Delightfully Decorative

Gluten Free Almond Rainbow Cupcakes (Vegan Option)

A burst of colour, inside and out. These gluten free cupcakes are sure to jazz up your day or night. With just a hint of almond, they have a classic flavour with a springy touch.I didn’t make mine vegan as I find they rise better with egg in, but they will work vegan. I’ve put a vegan option in the recipes, just make sure to fill the cases slightly more than I did.

Yields 12 muffins.

You will need:

  • Stand or hand held mixer
  • Sieve
  • Muffin tray & cases
  • Cling film
  • Piping bag
  • #3 star piping tip



  • 2 eggs

(or 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp cold water for vegan version)

  • 80g (4 tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
  • 280g (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • 240g (1 cup) plain gluten free flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum
  • A pinch of salt
  • 240ml whole milk (or tinned coconut milk for vegan version)
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • Gel food colour (blue, purple, pink, yellow)


  • 120g (1 cup) hard vegetable shortening
  • 355g (3 cups) powdered icing sugar
  • 25ml whole milk (or tinned coconut milk for vegan version)
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Gel food colour (blue, purple, pink, yellow)


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 170°C

(325°F Gas Mark 3)

If you are making the vegan version mix together the flaxseed and cold water, then chill for 15 minutes.

Step 2

Cream the vegetable shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy with a stand or handheld mixer.

Step 3

In a separate bowl combine the gluten free flour, baking powder, xantham gum and salt. Sift half into the butter and sugar, then stir in with a spatula, before adding the rest.

Step 4

Rub together with your hands until you reach a sand-like consistency, and there are no lumps left.

Step 5

Whisk together the milk, almond extract and eggs or flax-eggs. Pour half into the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Then add the rest of the liquids a bit at a time, beating between additions. Finally scrape down the sides and beat for a few minutes.

Step 6

Divide the batter into 4 equal parts, adding a different food colour to each and mixing until the colour is even. I would potentially make the blue batch smaller than the others, as the blue and purple can dominate the other colours in your bake.

Step 7

Spoon each colour into your muffin cases a bit at a time, alternating colours until ¾ full.

Step 8

Bake for 20-25 minutes.The cakes should feel springy to the touch and a sharp knife should come out clean. Set aside to cool still in the muffin tray, so that the paper cases don’t peel.


Step 1

Cream the vegetable shortening with a stand or hand held mixer on a high speed. Add half the powdered icing sugar, then mix on a low speed with a cover if you have one.

Step 2

Add in half the remaining powdered icing sugar and repeat. Once that is incorporated the mixture might be quite dry, so add half the milk and beat on a high speed. Repeat until all the sugar and milk has been added, then add the almond extract and beat on high for 5 minutes to ensure the buttercream will hold its shape.

Step 3

Divide the buttercream into 4 equal parts then add a different food colour to each. Mix until the colour is even.

Step 4

Lay a square of cling film on the work surface, then spoon a line using all of the blue buttercream. Make a line of purple of the same length next to this, repeat with pink, then yellow.

Step 5

Roll the cling film over to make a sausage shape. Gently massage the buttercream to remove any air bubbles as you do this. Twist the ends to secure, and snip one side.

Step 6

Transfer the wrapped buttercream snipped end first into a piping bag with a #3 star tip. Squeeze in a downwards motion to get the buttercream flowing, then twist the top of the piping bag to secure.

Step 7

Finally pipe in a circular motion from the centre of the cooled muffins to create a rose shape. Flick your wrist up to end the piping neatly.

Thanks for reading.

I hope these brighten your day!

1 thought on “Gluten Free Almond Rainbow Cupcakes (Vegan Option)”

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