Three banana cupcakes topped with cream and a banana slice each on a silver board against a grey background

Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Cupcakes

These Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Cupcakes are super moist, sweet and fragrant, and topped with a tangy "cream cheese" frosting!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten-free vegan cupcakes, vegan banana cupcakes, vegan cupcakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 273kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cupcakes:

  • 3 (3 ) medium-sized ripe bananas
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 4 tablespoons (4 tablespoons) maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) apple cider vinegar * (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • Pinch (Pinch) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 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 (2 heaped teaspoons) baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)

For the frosting:

  • 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk ***
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract

To decorate (optional):

  • Banana slices ****


For the cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Peel the bananas and place in a wide-bottomed bowl, then use a fork to mash until you get a smooth paste
  • Place the coconut oil in a separate 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 maple syrup to the same bowl along with the vinegar, salt, cinnamon (if using), vanilla and ground almonds
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • Add the mashed bananas, and mix well, adding the milk a small amount at a time until you get a loose batter. You may not need to use it all depending on how liquidy your bananas are - you may also need to add a little more milk if your bananas are 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

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 or spatula to apply an even amount of frosting to each of the cupcakes
  • Decorate with banana slices, if desired
  • Best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days


*The vinegar is crucial as its acidity needs to react with the alkali bicarbonate of soda to make the sponge fluffy
**You can alternatively use almond flour
***You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt
****If using banana slices to decorate the cupcakes, put these on before serving as otherwise they will go brown 


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2.1mg