These Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cupcakes are:
- moist and fluffy
- luxuriously creamy
- fragrant and coconutty!
Some readers have been asking whether my Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cake can be made into cupcakes, so I decided to give Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cupcakes a go!
The cupcakes are made using my favourite sponge cake recipe. It’s undetectably vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free, and amazingly tender and fluffy. It’s simple to make too, requiring just one bowl, uncomplicated ingredients and can be customised depending on what you have on hand: it works with any type of oil, any liquid sweetener or any plant-based milk.
I decided to keep it easy with a simple vanilla sponge, but if you want extra coconut flavour you can add some coconut extract. My problem with coconut extract is that I don’t use it much so wouldn’t want to buy a whole bottle just to use a few drops in these cupcakes!
I decided to make a simple coconut cream frosting using coconut whipped cream sweetened with a little maple syrup. Then all you need to do is sprinkle over a heap of nutty, sweet, fragrant desiccated coconut. You can use toasted desiccated coconut (like for my Coconut Cream Pie), but I like to keep it easy and just use desiccated coconut straight from the packet!
These Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cupcakes are simple yet elegant, and work well for lots of different occasions like:
- baby showers
- and anything else!
For more gluten-free vegan cupcake recipes, check out my:
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make these Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cupcakes:
For the cupcakes:
For the frosting:
These Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cupcakes are moist and fluffy, luxuriously creamy, and fragrant and coconutty!
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds* (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 400 g (14oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk***
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 teaspoons desiccated coconut
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Transfer mixture between 12 cupcake cases in a cupcake tin
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, transfer cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely before applying the frosting
- You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full-fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a knife, spatula or piping bag to apply an even amount of frosting to each of the cupcakes
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of desiccated coconut over each cupcake
- Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days
*You can alternatively use almond flour
**This frosting recipe yields a medium-sized amount of frosting per cupcake. However, if you do want to apply a generous amount of frosting (like in my photos), I’d recommend doubling the amount of frosting.
***You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) thick coconut yogurt
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