ice cream sundaes and milkshakes exclusively. But you gotta admit it kinda works here.
As much as I love ice cream, a fluffy vanilla cupcake swirly-topped with luscious vanilla frosting is so seriously good it deserves the most picture perfect of fruit toppings too. I would never utter something as wacky as “better than ice cream”, but it’s a fierce tie in my dessert heart.
Once chocolate cake happens it’s only fair to soon follow up with vanilla – no flavor favoritism here. Plus, hello excuse to eat more and cuter cake.
A quick instagram poll last week made it quite clear that you guys wanted an oat flour cake over the grain-free version I had in mind. Which is SO GOOD TO KNOW. Ask and you shall receive. Although it proved much tricker than swapping out cocoa powder for more flour. I wanted to make sure these cupcakes were still yummy and rich even without the decadence of chocolate. A few dozen cupcakes later, and I’m pretty sure you are going to love these.
The ingredient highlights:
- Oat flour. As requested.
- Tapioca starch. Unless you want to be covered in crumbs after eating. You can use cornstarch or arrowroot starch instead, but tapioca is my favorite for baking.
- Coconut oil. I tried countless times to make these oil-free, but applesauce made them too gummy and almond butter too muffin-like. Coconut oil works best for a light but still moist texture. You can use a nut or seed butter if you prefer, but they will be more dense
- Coconut sugar. I tested a batch with maple syrup, but the flavor just wasn’t as rich. Coconut sugar is also much cheaper.
- Vanilla extract. Obviously.
Ideally you would mix the wet ingredients in their own bowl, and the dry in another, and then combine. But if you wanted to turn this into a one bowl situation – whisk the wet, add the dry, get after those flour clumps, and then cleanup in two minutes flat – go for it like the badass cupcake rebel you are.
Now comes the part where I admit to you that I used Simple Mills vanilla frosting. Yup, that happened. After four…five…too-many-to-count batches of cupcakes I just couldn’t be bothered blending up my own, and their ingredients are good enough for me.
While you silently judge me, let’s run through all the HOMEMADE frosting options I’ve got for ya…
Like this creamy cashew classic.
Or this ultra decadent chocolate heaven.
Or a healthier date-sweetened frosting.
Or good old coconut whipped cream.
Or this adventurous low-fat one.
You are now 100% ready to be that person at the party who brings the killer cupcakes that disappear freaky fast and no one can believe are vegan and gluten-free (and made out of oatmeal, but we don’t want to blow their minds TOO much).
Sorry person that brought brownies. Cupcakes. Always. Win.
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: american
Fluffy, moist Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes – a classic dessert but healthier, these gluten-free cupcakes made with oat flour are easy to make and irresistibly delicious!
- 1 (240g) cup non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup (70g) coconut oil OR 1/2 (130g) cup nut/seed butter*
- 2/3 cup (105g) coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups (240g) oat flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) tapioca starch**
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
One batch cashew yogurt frosting OR see post above for more frosting options.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Add the wet to the dry, and stir until well combined.
- Divide batter into 12 cupcakes lined with paper liners or sprayed with oil. Fill each almost to the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350F or until golden brown and firm when lightly pressed in the middle.
- Cool completely before frosting (I actually like to chill them overnight first).
- Frost and enjoy!
- Keep leftovers in the fridge. They will last 4-5 days but dry out with time, so are best eaten within the first couple of days.
*Coconut oil gives them the best texture–moist but still light and fluffy. Nut or seed butter will make them a little more dense and muffin-like. If using a nut butter, I recommend raw cashew butter. **You can substitute with cornstarch or arrowroot, but tapioca starch yields the best texture.
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake with frosting
- Calories: 306
- Sugar: 16g
- Fat: 17g
- Carbohydrates: 34g
- Protein: 4g
Keywords: vegan, cupcakes, gluten-free, birthday cake
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Is there something up with your nutrition information? I’m pretty positive that there aren’t 176g of ANYTHING in one cupcake — I added up all the grams you listed for your ingredients, divided by twelve and got less than 60g.
Looks delicious, though! And I love the cherry on top. You know, cherry cake should really be a thing. Or ice-cream sundae cake. . .
Ha yes that was very off, sorry! Fixed now 🙂
These sound and look ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. Call me basic, but vanilla cake is my favorite and it’s surprisingly difficult to find a healthyish, yet delicious (not to mention affordable) recipe for it, so THANK YOU. I can’t wait to make this very regularly and garnish with all sorts of fun topping combos. Berries and coconut for the summer is sounding stellar!
Right!? Chocolate is way easier for some reason, I think the overwhelming richness of chocolate just trumps everything else ha. Oooh they will be so so pretty and summery, I can’t wait to see🤗
Shivani Raja says
These look AMAZING Natalie! And the recipe came at the perfect time, as I am baking and selling cupcakes to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society next week. I’m sure these will go down very well! Shivani xx
Woohoo! That is some good timing, and what a lovely reason to bake too. Let me know how they turn out 🙂
Man that looks so good! You’re awesome! And…you knew this was coming…we can’t do oats, no matter how much i love them…would it work with another flour? And I know it often isn’t that easy to just switch to another flour.
Can you do gluten or does it need to be gf? I haven’t tested them with other GF flours yet, but I would recommend trying buckwheat or quinoa flour. Good luck!
No gluten. Those flours might work. Buckwheat itself may be too strong, but I could maybe mix them. Thanks!
Yeah you could definitely try a mix! Or making your own buckwheat flour with untested buckwheat ground up is much more mild in flavor 🙂
Oh! Good to know! Thanks!
Tried this recipe with buckwheat flour, turned out to be very dry, can add a little oil while baking these, maybe it will be moister.
Aw bummer. Yes you could definitely try adding some oil though!
Can i use applesauce instead of the oil or nut butter? Vanilla cupcakes rule!!!!
I tried it with applesauce many times and they are more dense and a little gummy, but it will work 🙂
The Vegan 8 says
Ok, I’ve been crazy packing up my house in boxes all week and going back and forth to the storage unit and could REALLY go for these cupcakes right now! Like, literally all I’ve done this week is pack and test cake recipes and dessert, bahahaha. I seem to only have time for those two things and I’m most certain I have time to squeeze in to try these babies out too. Love, love that they are made with oat flour, one of my favs! Oh and I’ve totally tried that Simple Mills frosting once before too and it is sooo delicious. I rarely buy premade icings because they tend to be so oily and made with crap, but I actually like the short clean ingredient list on their icing, at least where icing is concerned, it is the best one on the market, no weird taste or nasty chemicals. These look so so good Natalie and so simple. I can’t wait to try them! I love how you topped them with a perfectly bright red cherry on top, couldn’t be more simple and perfect!
Only a food blogger would be crazy busy with packing and moving but still make time to bake cake lol! For most people it’s a special occasion thing, for us it’s just a normal part of Tuesday😂😂 I am excited to see this cake you’ve been teasing though! Gah that frosting is too good, totally too me back to my Duncan Hines + teddy graham days (yep that was a normal thing in my house). Well I appreciate you taking time amidst the craziness to comment and good luck with the move❤️ Happy sunday!
Hi, I made these into 6 inch cakes but because I only have one cake pan so I could only bake one at a time. The batter soak up water, due to the oats. Do you know if the texture would be different if I added more milk? The batter sat too long as I extend the baking time and it was thick and gloopy. Thanks.
Did you double the recipe to fill two 6 inch cake pans or just one batch? Its possible the batter was too thick in the pan, its tricky to get the center to cook through properly if your pans are too full. And no I don’t recommend adding more milk, that will again be too much moisture and make it turn out mushy.
Liz Timmering says
Loved them, so tasty! I had to use potato starch instead of tapioca starch (finished, oops) and had to use half coconut sugar half brown sugar (also finished, oooops). They were absolutely yummy! I used coconut milk by the way. Going to make more tomorrow! This amount served 12 rich cupcakes. Loved it!
Woohoo!! I am so happy they were a success Liz🤗 And great to know on the potato starch vs tapioca too, I don’t work with potato starch often but I get asked about it all the time. To hear that you are making more already is the best kind of feedback, thank you and enjoy!
Everybody loved it!It’s also the prettiest thing to put on your breakfast table in June! Thank you!
Aww yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, and I imagine they were beautiful😊
Saskia Rose says
Thank you so much Natalie, these were super delicious (especially with added blueberries)!! 🙂
Oooh I love the blueberry addition! I am so happy you liked them 🙂 Thanks for the feedback Saskia!
Just wondering if the coconut sugar is supposed to be with the wet ingredients or the dry ingredients?
It’s supposed to be with the wet ingredients, it will dissolve once mixed with the oil and milk 🙂
My gosh these look so good! I just had a few questions if you don’t mind:
1. If I wanted to make a whole cake (two-8inch pans), how would I adjust the ingredient amounts?
2. Is there any other alternate to the tapioca starch. Making this for someone who’s diabetic and tapioca starch has a high glycemic index. I’ve heard about cassava flour as a good alternative but some sources do say it may not be as great. Any opinions?
3. Do you think I can make this recipe with half oat flour and half almond flour(or coconut flour)? Not sure if it may become too delicate due to the almond flour?
Would appreciate it, thank you!
Hi Chandni! Okay so to make two 8 inch cakes you would probably need to 1.5 times all the ingredients. Doubling may work, but you may have extra batter leftover. Don’t overfill the pans though (no more than 2/3 of the way) or it won’t cook through properly. You will probably need to bake them a little longer, like 35-40 minutes.
You really need the tapioca starch for this one so it’s not too crumbly. Cassava flour is from the same plant, but since it still has the fiber in it it’s not nearly as bind-y as tapioca starch and doesn’t work as a sub here. Perhaps this recipe would be better for what you are looking for: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/lemon-yogurt-bundt-cake/ It already uses a combo of oat + almond and no tapioca. To make it vanilla not lemon, just swap the lemon juice for nondairy milk and replace the zest with 2 tsps vanilla extract.
Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions 🙂
Whoooaa I’m sorry I didn’t see your recipe from today! That one would be PERFECT! But thanks for letting me know how to change adjustments for the vanilla cupcakes…will definitely make them soon!
For the lemon yogurt cake would it be fine to use any plain yogurt including a dairy one like Dannon plain yogurt? And one last question lol😂 since I’ll be putting the bundt cake batter in 8-inch cake pans do I need to adjust the baking time and oven temperature? Thanks again, and I’ll let you know how the cakes turn out😊
Sure, any yogurt will be fine–dairy or not 🙂 The baking time should be about the same, still around 30-35 minutes, but you can always toothpick test it and look for those slightly golden edges😊
I was wondering if I could use spelt flour with this recipe and still get great results? Also if I used that flour would I still include tapioca starch? Thanks:)
I haven’t tested it, but that should be fine! And nope, you won’t need the tapioca in that case, just replace both with spelt flour. Good luck 🙂
Mariana Fourquet says
I love your creativity. My second son is allergy to apple. Can I remove or replace something else for apple cider vinegar?
Sure, lemon juice will work instead! Hope you and your kiddos love them 🙂
Thank you so much for this great recipe. I added cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a little allspice to make spice cupcakes and my whole family of 6 loved them. !!! 🙂
Oh my goodness, that sounds DELICIOUS with all the spices😋😋 I am so happy you liked them🤗
Can i replace tapioca starch with tapioca flour or corn starch?
I just made these! I ground my own oat flour, used cashew milk, tapioca starch, regular white sugar, and canola oil instead of coconut. The tops rose into tall domes and are really cute! They taste great, maybe even a little on the sweet side. My family really liked them. Texture is softer than a muffin, maybe not quite as soft as a traditional cupcake, but that could be on me for making my own flour. I should really try sifting it. Next time I think I will reduce the sugar 1-2 tablespoons and add a pinch of turmeric for the classic yellow cake color.
I am so happy you tried them! Yes, the oat flour instead of all purpose does make them a little “heartier” than a traditional cupcake, but still sweet and fluffy. And I love the turmeric idea! Thanks for the feedback Miki 🙂
I was wondering if i could completely remove the coconut sugar and add no replacement. Will this be ok?
No, they will not taste good and be dry without sweetener of some kind😝
Hi, i followed the recipe but the cupcakes turn out gummy inside. Do you have any ideas why ? Thanks
Aw bummer. That can happen more easily with oat flour recipes, especially if you over mix the batter. Did you mix by hand or with an electric mixer?
I love the idea of these. Can I substitute vpcpnit sugar for rapadyra sugar, or do a 50/50 mix of the two?
Yep that will be fine! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Can I keep the leftovers in the freezer?
Hmm you can, but they may be drier when you defrost. Fresh is really best with oil-free recipe like this!
These are definitely the best cookies that I have ever made, i’m talking about the texture not the way it looks… I turn them into cookies, but definitely I like them better as cupcakes… I have been baking since I was little. It means a lot to me to get a good recipe. I am in love with this site now! I would give it definitely 5 Star rating but I’m gonna say the truth… I think the coconut oil messed up the way that the cookies and the cupcakes look when they bake. The coconut oil dries and then when you put it into the oven it melts again and it makes the cookies kind of goofy looking. I’m not trying to be mean here , I have to Mendes respect for all bakers 👩🍳 they tasted so good so fluffy so light it’s perfect after you eat and take a bite out of one it’s slowly gets fluffier and raise up it’s just the wonder of the world I love it!but they are probably tasted so good so fluffy so light it’s perfect after you eat take a bite out of one it’s slowly surely gets fluffier and rises up. just the wonder of the world I love it! Could you make a sweet cup recipe. You may not know what a sweet cup recipes is so I will tell you. Basically it’s a cupcake in a cup. It’s like
3 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons oat milk
1 tablespoon… you know what I mean… anyways he basically put recipes that you bake in the cupcake or cake or a K thing and then you put it in the microwave for two minutes. Thank you for the reading this👍❤️
Well I am happy you enjoy them, never tried this one as cookies but fluffy puffy vanilla in any form sounds delish to me🍪🧁 Appreciate your feedback, and by “sweet cup” do you mean like a mug cake?
Can i substitute the tapioca starch with tapioca flour or corn starch?
Yep absolutely Em, either will work!
I just made these!! They were so good. Thank you so much for the recipe Natalie. I want to make the Chocolate ones as well but don’t have all the ingredients handy. I was wondering if I could replace 1/4th or 1/8th amount of oat flour with cocoa/cacao powder. Will that work?
Just made these! They were so good. Fluffy and perfectly balanced flavour. Thank you so much for the recipe Natalie. I want to make the Vegan Chocolate Cake as well. But I don’t have all the required ingredients handy. I was wondering if I could replace 1/4th or 1/8th oat flour with Cocoa/Cacao powder to make a chocolate cake. Will that work?