Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on October 5, 2012

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Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

It is officially fall! The way I know that here in Florida is that the temperatures have dropped from the low 90s to the mid 80s, hurricane season is upon us, and the markets are filled with Halloween decorations and fall produce.

I can’t think “October” without thinking “pumpkin.” So, it only stands to reason I would start baking up some gluten free pumpkin treats. In the past I have made pumpkin scones, pumpkin pies, pumpkin quick breads, and pumpkin cookies but for today I decided to try out some pumpkin cupcakes.

I will be the first to admit I am never going to win any pastry decorating contests. I can’t do fancy piping, have no clue how to fashion things out of fondant, and truth be told, it is about all I can do to get the frosting to look smooth. But even with my cake decorating handicaps, I was able to make these look sort of like pumpkins with the help of food decorating gel and some gumdrop candies. The thing is, if I can do this, so can your kids!

Of course there really is no need to try and get all fancy with your decorating. You can simply smear some frosting on top of a cupcake and call it a day!

The flavor of theses cuties is reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but in a cupcake. How fun is that? They are vegan thanks to my secret weapon for moist gluten free cupcakes, Vegenaise, which means they are also great for those on an egg or dairy free diet as well.

These gluten free, vegan pumpkin cupcakes helped it feel a bit more like fall in these parts. In fact, I think I am going to crank up the air conditioning and put on a sweater. Then I am going to have another cupcake!

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe


Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup Vegenaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup rice (or other dairy free) milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups good quality all-purpose gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces Vegan Gourmet cream cheese substitute
½ cup Earth Balance (or other dairy free butter substitute)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 cups powdered sugar
Orange food coloring gel (optional)
Orange food decorating gel (optional)
6 green gumdrops, cut in half (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup standard muffin tine with paper liners.

Whisk together the pumpkin puree, Vegenaise, sugar, brown sugar, rice milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until fully combined. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Combine the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat, starting on low, to combine. Once the ingredients have combined, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute or until very smooth. If desired, add orange food coloring, a little at a time, until desired color is achieved.

Generously top the cooled cupcakes with frosting and smooth the top of the frosting into a roundish shape. Starting at the top of each cupcake, draw lines down to the cupcake liner in a spoke. Top each cupcake with a gumdrop half.


This Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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Categories:    Cupcakes

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail October 6, 2012 at 8:54 am

OMG! These are so cute! Going to make with the kids for sure!


Carol Kicinski October 6, 2012 at 8:55 am

Thanks and enjoy!


Cara October 6, 2012 at 9:02 am

Anything to do with pumpkin gets a big thumbs up from me. I’d like one for breakfast right now!


Carol Kicinski October 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Thanks Cara!


Maggie October 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

I agree with Cara, totally breakfast-worthy! My kids will love these, thanks for the inspiration Carol. Can’t wait to try vegenaise in my next batch of cupcakes! Does it replace the egg?


Carol Kicinski October 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hi Maggie thanks and yes, it replaces egg and oil (or whatever other kind of fat you would use.) Enjoy!


Cassidy @ Cooking Gluten (& Dairy) Free October 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

I think your cupcakes are very cute! … you’re way better at decorating cupcakes than me :) I love your trick to use vegenaise instead of eggs, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks!


Carol Kicinski October 8, 2012 at 10:01 am

Thanks Cassidy – enjoy!


InTolerant Chef October 9, 2012 at 5:56 am

These do sound lovely indeed! I’m just planting my pumpkin plants in the garden this week, but I always love the way they wander over the garden at will :)


Carol Kicinski October 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

How nice, never have grown pumpkin but I imagine it would be lovely!


Alisa October 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Wow Carol! These are adorable and SO creative!


Carol Kicinski October 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

Thanks Alisa!


tseten October 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

That’s a 1/4 cup of dairy free milk right?


Carol Kicinski October 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Yes – sorry. I fixed the recipe, thanks for being my proof reader!


Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free October 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I know what you mean about it not feeling like fall – it’s so warm in Texas. I’m not complaining. It just doesn’t feel like the holidays are about to begin. But it never does. Your cupcakes look adorable.


Carol Kicinski October 26, 2012 at 9:52 am

Thanks Amy. And I know, it really does not feel like we are heading into holiday season!


Lily November 22, 2012 at 4:59 am

I can not get to Vegenaise, what can I use to substitute it?


Carol Kicinski November 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

Any vegan mayo will work.


Lauren Shriver December 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

These are absolutely DELICIOUS! I love them, my boyfriend loves them, my dad loves them, and my mom, who doesn’t even like pumpkin, thought they were good! I will be making these for my office for our Christmas party!


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