Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on July 10, 2011

Gluten Free Dairy Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes I was having a conversation with my g-kid Julian about his following a gluten-free, dairy-free diet and he said to me “I just don’t want to have to worry about what I eat!”  Of course he doesn’t, he’s 10!  I know lots of grown ups who don’t want to worry about what they eat either.

I believe the best way to get  kids to embrace their diet, regardless of the intolerance, is to make them a part of the process of creating their food; everything from thinking up menus to shopping to cooking. The best part is enjoying the fruits of their labor.

The other day the g-kids and I planned a whole menu for my son’s birthday, everything was gluten and dairy free and it was abundant; we had London Broil, grilled tilapia, dairy-free mashed potatoes, gluten-free pasta salad, a mixed salad filled with all sorts of fresh veggies and of course a gluten-free birthday cake. The kids came up with the menu, prepared the marinade for the beef, peeled the potatoes, picked basil from the garden and tasted, laughed and enjoyed themselves. They even set and decorated the table. It was a great day and an even better dinner.

A couple days later we actually worked on developing our own recipe together. We decided to make cupcakes and Miss Milla wanted to make a cupcake that tasted like ONE of her favorite cookies (emphasis on ONE because, as per her, it is simply not fair to the other cookies to pick just one favorite) the Snickerdoodle. What a joy to bring the kids into the whole creative process of developing a recipe, they gave their opinions, stirred and wrote down notes and we had a marvelous time, especially when it came to taste-testing.

We kept it easy and started with a packet of Kinnikinnick White Cake Mix which is not just gluten-free but dairy free also. We added cinnamon and vanilla and then topped the cupcakes with cinnamon sugar to replicate the coating from the original inspiration – the Snickerdoodle Cookie. Then we came up with a dairy free “butter” cream frosting and topped it all off with just a tad more cinnamon sugar. The verdict? See for yourself.

Gluten Free Kids

I would say that is two thumbs up!

If you have kids, how do you get them involved in their diet?

Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cupcakes Recipe



6 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


4 large eggs
¾ cup grapeseed (or other neutral tasting) oil
¾ cup cold water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Kinnikinnick White Cake Mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


½ cup Earth Balance (or other dairy free butter substitute)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch kosher or fine sea salt
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 – 6 tablespoons rice milk (or other dairy free milk)

Garnish – Optional

6 cinnamon sticks, each one broken into thirds.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 standard muffin tins with paper liners.

Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl.

Combine eggs, oil, water and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whisk (either by hand or with a handheld mixer) for 2 minutes. Gradually add the cake mix and cinnamon, whisk just until combined. Wisk just until combined, mixture will be a little lumpy. Divide batter among prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of the topping on each cupcake. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen, lightly browned and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the Earth Balance until smooth. Add the powdered sugar. Cinnamon, salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons rice milk. Start with the mixer or low and combine. Gradually add more rice milk until the mixture becomes a spreadable consistency. Turn mixer up to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds or so until very creamy.

Frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle the frosting with the remaining topping. Insert a piece of cinnamon stick into each cupcake cake if desired.

Cupcakes and frosting can be made several days ahead. For best results store cupcakes unfrosted in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. Store frosting separately in a covered container in the fridge. Let frosting come to room temperature before frosting cupcakes. Frost the cupcakes no longer than a few hours before serving.


This Gluten & Dairy Free Recipe makes 18 Cupcakes

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Ready for dessert?

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“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

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Categories:    Cupcakes
  • Lauren @ As Good As Gluten

    Yum!! Snickerdoodles are a family favorite and a holdiay tradition in my house! Turning them into a cupcake is genius!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Lauren, we thought so :)

  • Iris

    I love snickerdoodles, and love even more your granddaughter’s comment about being fair to the cookies. You definitely wouldn’t want to hurt the chocolate chip cookie’s feelings!

    • Carol Kicinski

      That’s right Iris, can’t hurt the other cookies feelings :)

  • InTolerantChef

    They certainly look like they had a good time! I like to get my daughter involved with her growing the vegetables for the table- but I have to buy them off her! Also by letting her chose the side dishes for a meal and help making them.
    I don’t want to have to worry about what I eat either, but not gfree and dfree, I want fat free, sugar free, low gi, cholesterol free….but full of taste all at the same time!!! Sigh…..

    • Carol Kicinski

      That’s great about your daughter helping to grow the vegetables and hilarious about having to buy them from her! I understand, my boys were always selling me something when they were growing up and usually I had paid for it in the first place :)

  • Nathaniel

    Where does one find “Kinnikinnick White Cake Mix”? I live in South Texas and Gluten Free cake mixes are not found on the store shelves . I don’t like Sinkerdoodles but I could adjust this to make other flavors.
    You mentioned a gluten free pasta salad….I have not had pasta, a cake, or bread of any kind for over 15 years.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Nathaniel. Do you have a natural foods store? That is where I get the Kinnikinnick cake mixes or you can order from their website. If all you can find in the grocery store is yellow gluten free cake mix my thought is it would be a good substitute, especially if the cinnamon flavor is not your favorite. I have been on a bit of a pasta salad kick lately, making up for years of no pasta!

    • Marissa

      HEB should special order something for you if you request it. At least, they do in Central TX. I would imagine it’d be the same. Our small town HEB has a whole gluten free aisle!

  • Toby

    These look yummy lovely! Looks like there’s a really nice texture to them – you can almost taste it through the photograph :-)

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Toby!

  • Shirley @ gfe

    What an adorable post, Carol! Your grandchildren are so cute AND so smart, and they make fantastic food with their grandmother! I love Snickerdoodles anything. Hence, my gf/df Snickerdoodles ice cream a while back. ;-) Cupcakes seem like another good way to get one’s Snickerdoodle fix to me, and these look divine!


    • Carol Kicinski

      I may be a little prejudiced but I agree, they are so cute and smart :) And huge! How do they grow so fast? {sigh}

  • Karen M

    Do the recipes in the cookbook contain cake mixes?

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Karen. No the recipes in my cook book do not contain mixes. They range from super simple to more complex but I try to walk you through each recipe so you get a good result.

  • Melissa

    Oh, so that’s how you sprinkle sugar on cupcakes! That looks like it would make for more uniform sprinkling. Geez, how come I never thought of that before? I always learn something when I come here to visit.

    And by the way, those are the just about the cutest kids I’ve ever seen. That is a magazine cover photo! Seriously, that is wonderful.

    The cupcakes look awesome as well. Beautiful all the way around. Including the loving energy!


    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Melissa. My favorite time of year is summer when the g-kids are here for 2 months. I just adore them! And I agree, they are pretty cute!

  • Kim (Cook It Allergy Free)

    What a brilliant idea for cupcakes. Tell Miss Milla that she is pure genius. And I do have to agree that all of the other cookie flavors would be feeling extremely sad if Snickerdoodle were the only favorite. And those g-kids of yours are just beautiful, Carol!! ;)

    • Carol Kicinski

      I will tell Miss Milla what you said and knowing her, she will agree with you whole heartedly :) I agree, they are beautiful, inside and out!

  • Maggie

    Not sure which is more beautiful Carol – the cupcakes or the g-kids! My goodness, they’re adorable kiddies. Do you know that I’ve never had a snickerdoodle? I should be ashamed. I think I’ll remedy that with a batch of snickerdoodle cupcakes. Good start, right?

    • Carol Kicinski

      Wow, I can not belive you have never had a Snickerdoodle and I agree you will have to remedy that soon! The kids passed out some of these at a party and everyone loved them!

  • Zaria Callen

    Yum! I’ve been looking for tasty cupcake recipes that aren’t too cake-y… these look like they’ll work perfectly!

    • Carol Kicinski

      I must say, they were very tasty! Let me know what tou think.

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  • Bobby

    OMG! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was newer to the GF Realm, and this recipe is AMAZING! I made these for a group of people, and didn’t tell them they were GF, and everyone has been raving about them for over a week!!! THANK YOU!!!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks for letting me know Bobby!. I am always so happy to hear feedback.

  • Martha

    I met your grand daugther and son in my cake decorating class this past Tuesday night. They gave rave reviews about your fabulous cup cakes I have to make them for my 5 year old gluten free neighbor. I hope to order the flour soon so I can get started.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Oh thank you! I am sure Miss Milla loved the cake decorating calss, she loves to help in the kitchen.

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  • rachael

    What would be a good substitute for the cake mix? These look gorgeous

    • Carol Kicinski

      You can make a vanilla cupcake from scratch and add the cinnamon to your recipe.

  • Carrie

    This is just what I’ve been looking for to bake for my kids! Sounds delicious! Any recommendations on what to use to replace the eggs with? We have to be egg free as well. I can’t use that Kinnikinnick brand because of the eggs. But I bought a Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix I’m thinking of trying with this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Fo each egg you can soak a tablepoon of flax meal or chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of hot water and let sit for 5 mintues or until it gels up. Or you can buy egg replacer at the heath food store. Enjoy!

  • Tonja

    If I don’t use cake mixes would there be a flour that you would recommend substituting and how much is one cake mixes ( as in how many cups of flour)? These sound fabulous!! My children love cinnamon and sugar treats.

    • Carol Kicinski

      You could make a basic cake batter with 2 cups gluten free flour blend (make sure it has some xanthan or guar gum in it), 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teasppon kosher salt. Whisk that together, cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup sugar, add in 2 eggs, one at a time, add half the flour mixture, a cup of milk and then the rest of the flour. I am of course partial to my own flour blend, I came up with it because I couldn’t find a good pastry quality gf flour out there but if you have another brand you want to try, it should be fine. Here’s a link to mine if you are interested. Good luck with the cupcakes and enjoy!

      • Carol Kicinski

        Oh and also make sure to add some vanilla to the cake batter 1 – 2 teaspoons!

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  • Alicia

    Made these tonight For my family, I used a gluten free yellow cake mix only because I couldnt find the white cake mix, this was excellent!!!!Thank you so much, a cupcake that tasted so “real”, no one would ever know its gluten free!!!

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    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks, I did it myself :)

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  • Rose Gonzales

    I made the frosting but it is a little too thin how do I thicken it up before tonight pls help!!;(

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Rose – just add more powdered sugar until it is the right thickness. Easy! Good luck!!!

  • Heidi

    I plan on making Snickerdoodle cupcakes to bring Christmas Eve to our family get together. They need to be dairy and gluten free just like your recipe. I found one that has a gluten free flour blend. I have no idea how they will turn out. Am more experienced with vegan baking but am new to the gluten free baking. I never thought of just using a cake mix and then adding in cinnamon. Can I ask how this recipe might differ from the flour blend? How is the texture of the ones with the cake mix? I pride myself on bringing delicious desserts that no one guesses are dairy free (or now in this case, gluten free)! :-)
    These sound delicious just asking your opinion.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Of course you can always make your own cupcake recipe and just adapt it. I liked the ease of these cupcakes by using the mix. We all loved them. I have not tried them with mixes other than Kinnikinnick but I will say this, there is a lot going on in the cupcakes with the cinnamon and the frosting so I find the mix is really a great shortcut that does not effect the out come. Hope that answers your question and Happy Holidays!

  • Elizabeth S.

    I’d like to make this recipe, but I don’t have access to Kinnikinnick White Cake Mix. Can you recommend a substitute? I have Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour and Xanthum gum on hand. Can these be substituted for the cake mix? Thank you for your input and help. I’m just beginning to go gluten free.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Elzabeth – can you get Betty Crocker’s gluten free cake mix? They sell it at most regular grocery stores. You could use the yellow cake mix instead. I have not tried with Bob’s flour so I can’t give you an opinion on that. Sorry but I hate to say something is ok to substitute if I am not sure.

  • Lori

    Hi I’m about to make these, do you have a measurement in the 1 box cake mix? I could not find that brand so I bought Pamela’s but want to make sure both boxes measure the same amount. Thanks

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Lori, it is 500g or 18 ounces of mix, makes 2 – 8 inch cakes or 18 cupcakes. Hope that helps!

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