These Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are:
- moist and fluffy
- naturally coloured
- slathered in a delicious cream cheese frosting!
These Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes were inspired by this Red Velvet Cake I made earlier in the year, and they have all the same characteristics: a mixture of sweet, salty, sour and chocolatey flavours, finished off with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting.
The base is made using my go-to vegan, gluten-free + refined sugar free sponge recipe, which requires just one bowl and familiar ingredients, and is easily customisable too.
As red velvet cake is usually made with buttermilk, I decided to make a vegan ‘buttermilk’ by mixing almond milk with vinegar and letting it sit for about 10 minutes. This method works for any kind of non-dairy milk – the vinegar curdles the milk in a way that resembles buttermilk.
The red colour comes not from food colouring, but beetroot powder. You can buy beetroot powder in most local health stores, as well as online, and I love how it adds a completely natural but vivid red hue. If you can’t get hold of it, it’s not a problem if you leave it out – the cake will be a different colour, but the taste and texture won’t be affected.
For the frosting, I went for a DIY vegan cream cheese – it’s a foolproof method that involves mixing some coconut cream or coconut yogurt with a little lemon juice, which brings out a tartness perfectly reminiscent of cream cheese.
I then scattered over some freeze-dried raspberries for a little colour, but you can use whatever you want to decorate.
For more gluten-free vegan cupcakes, check out my:
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Helpful tools to make these Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes:
For the cupcakes:
For the frosting:
These Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are moist and fluffy, naturally coloured, and slathered in a delicious cream cheese frosting!
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 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)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons beetroot powder (adds red colour but not completely necessary for the recipe to work)
- 400 g (14oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk**
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Measure out the milk and, leaving it in the measuring container, add the tablespoon of vinegar and stir - leave to sit for around 10 minutes, while you make the rest of the cake
- 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 vinegar to the same bowl along with the maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and beetroot powder
- Add the 'buttermilk' and 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 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
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a knife or spatula to apply an even amount of frosting to each of the cupcakes
- Decorate with freeze-dried raspberries if desired
- Best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
*You can alternatively use almond flour
**You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt
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