Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

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Tangy, tart, and perfectly sweet Gluten Free Cupcakes with a lemon twist! Topped with homemade dairy free cream cheese frosting, these delicious treats have a moist, tender crumb and are full of flavor. Truly the perfect dessert!

a lemon cupcake topped with dairy free cream cheese frosting and topped with a lemon slice

What Makes This Recipe Great

If you’ve been to my blog before, you know how much I love a good cupcake. In fact, I have several cupcake recipes here because they are so popular in my house and work so well for almost every occasion! 

Today, I’m going to introduce you to dairy free, gluten free cupcakes that are actually quite mind-blowing! I’m not kidding, these delicious treats taste just like traditional recipes but are allergy-friendly, so everyone can have one! 

Perfectly moist, deliciously sweet, and tangy, these Lemon Cupcakes have the most tender crumb, and are topped with cream cheese frosting that is truly divine! If you love lemon, you will love these bright, flavorful, and fluffy cupcakes! 

Ingredient Notes

Gluten Free Cupcakes

recipe ingredients in small nesting bowls and labeled
  • Gluten-free flour: I recommend all-in-one blends that are a 1:1 swap with all-purpose flour. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour. My other favorite all-in-one blends include Cup4Cup and King Arthur. These blends include xanthan gum, which serves as a binder in gluten-free recipes.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt 
  • Unsalted butter: You can swap this for vegan butter to make the cupcakes dairy free. 
  • Sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract: I recommend using pure vanilla extract as opposed to imitation vanilla. 
  • Lemon extract
  • Almond milk: Or your favorite dairy-free milk alternative. 
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

dairy free cream cheese frosting recipe ingredients in small bowls and labeled.
  • Vegan butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Coconut milk or Dairy Free heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Dairy-free cream cheese: I used Kite Hill for my dairy-free cream cheese. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

numbered step by step photos showing how to make gluten free cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan or cupcake tin with paper liners. 
  2. Place the room temperature softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, mix on medium speed for 2 minutes or until the butter mixture is pale yellow, light, and fluffy. 
  3. Wet Ingredients: To the creamed butter, add the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and almond milk. Mix to combine, but don’t overmix.
  4. Dry Ingredients: In a separate large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix, but don’t overmix. 
  5. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 3-4 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow them to cool on a wire rack for around 30 minutes. Once fully cooled, ice each cupcake with the dairy-free cream cheese frosting and garnish with a lemon slice and fresh lemon zest.
  7. Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting: To a large bowl, add the butter and dairy-free cream cheese. Beat together on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Slowly add the vanilla extract, plant cream, and powdered sugar. Beat together for 40 seconds or until fluffy and stiff.
a whisk with cream cheese frosting

Mac’s Pro Tips

Expert Tips

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend: I recommend all-in-one blends that are a 1:1 swap with all-purpose flour. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour. My other favorite all-in-one blends include Cup4Cup and King Arthur. These blends include xanthan gum, which serves as a binder in gluten-free baking and helps with the structure and texture. 
  • Mixer: I used a hand mixer, but you can also use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment if preferred. Both work great! 

Storage Tips

  • Store leftover gluten free cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
  • To freeze, wrap each unfrosted cupcake in plastic wrap and store it in a zip-top freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge and frost with a fresh batch of dairy free cream cheese frosting.  
lemon gluten free cupcakes topped with frosting and lemon zest

Recipe FAQs

Do gluten free cupcakes taste different?

They can if the right ingredients aren’t used. Traditional cupcakes are made with wheat flour and contain gluten which adds to the structure of baked goods. That’s why it’s super important to use a gluten-free flour blend that includes xanthan gum. If using the right flour, your cupcakes and other gluten-free desserts will taste the same! I test all my gluten-free flours to make sure they work well, so if you use one of the brands I recommend, you should have no issues. 

More Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipes

a lemon cupcake topped with dairy free cream cheese frosting and topped with a lemon slice

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Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

By: Ashley McCrary
Tangy, tart, and perfectly sweet Gluten Free Cupcakes with a lemon twist! Topped with homemade dairy free cream cheese frosting, these delicious treats have a moist, tender crumb and are full of flavor. Truly the perfect dessert!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour* I use Bob Red's Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 large lemons zested
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 4 1/2-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk or dairy-free heavy cream*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz dairy-free cream cheese I use Kite Hill

Instructions 

  • Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Cream Butter: Place the room temp/soft butter along with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until the butter mixture is pale yellow, light, and fluffy.
  • Mix Wet Ingredients: To the creamed butter add in the eggs, vanilla/lemon extract, and almond milk. Mix to combine, but don’t overmix.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients:  In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Fold in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix, but don’t overmix.
  • Fill Cupcake Liners & Bake: Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  • Allow To Cool: Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 3-4 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow them to fully cool on a wire rack, for around 30 minutes. Once cooled, ice each cupcake with the dairy-free cream cheese and garnish with a lemon slice and fresh lemon zest.

Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

  • To a large bowl add the butter and dairy-free cream cheese. Beat together on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Slowly add the vanilla extract, plant cream, and powdered sugar. Beat together for 40 seconds or until fluffy and stiff.

Notes

Expert Tips

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend: I recommend all-in-one blends that are a 1:1 swap with all-purpose flour. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour. My other favorite all-in-one blends include Cup4Cup and King Arthur. These blends include xanthan gum, which serves as a binder in gluten-free baking and helps with the structure and texture. 
  • Mixer: I used a hand mixer, but you can also use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment if preferred. Both work great! 

Storage Tips

  • Store leftover gluten free cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
  • To freeze, wrap each unfrosted cupcake in plastic wrap and store it in a zip-top freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge and frost with a fresh batch of dairy free cream cheese frosting.  

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 1005IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Me

Mother, wife, cookbook author, recipe creator an open book

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!

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