These Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes are moist and fluffy, sweet and fruity and slathered in a delicious “cream cheese” frosting! An adorable dessert to suit lots of occasions.
- you get a higher frosting:cake ratio
- you can eat them without a plate or cutlery
- they can easily be frozen individually (without the frosting!) to be enjoyed at a later date
- they look cute and pretty
- making a load of cupcakes for an event or occasion can be easier than making one giant cake!
These lemon blueberry cupcakes look adorable and delicate, so they’d be great not only for everyday eating, but also for entertaining, and all sorts of occasions like:
- baby showers
- summer BBQs
- or anything else!
These cupcakes are honestly undetectably vegan and gluten-free, as well as refined sugar free and relatively healthy too.
The recipe for these cupcakes is made using my go-to sponge cake recipe: it requires just a handful of simple ingredients, one bowl, and is easily customisable. The batter is enhanced by zippy lemon juice and zest, and dotted with juicy, jammy blueberries.
My fool-proof vegan cream cheese frosting is made using coconut whipped cream, tart and tangy lemon juice and maple syrup for sweetness.
Top tips for the frosting:
- Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before applying the frosting, otherwise the frosting will melt.
- This frosting recipe yields a medium-sized amount of frosting per cupcake. However, if you do want to apply a more generous amount of frosting (like in my photos), I’d recommend doubling the amount of frosting that I've listed in the recipe.
Substitutions you can make to the recipe:
- you can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
- you can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc
- you can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
- you can substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground walnuts
- for a nut-free version: substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (¼ cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds
- you can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free
- you can use either fresh or frozen blueberries
- if you're not into blueberries, you can substitute them with raspberries, blackberries or cherries
- if you can’t get hold of coconut milk for the frosting or are feeling lazy, you can use a thick coconut yogurt instead, which adds a lovely fermented flavour reminiscent of real cream cheese, as well as a ton of gut-friendly probiotics!
Equipment you'll need to make these Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes:
- glass mixing bowl - for mixing the cupcake sponge batter
- measuring jug - for measuring out the plant-based milk
- muffin/cupcake tin - for baking the cupcakes
- cooling rack - to leave the cupcakes to cool on before applying the frosting
- electric whisk - for whipping up the coconut cream to make the vegan "cream cheese" frosting
How long do these Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes keep for?
Although these cupcakes do taste best when fresh, they do keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days. For super fluffy frosting, you should make it fresh just before serving, but frosted cupcakes will retain their shape and texture for a good few days.
More blueberry desserts:
- Blueberry Cheesecake
- Lemon Blueberry Scones
- Blueberry Banana Bread
- Lemon Blueberry Mug Cake
- Blueberry Muffins
- Blueberry Pie
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
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 #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 100 g (1 cup) fresh blueberries
For the frosting**:
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk ***
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate (optional):
- Lemon wedges
- Fresh blueberries
For the cupcakes:
- 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, lemon zest, 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
- Add the fresh blueberries and fold in gently, to make sure you don’t crush them
- 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
For 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 lemon juice, 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
To frost and decorate the cupcakes:
- 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
- Decorate with lemon wedges and fresh blueberries, if desired
- Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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