Gluten Free Vegan Sorghum Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

It has been quite a while since we featured desserts on the Book of Yum, and truth be told quite a while since I had any that were especially yummy. I take it back- I have made some excellent vegan chocolate chip sorghum cookies since becoming an allergen-free, Gluten-free Mama. But, the other night my sweet tooth kicked in and I was overcome by waves of a sugar craving. I love chocolate, but it tends to keep baby Yum up all night and a PhD-pursuing Mama needs her sleep. So, I started thinking of caffeine-free treats. I’ve never been crazy about cake, but somehow vanilla cake was speaking to me. I poked around online and found an intriguing recipe in a book I actually own but have misplaced- Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule. This recipe was for what they called “Golden Vanilla Cupcakes,” and I thought that something like that would just hit the spot. I played around with flours to make a gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and corn-free (except for the xanthan gum) vegan vanilla cupcake of my own. When I mixed it up the batter was so thin I had serious doubts, but I had faith (and xanthan gum). After I added the last minute xanthan gum, I poured the batter in and crossed my fingers. The heavenly scent of vanilla filled the house, and when I looked in the oven, it seemed like they had magically transformed into real, live cupcakes. I took them out of the oven and knew I had a winning recipe. After they cooled I frosted them with some impromptu frosting and bit into a real live piece of sugary, vanilla heaven, and my sweet tooth has never been so happy. If cake was this tasty- I might have to call myself a cake girl after all! What I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t have any allergens in it, is completely vegan without specialty egg replacer and yet tastes like “real” dessert. In my opinion, this is a perfect special occasion recipe that I wouldn’t hesitate to serve to guests. In fact, I might just have to make this again for Baby Yum and my joint birthday party in July!

Gluten free vegan vanilla cupcake
1 cup hemp milk or other alternative milk
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 Tbsp. arrowroot starch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Whisk in your apple cider vinegar into your hemp milk and let sit for a few minutes. It won’t curdle much, if at all, but that is ok. If you use another milk like soy it will curdle more and you can use less vinegar.

Beat together your vinegar milk mixture with oil, sugar and extract. Sift in your flours, xanthan gum, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt and gently stir them in together.

Pour your batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 22 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack and frost right away! They will be more delicate the next day. Refrigerate or freeze if desired.

I frosted this with a combination of Earth Balance Soy-free margarine and sunflower-palm oil shortening whipped with vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.

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18 Responses to “Gluten Free Vegan Sorghum Vanilla Cupcake Recipe”

  1. These look lovely. I know that moment after you’ve made something gluten free that you put it in the oven and just pray it bakes right!

  2. Valerie (m.) Says:

    Those look FABULOUS!!!

    Be careful with hemp milk. My breastfed toddler and I were reacting to un-declared gluten in a brand that said “GLUTEN-FREE” right on the carton. I figured it out after I ran into someone online who said she had used a home gluten test kit and found that every brand and flavor of hemp milk that she could find tested positive for gluten. Yikes!

  3. Oh Yay! It’s really hard to find good vegan gluten free desserts. I’m so excited that more and more bloggers are posting things like this. I tried the recipe in BabyCakes, but wasn’t thrilled with the beany flavor. These look so much more delicious.

  4. Hi Iris- Thanks! Yeah, I think we all have that moment. So nice when it turns out well!

    Hi Valerie- I’ve heard that about hemp milk… I think it was from you on our board. :) But, right now I’m kind of stuck, because I’m avoiding nuts (no almond), rice, oats (contaminated no doubt), and soy… And I have concerns about over-using coconut as we have coconut allergy in the family. So, besides coconut… hemp milk is the only low allergen milk left to me for baking. I haven’t felt bad after eating things made with it, but I also don’t go crazy with it. I don’t like it on cereal (right now I’m only eating hot cereal- buckwheat) anyway… so pretty much only use it for baked good recipes. It does have its own distinctive flavor. I use Tempt Unsweetened vanilla most of the time, unless I use unsweetened plain. It is spendy, alas, but oh well.

    Hi Deanna, Thanks! I’m so glad you liked the recipe. I haven’t tried babycakes’ cookbook but we did enjoy their chocolate brownie bites from the Martha Stewart show. The chocolate masked the bean nicely in that case.


  5. Chocolate is just so overrated anyway! Not!

    These cupcakes are not overrated. They were, in fact, quite delicate and yummy. I’m just sorry you have to wait until July to have them again. You know, there is Memorial Day. You could join me for my birthday in June. Why, there’s even Flag Day on June 14th. Father’s Day on the 20th. There’s the U.S. Open Golf Championship tournament sandwiched in between! And, there’s always June 25th. We could made that a holiday as well if we want.

    I took the easy way out to add some ‘icing.’ I just put seven or eight chocolate chips on them when they first came out of the oven and in minutes they were soft enough to spread around to cover the top. Sorry. :)

    For anyone like me tempted to skip the pan liners – You probably shouldn’t.

  6. Some of my comment went missing when I posted it. I hope what’s there doesn’t come across as insensitive to your wanting to avoid caffeine for such a good reason. I didn’t intend for that at all.

  7. Chocolate gluten free cake is not that hard because the chocolate covers any unexpected flour flavors. This vanilla cake looks do-able and I like the fact that it is vegan and the flours are more nutritious than plain starch – good one!

  8. Hi Carol, No worries, I enjoyed your comments and appreciated your taking the time to tell me about your cupcake experience! :) Thanks for visiting me! You made me smile.

    Hi Mom at GFE, Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.


  9. Wow these look tasty! Vegan cupcakes (when they’re already gluten free) are such a challenge; you seem to have tackled them well though! :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

  10. I made these last night and they were wonderful! The only thing that was different for mine was I used my all purpose gluten free flour with millet. My kiddo’s loved these as did their friends… who are not gluten free or vegan!!! Love it! If you are looking for great all purpose gluten free flours I have three available to choose from. Thanks for a great treat!

  11. [...] Here are some gluten free recipes using sorghum flour: Artisanal Sorghum Bread from Gluten Free Girl Vegan Sorghum Vanilla Cupcakes from Book of Yum [...]

  12. I don’t know how you find time to do it all…but I am glad you do. I have become more intrigued with vegetarian and vegan foods lately and you always teach me something. Your cupcakes look great.

  13. VANILLA ANYTHING thats gluten-free is delicious!! <3

  14. Yum!! I don’t think you can ever have too many cupcake recipes! I love that you don’t use eggs in these! Did you mention how you made your icing?? it looks so yummy!

  15. made these today (still baking in oven) for my sons 6 birthday. just peeked at them they are gorgeous. :) and they smell wonderful. we are new to dairy free and I’ve been trying to make more eggless and sugar free recipes. I used 1/4 c agave and 6 drops stevia instead of sugar.
    can’t wait to taste them! thanks for a great recipe!

  16. Hi Carrie,
    Thanks! I talk about my icing in the notes to the recipe. :)


  17. [...] I should rename the House of Yum the House of Cupcakes after the last few weeks. I went from having cupcakes once or twice a year to having them three times in half as many weeks. And you know what? I like cupcakes! I do! I never [...]

  18. Peta O'Halloran Says:

    I love this recipe! I’m not vegan, so I used cow’s milk. I also substituted millet with rice flour in the same quantity and it came out amazing. It makes a beautiful fluffy cupcake and it rises so well. My son and I ate them without icing and they are beautiful. Thanks for the recipe.

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