These gluten free lemon cupcakes have a tender crumb and are full of bright lemon flavor. Bonus – they’re really easy to make, no stand mixer required!
This post is brought to you in partnership with Rodelle Vanilla and contains affiliate links for products and ingredients used to make this recipe. Thank you for supporting What The Fork Food Blog ♥
It’s my birthday again! This year, instead of a cake, I decided to celebrate with these gluten free lemon cupcakes. These cupcakes are so bright and fresh – perfect for birthdays!
In the past, I’ve really done it up with birthday cakes. Last year, I made a gluten free coconut cake which was a big hit. The gluten free funfetti cake that I made the year before that was also a reader favorite.
So why cupcakes this year instead of another gorgeous layer cake?
Because I’m lazy!
No really, though… I’ve been working HARD and I just did NOT want to make a big, beautiful (read: time consuming) layer cake. And I’m not saying that making a cake is hard, it’s a little work. But when you’re recipe testing, it’s a lot. Several rounds of testing, plus making and styling it for photos AND making an extra one for videos – it’s just SO much cake.
This recipe is one I’ve been working on since May when Kelsey wanted lemon cupcakes to bring to school for her birthday – she’s a fruit dessert kinda girl. So naturally, I always use school functions for a round of recipe testing #foodbloggertruth
Basically, any get tother and any time I have to make or bring a dessert, I use that as an opportunity to test a recipe out. For this recipe, I was pretty happy with the way they came out the first time – plus I made them mini, which you could do here if you want.
I only had to tweak a few things and BOOM: the best gluten free lemon cupcakes, ever!
Since I happen to love fruity desserts too (sorry Adam), I thought this would be the perfect time to get this recipe down. And that I did – I don’t want to pay myself on the back but I’ll just go ahead and do that and say that I nailed it here. So much lemon flavor and the cupcakes have such a great texture. Lemon perfection!
These lemon cupcakes get their bright lemon flavor from THREE sources of lemon flavor – fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and a little bit of lemon extract (I use Rodelle lemon extract). That lemon extract gives these that little extra lemon flavor that you can’t get from just the juice and zest alone. It’s what truly makes these seem like a bakery-style cupcakes.
If you REALLY want to up that lemon factor, you can scoop out some of the top of the cupcake and fill it with some of my paleo lemon curd. If I had some on hand, I probably would have done that!
Since it’s my birthday, I teamed up with Rodelle to bring you guys another great giveaway! I can’t have a birthday and without having a little giveaway, right?!
This time, we’re giving one of you a fun little sampler prize pack that includes some vanilla extract, lemon extract, almond extract, vanilla paste, and their gourmet baking cocoa. You can enter the giveaway via the giveaway form at the end of the post. Good Luck!
be sure to follow me on instagram and hashtag #whattheforkfoodblog or tag @whattheforkfoodblog – i love seeing what you make!
if you love this recipe for gluten free lemon cupcakes, be sure to follow me on social media so you never miss a post:
For the cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Rodelle Lemon Extract
- 1 teaspoon Rodelle Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup whole milk (see notes for dairy free)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil
- 5-8 drops yellow food coloring, optional
For the frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and muffin tins with 15 cupcake liners or spray well with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract, vanilla extract, milk, and avocado oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tins and fill each one 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine take 18 minutes)
- Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is incorporated. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and mix an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Cupcakes are best if eaten within 2-3 days. These cupcakes also freeze well.
- I use my Nightshade-Free Flour Blend for this recipe. I also tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour with great results.
- For dairy free cupcakes, use unsweetened coconut milk in place of the whole milk and use the dairy free cream cheese frosting recipe found here.
- I used an Ateco 829 Open Star Tip to frost these cupcakes. If you use a large piping tip to frost the cupcakes, you may need to make an extra 1/2 batch of frosting.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g