Easy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

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Side view of a vegan vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting and sprinkles

What started as a quest to perfect vegan gluten-free pound cake morphed into creating the most perfect vanilla cupcake we’ve laid taste buds on. Friends, these vegan vanilla cupcakes are a must-try: 1 bowl, 10 ingredients, naturally sweetened, and gluten-free. Let us show you how it’s done!

Almond flour, cornstarch, potato starch, vanilla, almond milk, applesauce, avocado oil, maple syrup, baking powder, and salt

Gluten-Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

These cupcakes start with mixing the wet ingredients. Almond milk replaces dairy milk, applesauce replaces eggs, and avocado oil locks in the moisture.

Maple syrup adds sweetness, and we included a generous amount of vanilla extract for BIG vanilla flavor.

Bowl of gluten-free vegan vanilla cupcake batter

Next, the dry ingredients are added to the same bowl, minimizing the mess!

A mix of gluten-free flours is key to creating the perfect cupcake texture. Almond flour smells just like cake and provides a crumb texture. Potato starch makes them light and fluffy. And cornstarch adds structure.

For leavening, we included baking powder, and for more flavor, we added sea salt.

Scooping vegan vanilla cupcake batter into a parchment-lined muffin tin

After baking and cooling, they’re ready to eat! They’re delicious on their own or topped with your favorite frosting, like our Classic Buttercream Frosting, Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting, Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting, or Coconut Whipped Cream.

Tray of vanilla cupcakes with half of them frosted

We hope you LOVE these cupcakes! They’re:

Perfectly sweet
So delicious
& Just like the real thing!

They’re perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or any time you’re craving a sweet treat!

Vanilla cupcakes topped with frosting and sprinkles

More Vegan Cupcake Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Partially eaten fluffy vegan vanilla cupcake

Easy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

Perfectly fluffy vanilla cupcakes that happen to be vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened. Just 1 bowl and 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Top down shot of six vegan vanilla cupcakes topped with frosting
4.68 from 34 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 (Cupcakes)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (unfrosted)
Does it keep? 3 Days



  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (we used almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour (the closest sub would be cashew flour, or a mix of coconut flour and a GF blend, but we haven't tested it this way and can't promise good results!)
  • 3/4 cup potato starch* (not potato flour)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a standard-size muffin tin with cupcake liners (we prefer these ones). Cupcake liners are preferable over greasing the pan because they prevent the sides from browning too much and yield a prettier result. But in a pinch, lightly grease instead.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add dairy-free milk, applesauce, avocado oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
  • Add almond flour, potato starch, cornstarch, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk again until well incorporated and no lumps remain. The texture should be thick and look similar to cornbread batter (see photo). If too thick, thin with a little more dairy-free milk. If too thin, add a little more almond flour.
  • Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners filling a generous 3/4 of the way full. Recipe as written makes 12 cupcakes.
  • Bake on the center rack for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, they are golden brown on the very edges, the tops appear dry, and they spring back a bit when touched or pressed (rather than deflating). It’s better to slightly over-bake than under-bake these cupcakes to avoid gumminess.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to let cool completely.
  • Once cooled, option to top with frosting of choice. These subtly sweet cupcakes pair nicely with a sweeter frosting such as our classic buttercream frosting, vegan chocolate ganache frosting, date-sweetened chocolate frosting or vegan strawberry frosting. For a lighter option, try lightly-sweetened coconut whipped cream and fresh berries.
  • Best when enjoyed within the first 24-48 hours after baking. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for 1-2 days or in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freeze unfrosted cupcakes for up to 1 month.



*We did not test other starches, but in place of potato starch, a blend of coconut flour and arrowroot starch may work. Or possibly oat flour.
*In place of cornstarch, arrowroot may work.
*If not gluten-free, you can try subbing ~1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour in place of the almond flour, potato starch, and cornstarch.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without frosting.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 cupcake Calories: 243 Carbohydrates: 27.1 g Protein: 3.9 g Fat: 14 g Saturated Fat: 1.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 9.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 284 mg Potassium: 183 mg Fiber: 2.2 g Sugar: 9.9 g Vitamin A: 3.8 IU Vitamin C: 0.1 mg Calcium: 116 mg Iron: 0.8 mg

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My Rating:

  1. KimcheeMomma says

    These were amazing! I didn’t have cornstarch so I made it with just potato starch. I also subbed the maple syrup for regular sugar. They were crumbly and a little dry (my fault for making the batter a bit too dry) and not gummy at all. I cut the recipe to 8 and had to add a bit more milk. Next time I know to make it slightly runnier and they will be perfection! Thank you so much for so many amazing recipes!!

  2. Olivia-Anne says

    Hi again, I was wondering if I could add date caramel sauce in lieu of apple, to make it kind of like a sticky date cupcake? I feel like this recipe in particular has a lot of potential x

  3. Olivia-Anne says

    Tried your recipe. Really yummy, and they rose beautifully. I did sub 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of lemon juice to activate it (as I don’t like the baking powder “aftertaste”). I also subbed arrowroot starch for cornflour. One question I do have is a way to make the texture less moist/gummy? Perhaps more almond flour? I did leave them in the full 30 minutes until they were nice and golden brown. Is it worth leaving them in longer and putting down the temp so they don’t burn around the edges? Kindly, Olivia-Anne

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Olivia-Anne, baking powder and cornstarch both help with making them light and fluffy! Maybe try adding half arrowroot and half additional potato starch in place of the cornstarch instead of all arrowroot?

      • Olivia-Anne Primmer says

        Thank you, I’ll try that. Once they fully cooled the texture improved from the initial taste test. Can’t wait to try it again.

    • KimcheeMomma says

      I find the baking powder without aluminum to not have that “taste” you’re referring to. It had a nice crumb and not gummy at all with it.

  4. Céline says

    I substituted apple sauce with Oikos Lactose Free Greek yogurt and did not use cornstarch , just potato starch by Red Mill. Did not use arrowroot powder for my cupcakes. I used avocado oil (no stomach ache yet, as I’m on low fodmap diet) and it came out well.
    For texture, the top was golden brown and well baked but when I peel off the cupcake paper to eat the rest, I found the middle and bottom layers crumbly and a bit sticky. I was wondering if crumbly and sticky texture were caused by not using cornstarch or arrow root powder? Nevertheless, my attempt was not bad as I was able to make it look and taste like cupcake without turning it into a muffin! It’s not too sweet and not too salty, not avocado-ish either due to oil used. Not bad for first attempt.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience! The additional potato starch could be the issue. It does have a tendency to be a bit crumbly. Avocado oil should be low FODMAP even though it’s from avocados because it’s just the fat and FODMAPs are carbs :)

      • Céline says

        Thank you for response. I did not use extra potato starch and followed the amount written on the recipe. Should I reduce the potato starch used to make cupcake less crumbly? If yes, how much should I use?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Ah, okay! Sorry, we thought you were saying you replaced the corn starch with potato starch.

          • céline says

            For this recipe, I have decided to omit the cornstarch when I started baking because didn’t buy one. Thank you!

  5. Celine says

    Hello! Minimalist Baker

    1.Could I just use arrow root flour and not use cornstarch?

    2. Could I use flax egg instead of applesauce?

    3. What would be best alternative to potato starch?

    Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Arrowroot flour might work, but may make them a bit gummy. Flax egg could work, but we think dairy-free yogurt would be a better sub. Potato starch is key in GF baking for a light and fluffy texture. The next best alternative is cornstarch, but it’s not quite the same!

      • Céline says

        I have bought lactose-free yogourt as most vegan yogurt where I live have coconuts and I can’t have coconut products. Would like to ask if I could skip on cornstarch and arrow root flour as I already have potato starch? Would potato starch be sufficient? Thank you.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          That should work, though we haven’t tested it! Let us know if you give it a try!

  6. céline says

    What would be a more suitable substitute to apple sauce? I can’t eat apples and apple products as I am on a low-fodmap diet. help!

  7. Taylor says

    I am making these cupcakes for my daughters birthday on Saturday. I made the batter already, but after reading comments from people complaining the cupcakes are dry after a day, I am worried that I am making them too soon. My plan was to bake Thursday, freeze overnight, and then frost on Friday so they would be ready to go Saturday morning. Would I be better off leaving the batter in the fridge and baking tomorrow so they are fresher?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Taylor, the baking powder will likely lose its effectiveness if you don’t bake right away. It will be better to bake now and freeze!

  8. Leanie says

    I Love this recipe for my daughter who can’t do eggs, milk and wheat. The downside is I typically don’t have potato starch on and usually follow a paleo diet. What is your best guess for how much coconut flour and arrowroot starch could replace the potato starch?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leanie, we haven’t tried these cupcakes with those substitutions, and we suspect coconut flour wouldn’t be a good option. We think the best option might be to increase the corn starch and use some arrowroot for the remaining amount, but we haven’t tried it. Maybe 1/3 cup + 1/4 corn starch and 1/2 cup arrowroot? Let us know how it goes!

  9. Angela says

    I love this recipe so much!! I live in CO where it’s really dry. Is there anything you’d recommend to make them a bit more moist? Also, can they sit out at room temp? Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Angela, we’re so glad you enjoy this recipe! You could possibly do a bit less almond flour (1/4-1/3 cup) to keep them more moist, or bake for a few less minutes, but we haven’t tried either. They can sit out at room temp, probably for ~24 hours, but they will dry out faster. Hope this helps!

  10. TG says

    How do you think oat flour would work instead of almond flour? I’ve typically had success with oat as a sub, but would like your thoughts re this recipe and if tried. Ty!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi TG, we haven’t tried that in this recipe but it could work. They might be more dense/gummy, but hopefully still tasty. Let us know how it goes!

  11. Sylvia says

    Can you freeze frosted cupcakes or do they have to be eaten within 1 – 3 days (after put in the fridge)?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle! We haven’t tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour blend and can’t guarantee results, however, we would guess you could substitute about 1 1/2-2 cups of gluten-free flour for the almond flour, potato starch and cornstarch! Let us know how it goes if you try it. xo

      • Sandy says

        I had a birthday request for banana cupcakes, so I subbed the applesauce for about a cup and a half of mashed bananas, but changed nothing else. Topped with your vegan buttercream, they were delicious and received plenty of compliments!

  12. Lindsey Callihan says

    Hi! I just finished making this but it came out incredibly salty. I measured out the salt exactly but it’s too salty to eat. Thinking if I reduce the salt by half it might be better next time. So weird! The texture and flavor (other than the salt) is nice. I followed your recipe for the regular flour as well.

  13. Gayle says

    I’m not gluten-free and thought these were really good! Next time I’ll try the apple cider vinegar trick to see what that does, but I thought the flavor and texture were really good. I also like the use of almond flour since it’s healthier! Thanks for a great recipe!

  14. Neha says

    By any chance do you have a similar easy recipe for chocolate cupcakes which does not use the GF flour blend? Or if you can suggest a substitute for the flour blend?

          • Danielle says

            Hey there!
            I am looking for a vanilla cupcake recipe for my daughters bday party. She cannot have egg but my nephew is highly allergic to nuts. We don’t need a gf recipe. I see in your notes you mentioned that you could try subbing the gf flour for all purpose. I am all for trying that but is there a different recipe you’d recommend? Just figured I’d ask before giving it a whirl! Also I saw in the comments that people were mentioning adding apple cider vinegar to make them lighter but I didn’t see this in the recipe anywhere. Could you point me to those instructions? Sorry if I’m missing something!

            Thanks for everything! My family has tons of allergies and we LOVE your website!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Danielle, thanks so much for the support! We haven’t tried making these without the almond flour, but if you try it with a gluten-free all-purpose blend let us know how it goes! We would suggest starting with 1 1/2 cups to replace the almond flour, potato starch, and cornstarch and adding more as needed. You can check the consistency in the photos and try to get it as close to that as possible. We haven’t tried them with apple cider vinegar, but another reader has had success using 1 tsp!

  15. Sara says

    This is the first gluten free, egg free, dairy free cupcake I have made that actually tastes like a real cupcake. I am so happy to have found your website! People with allergies can have cake too! Now if someone in my fam gets a nut allergy imma be in big trouble lol

  16. Kat says

    Delicious! I took inspiration from a few commenters and added 1 tsp ACV, then poked some holes in the top and brushed with a simple syrup while still warm. They were moist and so much more flavourful than ordinary GF baked goods. Fluffy and perfect, thank you!

  17. Mandy says

    More like a muffin texture than a cupcake, but it tastes good. I think it also would be helpful if there was a note to use bleached almond flour to get a white baked item. I used unbleached almond flour and mine turned out brown.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mandy, sorry to hear it didn’t turn out right! It sounds like what you used was almond meal instead of almond flour. That will definitely impact the texture. Let us know if you give it another try!

  18. Lisa says

    This is the third or fourth time I’ve made this. These always came out decent but this time they came out REALLY good! I followed the recipe exactly but this time I used my scale to measure all ingredients including the liquid ingredients. I also added 1tsp of apple cider vinegar. Wow these are super airy and fluffy- previously they were good but more dense. I’m in shock how small changes make a big difference!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So cool! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Lisa. We’re so glad you enjoy these cupcakes!

  19. Mel says

    I made these tonight and I’m blown away at how good they are. I followed the recipe except switched out egg for applesauce and added a little extra milk. So yummy! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah, hmm, we aren’t sure if that would work. It might add too much moisture, causing the cupcakes to be gummy in the center. Another option would be a neutral oil. Let us know if you try it!

  20. Sarah says

    Do you think it would work if I subbed extra potato starch for corn starch?

    These look good, but my little one had a corn allergy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah, We haven’t tested it that way, but we think it would work well. Let us know if you try it!

  21. Kelly says

    Just made these with everything normal except cornstarch, I used tapioca starch and they are great! I topped it off with a lavender drizzle!

  22. Caroline says

    These turned out great and are really simple to make! Finally, a vanilla cupcake that doesn’t call for a ton of sugar and doesn’t use eggs. They really are easy and delicious. They did dry out very quickly so next time, I will make a half dozen or invite more people to the party;-)

  23. Perla says

    Made these cupcakes today and I love them! I’d tried other vegan gluten-free recipes in the past but never went mad about the taste. These ones are delicious!!! I followed the recipes as it’s. They get a bit dry as the time goes but still soft and tasty so really don’t mind. Finally found my go-to recipe for cupcakes!!! Thank you so much!!! :)

  24. Mary Grace Faulk says

    These cupcakes were a hit! My little girl is allergic to eggs and I wanted to take cupcakes to her cousin’s birthday party so she could enjoy one also with the other children. I substituted oat flour for the potato starch and arrowroot for the cornstarch. I didn’t get into making the frosting so I used the Simple Mills vanilla icing.

    Several people at the party tried these who are not GF or vegan and LOVED them!

    Thanks for such a great recipe!
    Mary Grace

  25. Rachel says

    I used Bob’s Redmill 1-to-1 GF flour in place of the potato starch, arrow root in place of the cornstarch, olive oil in place of the avocado oil, and oat milk in place of the almond milk. Baked the full 30 minutes. They taste delicious but a bit soft in the center. Any thoughts? They haven’t cooled totally yet, so I’m hoping they firm up a bit as they sit.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rachel, it’s likely from the flour swaps, especially the arrowroot starch. Arrowroot can make cakes a little gummy on the inside.

  26. Jenny says

    I’m not gluten free and was wondering if I could sub in all-purpose flour here. I noticed the APF sub in the strawberry cake recipe involved WAY less APF than the GF flour blend in the original recipe (1.5 cups APF instead of a total of ~3.6 cups almond flour + potato starch + corn starch) does this seem right? So would it be roughly the same for this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenny, we do think it would work using less APF. We’d say maybe 1 cup here? Let us know if you try it!

      • Jenny says

        I ended up using about 1.5 cups of APF and they came out GREAT. Only thing is the recipe only yielded 8 cupcakes, although I probably had a bit of a heavy hand filling the cups :)

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Judith, Potato starch is pretty key here for texture, but can potentially be subbed for a mix of arrowroot and coconut flour with a varied result.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think yogurt would work. Banana would likely contribute a banana flavor, but if that doesn’t bother you, it might be okay. Let us know how it turns out!

  27. Brittany Brennan says

    Can I substitute egg instead of applesauce? If so, how many eggs? My daughter has a dairy, soy, sweet potato, and apple intolerance – but I’d love to make these for her birthday!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brittany! We haven’t tried this with eggs, but we think it should work well! We’d suggest using 2 eggs for a full batch. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

  28. DJ says

    For me, eating them fresh was best for the taste and moist texture, as I found them to be a little dry and not as rich tasting the next day. I kept them in an air-tight container on the counter. Not the recipe’s fault, as I have found this to happen with vegan food, when fresh is usually best. Still, maybe you have tips?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi DJ! It can be hard with gluten-free items because they react to moisture much differently. We usually keep them on the counter for a couple of days and then transfer to the fridge, then heat slightly in the oven or toaster oven to freshen them up! xo

      • Jenny says

        In response to a couple of comments about drying out. Several years ago I watched many cupcake videos in preparation for an aunt’s 80th birthday. We had many dietary restrictions. Professional bakers seem to brush their cupcakes with a sugar syrup immediately after baking to keep the cupcakes moist if 1. there is a delay in icing the cupcakes 2. delay in eating. Wonder if this would help?

  29. Rebecca says

    I made these once before when I couldn’t use cornstarch and used coconut flour instead – it wasn’t a huge success (my comment is here with more details).

    I had applesauce and almond flour lying around that I needed to use up, so though I am not gluten-free, I thought I would make these right the second time. The batter and cupcakes looked just like in the photo, and when I took a bite the crumb looked just like in the picture. They were an okay texture but my husband and I just weren’t crazy about the mouthfeel. We’re not used to gluten-free desserts, so maybe it’s “good for a gluten-free cupcake”?

    The next day I wanted to have some for a snack, and they were just crazy dry and crumbly and just fell apart in my hands whenever I took a bite. It’s just the two of us, so I freeze baked goods immediately after baking them so we can eat them “like fresh” when we feel like it, so I had just defrosted them for an hour on the counter before eating. Even an hour out of the oven, though, we weren’t crazy about them, but I am glad I gave them another shot.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the updated review, Rebecca. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t for you! Baked goods with potato starch are more prone to drying out so are best within the first day or two.

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Rebecca,
      I have read that coconut flour isn’t a good substitute for other flours unless specifically written into a recipe. Coconut flour absorbs liquids at three times the rate of other flours apparently, so it probably would make the cake batter dry.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for catching that, Jennifer! Coconut flour definitely causes baked goods to be dry.

  30. Richa says

    Hi. I am gluten intolerant but not vegan. Can I substitute vegan ingredients with mom vegan like eggs and butter etc? TIA!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Richa, we haven’t tried with those modifications, but it looks like another reader mentioned subbing the applesauce for 2 eggs. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  31. Dorothy says

    Just finished making these! I made them EXACTLY as stated and they were totally delish! Even hubby liked them and he refuses to eat any baked goods that “aren’t REAL”! (He thinks if there’s no butter, eggs, sugar, or gluten, it can’t be REAL!). LOL!

    They have a nice vanilla flavor, a great texture, and pair perfectly with your classic buttercream frosting!


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad you both enjoyed them, Dorothy. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

      • Dorothy says

        OOh, and as a follow up, we also tried them cut in half with a dollop of your buttercream frosting AND a little scoop of fruit spread (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Superfruit Fruit Spread)–super yummy. Especially great on day 2 as the cupcakes get a little more dry/crumbly.

        Thanks for making such great recipes!

  32. sam says

    i made a few minor changes: i used coconut oil instead of avocado, i added a little more vanilla, and i added some sprinkles to the batter to make it funfetti. they were a little dry the day of, but still tasty. these tasted vegan to me and my partner if you know what i mean. it made me realize how front and center butter is in the flavor profile of regular vanilla cupcakes. i donʻt think i would serve this to family that arenʻt vegan, though there are many other vegan baking recipes from MB that i do and get rave reviews for.

    the next day the cupcakes were quite hard and crumbled very easily. it tasted the same, but the texture took a turn for the worst. the day after that, the texture got worse again, still very crumbly but somehow a bit gummy at the same time. i will try this recipe again as i have had a lot of success with MB baking recipes in the past.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sam, sorry to hear these didn’t turn out as expected! Baked goods with potato starch are best the first day as they are more prone to drying out. We’d suggest trying avocado oil next time for best results with texture.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Iva, unfortunately, we don’t think that would work. In place of potato your best bet is a mix of coconut flour and arrowroot starch. Let us know if you try!

    • Sam V says

      Don’t sub anything with Tapioca flour! I made these once before following the recipe exactly and they were superb. I tried again today when I was out of a lot of ingredients and used Tapioca for the corn starch and part of the potato starch and they came out soooooo gummy. It was like I was eating playdough that tasted good. Wompwomp

  33. Kaitlan says

    Hi Dana!

    We made these and they turned out awesome! Thanks for the great recipe :)

    Quick question, where did you buy your sprinkles? I love that color combo!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Kaitlan! Thanks for sharing! We can’t remember where these sprinkles are from, unfortunately.

  34. Rebecca says

    I have been looking for recipes to make during Passover now that I don’t eat animal products, and these look perfect, except that we don’t eat corn or cornstarch on Passover. We have loads of potato starch and even coconut flour – would either of those work in place of the cornstarch?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rebecca, additional potato starch might work, but we haven’t tried it. Let us know if you give it a try!

      • Rebecca says

        I made these today – the only substitutions I made were vegetable oil instead of avocado oil and coconut flour instead of cornstarch for Passover. They weren’t inedible – my whole family ate them and some even took seconds, but they were dense and crumbly – felt a bit like eating sand. I have a feeling the coconut flour really messed with the texture and flavour – I would be curious to give these another try when I can use cornstarch.
        Not giving these a rating yet as my change probably drastically affected things – just wanted to put it out there for anyone needing a grain-free version of these that coconut flour isn’t a successful substitute :)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Rebecca, coconut flour is very dry and sandy. We’d definitely recommend cornstarch next time! Keep us posted =)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t think that would work. In place of potato your best bet is a mix of coconut flour and arrowroot starch. Let us know if you try!

  35. Naureen Siddiqui says

    I love the results of the original recipe but didn’t need them to be vegan this time around-just grain free- so I used grass-fed whole milk (in place of almond milk), 2 eggs (in place of applesauce) and arrowroot starch (instead of cornstarch).
    Still resulted in a dozen cupcakes but cook time was only about 15 minutes.

    Turned out perfect.

  36. Erica says

    Hi Dana! Big fan here. I made these cupcakes with a couple substitutions, namely two eggs instead of applesauce (not vegan) and some gf blend in stead of some almond flour (I had about a half cup of almond flour and then subbed the rest.) They are delicious but pretty dry. Any thoughts?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Erica, I’d say your substitutions are likely what made it dry. Almond flour is not nearly as absorbent or drying as GF blends so that’s likely what went wrong. The eggs shouldn’t have made a difference here in terms of moisture, but you may need to add oil if trying this recipe again as you described. Hope that helps!

  37. Kristen says

    BEST VEGAN/GF VANILLA CUPCAKES EVER! Seriously. You’ve outdone yourself Dana. These are WAY lighter than the cupcakes in your cookbook (which I use on the daily). They taste just like their gluten filled counterparts! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoy them, Kristen! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

      • Azza says

        Hi, following on the earlier question made to make into a cake? Would these ingredients equate to a 4” cake?

        I want to make these cupcakes into a cake for my two year old’s bday. A bigger cake would be better as it will be shared with a few.

        I plan on adding your newly published strawberry frosting to it as well. Yummy.

        Many many thanks,

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Azza! We haven’t tried it but we are pretty sure this recipe would make the right amount of batter for an 8 inch square or 9 inch round baking dish. Let us know how it goes if you try it! xo

  38. Blake says

    How do these taste compared to the Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes in the Minimalist Baker Everyday Cooking cookbook? They have some similar ingredients. Thanks!!

    • Taylor says

      Hi I have a nut allergy, gluten free and try to eat whole grain. I know there’s not usually a one size fits all but do you have any suggestions for subbing the almond flour? Thanks

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Taylor – that’s tricky. What about trying to sub a seed meal, such as sunflower, plus a little coconut flour (or can you not have coconut?)?

  39. Cristina says

    Thank you for all of these wonderful recipes. I usually try to make your recipes exactly as you post them; however, my daughter has severe almond allergies, and I sometimes modify (to varying success rates!) your recipes that call for almond flour or almond meal. I made this recipe, as you suggested, with cashew “flour” and it turned out really well. It did not look as light and fluffy as your picture, but that was probably because I was not able to grind the cashews to a fine consistency, and I only had about 1 and 3/4 cup of cashew “flour,” so I topped it off with hazelnut flour (which was also coarser than the almond flour would be). Next time I will grind the cashews to a finer consistency. It was such an easy recipe and everyone loved it. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      How wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Cristina!! So glad everyone enjoyed them. And your modifications sound lovely. xo!

  40. Stine says

    It looks delicious, but it’s quite hard to find those glutenfree flours where I’m living, do you think you could sub with wheat flour?

  41. Elena says

    Like others, I decided to make them as soon as I’ve seen them in am emails because: 1.there are very few ingredients, 2.i had most of the ingredients, 3.looked easy and quick to make. OMG! absolutely love them! Easily the best vegan vanilla cupcakes I’ve had. The modifications I made are:

    – Sunflower oil instead of avocado oil;

    – Oat flour instead of potato starch;

    – Arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch.

    Just great! Will definitely make them again. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

  42. Helen says

    This recipe is pure genius. So simple and so delicious! I made them exactly as written and appreciate the testing efforts you put into your recipes because they came out perfectly. I have celiac and my father-in-law is recovering from a heart attack. So many celiac friendly baked goods contain gobs of coconut oil and I love that recipe is much more heart healthy! Your cupcakes are allowing us to enjoy a much needed birthday celebration for my mother in law. Thank you!

  43. Karissa says

    I made these cupcakes for gluten-eating friends and was curious/nervous to see whether the cupcakes would be a hit. My friends thought they were delicious!

    I didn’t have potato starch, and there wasn’t a clear modification for items in my pantry, so I used 1/2c Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking Flour (which has potato starch among the ingredients) and 1/4c Arrowroot starch.

    I thought the muffins were a little crumbly, perhaps because of my substitute, but were still delightfully moist and not too sweet. I topped them with the vegan buttercream.

  44. Karson says

    These were… beyond amazing.
    And this is coming from someone who isn’t gluten free or vegan ;)

    I didn’t have any potato starch on hand so I experimented with equal parts arrowroot and coconut flour to substitute, and it worked perfectly.

  45. Ewelina says

    What can be used when someone apart from gluten, dairy has intolerance of corn and potato so means starch and flour too🥺

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ewelina, you can see out substitution recommendations in the ingredients and notes sections in the recipe box. Potato starch is pretty key here, but can potentially be subbed for a mix of arrowroot and coconut flour. Cornstarch can likely be subbed for arrowroot. Also scan the comments as others have already had success with some variations!

  46. Grammarcop says

    Looks lovely!

    Just FYI: I have immense respect for you and your creations. However, I must point out that “these ones” is not grammatically correct!

  47. Corey says

    Looks sooo good! Any thoughts on an applesauce sub? More oil? Maybe pumpkin puree? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I’d say another similar fruit puree would be ideal! We haven’t tried more oil. Let us know how it goes!

  48. Claire says

    Hello! If I want to convert this to a cake recipe, how would I do that. Thanks so much I’m so excited to try this xxx.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would suggest pouring it into a 9-inch round cake pan (greased and floured) and baking at 350F for ~30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are golden brown. Let us know if you try!

  49. Liza says

    In case anyone wants to know:
    I tried to sub both starches for Tapioca starch and it didn’t turn out well.
    The inside was more like a mochi (glutenous rice cake).
    It didn’t stop me from eating them though, but it’s heavy on the stomach.

  50. Dee says

    My sister’s birthday is coming up and I’d love to make these for her but she is allergic to almonds, coconut and most other nuts. Is there a nut free replacement for the almond flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The best sub I’ve encountered is a mix of coconut flour and arrowroot. Let us know if you try as we haven’t tested it this way.

  51. Layan says

    Let me preface this by saying that my rating is based on my version of the cupcakes rather than the recipe itself. With that said, I made a couple of modifications: grapeseed oil instead of avocado oil and a combination of coconut flour and arrowroot starch instead of potato starch (about 1/2 and 1/4 respectively).
    The batter turned out to be wet, but still very thick and unlike the photos shown. I kept adding milk until I achieved a similar consistency to the photo, so that could have also played a part.
    The cupcakes were ~moist~ and not very fluffy, and they tasted just okay but it was not what I was expecting considering other MinimalistBaker recipes i’ve tried and loved. Ultimately lacked that rich vanilla flavour.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Layan. So coconut flour is very absorbent as compared to almond and that’s likely why you had issues. And the more moisture you add to compensate the more it will dilute the flavor and make the mixture wet. Sorry your variation didn’t work out! We can only attest for the recipe working as written.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! We added a few substitution suggestions in the ingredients and notes area. Hopefully that helps!

  52. Deb says


    Sadly this can not be called grain free since it has cornstarch in it. This is definitely a grain and one that many people that need to be gluten free also need to avoid.

  53. Candice says

    Made these as soon as I got them in my inbox!
    Delicious and perfect is how I would describe these.
    I subbed arrowroot Starch instead of cornstarch. I love that they are sweetened with maple syrup. Thank you! Will be making again for sure!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t think that will work, unfortunately. We did, however, add a few suggestions for substitutions in the ingredients and notes area. Let us know if you try!

  54. Beth Ann says

    So cute! Any thoughts how would it work to use almond flour and replace potato starch and cornstarch with AP flour? Or suggested modifications?
    Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Beth, we shared a few ideas in the instructions and notes – hopefully that’s helpful!

  55. Krissy says

    When I got the email about this recipe and realized I had most of the ingredients, I knew I had to make them! I can’t have gluten anymore, and this cake is so moist and delicious! I also made the vegan buttercream but added some vanilla paste and wowowow! I can’t wait to make these again and maybe add some lemon zest or some almond! I feel like this is one of those recipes that are so delicious but leaves so much room for versatility. Thanks so much, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      One option would be a really fresh and drippy nut butter, but we haven’t tried it that way and can’t guarantee it will work. Let us know if you try anything!

  56. Cheryl says

    Is there a non-nut replacement for the flour? I developed a food sensitivity to nuts, unfortunately, and my doctor wants me off grains. Basically, I feel like I can’t eat anything! I don’t know, maybe garbanzo flour? This looks SO GOOD!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cheryl! That’s a toughie. I added a few suggestions for substitutions in the notes and ingredients section. Let us know if you try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karin, we added some ideas in the recipe box just now. But the closest would be cashew flour (finely ground cashews), or a blend of coconut flour and a GF blend. But it won’t be the same recipe as it’s perfect as written. Let us know if you try!

  57. Grace says

    Can I use oat flour in place of almond flour? And if I use almond flour that is fine, but not super-fine, will it work with this recipe?
    With super thanks for all you do and share,