Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Frosting

When birthdays come around it seems that, more often than not, I get put on cake duty. For the times that I don’t, I consider myself one of the lucky ones — for me, gluten-free is a choice, not a necessity, so I can partake in the celebratory cake eating if I choose to. For others, this isn’t an option. Recently, a coworker of mine noticed that she feels sick whenever she consumes pasta, baked goods, beer, etc., a clear sign of gluten intolerance. When I was asked to bake something for her birthday I knew it was my opportunity to introduce her to the world of gluten free baked goods, and these red velvet cupcakes seemed right up her alley. Both the birthday girl and my coworkers loved them, and no one would have guessed that they were gluten- and dairy-free! If you top yours with sprinkles, be sure to use a brand that’s gluten free as well. I used Let’s Do Organic Confetti Sprinkelz.

GFDF Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream // Naturally Lindsey

This recipe is:
• Gluten-free
• Dairy-free
• Casein-free
• Soy-free

GFDF Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream // Naturally Lindsey
Red Velvet Cupcakes (yields 2 dozen)
adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring
  • 3 1/2 cup high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum (I used Arrowhead Mills)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 2 cups sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 12 tablespoons Earth Balance Soy-Free Natural Buttery Spread
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Natural red food coloring to desired color (start with 1 tablespoon and increase by the teaspoonful)
  • 3 cups plain milk alternative (I used coconut), at room temperature
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, place the flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the Earth Balance, eggs, vanilla,
3. vinegar and table. Mix to combine. The batter will be lumpy. Add the milk alternative, and mix to combine well. Add more food coloring a
4. teaspoon at a time, mixing well after each, until the desired color is reached.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon if needed. Smack the pan on the countertop to break any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
6. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
GFDF Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream // Naturally Lindsey
Vegan Buttercream Frosting (makes 4 cups)
adapted from Chow 
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance shortening
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Natural Buttery Spread
  • 3 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain milk alternative (I used coconut)
1. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and milk alternative, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. Use a piping bag to frost and top cupcakes with sprinkles as desired.

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