Gluten Free Vegan Dye Free Red Velvet Cupcakes (sugar free, xanthan free)

2012 February 11

Wow. I didn’t think I could pull these darlings off.  Seriously.  I’ve baked 4 different batches, with variable results. Sometimes brown, some mushy, some over sweet, and just , one was plain out nasty. Vegan Dye Free Gluten Free Red Velvet cupcakes are not an easy beast to conquer, apparently.  Especially without xanthan gum!

However, I think I so totally pulled these babies off.  They are perfectly sweet, have a thick crumb but not crumbly at all.  They have a lovely fruity under note from the strawberries and the beets.  Best of all?  My gut is pretty darn happy with them (thank goodness. I’ve tasted far too many of them today so I would know by now if I was going to start tripping out lol).

Here they are- in all their natural genuinely red goodness.  The secret? Lemon juice instead of baking soda. You want the batter as acid as possible, and I’m so glad for the inspiration from My Diverse Kitchen!  Now, I would like these guys to rise a bit higher,  but for now, they’re fabulous.  If you want to ice them, take a look at this post for some ideas.

Whew. Ok. You ready for this magic red fruity fabulous goodness? Good. Lets get on with the show. :)

 Visit this recipe, and other treats at Cybele Pascale’s Allergen Friendly Link Up Page- and submit yours!



I hope this helps! please let me know how it works out :)


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28 Responses
  1. Kristy O permalink
    July 29, 2012

    Your website is fantastic. My son is allergic to eggs, wheat, nuts and dairy. I want to make these cupcakes, but I can’t use the almond flour. I also noticed that many of your recipes use this flour. What can I use as a substitute? These red velvet cupcakes sound like a great way of hiding fruit and vegetables in food.

  2. June 14, 2012

    Thanks for this recipe! I was a bit skeptical at the ingredients… beets?! But as far as my first foray into gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free baking goes, me and my coworkers were very happy with the results.

  3. brianna permalink
    June 12, 2012

    What did you use for the icing ??

  4. April 13, 2012

    Lidnsay- my appologies for not responding sooner, so sorry about this- i’ve been working crazy hours and haven’t been able to get to the comments section… again, so very sorry!
    here’s some answers for you about the cupcakes- you can use brown sugar. dutch cocoa will change the acidity and affect the colour, potentially making the cupcakes brown. the strawberries need to be thawed. whew. hope that helps! :)

  5. March 14, 2012

    Hi Lindsay! The beets are fresh/ raw :)

  6. Lindsay Campbell permalink
    March 13, 2012

    This looks good! Is the beet cooked or raw?


  7. April 21, 2011

    oh man… that is thrilling news kathy!! you just made my day! thank you so much for sharing with me… it means so much that you’d take the time to let me know how everything works :D

  8. Kathy permalink
    April 21, 2011

    So the birthday party happened. The cupcakes, I had both the red velvet and the chocolate, were a huge hit for the gluten-free,egg-free,soy-free,lactose-free crowd.Thanks so much for taking the time to post your recipes.

  9. April 20, 2011

    Kathy –ahhh now there is the answer to the mystery! whew. can you believe it! lol about the baking powder- you,re right- i did use it in the recipe- i used the corn free aluminum free stuff- (i jsut figured it had potato starch in it instead of corn starch, but maybe it has something else too? I’ll make sure to make a note of it in the recipe!) :)

    i am SO relieved they worked for you second time around!! WHEW! :D

  10. Kathy permalink
    April 20, 2011

    Did you say no baking powder in the recipe at all? I’m sure I saw BP in the ingredient list.

  11. Kathy permalink
    April 20, 2011

    You are so great to answer posts so quickly. I did you use dutch processed cocoa and bottled lemon juice.Next time I’ll use the good stuff!!
    On another note I baked the cupcakes yesterday for a party today. When I checked today they came out of the cupcake papers perfectly. Nice and moist but not gooey.

  12. April 20, 2011

    Hiya kathy!

    wow… well.. aside from using fresh beets and fresh strawberries, you need to make sure that the cocoa powder is not dutch processed. Also – the batter needs to be acidic- is the lemon juice fresh lemon juice ? (no baking soda or baking powder- those are alkalinic) bottled might have a different effect? These turned out super red for me- now I’m worried they might not turn out the same colour for everyone else- I’m going to see if i can redo the recipe in the next week or so to make sure. Other than that, perhaps lower the oven temperature to 325 or 350 and cook longer so the outside doesn’t brown?

  13. Kathy permalink
    April 20, 2011

    I’m wondering one more thing: What did you do to get the cupcakes as red as you did? Mine are a little more, well a lot more, brown than red.

  14. April 19, 2011

    I hope it all works perfectly next round- oh! and one last thing- check the placement of your oven rack- sometimes moving it up or down affects baking too. please let me know if you need anything else! :)

  15. Kathy permalink
    April 19, 2011

    Good to know about the agar.
    I ground my own almond meal. So I processed it first and then finished it in a coffee grinder.I didn’t think I had too much batter per cup but I’ll watch that next time. Thanks for your other suggestions!!

  16. April 19, 2011

    Hi there Kathy!

    Ok, so this could mean a couple of things. First, you might have a bit too much batter in each cup, try using a level ice cream scoop. Next, when bakingwith agar powder, it takes about 2 full hours for it to cool and set. What may seem undercooked as soon as its out of the over after a few hours turns out just right- thats the agar solidifying. Next- what kind of almond flour are you using? if its Bob’s Redmill, it will be too granular and the recipe won’t work- try regrinding it in a coffee grinder or getting it from JK Gourmet. Next: Try reducing the coconut sap to 1/2 cup and adding 1-2 more tablespoons of coconut flour. (Coconut flour is super absorbant – when stuff turns out undercooked, its because the bater might be too wet. The coconut flour will absorb the extra moisture quickly and fix it).

    I hope this helps! pleas elet me know how it works out :)

  17. Kathy permalink
    April 19, 2011

    HI, I just finished baking these cupcakes. They are absolutely delicious.
    One question though: in my attempts at gluten free baking I don’t seem to be getting the items done properly. They tend to get overdone on top but are still too moist in the centre. Is this a usual thing or could my oven be too hot?

  18. April 14, 2011

    Hi there Wendy-

    I found the recipe came together really well without extra fat- almond flour has natural oils in it, and the pureed strawberries and beets seemed to add quite a bit of moisture as well. That being said, I’m sure if you added a few tablespoons of oil it may yield a nice result- I would just double up the baking powder to give a better rise. :)

  19. April 14, 2011

    I was curious to know why there is no fat source in your cupcakes – not even a few tablespoons of oil?


  20. April 14, 2011

    why thank you so very much eco vegan gal!! :)

  21. April 2, 2011

    Hi Kristy- i didn’t put them up yet- when do you need the recipe for? I can retest them quickly and put them up early tomorrow (sunday) morning- if that doesn’t work, and if you can have chocolate or strawberries, have you seen this one? :

  22. Kristy permalink
    April 2, 2011

    Hi. Did you post the fluffier cupcake recipe? I can’t find it. I’m looking for an everything free cupcake for my daughters birthday. Each guest needs something different and I want to make sone amazing healthy, vegan, gluten free, sugar free, no weird substitute cupcakes. Thanks. Please email me a link. If not, I’ll try these red velvet.

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