Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Several dairy free vanilla cupcakes topped with frosting and sprinkles.

Gearing up for a birthday party or another celebration? Or maybe you just want to bake because it’s the weekend! Either way, you’ll love these dairy free vanilla cupcakes. They’re light and tender and have the perfect amount of vanilla flavor.

You can top them with the homemade dairy free vanilla buttercream frosting included in this recipe, or use any preferred frosting of your choice. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a photo of all the ingredients you’ll need for the cupcakes themselves, along with selected ingredient notes:

All of the ingredients for cupcakes laid out on a table.
  • Dairy-free milk – The best options for these cupcakes are oat milk or almond milk, but almost any dairy-free milk option will do. However, I do not recommend using full-fat canned coconut milk for the cupcake itself as the higher fat content and coconut-forward flavor can throw off the recipe.
  • Vegetable oil – I like this as a neutral oil, but if you prefer avoiding soy (which is often the main oil in vegetable oil) you can also use avocado oil or canola oil.

As far as frosting goes, you can either choose to make your own, or to buy a dairy-free store-bought frosting (surprisingly there are many options these days!). If you want to make your own, it’s pretty easy – you’ll just need these four ingredients:

Dairy free frosting ingredients on a white backdrop.


You’ll find the full recipe amounts and instructions in the recipe card below, but here’s a helpful overview with photos and tips.

Start by preheating your oven, and either greasing or adding paper liners to a cupcake tin.

Combine the dairy free milk with the vinegar and let sit out a few minutes. This creates a dairy free “buttermilk”. You’ll notice it start to separate a bit; this is normal.

Oat milk and vinegar mixed together in a measuring cup.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar, and oil in a mixing bowl.

Oil, dairy-free butter, and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Cream that together until it’s light and fluffy. I recommend using a stand mixer or hand mixer for this.

Add the egg and vanilla.

Egg and vanilla added to mixing bowl with oil, sugar, and dairy free butter.

Beat again until light and fluffy. Set that aside for a sec.

Now in another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda mixed together in a bowl.

Add that to the wet ingredients, and also pour in the milk/vinegar mixture. Stir everything together until combined, being careful not to overmix the batter.

Cupcake batter in a mixing bowl.

Pour the batter into the cupcake tin and bake ‘em! They should take around 15-19 minutes – you’ll know they’re done when a toothpick pulls out clean from the center. (Be careful not to overbake or they can become dry).

Cooked dairy free vanilla cupcakes in a cupcake pan.

As the cupcakes are cooling, you can make the frosting if you’re doing a homemade version. (Skip this and just wait for them to cool if you’re using a store-bought version).

To do so, just combine the softened dairy-free butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little dairy-free milk in a bowl. Then use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or hand mixer to combine it well. Start on low then move up to high on the mixer speed (if you start on high, the powdered sugar can splatter all over).

Dairy free buttercream in a silver mixing bowl.

After a minute or two, the frosting will get light and fluffy and is ready to use. Spread or pipe that onto your completely cooled cupcakes, and enjoy!

A vanilla dairy free cupcake on a plate with the cupcake liner pulled down.

Recipe FAQ

Here are some common questions that may come up as you’re preparing this recipe:

Can dairy free cupcakes stay out overnight?

Yes, these can stay out at room temperature for up to 2 days. Place in an airtight container or cover with ample plastic wrap when storing at room temperature overnight.

Can you freeze dairy free vanilla cupcakes?

Yes. It’s best to freeze unfrosted, and you can freeze the frosting separately. Store the cupcakes in a ziptop bag or airtight container in the freezer. Use within 2-3 months for best quality. When ready to enjoy, you can let come to room temperature on the counter, or you can pop in the microwave for 15-25 seconds, until thawed. Then frost as desired.

Why are my cupcakes dry?

If your cupcakes are dry, you may have packed your flour into the measuring cup. For best results, spoon and level the flour.

Allergens in this Recipe

Disclaimer:  Always double check ingredients and labels yourself prior to making a recipe.  While I try to check all ingredients for allergens, there’s always the chance I may miss something, or manufacturer formulations can change.

As written, this recipe is dairy free and peanut free.

This recipe does contain wheat/gluten (in the flour) and eggs. I do not recommend leaving the egg out of this recipe. You can likely substitute a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that includes xantham gum in place of the all-purpose flour if you need to make this wheat free.

This recipe also contains soy in the vegetable oil. While highly refined soy oil is exempt from soy allergen labeling, I do mention it here as those with soy allergies may wish to avoid that. In that case, I recommend using canola oil or avocado oil. Also, be sure your dairy-free butter and dairy-free milk are soy free if needed.

This recipe may tree nuts, depending on what type of dairy-free butter and dairy-free milk you use. You can easily adjust these choices to fit any allergen needs.

More Dairy Free Desserts

If you’re looking for more sweet treats, be sure to give one of these a try:

I hope you enjoy these dairy free vanilla cupcakes! My kiddo and husband love them, and I’m a pretty big fan too. If you get a chance to try them, feel free to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Celebrate any special occasion with a batch of these delicious dairy free vanilla cupcakes! Perfectly fluffy and easy to make.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free vanilla cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 361 kcal
Author Dairy Free for Baby


For the cupcakes:

  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk (recommend oat milk or almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp distilled vinegar
  • cup dairy-free butter, softened (recommend Country Crock plant butter sticks with avocado oil)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (or another neutral oil)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the frosting (optional, can use store-bought):

  • ½ cup dairy-free butter softened (i.e. 1 stick; recommend Country Crock plant butter sticks with avocado oil)
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 3 tbsp non-dairy milk (enough to achieve preferred consistency)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners (or grease the tin).
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the oat milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and oil, until light and fluffy (using a stand mixer or hand mixer is easiest).
  4. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until light and fluffy.
  5. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Pour in the non-dairy milk mixture and stir all ingredients until combined.
  7. Portion the batter into the cupcake tin. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 19 minutes, or until a toothpick pulls clean from the center. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
  8. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting (if making homemade). In a large bowl, combine the softened dairy-free butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk. Beat using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add additional non-dairy milk if needed to reach the preferred consistency.

  9. When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost the cupcakes and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

  • Butter must be softened – not melted, not straight from the fridge – for the frosting, otherwise you will not achieve the desired texture.
  • Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting, otherwise frosting will melt.


Nutrition analysis (per cupcake with vanilla frosting): 361 calories, 17.5 g fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, 255 mg sodium, 48.5 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 36 g sugar, 2 g protein, Vitamin D: 1%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 5%, Potassium: 1%

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A dairy free vanilla cupcake with a cupcake wrapper, on a platter, topped with frosting and sprinkles.

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