Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes: Easy + Gluten-Free

I really adore our coconut flour; it’s one of my favorite gluten-free flours to use in baking. But I do know that coconut flour can be a little intimidating – especially for new gluten-free bakers.

I mean, truthfully, I was scared when I first started baking with it. It would absorb liquid like nothing I had ever seen! And the recipes that I read would call for 1/4 cup flour for an entire batch of muffins. It seemed crazy, and almost implausible; but as I started experimenting, I realized that coconut flour was an amazing thing.

And these coconut flour cupcakes are proof of how spectacular this flour really is.

First, let me ask you: what makes a perfect cupcake? Is it the frosting? The level of sweetness? The texture?

For me, it’s all about the texture. I can skip the frosting altogether as long as my cupcake has that perfectly light, springy, tender crumb.

To achieve this using just coconut flour, like we do with these cupcakes, we rely on eggs. Lots and lots of eggs.

Eggs not only provide structure, but they also help bind the cupcakes, help them rise, and make them moist and tender.

I’ve eaten my fair share of gluten-free cupcakes and I have to say, these are not only the easiest ones I’ve made, but they’re also the most delicious. I hope you love them, too!

To begin, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 10 paper cupcake liners.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes via @kingarthurflour

In a large bowl, whisk together the following:

1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
6 large eggs

Whisk in 2 tablespoons of milk, and set the mixture aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix to combine.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes via @kingarthurflourEvenly divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each liner 3/4 full; this recipe makes about 10 cupcakes.

Bake the cupcakes on the center rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes via @kingarthurflourTo make this Quick Buttercream Frosting, beat 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter until fluffy. Beat in a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract.

Add 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ or glazing sugar and 2 tablespoons milk, and beat until smooth. Add enough additional sugar (up to 1/2 cup) to make a smooth, spreadable frosting.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes via @kingarthurflourScoop the frosting into a gallon-sized zip-top bag or a pastry bag. If you’re using a plastic bag, snip off the end with scissors. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, and sprinkle with a little toasted coconut.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes via @kingarthurflourThese coconut flour cupcakes are incredibly versatile. They’re a basic vanilla cake recipe, so you can frost them with whatever your heart desires. And if you’re looking for some frosting inspiration, browse some of our frosting recipes!

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes via @kingarthurflour

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes.

Print just the recipe.

Alyssa Rimmer

Alyssa grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont and now lives in New York City, where she bakes and writes recipes for her blog Simply Quinoa. She's been living gluten-free for over four years. Alyssa also authors her own food blog and enjoys ...


    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi there, Sara! While we haven’t tested this recipe using sugar substitutes, experimentation can be one of the most fun parts of baking. If you’re down for a little adventure and are open to the unexpected, give it a try! We recommend starting with substitution instructions from the substitute’s package or the manufacturer’s website since a swap won’t always be 1-for-1. If you’re curious, we have a couple blog articles that we think you’ll find interesting. The first was one of our earliest articles and in it we tested some of our favorite recipes using Splenda in place of sugar: The second shares sugar alternatives that we’d had a spread about in Sift Magazine: Happy experimenting! Morgan@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Julie! The milk is added in Step 2 of this recipe: “Beat together the oil, sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Add the milk, and whisk until smooth.” Hope that helps! Kat@KAF

  1. Trocy

    Amazing cupcake, love love the recipe..I reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup and 1 tbsp. Love the coconut flavor..the best cupcake everrrrr…thank you for the recipe 👍😃

    1. Kathy Jovanovich

      I doubled the recipe and made a 3-tier birthday cake with hombre rosette frosting. I do a lot of baking and this one is their favourite. Great recipe.

  2. Riz

    I just had to comment and say we loved this recipe, it was super easy and very very tasty. We tried out a few with a topping of either sprinkles,dessicated coconut, sliced almonds and a few with choc chips. Was so yummy I didn’t have to make the icing, I’m so glad I found your blog. Thanks all the way from South Africa

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for reaching out to let us know, Riz. We’re so glad to hear that you’re enjoying this gluten-free delight from afar. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We wouldn’t recommend it, Maryia. The yolk and the white of the egg contribute differently to a recipe, and especially in a gluten-free one like this that calls for so many eggs, we can safely assume that they are playing a structure-building role that would be difficult to replicate otherwise. Stick to full eggs with this one! Mollie@KAF

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