Apple & Cinnamon Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple and Cinnamon Cupcakes. A perfect fall dessert, that tastes just like apple pie. Simple ingredients, and just one bowl.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 12 cupcakes
  • 2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 gala apple, grated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1¼ cup reduced aquafaba
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1¼ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1½ cups Earth Balance vegan butter (3 sticks / approx 340g), softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, such as Spectrum (approx 225g), softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Place the aquafaba in a small pot and simmer until reduced to approximately 1 and ¼ cups. Add the sugar to the hot liquid and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate overnight or place in the freezer until completely chilled but not frozen (if you're tight on time).
  2. For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F and line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a large measuring cup whisk together the oil, almond milk, sugar, applesauce, vanilla and salt. Mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and xanthan gum.
  5. Add the wet ingredient to the flour mixture and stir together until combined and smooth. Gently fold in the grated apple.
  6. Divide the batter among the lined cupcake tin using a tablespoon or large ice cream scoop.
  7. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. For the frosting, place the cooled aquafaba mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on slow and slowly bring the speed up to high. Whisk the mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form, this may take a couple minutes depending on the speed of your mixer.
  9. Reduce the speed to slow and add in the confectioners' sugar. Let the sugar incorporate into the frosting before bringing the speed back up to high (otherwise you'll wear it). With the mixture running on high begin adding the vegan butter and shortening, one tablespoon or chunk at a time. If the mixture looks like it's beginning to split, don't worry, it'll come back together.
  10. Once all the butter and shortening have been incorporated, the frosting should be smooth and hold its shape, beat in the vanilla bean paste and ground cinnamon. *See Notes
  11. To assemble, fit a pastry bag with a large star or round tip, and set it in a glass to keep it upright while you fill it with frosting. Also a good idea to fold down a couple inches of the side. Fill the pastry bag with frosting.
  12. Starting from the center of each cupcake make a spiral outwards, then spiral it back towards the center to add some height. You can practice on a piece of parchment paper if you prefer and later return the frosting to the bag.
  13. Serve at room temperature. If you're not serving them immediately, they can be stored in the fridge. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they're made, but I won't lie, I ate leftover cupcakes for a few days afterwards and they were still delicious. Bring to room temperature before serving.
*Note: Depending on the temperature of your room and the temperature of the butter you used, you may find the frosting too soft to pipe. If that's the case, place the bowl in the fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes.
Recipe by David D at