Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

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Quick and Easy Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes,mixed all in one bowl!

Easy Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes, no mess, no fuss, all ingredients mixed in one bowl!


I’ve really enjoyed making gluten free cupcakes over the last few years. Mostly because they are quick, pretty easy, and are always well received by the rest of the family, everyone loves a cute cupcake!

I’ve never been much into baking from cake mixes or boxes, I think the results are usually disappointing and it’s just as easy to make your own cakes. I don’t want fussy baking either, you won’t find me in the kitchen trying to make croissants or puff pastry, life’s to short for that!

My gluten free Lemon Cupcakes don’t require anything more than adding all the ingredients into one bowl and simply mixing it all together. You don’t need to cream the margarine and sugar or fold in the flour, it works just as well by throwing it all in together.

When you make your frosting you want to make sure you sift the powdered sugar, it can be a bit tricky to get the lumps out otherwise. I’ve found that margarine in frosting gets soft much more quickly than butter so use your own judgement regarding adding in milk, you may not need it if you think its soft enough.

I usually keep the cupcakes in the fridge after they are frosted, I’m sure I’m breaking baking rules on that but there’s no way the frosting will stay solid in my Mississippi house in May!

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Easy Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes, no mess, no fuss, all ingredients mixed in one bowl!


Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: cakes
Serves: 9
  • 120g (¾ cup) All purpose gluten free flour
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix has gum added)
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 110g (1 stick) dairy free margarine
  • 110g (½ cup sugar) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest, from ½ lemon
  • 430g, (4 cups) powdered sugar, sieved
  • 100g (½ cup) dairy free margarine
  • 6 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons dairy free milk
  • 2 -3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  2. Preheat your oven to 350f
  3. Add flour, gum, baking powder, margarine, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest to your mixing bowl.
  4. Mix well until combined.
  5. line a cupcake baking tin with cupcake wrappers.
  6. This mix will make 9 - 12 cupcakes, it depends how much you fill the cupcake wrappers.
  7. Spoon about a tablespoon of the cupcake mixture into each cupcake wrapper.
  8. Bake for 18-20 mins on the middle rack in the oven, until cakes are fully cooked.
  9. Allow them to cool on baking rack.
  10. While cakes are baking make your frosting by mixing together powdered sugar, margarine, lemon juice. Add in some milk if you need to make the frosting thinner.
  11. When cakes are fully cooled pipe or spoon on the frosting, I used a wilton large star tip to pipe the frosting.
1. I bake by weight using a digital kitchen scale as I find that gives the most consistent results, especially when baking gluten free. One cup of your gluten free flour blend may not weigh the same as my blend, all the commercially available blends have different mixes and ratios of flour in them. I’ve weighed cups of different blends of flour and noted that a cup of gluten free flour can vary in weight from 125g up to as much as 170g depending on how you scoop it, and what type of mix you use. You can see how this could drastically alter the outcome of a recipe.

2.I recognise that most Americans are used to the cup method which is why I also include those measurements, but they may not give you accurate results as they are approximate only. If you are a keen gluten free baker I would encourage you to invest in a digital kitchen scale.

3.I prefer to use my own homemade gluten free flour blend as it's cheaper and I get really great results.

4. If you can, avoid buying flour with gums already added. The reason for this is that you have no way of knowing how much gum is in there and that can alter the outcome of the recipe. So for example, too much gum can give you a more sticky texture in a cupcake. And though the cupcake recipe will still work, it won’t be as nice as if you measured and added the gum yourself.

Easy Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes, no mess, no fuss, all ingredients mixed in one bowl!

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    • says

      Thanks Megan!! I am feeling mostly better, but sometimes a simple infection really knocks the stuffing out of me. I got a steroid shot a couple days ago and that seemed to help a lot 🙂

  1. Angel Williams says

    Hi, these look amazing! I am wondering if you have considered or tried using coconut oil in place of margarine?

    • says

      Hi Angel, I have baked some with coconut oil so it might be worth a try, but I’ve not done it for this recipe. I think if the oil is melted when you mix it in, the texture of the cake may be different as you are adding in more liquid, but that’s just a guess. If a recipe (like a muffin) asks for melted oil I often use coconut oil and not margarine. I would love to be able to use butter but I can’t eat it anymore.

  2. says

    My daughter and I are baking a cake today for a contest and I asked her if she wanted to do something lemon, but then I realized that I don’t have any good gluten-free recipes. I may be the only one at the party who needs it to be GF but I still want some! I like your style. I am excited to try this.

        • says

          Hi Felicia, I am not sure what color you would get if you used turmeric and while it doesn’t have a strong taste I don’t think it would taste great in frosting. I colored the frosting so it would look nice in the photo but I just as often leave the color out so you could do that, it will still taste lemony. One option that might work (I’ve not tried it) would be to try and add a little bit of turmeric or perhaps saffron (that’s $$ though) to a very small amount of milk and see what color you get, then if you like it you could add the milk to the frosting?

  3. Sonja Springer says

    I am just curious – will 1 Tblsp of cake batter be enough to make a full size cupcake? These cupcakes look fabulous!!!!!
    I am definitely trying them…..just wondered about the amount of batter per cup.

    • says

      Hi Sonja, for regular sized cupcake wrappers about a tablespoon is enough, I think that will half fill the wrappers. They should rise up to the top of the cupcake wrapper as they cook (don’t open the oven!)

  4. Anne says

    The batter tasted really good but they fell in while baking! Baked them for 18 minutes. I did add a little extra lemon juice because the batter did not seem to be coming together for me. I am not a gluten-free baker so I am learning here. Would the extra lemon juice have made them fall in?

    • says

      Hi Anne, I’m so sorry they collapsed for you, that’s annoying when it happens! The additional lemon juice may have caused the batter to be too thin, I guess it depends how much extra you added. There are a couple of reasons for cakes collapsing and I’m not sure what could be causing it for you so I’ll share what I know 🙂 The first one to check is if you used a ready made flour blend that has gum listed in the ingredients (xanthan or guar gum) did you add more gum to it? I don’t know if it will cause the cupcake to collapse but too much gum can alter the outcome of the recipe. Here are some more reasons for cake collapse: overfilling the cupcake liners, baking at a higher altitude, not baking for long enough,opening the oven door to check them halfway through – don’t do it! overbeating the batter (adds lots of air), oven temp too high can cause a rapid rise then collapse, using too old baking powder and they won’t rise properly (check if it still fizzes when added to water) I hope that helps!

  5. Anne says

    Thanks Sheena! I did use a pre-mixed gluten-free flour with gum but I did not add extra. I may have over-filled but I had enough batter to mak 9. I did beat them for a while because, as I said, the batter did not initially come together for me so that may have done it. The batter was still pretty stiff despite the extra lemon juice. I’m going to try them agai until I get them right. What came out of the oven, despite the collapse, was extremely tasty!! As my sister is a recently diagnosed celiac, I’m trying to learn to make stuff that she can enjoy as well so…..practice makes perfect, right! Thanks for responding so quickly! Much appreciated. 😊

  6. Karen says

    I’ve got to admit, I was skeptical about these cupcakes right up until I cooked one off and tasted it. These are really quite good! I made a batch to go with some boxed (and I never do boxed but I needed to save time) as a GF option for some guests and these were miles better than the boxed o es! I o my wish I hadn’t played around with a baking sugar substitute, but that’s on me.

    • says

      Hi Karen! Glad to hear they worked out for you! I’ve never tried baking sugar substitutes, they may be more tricky to bake with as you discovered but I know lots of bakers who like them.

  7. Dawn says

    What kind of flour mix is good to use in this recipe? Do you make your own or buy already made? I’m looking for a gluten free flour recipe good for cakes and cup cakes.

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