Scrumptious vegan coconut flour cupcakes are just what your next celebration needs! They are grain-free, nut-free, and gluten-free, too.
By George, I’ve finally done it.
A perfect vanilla cupcake that is grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. And it only took me 5 dozen attempts to get them right!
I’m calling them Freedom Cupcakes. Nick just calls them “those super-yummy cupcakes you make, Mommy.” I’ll leave it to you to choose the name you prefer.
My quest for vegan, grain-free coconut flour cupcakes began last August when I published my Coconut Flour Cupcakes. If you’ve done any coconut baking, or even if you’ve perused coconut recipes, you’ll notice almost every one requires eggs. Lots of eggs. Sometimes a dozen eggs in a single cake recipe. Coconut flour is a tasty, versatile, nutritious, gluten-free flour option. But it’s tricky; eggs give it the structure and guidance it demands.
But not everyone eats eggs. And even those of us who do eat eggs may not want to eat a carton-full per cupcake. Plus, massive amounts of eggs hold the baked goods together, yes, but the texture is definitely on the sponge-y side.
So I promised to work on an egg-free, dairy-free rendition. Some of you asked if it could be nut-free, too. I said sure. Gulp.
Then I made a lot of terrible cupcakes. By the dozen. They were gooey, gluey and gloppy. They would not rise. Then they rose, but immediately sank.
Then, one fine February day, I got it. Not just, “hmm, that’s getting close,” but “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR AMAZE-BALLS delicious!!!” . And now they are. Just right.
Key Ingredients for Vegan Coconut Flour Cupcakes
Here are the essential ingredients to make these cupcakes work:
(1) Coconut Flour: Subtly sweet and fragrant, and, of course, grain-free. It is also considered a hypo-allergenic flour.
(2) Whole Psyllium Husks:When it comes to grain-free, nut-free, vegan, baking, these are the golden ticket; they keep these cupcakes from going ker-plop and are absolutely essential here.
Use the psyllium husks as (your new favorite) egg replacer in general: mix one tablespoon whole psyllium husks with 3 tablespoons warm water; let stand 5 to 10 minutes to thicken (it will be much thicker than a flax egg–almost solid–but breaks up when you mix it into batters and doughs). Bonuses of psyllium husks: super-high fiber and zero calories.
Can I Use Chia Eggs or Flaxseed Meal Eggs in Place of the Psyllium?
Alas, no, neither flaxseed meal or chia seeds work as a replacement for the psyllium husks. I have tried; the cupcakes rise and (dramatically) fall.
Do Not Fill the Muffin Cups to the Top
The cups will only be about 1/3 to 1/2 full–this is just as it should be! They will rise to the top of the cup.
Note that the cupcakes may end up with a very slight dip post-bake. Not to worry! They are baked all the way through (be sure to do a toothpick test before removing from the oven, to make sure). You can fill the dip with icing, ganache or frosting–no one will notice!
This one didn’t make it to the icing stage 🙂 The texture is sooo good–just like a traditional, all-purpose flour cupcake. No spongie-ness!!!
Add the psyllium mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just blended.Divide batter among prepared cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it (centers may sink slightly). Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. Frost and sprinkle as desired!
Easy Chocolate Icing:
In a small saucepan, melt 2/3 cup virgin coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder and 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or agave nectar) until smooth. Cool 20 minutes (it will thicken as it cools); use immediately.
I have an important question! Step two says to whisk the coconut milk, water, psyllium husks, coconut sugar, etc. So do I use dry psyllium? OR, should I mix it with water (to make psyllium "egg") before combining with the other ingredients mentioned in step 2? Thank you!!
Friday 13th of December 2019
Hi Lily! No need to add water, just mix the psyllium husk directly with ingredients as listed; the psyllium will gel with the wet ingredients, it does not need to be done separately 😊
Sunday 5th of February 2017
I have been making these over the last year and have gotten so many compliments! Latest was at my son's preschool shared afternoon tea and there were children and parents who were dairy free, gluten free or vegan. This recipe will be great for the playgroup my younger child goes to, as we have a child with severe allergy to nuts, egg and dairy. It was great to be able to bring something that everyone can eat :) thanks so much!
Monday 13th of February 2017
Isabel, I am so happy that these have worked so well for you! Thanks a million for taking the time to come back and comment :)
Saturday 28th of January 2017
Can I use honey instead of the coconut sugar?
Monday 13th of February 2017
Hi k.m.--I have not tried these with a liquid sweetener, but probably so; you may need to decrease the liquid slightly to adjust for the added liquid from the honey.