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The Best Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

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!

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

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.

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

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.

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

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!

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

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!

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

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!
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Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

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!

Ingredients

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

Instructions

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and muffin tins with 15 cupcake liners or spray well with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5.  Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - these are full of lemon flavor with the perfect cake texture! Recipe from @whattheforkblog | whattheforkfoodblog | gluten free cupcakes | gluten free desserts | gluten free baking | gluten free cake recipes | birthday cake ideas | cupcake recipes | lemon desserts

2017 Birthday Giveaway

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Jinny

Friday 5th of April 2019

If I use the Bob's Red Mill 1-for-1 flour, do I still need to add the xanthan gum? I made these with the Bob's Red Mill flour then continued with the recipe...they were horrible. Thanks!

Shay

Saturday 13th of April 2019

No, if the flour blend you use contains xanthan gum (like Bob's Red Mill 1:1), omit the xanthan gum called for in the recipe. Too much xanthan gum will make these super gummy/rubbery.

Aletha C

Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Hi Shay! If Your nightshade free flour blend is used as the base, should the xanthum gum be added in the recipe or no? AND... if making this recipe as a larger round or sheet cake instead of cupcakes, are there specific modifications that need to be made to the recipe ingredients to keep a moist and full consistency, or is the baking time all that needs to be changed?

Thanks!

Sharon

Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Hi Aletha! Yes, still add the xanthan gum because my nightshade free blend doesn't have it already in it. I haven't personally tried this as a cake yet but Sarah (above) has. She doubled hers but you probably don't need to and bake it in 2 8-inch pans - I can't tell you for certain though without actually trying it myself.

Sarah

Monday 2nd of April 2018

I doubled the recipe and turned it into a cake for Easter and it was SO GOOD. My mother in law keeps raving about it and based on the number of slices my father in has gone through I think it's safe to say that he's also a fan :) Thanks Sharon!

Sharon

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

So glad you all enjoyed it Sarah! I was planning on turning this into a cake soon, so thanks for letting me know it works well :)

Janene

Saturday 24th of March 2018

Hi Sharon! I made these twice this last weekend. The first I followed all the ingredients, except the Xanthum Gum because my Cup4Cup had it. I subbed avocado oil for coconut oil but otherwise, followed the recipe and mine also came out very dense. Everyone loved them, except me. So, I tried it again, thought maybe if I used a different one to one, beat them longer to get more air into them, I used Bob's this time, got the same exact dense result...any suggestions?

Sharon

Wednesday 24th of October 2018

Hi Janene, for starters, I wouldn't over mix the batter. I'd also recommend making sure you're measuring your flour correctly. Start by stirring your flour, then use a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup and then level it off with a straight edge. Using even a little too much flour can make dense/drier gluten free baked goods.

April

Saturday 26th of August 2017

I just made these cupcakes - used all the ingredients you listed except the xantham gum because it was already in the Bob Red Mill's 1:1 GF Baking Flour, and I used coconut sugar. The taste is great! But they were dense and didn't rise much. Is there a way to make them more light and fluffy? Suggestions?

Sharon

Monday 6th of November 2017

Hi April, I think the coconut sugar may have been the culprit here. When I use it, I've noticed that I have to use more liquid (kind of like baking with coconut flour but not as much) or else the end result will be a little drier.

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