• Very Vanilla Cupcakes {coconut flour}

    Comfy Belly: Very Vanilla Cupcakes

    Very vanilla cupcakes with maple whipped cream piped on top: 1 cup of heavy cream plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, whip with a mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks.

    Since one of us here doesn’t really like chocolate (can you imagine?), and every so often someone asks me if I have a vanilla cupcake recipe. I decided to post this gluten-free, super-charged vanilla cupcake recipe using coconut flour.

    My older son needs to minimize his almond intake right now. This is a bit challenging for me considering I was doing a lot of baking with almond flour and I have a personal love for almonds. But it’s a good thing for us to rotate the foods we eat—that way we’re getting a variety of nutrients and fiber from different sources for a well-balanced diet.

    Comfy Belly: Very Vanilla Cupcakes

    To get a very vanilla taste to these cupcakes, I use vanilla bean seeds. People do a lot of interesting things with vanilla beans. Besides steeping it in milk and cream when making vanilla ice cream, you can make your own vanilla extract, put it in your vacuum bag to freshen up your “environment”, or add it to baked and seasoned dishes, as I’ve done here with this vanilla cupcake recipe. I also added vanilla beans to the buttercream frosting on these cupcakes in the photo above.

    Vanilla beans are not cheap, so if you don’t have one lying around or don’t want to invest the extra $, no worries—these cupcakes will still make someone’s day!

    My original inspiration to give coconut flour a try for donuts & cupcakes, came from this post. And here’s a video on how to scrape the vanilla seeds from a vanilla bean.

    So that I haven’t left you with a naked cupcake, here’s some posts that have frosting for your cupcakes:

    Posted in Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, SCD, Vegetarian  |  143 Comments

    143 Responses to Very Vanilla Cupcakes {coconut flour}

    1. Bianca says:

      I have never used coconut flour but I have been meaning to- this recipe is spurring me to action. Off to the store I go!

    2. We have a ton of coconut flour and were always looking for ways to use it. This is a good thing to remember when we need to use it up!

    3. Nice website! Greetings from Glory Foods.

    4. Michelle says:

      These look great. We have a lot of August birthdays here. Your banana muffin recipe with chocolate chips and your flourless brownie recipe are staples in our house.
      Love your recipes! Had my brother’s family over last pm and they took a few brownies home for later…

    5. gg says:

      Yum! Lots of people liked them here. It’s good I made a double batch! The texture is really good. I can’t wait to try the yellow cake. Thanks.

    6. Karen says:

      I just got allergy results back and both almond and egg yolks are gone. I know I could sub 2 egg whites for per egg, but have you ever found anything else you could use instead of eggs? Would chia seed work? I love the lightness of coconut flour but don’t want to over use the egg whites. Ideas?

    7. Lisa says:

      I found your website recently and I love your recipes. I would love to try replacing the honey with Truvia but I am scared to try it. I was wondering if I would need to add some liquid i.e more butter/ oil or another egg to replace the missing liquid of the honey. I would love any suggestions you might have. Thank you so much!

      • Erica says:

        I’m not familiar with Truvia, but yes, you do want to replace the liquid from the honey or maple syrup with something – my instinct says water would be good enough.

    8. Christina Mckninney says:

      Did you put vanilla bean in the icing?

    9. candice says:

      So glad to see new recipes for coconut flour. After 2 years on SCD I became really allergic to almond flour from over exposure and since then well I just don’t even cook anymore 🙁 I can’t wait to try these.

    10. Ashlei says:

      Can I substitute the coconut flour for almond flour?

    11. I just made the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes of yours today! The flavor and textures are great! I was wondering if you or someone would happen to know what I am doing wrong. Both sets of my cupcakes are sunken-in in the middle…and I notice yours are nicely rounded on top. Could that mean I am mixing too much or not enough? I used butter and honey in both recipes…everything else was exactly as written. Our elevation is 3,000 — could that be affecting something? Thank you!

      • Erica says:

        hmm. I only have the sinking with the almond flour and honey combo in baked goods. I wonder if it’s the honey? Is it softer in the middle? that would indicate it’s not fully baked. Otherwise, maybe add less honey?

    12. Eileen says:

      I have coconut shreds. Can this be turned into coconut flour? It is organic unsweetened as well. Thanks!

    13. Ann says:

      I added chocolate chips to these and melted chocolate on top, these also and they make wonderful chocolate chip cupcakes!

    14. Noël says:

      Oooooh, these were gooood 🙂 I’m making another batch today because the first 8 disappeared! YUMMY! Thanks for sharing!

    15. Kristina says:

      Perfect! I added mini chocolate chips and baked a 9″ round cake for my 3-yr’s birthday. He loved it, brother and sister loved it, and my husband said, “What cake is this? It’s delicious!!” — probably the only gluten free cake he’s ever had, and my first to bake from scratch. I’m the only one eating “mostly-paleo” on purpose and I will totally use this recipe again! Very nice cake, worked at high altitude (5000ft), and great to have a non-chocolate option. I bet it would be good with raspberries stirred in. Oh and the cake took 20 min in the oven.

    16. katie says:

      I made these and added the zest & juice of one clementine to the batter instead of the vanilla beans — they were SO good!! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!

    17. stef says:

      i just made these and they just came out of the oven. i haven’t tried them but they smell amazing and licking the mixer paddle proved that they are going to taste great. however, every time i bake with coconut flour, my batter thickens up and becomes “scoopable”, read more cookie dough. Is that how your batter looks? As a result, I don’t get a smooth surface on the top of the cupcake. It’s just a cosmetic thing but I’m just curious.


      • Alissabeth says:

        Just had this happen too. I think it’s from trying to get the lumps of flour out. Wondering if I had sifted the flour if it wouldn’t have been as lumpy….

      • Erica says:

        (sorry about the late reply)

        Yes, they are more “scoopable”, in general. Once trick I’ve found is if you leave the batter in the mixer and let the mixer “mix” for a while (I have an old Kitchen Aid mixer that keeps going) the batter does get thinner. So I recommend mixing for a while with coconut flour. Also let it sit for a bit to absorb the moisture.

        • Alissabeth says:

          I didn’t have success with these spreading in the cups or rising at all. Definitely not fluffy like the picture! They just cooked basically. So, do you keep mixing past the really thick stage and then it thins out? And what do you consider ‘a while’ as? 🙂

      • Jordan says:

        Make sure you melt the coconut oil when measuring…using it in its solid state will cause for more measurent

    18. Ronnda Stapleton says:

      Hi! Do you have a suggestion to use instead of honey for a sweetener? Would stevia work?

      • Erica says:

        I haven’t used Stevia, but do a search on Stevia on the site. Others have used it along with glycerin for the added moisture that honey has. I sub maple syrup with honey, and some have used sugar-free maple syrup.

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    20. Mari says:

      I baked these yesterday. They are absolutely amazing! Your SCD recipes are the best. Thank you sooo much.

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    23. Mari says:

      These turned out great. I was thinking about using the same recipe, but change vanilla extract for almond extract.

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    25. wolfxfox says:

      I just baked these and they are divine! Thank you so much. I googled coconut flour cupcake and got directed to your site. I am definitely getting your site on my reader! Thanks a million.

    26. Bethany says:

      Do you use non-stick cooking spray on the the cupcake liners?

    27. Birthday Mom says:

      Do you think this will taste as yummy if I freeze them for a few days before a birthday party then thaw and frost the day of the birthday party?

    28. Sarah says:

      Made these using brown sugar instead of honey, and lard and coconut oil for the fat. Baked for 10 minutes in a muffin top pan. They taste like cake donuts!!

    29. ANGIE says:


      I was wondering what type of oil you use to make these cupcakes? Is coconut oil okay? Thank you

    30. kate says:

      I am vegan and I have egg replacers (the powder form you mix with water) and can I usees this in place of eggs?

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    33. jodi says:

      I made these for my Daughter’s fourth birthday knowing they would be eaten by non~ gluten free, non grain free family. They passed the test with everyone. They were better than any gluten white cake cupcakes I have ever eaten. I have used coconut flour many times and seem to haveixed success with it but this was the best coconut flour recipe I have tried.

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    35. Alissabeth says:

      I’m also getting a cookie dough type texture. This is not a ‘batter’ by any means….have to roll it off the spoon to get it in the liner. I used 1/2 honey, 1/2 syrup and liquified coconut oil….and even tried adding a tad bit of water to see if it would thin, but it didn’t. I’m afraid they’re going to be more like a muffin….we’ll see.

      • Erica says:

        Batters come in all shapes and sizes :). Yes, this can be more of a “scoopable” batter, but keep the faith. As long as you followed the directions it should be fine. BTW, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of honey OR syrup.

        • Alissabeth says:

          I have some local honey that’s VERY sweet, so i used 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 syrup, as I’ve found that just honey is too much. 🙂

    36. Mari says:

      Hi Erica,
      Can I use a bundt cake pan? I am not sure if the consistency will change.

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    38. Liyana says:

      Wow! I just made this and it tastes amazing! Definitely for vanilla-lovers like myself! I didn’t have a muffin pan so I baked it for 30 minutes in a 7″ round cake pan and they came out perfect! Moist with a soft and crumbly texture. I did reduce the amount of honey to 1/3 cup as I prefer only lightly sweetened cakes. I also added some chopped macadamia nuts and dried cranberries because I happen to have some on hand.

      I’m definitely making this again probably adding other dried fruit or nuts or even spices. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    39. Jo-Anna says:

      I just made these and they are fantastic! Thank you so much for the recipe! We’re new to gluten free, and baking is hard work, but these are a hit! Yum!

    40. Candice says:

      What kind of oil would you recommend using

      • Erica says:

        I would say almost any oil but a finishing oil would work here. One with the least flavor would be good so it doesn’t over power the vanilla flavoring – my personal choice would be sunflower oil, coconut oil, or ghee.

    41. NOVAmom says:

      hmm…these aren’t awful. Mine came out a bit dry and more muffin-like than cake-like. And they definitely need frosting because they don’t come out particularly pretty 😛 I had very high hopes, as I’m trying these grain-free recipes for my son’s first birthday (we don’t feed him any grains). The only substitute I made was using liquid stevia and unsweetened applesauce in place of the honey/syrup since I’m a type 2 diabetic.

    42. Heather says:

      I’m new to gluten free baking and this is my first recipe using coconut flour. These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They came out perfectly! Very moist and light with a wonderful coconut flavor. I also made the vanilla buttercream frosting (with maple syrup) and it is a perfect topping for the cupcakes. Actually, these cupcakes are so great they don’t even need frosting! Thank you for posting such yummy, simple, easy to make recipes! I’m looking forward to baking many more of your recipes!

    43. Marie says:

      Hello – I made these tonight, but I can’t figure out what it is I’m doing wrong. They came out TERRIBLY. They looked fine when I pulled them out of the oven, but when I went to remove them from the cupcake pan, i noticed that anything that was not directly exposed to the heat looked like a gelatinous mess. Upon further inspection, they were deflated and EXTREMELY oily and jiggly. When I picked one up, oil literally oozed from it into my hand. I followed the recipe and directions to a t. Now it’s just a lot of good ingredients wasted because these are too disgusting to eat. Any ideas what happened?

    44. Makayle says:

      Can you use regular liquid vanilla extract instead of the beans?

    45. Alison says:

      This was my first time baking with coconut flour …. They taste amazing! My 2year old is going to love eating one for tomorrow’s snack !

    46. Lauren says:

      If I was going to use this recipe to make a cake what size pan would you recommend?

      Thank you.

    47. Christy says:

      Our family is now getting away from modified food starches of any kind. All the recipes I have looked at on your blog here have been starch free. Thank you!!

      We baked these cupcakes tonight and LOVE them!!

    48. Marian says:

      I made this cake for Christmas yesterday. I used butter and 4 tbsp full fat coconut milk. It was delicious and moist. The only thing that I found is that it didn’t rise. I’m going to play with the baking soda to see if I can’t get a more cake like rise to it. Huge hit and I can’t wait to share with my readers!

      • Erica says:

        you may want to test your baking soda to make sure it’s still active. To do this, put a few tablespoons of white vinegar into a small bowl and add a teaspoon of baking soda. It should bubble and the foaming should take several moments to subside. The more bubbles, the more potent the baking soda. If there is no reaction, or you only end up with a handful of small bubbles, you need to replace you baking soda.

      • Nicole says:

        I just came across your post and was wondering if you ever figured out the rising issue. I just made these last night and had the same problem. I tested the baking soda and it was fine. I really need to figure it out before next week…babies first birthday so I am practicing. Please help if you can

    49. deborah gessell says:

      I am going to bake these today. Refined and GMO foods, especially high fructose corn syrup, have ruined my son’s stomach over the past 10 years and we are using coconut parts all the time.

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    52. Ashley S says:

      Just for anyone who may be interested, I tripled this recipe today and made a 9 inch 2 layer cake and it turned out beautifully. So if you’d like to make a cake instead of cupcakes, it works very well!

    53. Bridgette says:

      Have a second batch of these in the oven now. Made them for my birthday after completing the Whole30 and not wanting to reintroduce anything (aside from the honey), these were perfect! Not only were they perfect for my dietary needs, but they were more moist and simply more amazing than any other cupcake I’ve ever tasted. My entire family (who happily eats real junk food and enjoys it) absolutely loved them as well. Thanks for the great recipe! 🙂

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    58. Alisha says:

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was craving something cupcake-y and came across this site.

      I started making these and then found out I was out of vanilla (ugh – of course I would run out of vanilla). I ended up using mostly almond extract with a little lemon extract – and the cupcakes still turned out amazing.

      On a side note, I have a feeling if I add poppy seeds or raspberries to my almond/lemon mishap – I would have a very tasty muffins. 🙂

      Thanks again!

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    60. Jordan says:

      Just made these…so delicious!… So healthy and tasty!!… Sweet but not too sweet!
      I had to cook mine for 25 mins and they were very brown on the outside but the inside was perfectly moist!

      Made cream cheese icing on top using coconut sugar! The two pairings worked very well together!
      Would also recommend melting dark chocolate to drizzle on top 🙂
      Or almond butter to use as a breakfast muffin.
      Definitely use your imagination with toppings

      Loving these alternative recipes for baking!!


    61. Vivian says:

      These cupcakes are amazing!!! Moist and fluffy but not eggy! I have a hard time finding coconut flour recipes that have a good texture… Will make again!!!

    62. Victoria says:

      What would happen if more milk was added to this receipe?

      I really want to make an earl-grey cupcake (like this: http://www.bhg.com/blogs/delish-dish/2014/05/06/lavender-earl-grey-cupcakes/), but want to use coconut flour.

      (or perhaps you have other ideas about how to get the earl grey flavor in this cupcake recipe?)

      Thank you!! Excited to try this!

      • Erica says:

        I’ve haven’t tried this, but, I think you can let tea sit in the milk for quite a while to infuse it naturally. Another option would be to simmer the coconut milk and earl gray tea for a while until it’s reduced to 2 tablespoons. Let me know if you try it!

        • Victoria says:

          Thanks for you reply! Hmm, simmering it could be a good idea….

          The recipe with the earl grey cupcakes calls for a lot more milk than in this recipe (e.g. 2/3s a cup of milk – granted, the recipe is for 18 cupcakes http://www.bhg.com/recipe/cupcakes/lavender-honey-cupcakes/)

          Would adding more milk (like 5-6 tbsp) to your recipe cause the cupcakes to be overly moist? (i’m a beginner with baking, bear with me!)

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    68. Epiphius says:

      Absolutely fine! Not too much fiber and I usually make this as mini cupcakes for kiddo birthdays or baby showers. They turn out just as tasty but are a little extra cute! 🙂

    69. Alt Food Guy says:

      These are great cupcakes and easy to make. I even made my own coconut/honey frosting to top them off

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    71. Lin says:

      My cupcake are slightly too moist inside. How can I make the cupcake less moist?

    72. Betsy says:

      This is a great recipe! Thank you. I have made them several times. One was even a wedding cake! Love the tip on letting the mixture sit for a few. I feel it makes a big difference.

    73. Trish says:

      there must be a misprint. 1/2 c coconut flour is not enough. it looks like soup.

    74. suzy says:

      celebrated my granddaughter’s fourth birthday on the weekend and this recipe was a hit!…we searched long and hard for celebratory food choices using non-inflammatory, quality ingredients that would appeal to kids and adults alike…i used half honey/half maple syrup…didn’t have a bean but will definitely try that option next time…and there will be many ‘next times’..in fact, before i packed up and drove back home from my son’s house, i baked up another triple batch per his request!

    75. Judith Brighton says:

      I am sorry if I’ve already commented on this recipe, but it just keeps on being great! It is my GO-TO dessert recipe because I can make it all in a 1-quart pyrex measuring cup, using my old hand egg-beater! Paper cupcake liners, and boom! Gorgeous, moist vanilla cupcakes that are great with or without icing! Tonight, I might just go with whipped cream! I cannot say too much about this recipe – it’s brilliant! 🙂

    76. Melissa says:

      What’s the nutrition facts on these? They were fantastic btw!

    77. Sara says:

      What icing recipe is in the photo?

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    1 tablespoon 3 teaspoons
    1/4 cup 4 tablespoons
    1 cup 8 ounces
    1 teaspoon 5 ml
    1 tablespoon 15 ml
  • Ingredient conversions

    almond flour 1/2 cup 48 g
    coconut flour 1/4 cup 26 g
    honey 1/4 cup 85 g
    honey 1 cup 12 ounces
    maple syrup 1/4 cup 81 g
    maple syrup 1/4 cup 59 ml
    butter 1/4 cup 55 g
    butter 1/2 cup 8 tbsp
    cocoa 1/4 cup 22 g
    chocolate chips 1 cup 6 ounces
    chocolate chips 1 cup 160 g
    olive oil 1/4 cup 54 g
    olive oil 1/4 cup 2 ounces
    coconut oil 1/4 cup 52 g
    Parmesan, grated 1/4 cup 20 g
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        1  275  140
        2  300  150
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        4  350  180
        5  375  190
        6  400  200
        7  425  220
        8  450  230
        9  475  240
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