These dairy free vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting are a classic birthday treat complete with rainbow sprinkles. Just add candles and wish away. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Today is a big day here at Simply Whisked. We’re celebrating my 5th blog anniversary with these dairy free vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. 5 years, people. That’s a long time. Back then we were living in France. I had just finished my bachelor’s degree and I couldn’t find an English speaking job. I had been sitting at our table debating blog names and website addresses. I eventually settled on one and published my very first recipe. Since then, I’ve moved 4 times, given up dairy (mostly), had a baby, bought a house, and published 386 more recipes (including this one).
Not only are we celebrating a big day in my blogging life, we have another big reason to celebrate. We’re having another baby! We’ve been keeping it a secret for a long time now – only in the internet world, our family and friends have known for a while – but Ellie’s little brother is due to arrive on October 31st.
Back to basics: dairy free cupcakes
Getting back to the cupcakes, I’ve been working on a few basic, dairy-free recipes so I have some solid go-to recipes for events like birthdays and holidays. I’ve already nailed down basic pancakes and a few other recipes, so I decided to try my hand at more indulgent recipes since I’m letting myself have a few extra calories anyway. These turned out exactly as I wanted them to.
How I made these dairy free:
To make these cupcakes dairy free, I used vegetable shortening in place of butter, and I swapped almond milk for dairy milk. You could easily substitute a different dairy free milk, like cashew milk or coconut milk. I also used butter-flavored vegetable shortening in the frosting. You could easily use regular vegetable shortening, but I prefer the flavor. I also think you could use softened coconut oil or vegan buttery sticks, but I haven’t tried them myself.
If you want to learn more about substituting butter, I wrote an in-depth post about it. Butter and milk are some of the easiest ingredients to change when going dairy free, so it makes baking fairly easy. If you want to make these vegan, simply use a vegan egg replacement product or a flax “egg”.
How to decorate your cupcakes:
As for the frosting, I only made enough to frost the cupcakes like a normal person. I know piping swirls and peeks is a lot prettier in pictures, but I just wasn’t feeling it this time. So I frosted them with a spatula and mixed up some rainbow sprinkles and nonpareils for a festive birthday look. If you want to make them a little fancier, you’ll probably want to double the frosting, or at least make a half portion more.
Looking for a classic cake recipe instead? Try this one layer cake with chocolate buttercream. It’s perfect if you want to have a secondary dairy free option at a party, or if you’re going to a party and want to make sure there’s something safe.
For the cupcakes:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter-flavored shortening (or butter, room temperature)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond milk (or milk)
For the frosting:
- 1 cup butter-flavored shortening (or butter, room temperature)
- 4 – 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Rainbow sprinkles, optional
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a 24-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer , cream shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
- Add flour mixture in 4 installments, beating until incorporated and scraping sides of bowl as needed.
- Add milk and beat until smooth.
- Fill cupcake liners with about 3 tablespoons batter each, or until 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to rest for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
For the frosting:
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer , beat together frosting ingredients until smooth.
- Frost completely cooled cupcakes with a spatula or spoon. Top with sprinkles immediately after frosting each cupcake.
- Calories: 0
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg