Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream | Gluten Free

Fluffy, gluten free vanilla cupcakes crowned with a cap of fairyland pink vanilla buttercream. These are a classic treat that will transport you back to childhood delights and have been known to cure a case of the Mondays too.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I know, its Monday, and we’ve only made it twelve days into the New Year and you’re all trying to be so good. Trust me, I’ve been salad crunching and smoothie sipping (and indulging in some chocolate to keep me sane), but today is my first day back at work and I think we need some cupcakes this Monday. Let’s make an exception, okay?

While we’re sitting here at our desks combing through databases and getting reports set up for the new year, let us indulge in some spun sugar childhood fantasy with these fluffy gluten free vanilla cupcakes and their pretty-in-pink vanilla buttercream frosting. These cupcakes take me back to baking cupcakes from Mum’s high school Day to Day Cookery Book. When it came to decorating our finished product, the frosting colour decision was always a unanimous cry for pink. From blush pink to the deepest magenta the cupcakes were always decorated in pink (Dad’s man enough to eat pink frosted cupcakes with the best of them) with multi-coloured sprinkles – and that kind of nostalgia is just what I need this first working Monday of the year.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The perfect gluten free vanilla cupcake has been an elusive dream of mine these past three years, and now I can safely say that I have achieved my dream. The cake here is moist, tender, fluffy, and soaked in enchanting vanilla sweetness. A good buttery vanilla cupcake is the foundation to so many fantastic cupcake creations – be prepared Thoroughly Nourished friends! This cupcake is celebratory, a fantasy of sugar and sprinkles, the glitter bomb of nostalgic cupcakes sent to drag us out of Mondays in a cubicle and into a shower of happiness.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy vanilla cupcake experimenting took me through a lot of different combinations of wholesome gluten free flours (how much almond meal makes the crumb too soggy, how to balance the starchy rice flour with the protein-rich sorghum and buckwheat flours, etc) and methods (creaming method, or melt and mix?) before I landed on this combination.

There are five different flours in this mix, all of which are easily found at large grocery stores or health food stores, and all of which are integral to the perfect fluffy texture of these cupcakes. The other important ingredient for a non-crumbly cupcake is ground chia seeds – we’ve talked about the importance of these wonder seeds for elasticity in gluten free baked goods before. If you are serious about making the perfect gluten free cupcake it’s worth hunting down these different flours and the chia seeds. The results are worth it – buttery, intensely vanilla, and just like the wheat-based ones I’ve been missing.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’m so happy that I have the perfect gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe to share with you all. These cupcakes are a nostalgic classic that beats any commercial gluten free cupcake baking mix hands down. No chalky taste, no weird ingredients that you can’t pronounce, no gums, just good old-fashioned butter, sugar, eggs and wholesome flours. Time to create some new memories with this gluten free version of a classic childhood treat (that’s perfect for grown-ups too).

A tray of these is a sure way to bring a little sparkly, sprinkled happiness to a Monday, or to your next celebration in need of a perfect gluten free vanilla cupcake with fairy land pink frosting, also known as the glitter bomb of happiness cupcake.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Gluten Free | Makes 12 cupcakes | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before eating for maximum enjoyment


For the cupcakes

  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 20 grams buckwheat flour
  • 20 grams almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds

For the frosting

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Few drops pink food colouring
  • Sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a 12-hole cupcake pan with cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together sorghum flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a small jug mix together milk, vanilla extract, and chia seeds.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well to incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom between additions.
  5. Switch mixing speed to low and add flour mixture to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
  6. Add milk mixture and beat on low until well incorporated.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden and spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove and cool completely before decorating with frosting.
  8. While cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter on high speed until pale. This should take about 3 minutes and will make for extra fluffy frosting. Turn mixing speed to low and add remaining ingredients. Beat until just combined then turn mixing speed to medium-high and beat for a further 2 minutes or until frosting is extra fluffy and pale.
  9. Fit a piping bag with your choice of decorating tip, spoon frosting into bag and decorate as desired. Alternatively, you can use a knife to frost the cupcakes.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAre you a pink frosting lover? What cures the Mondays for you?

Also, thanks Jennifer from Milk and Honey for the perfect name for this frosting colour ‘fairyland pink’!

11 thoughts on “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream | Gluten Free

  1. Amy. Really? Could you have described these any more wonderfully? Glitter bombs?! I think that “fairyland pink vanilla buttercream” needs to be on everything I ever bake from here on out… And I don’t even love pink. I can’t wait to put on my GF big girl pants and tackle these someday soon.
    As far as curing the Mondays… Hmm… I think just knowing I have a fresh start makes it a good day! I’ve had much better Mondays since I started saying “TGIM” and being thankful for a new start! 🙂

    • I’m not even a pink girl myself, except when it comes to buttercream! And Fairyland Pink is something I am going to need to eat a lot of I think 😉
      I hope you do get a chance to try them out, I would cherish your opinion on these!
      TGIM needs to become my new battle cry I think! What a great attitude of gratitude to start the week with 🙂

  2. Haha Amy, your Fairyland Pink frosting is to die for. I’m not much of a pink girl myself, but I relish pink frosting. May be it’s because I never get to make it as I live in an all-male environment.
    I actually really like Mondays. It gets me back into well-established routines (that get put on hold on the weekends)… but then, I’ve always been a bit “different”… or weird, which ever way you want to look at it 🙂

  3. My favourite cupcakes ever! No matter how many fancy flavours there are, pink iced vanilla cuppies are the best 😀

    Lovely decorating and photos too Amy.

  4. These look AMAZING!!!! The very sight of them brought me back to my childhood. I seriously wish you lived closer- I would be at your house once a week eating all your baked goods!

  5. Beautiful cupcakes Amy, I love the pink bc I’m a girly girl and they do look nice and fluffy, I’ll be honest, I’ve had some bad experiences with gluten-free cupcakes but yours looks perfect! Thanks for sharing:)

  6. Pingback: Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Three | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s