Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes and Vanilla Buttercream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Are you looking for bakery-style cupcakes? Look no further! These cupcakes are easy to make, gluten-free, and well, who doesn't love a good cupcake, right? These are perfect for any occasion and you can add your favorite frosting recipe on top or use the one below.

I first made this recipe for my sister-in-law's bridal shower. I decided to make these gluten-free because my other sister-in-law is gluten-free and this way she was able to indulge as well.

As some of you may know, growing up in my house our desserts were always chocolate. If I ever made a different flavor dessert, my dad would critique it and ask why it's not chocolate. I wonder if that might be why I prefer vanilla over chocolate. Of course, I love chocolate, I'm no barbarian, but there's just something about vanilla that tastes less rich and heavy for me.

I decided to keep this recipe very simple so those who think they can't bake at all will be able to make this and love it. In the past, I have seen a lot of vanilla cake recipes call for buttermilk or sour cream to keep cakes moist, but I never keep sour cream in my house, and I'm not the biggest fan of buttermilk, so I thought I would come up with a recipe that doesn't call for either and is equally as moist and delicious.

This is a full proof recipe, and it can be made dairy-free as well. Check below in the tips and tricks to view the dairy-free options.

Very Important: Make sure you leave your butter out to soften to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes before beginning to bake. If you forget which I still do sometimes, here's a quick tip on how to soften your butter quicker.


Vanilla Cupcake

🧁 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

🧁 3/4 cup white sugar

🧁 2 eggs

🧁 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

🧁 1 and 1/3 cup gluten-free flour, spoon and leveled

🧁 1 teaspoons baking powder

🧁 1/2 teaspoon salt

🧁 1/2 cup milk

Vanilla Buttercream

🧁 2 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

🧁 3 cups powdered sugar

🧁 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

🧁 1-2 tablespoon(s) half-and-half

🧁 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

  2. Line your cupcake tin with liners and spray them with cooking spray so your batter doesn't stick.

  3. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until they form a grainy paste or for about 3 minutes.

  4. Add in one egg at a time until combined, and then add in the vanilla extract

  5. Using a mesh strainer over the bowl, sift in the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined, making sure not to overmix.

  6. Add in your milk and mix to combine.

  7. Fill up your cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way and bake for 15 minutes. You'll know they're ready when you stick a toothpick in the center of the middle cupcake and it comes out clean.

  8. To make the vanilla buttercream, beat your butter in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it is creamy.

  9. Slowly add in your powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated.

  10. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and half-and-half, and mix on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes, until you get the thick consistency you're looking for.

Click here for more details on making vanilla buttercream.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don't have gluten-free flour or prefer to use regular flour, the same ratio for all-purpose flour works just as well.

  • To make this recipe dairy-free, you can substitute the milk with almond milk or soy milk, or even water. Instead of butter, you can use margarine or vegetable oil. If using vegetable oil, use 3/4 cup.

  • Make sure your cupcakes cool completely before frosting them, otherwise the frosting could end up melting right off your cupcakes.

  • Add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker frosting, or more half-and-half if you want a thinner frosting.

  • I like half-and-half in this frosting recipe, but you can use heavy cream or milk if you prefer that.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @orlieskitchen and hashtag it #orlieskitchen!

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