Basic Baking

Gluten Free & Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

I love chocolate as a flavour, but sometimes you need a lighter cupcake, with a summery taste. When an airy cake is called for, this is my go-to lemon cupcake.

I make 12 muffin size cupcakes with this recipe or this can be used for layers in a cake, if you want a whole cake I would suggest doubling quantities and making 3 layers in an 8 inch tin or 4 layers in a 6 inch tin. If you would rather make 12 cupcake size, then half the quantities used here.


You will need:

  • Muffin tray
  • 12 muffin cases
  • Stand or hand held mixer
  • Sieve

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp cold water
  • 80g (4 tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
  • 200g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 80g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 240g (1 cup) plain gluten free flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum
  • A pinch of salt
  • 240ml tinned coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon juice

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) and place muffin cases in the muffin tray.

Step 2

In a small pot mix together the flaxseed and cold water, this will replace the egg in your cupcakes. Leave in the fridge to from a gelatinous consistency that resembles a beaten egg. This should take about 15 minutes. It’s usually ready in the same amount of time it takes me to preheat the oven and prepare the rest of the batter.

Step 3

Cream the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together with a stand or hand held mixer until light and fluffy. You can use only caster sugar if you don’t have brown sugar in the house, but I like the golden colour it adds and deeper more complex flavour.

Step 4

Combine the flour baking powder, xantham gum and salt, then sift half into the butter and sugar mixture. Roughly combine with a spatula then add the rest of the dry ingredients. I recommend you mix by hand so the the dry ingredients don’t get everywhere or use a very low speed on the mixer. Rub together with your hands until a sand like consistency forms, with no large lumps left.

Step 5

Whisk the coconut milk to combine where it may have separated in the tin and ensure there are no lumps. Measure out 240ml and stir this with the vanilla extract, lemon juice and flaxseed egg.

Step 6

Pour half the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat on a medium speed until incorporated, then turn up to high to make the batter smooth. Scrap down the sides and add of the remaining milk at a time, beating and scraping down the sides between each addition. Finally turn the mixer up to high speed for a few minutes and beat until smooth, being careful not to overmix.

Step 7

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cases until just over full. I begin with 2 spoonfuls into each case, then top up where appropriate afterwards. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until springy to the touch and the tip of a sharp knife comes out clean. Leave on a cooling rack still inside the muffin tray, I find letting them mostly cool like this keeps the cases in shape, as they can come loose around the edges otherwise.

Step 8

Once cooled top with your choice of buttercream or frosting.

Thanks for reading 😊

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