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Gluten Free Funfetti Cupcakes

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The vanilla cupcake got a mini-makeover with these gluten free funfetti cupcakes!  The small batch recipe features moist vanilla cupcakes made with a flavorful almond flour blend.  The cupcakes are dotted with festive sprinkles and extra creamy butter free funfetti frosting finishes the sweet treat.

Bite shot of a tender gluten free funfetti cupcake set on a mini cupcake stand.

Gluten Free Funfetti Cupcakes

Yes, vanilla gluten free cupcakes, strawberry small batch cupcakes, and chocolate small batch gluten free cupcakes are tasty.  But something happens to the classic cake when you add colorful sprinkles.  It’s like they take on a whole new flavor – let’s call it funtastic.  Not an actual flavor, but the joy you have when you eat a sprinkled dessert should have its own name!

Aside from being a delicious cupcake, a cupcake with sprinkles is an easy answer when you need a straightforward dessert for a celebration.  I mean, think of the possibilities:  birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, Tuesdays…

Why You’ll Want To Make These Cupcakes

  • Easy – The small batch makes the cupcakes inherently easy.  Additionally, there is little fuss with these cupcakes.
  • Moist & Tender – Gluten free can and should have a wonderful texture.  These cupcakes definitely do!  With a little help from milk, xanthan gum, and oil, you’ll have soft as pillow cupcakes.
  • Flavorful – All of my gluten free recipes use a flavorful flour blend.  The single-origin flours I use combine to make tasty bakes. 
  • Small Batch – The recipe yields 4 cupcakes which makes them great for small get-togethers or a batch all for yourself!
A line up of the cutest vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles lined up on a table.

Key Ingredients and NOtes

See the recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

  • Almond Flour – My preference and recommendation is blanched almond flour.  It is ground finer and without the almond skins.  The almond flour adds protein, texture, and flavor to the cupcakes.
  • Sweet Rice Flour – Sweet rice flour adds to the soft texture and chew of the cupcakes.
  • Tapioca Flour – Tapioca flour also adds chew and softness to the cupcakes.
  • Xanthan Gum – Think of xanthan gum as a stand-in for gluten.  It helps to give the cupcakes structure while making them pillowy and soft.  Much like my gluten free vanilla cake and chocolate cake recipes.
  • Sugar – My preference is organic cane sugar for its rich flavor.  You can swap in granulated white sugar if you prefer.
  • Coconut Oil – Oil is what will keep these cupcakes moist!  Use refined coconut oil so you don’t impart any coconut flavor.
  • Sprinkles  – I like to use rainbow jimmies because the color doesn’t bleed.  The same sprinkles I use in my gluten free sugar cookies.

Frosting Ideas

Really, the options to frost these cupcakes are limitless.  Any flavor of small batch frosting you choose will work against the canvas of a vanilla cupcake.  But my recommendations go in order of must try!

  • Creamy Fudge Frosting – Vanilla and chocolate are a dynamic duo.  So why not raise it a notch and use super decadent fudge frosting!
  • Strawberry Butter Free Frosting – A popular recipe, and rightfully so!  The frosting gets an extraordinary amount of strawberry flavor from freeze-dried strawberries.
  • Caramel Butter Free Frosting – A great flavor combo for the holidays.  Warm and buttery caramel frosting makes these cupcakes a delightful treat for Thanksgiving!
  • Vanilla Whipped Coconut Cream – Yes, classic whipped cream for a lighter bite.  But let’s keep it dairy-free with the super thick and creamy whipped coconut cream!
A single gluten free funfetti cupcake presented on a sweet mini cupcake stand.

Helpful Tips

  • Whisk the dry ingredients together first – You may be tempted to toss all of the ingredients in one bowl and mix.  I was.  But when you work with a few gluten free flours, we want to make sure they are mixed together well.
  • Let the batter rest before baking – Gluten free batters – especially those with sweet rice flour – benefit from a few minute rest before going into the oven.  This allows the batter to hydrate so the cupcakes are light and tender.
  • Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter – Rather than a spoon, which can get messy and uneven, a cookie scoop will help to portion the batter into the liners with less mess.
  • Don’t underbake – Gluten free bakes require a longer bake time than traditional desserts.  And while the cupcakes may appear to be ready at 18 minutes, keep them in until noted.
  • Cool the cupcakes completely – For a couple of reasons:  we want to frost them, and gluten free baked goods taste better when they are completely cool.
The sweetest little funfetti cupcake with funfetti frosting on a mini white cake stand.

Recipe FAQ

Do I have to use xanthan gum in the cupcakes?

You do not, but note that the cupcakes may not turn out as light and soft.

I’ve seen some bakers purposefully avoid xanthan gum. Why is that?

I think xanthan gum gets a bad wrap because in large quantities, it can cause upset tummies. But we are using such a small amount there is no issue. And, you’d be surprised what everyday ingredients contain xanthan gum (mustard, salad dressing, candy – to name a few)!

Why don’t you use butter in the cupcakes?

I find that coconut oil – or any neutral oil – will keep the cupcakes perfectly moist for days.

How should I store the cupcakes?

The cupcakes will store fine covered at room temperature for about 3 days. Beyond that, they may start to get crumbly.

A fun little vanilla mini cake with the liner peeled back, set on a mini cupcake stand.

Recipe

Bite shot of a tender gluten free funfetti cupcake set on a mini cupcake stand.
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5 from 3 reviews

Gluten Free Funfetti Cupcakes

Yield: 4 Cupcakes
GF
The vanilla cupcake got a mini-makeover with these gluten free funfetti cupcakes!  The small batch recipe features moist vanilla cupcakes made with a flavorful almond flour blend.  The cupcakes are dotted with festive sprinkles and extra creamy butter free funfetti frosting finishes the sweet treat.
Prep15 minutes
Cook22 minutes
Total37 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a muffin/cupcake pan with 4 cupcake liners.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
    3 tablespoons blanched almond flour, 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour, 1 ½ tablespoons tapioca flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum, ¼ teaspoon salt
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and melted oil. Stir to combine. Then add the egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until thoroughly combined.
    3 tablespoons organic cane sugar, 1 tablespoon cold pressed refined coconut oil, melted, 1 large egg, room temperature, 3 tablespoons milk, room temperature, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir until no dry streaks remain. Add the funfetti sprinkles and stir until just combined. Let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes to allow the flours to hydrate.
    1 tablespoon funfetti sprinkles
  • Scoop equal portions of the batter into the prepared cupcake liners. TipUse a cookie scoop to make equal portions and less mess! Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean, and the cupcakes are springy to the touch.
  • Cool the cupcakes in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely. Frost the cooled cupcakes with funfetti butter free frosting and Enjoy!
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe and only tested as such.  I can’t say for certain how doubling the recipe will turn out.
  • Flour Substitutes – I don’t recommend flour substitutes for this recipe.  The only option may be to swap the tapioca flour with arrowroot flour.
  • Xanthan Gum – The xanthan gum is what makes the cupcakes soft and airy.  Without it, the cupcakes may be dense.  You can omit if you prefer.
  • Butter vs. Oil – I find using oil in the cupcakes makes them incredibly moist.  You can swap with butter, but the cupcakes may dry out quickly.
  • Milk – Any milk should work.   I use unsweetened carton coconut milk.
  • Funfetti Sprinkles – Use any sprinkle you like.  I do find that using ‘jimmies’ is ideal because the color does not bleed when baked.
  • Frosting – I have many other frosting recipes if you want to try something other than the funfetti frosting.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you! Click here to learn more about me!

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