Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes {Gluten-Free} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

Three of my coworkers had birthdays this week.

I was asked to make a cake.

I laughed a little on the inside. I think the last time I attempted a “real” cake was sometime in high school. I don’t even own cake pans.

I said I could do cupcakes.

When I asked if there were any special requests, one coworker asked for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I’d never made red velvet anything before, so I did some searching and came across this Martha Stewart recipe. We did a test run to see how they would work when made with Pam’s Mix. They were good but needed a few adjustments. Here’s what we used the second time:

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) of butter, room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line standard-size muffin tins with liners.
  2. Mix Pam’s Mix, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk sugar, coconut oil, and applesauce using a mixer on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla extract and food dye.
  4. Reduce mixing speed to low. Add the flour mix in three batches, alternating with 1/2 cup buttermilk between the batches.
  5. Pour batter into lined muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Set muffin tins on wire racks to cool.

Meanwhile, make the frosting…

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed for a couple minutes, until fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides and mix well between each addition.
  3. Once all the sugar is added, add in the hazelnut extract.
  4. Once cupcakes are cooled, use a spatula or pastry bag to frost the cupcakes. Share and enjoy!

Makes 24 cupcakes

We melted the coconut oil for ease of measuring. However, coconut oil is solid at room temperature. It will cool as the recipe progresses, so the sugar/oil mix in Step 3 will be kind of gloopy. If you don’t have/can’t find coconut oil, you can use veggie oil, in which case the mixture will be much runnier. (I went with the coconut oil to try and sneak in a little extra flavor.)

Regarding the hazelnut extract in the frosting: I had not bothered to check how much vanilla extract we had, and it was used up in the cupcakes. I thought hazelnut and cream cheese would make lovely partners. They do. I’m sure vanilla extract works just as well.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. So these were a hit? I love the addition of hazelnut in the frosting. Yum. I’m proud of you for attempting cupcakes for the first time, gluten-free, for coworkers! Yay!

  2. Well, while it was the first attempt at red velvet cake, it was not the first gluten-free baked good I brought into work. I brought in lots of quick breads and brownies. They were always happy about baked goods, gluten-free or no.

  3. The coconut oil will be a good choice for people looking to fight Alzheimer’s disease! There was a lovely newscast on about at doctor that helped improve her husband’s condition by adding coconut oil to his diet. It was amazing to see the change in his handwriting from doing this. Here is the perfect recipe for helping those with cognitive issues.

  4. You learn something new everyday.

  5. These sound so yummy. Have you ever tried a different product other than cream cheese for the frosting? We are thinking about cutting out cows milk soon….. I know yogurt won’t hold up.

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