• Gluten-free and dairy-free vanilla cupcakes (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Super simple, and equally delicious, these cupcakes with chocolate frosting are the perfect party cake for kids (both big and small) when gluten and dairy needs to be avoided – no more missing out on the fun stuff! 






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (386 votes)


  • 185 g purchased plain gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
  • 125 g non-dairy spread (such as Nuttalex)
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) coconut milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract or essence
  • gluten-free sprinkles of your choice (optional), to decorate


Chocolate frosting

  • 125 g non-dairy spread (such as Nuttalex)
  • 125 g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1½ tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 100 g gluten- and dairy-free dark chocolate, melted and cooled

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 25 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole (⅓ cup) muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Sift together the gluten-free flour blend and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, non-dairy spread, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla and use an electric mixer to beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is well combined and very pale in colour. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing evenly.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (this will take about 30 minutes).

4. To make the chocolate frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the non-dairy spread, icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the cooled chocolate and beat until well combined.

5. Spread the cooled cupcakes with frosting (or pipe) and decorate with sprinkles if desired. 


Baker’s tips

• These cupcakes are best eaten the day they are made. They do however, freeze well – wrap un-iced cupcakes individually in plastic wrap and then seal in an airtight container or freezer bag. Label, date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before icing. 


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Belinda So.


This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Gluten-free baking column. Read tips on how to bake with gluten-free flours and ingredients in her column - and all the recipes happen to be dairy-free.


View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.