Vegan Gluten Free Cupcakes


5 from 246 votes
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These vegan gluten free cupcakes are fluffy, moist, and have the perfect tender crumb. Made with simple ingredients, they’re quick and easy to make.

vegan gluten free cupcakes.

Coming up with vegan desserts is one thing, but vegan AND gluten-free desserts is another ballgame. 

Luckily, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. These vegan gluten-free chocolate cupcakes are every bit as light and fluffy as traditional cupcakes, except they’re diet-friendly and suitable for vegans and celiacs alike. 

Inspired by my vegan chocolate cake, these chocolate cupcakes are made with wholesome ingredients, but they have the perfect texture and rich chocolate flavor.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make gluten free vegan cupcakes
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. More vegan and gluten free desserts to try
  7. Vegan Gluten Free Cupcakes (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

  • Perfect for sharing. Nowadays, knowing what to bring to parties can be tricky since people have various dietary restrictions. Que these egg-free, dairy-free, and wheat-free cupcakes.
  • Made in one bowl. No fancy ingredients or mixers are needed, just one mixing bowl, which means cleanup is kept to a minimum.
  • Easy to customize. I kept this recipe simple on purpose so you can modify it to suit your taste buds.

I love whipping up cupcakes for my family on a whim! Not only are they simple and easy to make, but they’re the perfect individual treats. If you love these cupcakes as much as we do, try my almond flour and biscoff cupcake recipes next.

how to make vegan cupcakes.

Ingredients needed

You only need a handful of simple ingredients to make these vegan chocolate cupcakes. Here’s what they are:

  • Gluten free all-purpose flour blend. When it comes to gluten free flour blends, stick to one with a simple ingredient list and make sure there’s xanthum gum added (or add ½ teaspoon to it). Avoid using plain rice flour or almond flour, as they won’t yield the best texture. 
  • Cocoa powder. I used Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Sugar. I used white sugar because it makes for fluffier cupcakes and doesn’t distract from the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Baking soda. To give the cupcakes some rise. 
  • Salt. Just a dash to elevate the flavor.
  • White vinegar. Vinegar interacts with baking soda, helping the cupcakes to rise and become fluffy. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can also be used, but they’re more overpowering in flavor. 
  • Vanilla extract. A must for any good cupcake recipe. 
  • Oil. To add moisture and richness. Use any neutral-flavored oil you prefer.
  • Water. To form the batter. You can also use non-dairy milk. 

How to make gluten free vegan cupcakes

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prep work. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners. 

Step 2- Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. 

Step 3- Add wet ingredients. Form 3 wells in the dry mixture. In each well, add the vinegar, vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk to combine, then add the water and mix until you have a cohesive batter.

Step 4- Assemble and bake. Pour the cupcake batter into the liners, approximately ⅔ full. Bake the cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Step 5- Cool. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack until cooled completely. 

how to make vegan gluten free cupcakes.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Sift the dry ingredients. As with all of my baking recipes, it’s always a good idea to sift the dry ingredients to prevent lumps and add some air into the batter. 
  • Avoid overbaking. The cupcakes will continue to cool as they cook, so pay close attention and remove them from the oven as soon as that toothpick comes out clean.
  • Make mini muffins. Use a mini muffin tin to make 24 mini muffins. You’ll want to reduce the baking time to 12-15 minutes. 
  • Skip the oil. If you’d rather omit adding oil, you can use equal portions of unsweetened applesauce. The cupcakes won’t be as rich, but they will be totally oil-free!
  • Make vegan vanilla cupcakes. Omit the cocoa powder in place of extra flour and double up the vanilla extract.
  • Add frosting. Use whatever frosting you want, like chocolate frosting, cream cheese, or vegan buttercream frosting. 
  • Add decoration. When I want to take these cupcakes up a notch, I like to add frosting and sprinkles or crushed Oreos. 

How to store leftovers

To store: Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. 

To freeze: Leftover cupcakes can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. I recommend only freezing cupcakes if they haven’t been frosted yet. 

gluten free vegan cupcakes.

More vegan and gluten free desserts to try

  • Blondies– Chewy, chocolatey, and totally addictive. 
  • Sticky pudding– One of my favorite childhood treats.
  • Edible cookie dough– Finally, an excuse to eat cookie dough straight from the bowl!
  • Donuts– Baked, not fried, and made with only 4 ingredients.
best vegan chocolate cupcakes

Vegan Gluten Free Cupcakes

5 from 246 votes
These vegan gluten free cupcakes are fluffy, moist, and have the perfect tender crumb. Made with simple ingredients, they’re perfect for sharing, or you can keep them all for yourself!
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 17 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12-count muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt, and mix well.
  • Form 3 wells in the dry mixture. In each well, add the vinegar, vanilla extract and oil. Mix well, until combined. Add the water and mix until combined.
  • Distribute the cupcake batter evenly amongst the muffin tins, approximately 2/3 full. Bake the cupcakes for 15-17 minutes, or until a skewer comes out just clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack until cooled completely.


TO STORE: Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Leftover cupcakes can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. I recommend only freezing cupcakes if they haven’t been frosted yet. 


Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSodium: 204mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 28g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 246 votes (239 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! I use the 12 cupcakes recipe to make a bunt cake.

    My husband loves this cake. I just made it for his birthday tomorrow!

    I also make chocolate icing to top it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s always my go to when I need to make chocolate cake!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a really lovely recipe that I have used several times now for vegan friends/family. I fine that they are almost too soft and crumbly and wondered if there is a way to rectify this? Am I not backing long enough or something similar? Also, this time the cases are coming away from the cupcakes as they have cooled. Any suggestions welcome please!

  3. 5 stars
    A little bit to much oil for my taste, except that it was perfect.
    I put flour instead of cocoa. It was very similar with a recipe my grandma use to make and we don’t have it. She knew it by heart and was never written down. I’m so happy I found something similar

  4. I’m just mind blown. This is the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever had. They were incredibly moist and tasty. Even our non dairy intolerant family members loved them. I won’t use a dairy recipe again!

  5. Hi!

    So excited to try this. Does it matter what gluten free flour I use? We have Doves gluten free flour easily accessible in the UK.

  6. Would this work if I eliminate the cocoa for vanilla cupcakes? They look amazing, but my dinner guests can’t eat cocoa.

  7. 5 stars
    I was looking for an easy cupcake recipe that didn’t require milk and I decided to try this one. They came out so good!! The cupcakes were incredibly moist and fluffy but still firm enough to hold mountains of frosting my four year old piled on top. You can’t beat a delicious recipe that only requires one bowl!

  8. 5 stars
    So delicious! Honestly easiest and most delicious cupcakes and so good as a default for when you have basically nothing in your cupboard! No need for eggs or milk and you can use any oil. I used coconut oil and it worked perfectly. Thanks!

  9. I love these! I’m not vegan or GF but this is still my go to recipe because they’re so good! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out wonderful! I’ve never tasted GF cupcakes that were this moist before! I made a batch for a baby shower and friends loved it as well!

    I made a few revisions: a few extra T of water since I was using a GF flour substitution / allulose vs. sugar / ACV vs. white vinegar / cacao vs. cocoa powder. I topped with your keto icing recipe and a raspberry on top. So good!

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe! Have you tried baking this recipe as a cake? If so, how many minutes should it bake?

  11. 5 stars
    I have already made these five times! My friends and family cannot get enough of them. Seriously the best cupcake recipe I have ever found! Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe with the world. I haven’t found any moist and delicious gf/vegan cupcakes until I found this.

  12. Hey Arman! How much instant coffee do you recommend using? Do you have to mix it with water first or just add the instant grounds in with the dry ingredients? Thanks!