Looking for the perfect recipe for a low-key gathering? These dairy free, vegan, & gluten free carrot cupcakes are a deliciously, light and fluffy spring dessert; the perfect carrot cake for an individually served dessert party recipe.
Great for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and more, these are full of warm, sweet springtime flavors; and perfected with a dairy-free cream cheese frosting. I personally prefer my cupcakes light & fluffy, so though these are carrot cake cupcakes, any nuts, carrot shreds, or other pieces are optional – there’s plenty of flavor without!
Moist, Fluffy, & Flavorful Gluten-Free Cupcake Tips
Anyone who’s told you dessert can’t be unnoticeably gluten and dairy free is wrong! These are as amazing as the regular ones. Plus, use these fun tips (for making gluten-free cupcakes) to make sure they are the best cupcakes you’ve ever tasted:
- It’s important to add additional moisture for gluten-free baking. This can be done by adding more vegan butter or oil, adding fruits such as pumpkin, carrot, or applesauce purees.
- To make sure your cupcakes have plenty of flavor, add more sugar than usual, or more spices/vanilla/extracts.
- Properly measure all ingredients, especially flour. To properly measure flour, scoop the flour into the dry measuring cup, then flatten the edge with the flat edge of a butter knife.
- Gluten-free batter will typically feel slightly runnier than usual. Don’t overthink it and add extra flour, your cupcakes will be dry!
- Mix thoroughly — vigorously fold to add extra air, but do not overmix, stop when ingredients are combined.
- Other tips I found for gluten-free cupcakes but have not confirmed myself: adding cornstarch to the flour to mimic cake flour, cooking at a temperature lowered by 25 degrees, add a bit extra leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda).
- Use a flour that measures 1:1 (meaning 1 cup of regular flour = exactly 1 cup gluten-free flour and already includes xanthan gum). Two popular options are King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill.
Gluten and Dairy Free Baking
Are you gluten and/or dairy free as well? If so, you’ll note an extreme difference between brands and baking methods. These gluten free and dairy free brands were the ones tested in this recipe. If you decide to use other substitutions, I can’t confirm how the cupcakes/will turn out:
- Gluten-free flour – I used King Arthur gluten-free flour. My preference tends to be away from brands that include any sort of bean flour as these have an odd taste at times; especially for those not used to gluten-free.
These are the frosting ingredients I used (these should not matter as much which brand you go with):
- Dairy free butter – I used Earth Balance [soy-free] which is vegan, gluten free, and dairy free
- Vegan cream cheese – I used vegan cream cheese from Trader Joes, but almost any will do
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Tips
Make sure the frosting has a medium-thick consistency. You can get the right consistency by adding additional powdered sugar as needed. Refrigeration is preferred before piping the icing onto the cupcakes. The cupcakes must be completely cooled for the vegan cream cheese to hold any sort of shape (not melt immediately).
Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes (Dairy Free, Vegan)
So go ahead, make the perfect, deliciously sweet and spring party dessert. And don’t even feel like you have to be missing out!
Here’s to a healthy spring and regaining our sparkle together,
Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes (Dairy Free, Vegan)
Unbleached paper cupcake liners
- 1¼ cups
gluten free baking flour
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 ounces (1 cup) applesauce
- 4 ounces (about ½ cup or a jar) carrot baby food
- 2 eggs or 2
egg replacementsfor vegan
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- *Optional: 1 1/3 cups shredded carrots, ¼ cup drained crushed pineapple, ½ cup toasted chopped pecans, ½ cup golden raisins
(Cream Cheese Frosting)
- ½ package (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese, softened slightly
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 12 standard sized cupcake/muffin tins with unbleached paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Combine the applesauce, baby food, eggs and coconut oil in a smaller bowl and add to dry ingredients. Stir just until mixed. Mix in desired optional ingredients. *As personal preference, I like my carrot cake smooth, but if you don’t, these mix-ins make it more of a traditional texture.
- Split batter evenly between cupcakes (they’ll be about 2/3 full). Bake for 18-22 minutes or until baked through (toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center). Allow to cool.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until mixed. Sift in confectioners’ sugar and stir until mix. Add more as needed; consistency should be slightly thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Pipe onto cupcakes.