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Easy Almond Flour Cupcakes (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)

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This Gluten Free Cupcake Recipe with almond flour is the perfect healthy treat to curb your sweet tooth! Sweetened with stevia and fruit, these bite-sized, low carb delights are 100% natural and plant-based. No refined sugar, no artificial vegan butter, and no nasties!

Gluten free cupcakes with almond flour on a table, one with the wrapper off.

This post was originally published on February 24th, 2020.

Let’s discuss: going to parties when you’re gluten and dairy free.

It’s hard!

I’ve learned to pretty much always make something to bring along. Most hosts appreciate it, and I’m guaranteed to have something to munch on that won’t make me sick in the morning (and not just drink the whole time, ha). I’ve been wanting to play with more sweets and an Estonia Day party was a great excuse. My plan: to make cupcakes that look kind of like the Estonian flag. How did I do? Not bad! The Estonian flag is (top to bottom) blue, black, and white. My white was more yellow but hey-ho, delicious!

❀️ Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy recipe: It’s just like making regular cupcakes! Mix the dry ingredients, blend the wet ones together, combine, add cocoa if desired, and bake!
  • Allergy-friendly: No egg (or egg replacer), coconut flour, wheat flour, soy, gluten, dairy, or peanuts are in these gluten-free cupcakes. Any family member or friend can enjoy these.
  • Fits a few diets: These are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, paleo almond flour cupcakes.
  • So tasty: They’re chocolate and banana flavored. One of my favorite combinations!
  • Make ahead: You can make them the day before a party or occasion which means less rushing around.
  • Patriotic: These are blue, black, and (yellowish) white to represent the Estonian flag. See my recipe notes & tips below to find out how to make them represent the USA, UK, and Scottish flags!
Gluten free cupcakes with almond flour in a baking tray.

πŸ—οΈ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

Dry Ingredients:

  • Almond flour: You can substitute almond meal (or ground almonds) if needed. It tends to be a little more coarse but will still work for this recipe.
  • Tapioca starch: This acts as a binder, and is also known as tapioca flour.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: These two ingredients help the grain-free cupcakes have a fluffy texture. The PERFECT texture for cupcakes!
  • Salt: Salt enhances all of the other flavors. They would taste a little flat without it.
  • Sugar or sweetener: You can use either a healthier sweetener like coconut sugar, or sugar-free sweeteners like stevia and erythritol (this is what I used), allulose, or xylitol.

Wet Ingredients:

  • Banana: This adds a ton of moisture and sweetness, and helps the cupcake batter to bind together. 
  • Almond milk: I use unsweetened almond milk to keep it low-carb and paleo-friendly. Substitute your milk of choice if desired.
  • Coconut milk: From a can and not a carton. I added some of the solid cream from the top of the can (about 1/2-3/4) and the rest was liquid.

For a chocolate layer (optional):

  • Cocoa powder: Plain cocoa powder with no extra sugar.
  • Almond milk: I used unsweetened almond milk. Feel free to substitute another milk you have on hand.
  • Sugar or sweetener: Coconut sugar or a low-carb sweetener will work well (see above).

Coconut cream icing:

  • Coconut cream: Just the thick cream from the top of the can of coconut milk. You may need to place the can in the refrigerator overnight so that the cream separates and solidifies.
  • Sugar or sweetener: This time, I have the best results using powdered sugar or sweetener. My go-to is powdered erythritol. I’ve seen a recipe for powdered coconut sugar that looks pretty good, but I haven’t tried it yet.
  • Pure vanilla extract: β€‹This adds warmth and brings out the sweetness.
  • Salt: Just a little!
  • Blue butterfly pea powder: This is optional, and a great healthy alternative to food dye.
  • Sprinkles: I added some edible glitter for fun. Totally optional, of course.
.

πŸ₯£ How to make this almond flour cupcake recipe

For the batter:

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients.

Mixing dry ingredients together in a metal bowl with a wooden spoon.

2. In a separate bowl or in a blender, blend the wet ingredients with a hand-held blender. Alternatively, you could mash them all together with a fork.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the almond flour blend and mix.

5. (Optional for layered cupcakes) Split batter into 2 bowls.

Cupcake batter split into 2 bowls.

6. Add the rest of the ingredients for the chocolate batter to one bowl and mix.

7. Place mini cupcake liners in a mini muffin pan.

8. Fill half of each of the paper liners with plain cupcake batter.

Filling mini cupcake liners with batter.

9. Add the chocolate batter on top, until they’re full almost to the top of the wrapper.

10. Bake for 30 minutes at 160°C/320°F. Poke a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean they’re done! Bake them a little longer if necessary.

11. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack before adding the icing.

For the Icing:

I followed my recipe for Dairy-Free Whipped Cream to make the icing, making sure that I whipped the coconut cream for longer to make it nice and firm.

  1. Chill a can of coconut milk and a large mixing bowl in the fridge for about 2 hours. I used the mixing bowl of my stand mixer.
  2. Carefully remove them from the fridge, taking extra care to not shake or bump the coconut milk.
  3. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the coconut cream on top, leaving the liquid behind.
  4. Add it to the chilled mixing bowl along with the powdered sweetener, salt, butterfly pea flower powder, and vanilla.
  5. Place the stand mixer on the stand with the whisk attachment or a hand-held electric mixer with a whisk attachment, and whisk the coconut cream on high speed for 2-5 minutes to create stiff peaks.
  6. Add the whipped coconut cream to a piping bag and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes before piping it onto the cooled cupcakes on the wire rack. 
Piping coconut cream on a cupcake.

7. I recommend storing the cupcakes in the fridge so that the coconut icing sets. It may melt in warmer temperatures.

A hand holding a Gluten free cupcakes with almond flour, with other cupcakes in background.

πŸ«™ Storage Instructions

Store any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

These mini cupcakes can also be frozen. Place them in the fridge for 2 hours or until the icing has set on top. Wrap the fluffy cupcakes individually in cling film/saran wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

πŸͺ„ Recipe Notes & Tips

For some fun variations, you could:

  • Almond Flour Banana Cupcakes: Skip the chocolate batter to have banana cupcakes
  • Almond flour chocolate cupcakes: Double the chocolate ingredients and have chocolate cupcakes
  • UK/USA themed: β€‹Skip the chocolate and just make the almond flour banana cupcakes. Add a raspberry or sliced strawberry on top of the blue icing to make them red, white, and blue.
  • Scottish themed: Skip the chocolate so that the cupcakes are just the lighter color. Then add the blue icing on top.
  • Flavored Icing: Add flavor extract to the icing! Mint would be great, orange would be lovely too.
  • Chocolate icing: Add 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting. 
Gluten free cupcakes with almond flour on a table, one cut in half.

πŸ˜‹ More delicious vegan desserts you will love

Have you made this recipe? I’d love to know <3 Tag me (@makehealthyrecipes) on Facebook and InstagramPin it on Pinterest, and please leave a star rating review below! Don’t forget to subscribe to the email list (top right of this page) for sparkly new recipes in your inbox.

πŸ“– Recipe

Hand holding an almond flour cupcake.

Gluten Free Cupcake Recipe (with almond flour)

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Gluten Free Cupcake Recipe with almond flour is the perfect healthy treat to curb your sweet tooth! Sweetened with stevia and fruit, these bite-sized, low carb delights are 100% natural and plant-based. No refined sugar, no artificial vegan butter, and no nasties!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup erythritol, stevia, coconut sugar, or sweetener of choice

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can not carton)

Add to 1/2 of the batter for the Chocolate layer (optional):

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp stevia (or sweetener of choice)

"Buttercream" Icing:

  • 2 400ml (12oz) cans of full-fat coconut milk, cream separated, and the water discarded (see note 1)
  • 75-100g (3/4-1 cup) powdered erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp blue butterfly pea powder, optional
  • 1 pinch sprinkles, optional

Instructions

For the batter:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Mixing dry ingredients together in a metal bowl with a wooden spoon.
  2. In a separate bowl or in a blender, blend the wet ingredients with a hand-held blender. Alternatively, you could mash them all together with a fork. Hand blender blending ingredients in a white bowl.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the almond flour blend and mix. Adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  4. (Optional for layered cupcakes) Split batter into 2 bowls. Cupcake batter split into 2 bowls.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients for the chocolate batter to one bowl and mix. Chocolate cupcake ingredients mixed in a metal bowl with a wooden spoon.
  6. Place mini cupcake liners in a mini muffin pan.
  7. Fill half of each of the paper liners with plain cupcake batter.
  8. Add the chocolate batter on top, until they’re full almost to the top of the wrapper. Filling mini cupcake liners with batter.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 160°C/320°F. Poke a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean they’re done! Bake them a little longer if necessary.
  10. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack before adding the icing.

For the Icing:

  1. Chill a can of coconut milk and a large mixing bowl in the fridge for about 2 hours. I used the mixing bowl of my stand mixer.
  2. Carefully remove them from the fridge, taking extra care to not shake or bump the coconut milk.
  3. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the coconut cream on top, leaving the liquid behind.
  4. Add it to the chilled mixing bowl along with the powdered sweetener, salt, butterfly pea flower powder, and vanilla.
  5. Place the stand mixer on the stand with the whisk attachment or a hand-held electric mixer with a whisk attachment, and whisk the coconut cream on high speed for 2-5 minutes to create stiff peaks.
  6. Add the whipped coconut cream to a piping bag and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes before piping it onto the cooled cupcakes on the wire rack. 
  7. I recommend storing the cupcakes in the fridge so that the coconut icing sets. It may melt in warmer temperatures.

Notes

  1. Leave the cans of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. The cream will separate from the coconut water and sit on top. Scrape the cream off of the liquid carefully into your mixing bowl. Discard liquid (or add it to curries and smoothies!)

Variations

  • Almond Flour Banana Cupcakes: Skip the chocolate batter to have banana cupcakes
  • Almond flour chocolate cupcakes: Double the chocolate ingredients, and mix it in with all of the batter to make chocolate cupcakes.
  • UK/USA themed: Skip the chocolate and just make the almond flour banana cupcakes. Add a raspberry or sliced strawberry on top of the blue icing to make them red, white, and blue.
  • Scottish themed: Skip the chocolate so that the cupcakes are just the lighter color. Then add the blue icing on top.
  • Flavored Icing: Add flavor extract to the icing! Mint would be great, orange would be lovely too.
  • Chocolate icing: Add 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 131mgCarbohydrates: 11gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information and calculations will vary with the use of different brands or ingredients. These figures are estimates. Please get in touch if you have questions!

Did you make this recipe?

Have you made this recipe? I’d love to know <3 Tag me (@makehealthyrecipes) on Facebook and Instagram, Pin it on Pinterest, or leave a star rating review below! Don’t forget to sign up to the email list for sparkly new recipes in your inbox =]

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