Gluten Free Vegan Vanilla Cupcake (xanthan free, refined sugar free, soy free)

2011 May 2


Ok first, this cupcake also has lemon and raspberry fillings,  BUT, for SEO purposes, I’m keeping it shorter. Now, on to cupcakery!

This past weekend I took on the challenge of a cupcake competition at the Ottawa VegFest.  Now,  the thing with me competing in cupcake competitions is that…. um. I kinda don’t fit in any of the categories.  GF, Xanthan free, Vegan, Soy free, and Sugar free don’t exactly exist (yet ;) ).  Personally, I figure if you are going to bake,  go all the way and do it right.  Stick to real food only. Cut the allergens. Cut the sugar. Avoid xanthan gum.  Forget the soy.  What does that mean for most competitions? um, it means I get a little bit of a head scratching response.  How can you cut all that stuff and make it good??

Its good. Trust me.  :)

If you’ve tried any of these GF, Vegan, xanthan free, Refined sugar free, soy free treats:

Chocolate GanacheChocolate Cupcakes, IcingStrawberry icing,  or Red Velvet Cupcakes you’ll totally know. :D

(if not, get on it! they’re awesome!)

The thing with these competitions is that they really inspire me to invent recipes under short time constraints.  Whether or not I win is irrelevant. The creations that come of it are fabulous and totally worth it.

 Now, I will say, though, this past Saturday was brutal.  I baked and experimented from 3 pm till 1 in the morning, straight. Spent over 100$ in ingredients.  Made 2 kinds of cupcakes, 6 kinds of fillers and icings (recipes for those coming soon, you get 2 below :)) , brought them to the competition the next morning, and was told they wouldn’t sample them both because I had too many entries (although there was no mention on entry limits in the rules).  I was a bit deflated.  My fabulous, beautiful lemon raspberry cupcakes sat untouched.

*sigh*   What can i say, prepping for these is intense :)

Anyways, at least I can give you guys some recipes!  That was totally worth it. :)

When I get a recipe right, I feel like the sky opens and angels sing.  This new one I have been trying to make for YEARS.  And every time, I failed. Miserably.  Gluten free, xanthan free, vegan, soy free and refined sugar free vanilla cupcakes are like the sacred prize.  They just don’t exist.  They’re either hard as rocks, gummy sludge, or gritty.  Or horrendously awful tasting (I once tasted one that had unroasted quinoa, chickpea, and corn grits all in at the same time. um. not so much. :S ).

These cupcakes have a super, super light crumb.  They’re moist.  No gritty texture AT ALL.  They’re like clouds of loveliness and they’re even good the next day!  No, seriously. Amazing.

If you are nut free, I do provide some suggestions for substitutions, but I’ve never tried them, so I don’t know how they will work.  In theory they should be totally fine, but the cupcake will turn out differently. If you do it, please let me know how they turn out. :)

Here we go, enough chitchatting.  You get 3 recipes here- the cupcake, lemon icing, and raspberry topping. :D

I find the key to this recipe is the potato starch- it makes a fluffier end product (if you are nightshade free, try subbing with arrowroot starch, may be less fluffy end result).  Also, the palm sugar-  I bought it in solid lumps at a local asian grocer (Ottawa- Kowloon Market)- it let the recipe stay light coloured and didn’t overdo the wetness.

NOTE:  This recipe is featured on the Simply Sugar and Gluten Free blog link up.  Submit your recipes too and view other great creations!



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24 Responses
  1. June 20, 2012

    Hi Jessica- all you have to do is add it to the wet ingredients, and it will do its trick :D happy baking! let me know if you need any help at all! :D

  2. Jessica permalink
    June 17, 2012

    Hi, I was wondering what I had to do to the agar powder in order to use it. Do I have to do anything to it, or do I just mix it with the rest? I’ve never used it before so I’m clueless. Thanks!

  3. April 27, 2012

    hi there Cee- you should check out dietdessertndogs – she has a chocolate icing that is made with yams, of all things! nokidding, its beautiful… otherwise, check out thespunkycoconut- she has a bunch of great icing recipes too- between the two of them i think you might find what you’re looking for :D happy baking!

  4. Cee permalink
    April 27, 2012

    My friend just posted a picture of her nutella/strawberry muffins & got me looking for ones I could actually eat. These look amazing AND — I need to avoid saturated fats like palm and coconut oil (besides palm oil harvesting is destroying S.A. animal habitats).
    What’s a gf/vegan to do? I’m not soy-free but vegan margarines all have salt anyway.
    Can frosting be achieved without sat-fat?

  5. April 14, 2012

    Hi Bronte!
    You can use regular icing sugar or maple sugar – and if you want to take out the lemon reduction that works no problem :)

  6. Bronte permalink
    April 14, 2012

    Hi, is there anything I could use instead of the palm sugar for the icing? also without the lemon reduction? thanks :)

  7. February 28, 2012

    Hi Jennie- its worth a shot- i don’t know what blend your mix is made up of, but it couldn’t hurt to experiment :) let me know how it goes. :)

  8. Jennie permalink
    February 27, 2012

    Thanks for the recipe! Can I sub out the flours for a gf all purpose mix? Just curious….thanks!

  9. January 22, 2012

    hi there ahsley- so sorry i’ve taken so long to reply! I was away from the blgo for a while and came back to 700 spam messages in my comments- i only now got to your comment, my appologies!! For future reference, if you don’t mind the darker colour, you can always use coconut sugar (looks like brown sugar). using a liquid like agave nectar will make the cake runny/gummy. I hope everything turned out ok for your mom’s cake..! alea

  10. Ashley permalink
    January 10, 2012

    Hi! So I need to make a 50th bay cake for my mom. She’s soy, corn, yeast, sugar, dairy free and I think this Recipie (along with your dairy free soy free corn free frosting ) is just the thing, my question is, can I sub agave for the palm sugar? Im on a time crunch and I don’t know of any Asian markets around me. Please help!
    Thanks, I love your blog and after her surprise party I will be give her your URL. She’ll love it!!!

  11. May 25, 2011

    yay! thanks so much!! let me know how they workout when you try them :D

  12. May 25, 2011

    I am super impressed with these cupcakes! I have definitely bookmarked it for next time I want to make cupcakes! :)

  13. May 4, 2011

    hi there Junia!

    you have SUCH a beautiful blog- your images are gorgeous!! well done- I can see you being very successful an a realyl short time- just avisual feast for the eyes :D and really neat recipes! I’m looking forward to following you on FB. :)

  14. May 3, 2011

    love your blog!!! delicious healthy vegan baking…! my kind of food :). come check out my blog too when u get a chance!!! :)

  15. May 3, 2011

    i hope you let me know how they turn out! :D

  16. vonda permalink
    May 3, 2011

    Thanks so much. I am on it this afternoon. Perfect activity for a rainy day.

  17. May 3, 2011

    Hey there Vonda!

    I’m so glad you’re excited to try these- I am soooooo proud of them :)
    If you are subbing out the brown rice, try 1/3 cup millet flour and 1/3 cup white rice flour. Millet is one of the mildest tasting GF flours, and is very light in colour- it has some natural binding capacity and is a bit heavier than brown rice flour. Mixing it with the extra white rice should work well.

  18. vonda permalink
    May 3, 2011

    Wow. I can’t wait to try these. I been on the lookout for vanilla cupcakes for a long time now. Is there anything I can sub the brown rice flour for? My daughter is allergic to brown rice. Thanks for all the hard work. Vonda

  19. May 3, 2011

    Why thank you Ricki!!

    These were such a long time in coming- vanilla GF cake stuff is so ridiculously hard to figure out the chemistry! If you give the recipe a shot let me know how it goes- I’ve tucked mine in the freezer to prevent compulsive noshing ;) alea

  20. May 3, 2011

    Wow, that is an amazing piece of work! They also happen to look deeeelish. Love the contrast of the filling against the frosting! I’ve never tried baking cake-like things with agar. . .now you’ve got me curious!

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