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The Best Recipe For Lemon Cupcakes That’s Vegan AND Gluten Free

This recipe for lemon cupcakes produces the fluffiest cupcakes and is the perfect base recipe that you can customise for any flavour profile.

recipe for lemon cupcakes

These lemon muffins are light and spongy and the perfect treat all year round.

If you’re looking for more cake recipes check out my

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Why you’ll love these cupcakes

  • They’re completely vegan and gluten free
  • They’re so easy and simple to make

Expert Baking Tips

Although this recipe for lemon cupcakes is super simple there are a few expert tips i’d recommend which are:

  • Ensure your milk is at room temperature before pouring it into the dry ingredients, this will help prevent any lumps and flour pockets from forming.
  • Make sure to mix the milk and vinegar together prior to adding to the dry ingredients and let it sit for 5-10mins to slightly curdle. This will act as your vegan buttermilk
  • I like to use caster sugar in my cakes which is just a very refined sugar. So if you cant find caster sugar I’d recommended using very refined granulated sugar

Ingredients list

recipe for lemon cupcakes

Where to get organic natural and vegan ingredients?


Good and Greens is a whole foods shop based in the UK, it has a brilliant selection of natural, organic produce and brilliant vegan and gluten free baking ingredients also.

I received Good and Green’s oat milk and apple cider vinegar for this recipe and was very pleased with the quality of the products.

The recipe for lemon cupcakes

Step by step instructions / video

Lemon cupcakes frosting

The frosting recipe for lemon cupcakes that I used was a very simple and delicious lemon flavored vegan buttercream. However some other great frostings you can try, for these cupcakes is a cream cheese frosting or a vegan swiss meringue buttercream.

recipe for lemon cupcakes

Non-vegan alternative

If you didn’t want to make these cupcakes vegan simply substitute the plant based milk for regular whole milk. And the vegan butter for normal block butter – at room temperature for the frosting.


Can I make these into lemon cupcakes cream cheese inspired?

That sounds like a fantastic idea. These cupcakes would work really well with a vegan cream cheese frosting and would balance well with the lemon flavour. 

Can I make lemon cupcakes from box mix ?

I have yet to find a vegan gluten free lemon cake mix, but if you do I wouldn’t recommend it. Box mixes are packed with harmful chemicals and additives in order to preserve and increase its shelf life. Homemade bakes on the other hand aren’t. Although it does contain processed ingredients it is definitely a more healthier option.

Secondly, fresh homemade cakes beats cake box cakes any day of the week. And this lemon cupcakes recipe from scratch is no exception.

Lemon cupcakes calories

For these vegan gluten free lemon cupcakes each one contains 200 calories including the buttercream.

Can these be lemon extract cupcakes ?

Extracts can be really handy things to really incorporate a flavor profile to a confection when you don’t have the ingredient/fruit to hand. I have also found that lemon extract does produce a nice lemon flavor to bakes.

You just have to be careful that you are purchasing lemon extract NOT essence. As an ‘essence’ of any flavor produces a very odd chemical flavor to confections and would definitely not recommend..

But always, if you have the natural juice to hand that is your best option to achieve that natural subtle flavor. Using zest is also fantastic way to increase the flavor profile and would make brilliant lemon zest cupcakes.

What about lemon cupcakes lemon curd flavor ?

Ooo that sounds fantastic, you can absolutely include lemon curd in this recipe. I’ll be sharing my vegan lemon curd recipe for you soon that you’ll be able to fill these cupcakes with!

Storing and freezing

recipe for lemon cupcakes

The cupcakes can last for up to 3 days, after day 3 they begin to lose its fluffiness, however I’m not too sure how these wouldn’t be gone within a day 🙂

If you wanted to bake these cupcakes a week in advance for a big event and wanted to bulk bake, you can freeze these cupcakes for up to a month – without frosting them.

Make sure to tag me @whiskmefree on Instagram and leave a review below if you follow this lemon cupcakes gluten free recipe. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!

The best recipe for lemon cupcakes :

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5 from 3 votes

Vegan and Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

This recipe for lemon cupcakes produces the fluffiest cupcakes and is the perfect base recipe that you can customise for any flavour profile.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12


  • Muffin/Cupcake Tin


  • 240 ml Plant based milk
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider Vinegar
  • 210 g Gluten Free flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 230 g Caster sugar
  • 60 ml Oil
  • 3 tbsp Lemon juice

Vegan Buttercream

  • 100 g Vegan block butter (at room temp)
  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice


  • Preheat your oven to 180°c / 356°f and line your cupckae/muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  • Combine the milk and vinegar together to make the 'buttermilk' and set aside for 5 mins.
    240 ml Plant based milk, 1 tbsp Apple cider Vinegar
  • Whisk together all the dry ingredients until fully combined in a separate bowl.
    210 g Gluten Free flour, 1 tsp Xanthan Gum, 1 tsp Baking Powder, 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • Add the oil to the 'buttermilk' then pour into the dry ingredients.
    60 ml Oil
  • Whisk until combined. Then whisk in the lemon juice, being careful not to over mix.
    3 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Scoop into your cupcake cases filling them to the top and bake for 30 mins. Once baked the cupcakes should be slightly golden and springy to the touch.

Vegan Buttercream

  • As the cupcakes cool begin making the vegan buttercream. For this begin creaming your vegan butter until pale then add the icing sugar and beat together for 3-5mins.
    100 g Vegan block butter, 250 g Icing sugar
  • Add the lemon juice and beat for a further 2mins until pale and fluffy.
    2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a lemon segment.

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  1. 5 stars
    This looks amazing and I bet it was so delicious! I love lemon as an ingredient. Lemon cake and lemon cookies are my favorite! Saving this for later. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never used these ingredients for cupcakes, nor have I baked vegan cupcakes, and now I can’t wait to try. So interesting! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

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