Gluten Free Cupcakes - Strawberry - Vegan - Dairy Free

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on May 12, 2011

Ahhh, strawberry season! Don’t you just love it? Pints and pints of gorgeous strawberries, lusciously ripe, inexpensive and just waiting to be turned into all sorts of gluten-free treats.

You may have noticed I have a fondness for gluten-free cupcakes. I mean seriously … who doesn’t love a cupcake? And do you want to know what the number one request I get for recipes is? Vegan gluten-free cupcakes; obviously I am not the only person who loves cupcakes!

This recipe is a double strawberry whammy – strawberries in the cupcakes and the frosting. The batter for the cupcakes is made with my gluten-free vegan cupcake “secret weapon” Vegenaise, an egg-free mayonnaise substitute and for the strawberry “cream cheese” frosting I used a combination of Vegan Gourmet cream cheese alternative with Earth Balance’s non-dairy butter substitute and just a touch of coconut oil for a rich, creamy texture. Resist the temptation to overload the frosting with too many strawberries, they will exude liquid that will make the frosting too difficult to set up and work with. I know this because it took me three tries to get the frosting perfect! I also found that if I used the cream cheese alternative and Earth Balance straight out of the fridge (cold), it worked better. Depending on the type of powdered sugar you use and the humidity, the amount of powdered sugar in the frosting will vary. If you want it stiff enough to pipe, just keep adding more sugar until it holds it shape well.  Another tip – if garnishing with strawberries (recommended, to make them oh.. so pretty!) do so just before serving, otherwise the strawberries will weep out liquid on the frosting.

Rejoice in beautiful, red, ripe strawberries while they are here! What’s your favorite way to use strawberries?  Tell me!

Gluten Free Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes

Gluten Free Strawberry Cupcakes Recipe



1½ cups good quality gluten-free flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup Vegenaise
1 cup sugar
1 cup dairy free milk or water (I like to use a combination of half coconut milk and half water)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries, very finely chopped


¼ cup Vegan Gourmet cream cheese alternative
¼ cup Earth Balance
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped strawberries
4-5 cups (or more) powdered sugar

Garnish – optional

Mint leaves

* You can make your own gluten-free flour blend by whisking together 1 cup superfine white rice flour, 1/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour), 3 tablespoons tapioca starch and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard sized muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. In another mixing bowl whisk together the Vegenaise, sugar, dairy free milk, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken up. Stir in the strawberries and divide the batter among the prepared cups filling each cup almost full. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown, the cupcakes feel firm to the touch and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. The strawberries will make these cupcakes very moist.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

Combine the Vegan Gourmet cream cheese alternative, Earth Balance and coconut oil in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat at medium-high speed until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times to ensure the mixture is completely smooth. Add the salt, vanilla, lemon juice and strawberries and mix to combine. Sift in 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix, starting on low speed, to combine. You may need to add more sugar because you want the frosting to be the consistency of either stiffly whipped cream or butter-cream frosting. Refrigerate the frosting for about 10 minutes before frosting the cupcakes.

Frost cupcakes and refrigerate until serving time.  If desired garnish with strawberry slices and mint leaves just before serving.


This gluten free recipe makes 12 vegan cupcakes.

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Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina @ madame gluten-free vegetarian May 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

These are gorgeous Carol! I was just asked to bake something for the teachers at my son’s school — these look perfect! –Tina.


Carol Kicinski May 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

That would probably earn you an “A” :) Thank you!


Dawn Farias May 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

These look fabulous, Carol! I also love strawberry season – so ripe, tasty and affordable. Definitely one of the best examples of how it’s so much better to eat things when they’re in season.


Carol Kicinski May 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Thanks Dawn, I couldn’t agree more, eating seasonal is always better!


Kim (Cook It Allergy Free) May 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Can I just tell you how much I love that secret weapon of yours?? I tried it in one of my cake recipes and it was so so moist and rich! LOVED it! I am totally going to try this recipe. Strawberry cupcakes are a weakness of mine. And, of course, I have to say it…your photos are amazing! ;)


Carol Kicinski May 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

Right? It just really makes moist baked goods and so perfect for vegan cakes and cupcakes. Thank you!


Shirley @ gfe May 13, 2011 at 6:39 am

As I tweeted, these cupcakes are seriously gorgeous! Love all these photos, so I can only imagine how great these taste, Carol. Divine!



Carol Kicinski May 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thank you Shirley!


InTolerantChef May 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

Love strawberries and these look fantastic! Delicious!


Carol Kicinski May 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thank you so much!


CassidyS May 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

I love vegenaise, I use it in my cupcakes too! Delicious!


Carol Kicinski May 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

I know, makes them so moist like those mayonaisse cakes my grandma used to make :)


emm May 15, 2011 at 1:23 am

Your vegenasie cupcakes have me intrigued. Now I just have to track some down! These look amazing. I love your creative frosting ingredients too, as always.


Carol Kicinski May 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

Thanks Emm! I find Vegenaise in my natural foods store in the refrigerator section – it is a fresh product so it is not with all the other mayo substitutes on the shelf.


Maggie May 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

You are such a cupcake lover, which makes you even more lovable :) These look sooooo good. And I love your secret weapon: veganaise! What a great idea. I always pick up great tips from you Carol (styling and presentation, ingredients, method – you’re amazing). xo


Carol Kicinski May 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

Oh thank you Maggie!


Katherine May 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Oh, my word…. these turned out perfect…. I am trying to avoid rice so I used the following for flour: 3/4 sorghum flour, ¼ soy flour, 3 T tapioca flour, 1/3 C potato starch, 1 t xanthum gum. I don’t think these need frosting. I don’t have the vegan cream cheese so I just ate these as muffins… and my oh my were they wonderful :P :)


Carol Kicinski May 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Thank you Katherine! I am glad you enjoyed them. I often eat cupcakes for breakfast and call them muffins – I agree, they don’t really need the frosting, it is just the icing on the cake so to speak :)


ratih June 9, 2011 at 3:20 am

Gorgeous cupcake Carol!!! I was very exited in giving it a try until I saw it required a secret weapon (can’t find any in this country, buying from amazon will be to expensive). Can it be substitute? Thanks


Carol Kicinski June 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Can you get any kind of egg free mayonaise substitute where you live? If so you can substitute that. It needs to be egg free to keep the recipe vegan so if that is not an issue you can just use mayo.


ratih June 13, 2011 at 8:12 am

OOOOhhhh dear….. then I can only dream to give this recipe a try. We are allergic to eggs and soy. The only existing vegan mayo from what I know is homemade and contains soy milk.


Carol Kicinski June 14, 2011 at 6:50 am

Veganaise now has soy free mayonaise :)


Jan July 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Your recipe for gluten-free vegan cupcakes look fantastic. I love strawberry season – so fresh and delicious. I’m excited to try your recipe, I hope my family will like them!!


Jess January 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I have tried these twice now and cannot get them to cook in the center without getting crispy on the outside, any suggestions? I’ve chopped the strawberries as fine as I can and I tried turning the oven down but still cannot get them to cook all the way through. I bake a lot and have never had this problem before, hope you can help.


Carol Kicinski January 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

Hi Jess, I sent you an email with a couple questions I need answers to so I can help debug.


Katrina (GF Gidget) February 1, 2012 at 5:50 am

These look amazing! So pretty, too!


Carol Kicinski February 1, 2012 at 8:16 am

Thank you Katrina!


Ivonne February 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Can I substitute sugar with stevia or agave? I would love to make these for my daughter’s 5th birthday buy she’s allergic to sugar. What other modifications would I need to make with the substituted sweetner? Thanks for your help!


Carol Kicinski February 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

I am no expert in cooking with stevia since I personally don’t care for it. I bake with agave all the time. Use the same amount of agave as sugar and add an additional 1/4 cup flour. Cupcakes baked with agave tend to stick to the paper cupcake liners a bit. You can either just ignore that fact or use reusable silicon cupcake liners sprayed with a touch of gluten free non-stick cooking spray. Happy birthday to your daughter and I hope she enjoys them!


Kathy March 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi Carol,

These cupcakes are delicious! They are still sweet without the frosting. I am going make more since I bought 2 lbs. of strawberries. Thank you for the recipe.


Carol Kicinski March 16, 2012 at 6:19 am

Thank you Kathy!


Michelle Henderson April 30, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I am totally going to make these cupcakes for my friend’s birthday! She just had a baby today and she needs something delicious to perk up with. These would be perfect! Thanks for another great recipe, Carol.


Carol Kicinski May 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

How sweet of you! I hope she enjoys them and thank YOU!


healing123 May 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Can you tell me if the type of veganiase or if it matters, we use the one that is soy, egg free. Thank you, these look wonderful


Carol Kicinski May 26, 2012 at 9:05 am

I use the soy free too but it doesn’t matter except obviously don’t use the new ones that are flavored (like the tartar or horseradish). All of Vegenaise products are egg free.


Meera April 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm

We are GFDF so was wondering would the taste be drastically different if I were to use real Mayo? Thanks! Photos are amazing. My daughter asked for cupcakes for her birthday so I am making these on Saturday! :)


Carol Kicinski April 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

No, you can use real mayo no problem – just use a good one :) Happy Birthday to your daughter!!!


Meera April 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Thanks Carol


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm

My pleasure!


Nicholl May 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Do you have a suggestion for baking time if I make this as a cake?


Carol Kicinski May 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi Nicholl, I would add about 10 minutes. This tends to be mosit as a cupcake and it will be even more mosit as a cake, start checking it after about 35 minutes – you want a clean tooth pick when inserted into the center.


Marrie May 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

Thanks for this awesome looking recipe! will have to give it a try!! Would it be possible to eliminate the veganisse from the recipe completely? Can’t find it over here, thanks!


Carol Kicinski May 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Are you vegan? If not then you could use regular mayo instead. Otherwise I am not sure what you would use instead unless you can find another good vegan mayo substitute.


Jessica July 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Is the veganaise used to substitute an egg? If so, do you know how many?


Carol Kicinski September 18, 2014 at 8:38 am

Hi Jessica,
Yes, sort of. But instead of substituting eggs if you can eat eggs use mayo because it alsa adds some oil and vinegar all in one place.


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