Keto vanilla cupcakes are a wonderful afternoon treat and perfect for any celebration! Expect a moist and fluffy vanilla flavoured crumb, topped by a lush sugar free cream cheese frosting. This easy keto cupcakes recipe is absolutely fail-safe and suitable even for baking novices!
Table of contents
Everyone needs a really good gluten free keto cupcake recipe in their repertoire and this is mine!
I'll be honest with you. I never liked "real" cupcakes. I always found them too sweet, especially the frosting. At kiddie parties, I'd take a bite and then hide my plate behind a pot plant.
Everything has changed with these sugar free vanilla cupcakes! Not only are they low carb and gluten free, they also ACTUALLY taste delicious. The texture of the crumb is soft, moist yet fluffy, and the frosting is silky-creamy, but not overly sweet.
The low carb cupcake batter is made with a blend of almond flour and coconut flour plus a generous amount of vanilla extract. It has a moist pound cake feel - none of that dry, brittle texture you get with shop-bought cupcakes.
I made two different frostings - one is a keto vanilla cream cheese frosting, the other one a strawberry buttercream frosting using real strawberry puree. The cupcakes are nice enough to eat on their own, but of course, the frosting does look rather pretty! You'll be grad to know that it even freezes well.
Let's get started:
Ingredients for keto cupcakes
Eggs - these should be large and room temperature. Fridge cold eggs can prevent your cupcakes from rising.
Butter, cream cheese and almond milk - use a full fat cream cheese and unsweetened almond milk. My favourite almond milk brand is Plenish. It's possible to replace the cream cheese with either Greek yoghurt or sour cream.
Granulated sweetener - I used an erythritol monk fruit sweetener, which is a 1:1 sugar alternative. The sugar free cupcakes batter is only gently sweet, because we're adding the sweet frosting on top. For sweeter keto vanilla cupcakes add up to ⅔ cup (130g) of sweetener. Always taste the batter and decide how you like it best! (For the frosting you MUST use powdered sweetener).
Almond flour - The most popular flour for keto baked goods. I'm using what we over here in the UK call ground almonds. This is equivalent to regular almond flour in the US. If you're using super-fine almond flour, I would reduce the amount by 2 tbsp.
Coconut flour - It complements almond flour just so well in gluten free low carb recipes, and is also high in fibre. Read more about the benefits of coconut flour here.
Baking powder and vanilla extract - Check that your baking powder is fresh (it should fizz when you put a little in cold water) and that your vanilla extract is sugar free. For a luxury version of this recipe, use the seeds from 1 vanilla pod instead of the extract!
How to make keto vanilla cupcakes
In a large bowl using an electric mixer or in a food processor, beat the room temperature eggs until pale, thick and double in size. This takes about 2 minutes.
Now add the sweetener, melted and cooled butter, cream cheese, unsweetened almond milk and vanilla extract. Continue beating for a further minute.
Stir together the almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until you have a smooth batter.
Fill the keto cupcake batter into 9 paper cups...
...and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Note - You can probably stretch the batter to 10 cups. Mine rose quite a bit, and since we're adding the keto frosting, there's no need for a large rounded dome top.
Let the low carb cupcakes cool completely before you make the vanilla frosting.
I made 2 different frostings for these cupcakes - a vanilla flavoured low carb cream cheese frosting and a keto strawberry frosting. Honestly, I cannot decided which one I like more.
For the vanilla frosting, you simply mix together butter and cream cheese.
Note: It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you're using both room temperature butter and cream cheese. I have tried to make frosting with cold ingredients, and this causes the frosting to curdle and split. I heated both my butter and the cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds to make them soft.
Also, I got smoother results with Philadelphia cream cheese than with the supermarket own brands I have tried. Whichever you go for, make sure your cream cheese is FULL FAT.
Then, add the vanilla extract (this is optional, but does taste great). And last but not least, slowly add the powdered sweetener, bit by bit. I only used ¼ cup (40g), but you can use double if you prefer a sweeter frosting.
Fill the frosting into a piping bag and piper over the cupcakes. That's it!
As always, there are many ways to tweak this keto cupcake recipe.
No coconut flour - Replace the ¼ cup of coconut flour with ¾ cup or 75g more almond flour.
No almond flour - For nut free keto cupcakes, use a 50/50 blend of sunflower seed and sesame seed flour in place of the almond flour.
Dairy free - Replace the butter with coconut oil and the cream cheese with coconut cream. For the keto cream cheese frosting, use vegan cream cheese and vegan butter.
Love chocolate? I have a delicious recipe for keto chocolate cupcakes! Or, for a keto chocolate frosting, simply add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to the frosting ingredients.
You could also decorate your low carb cupcakes with my Sugar Free Keto Cheesecake Fluff - it's a mixture of cream cheese and whipped cream (plus a couple of secret ingredients!)
Or, simply top them with Sugar Free Keto Whipped Cream and some berries!
The frosting stays firm at room temperature, but I do recommend to store the vanilla keto cupcakes in the fridge if you don't eat them on the same day.
Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months. If possible, freeze them plain and add the frosting before you serve. However, it's possible to freeze them with the frosting as well.
More Keto cupcake recipes and keto muffins
These low carb gingerbread cupcakes have a salted caramel frosting!
These low carb chocolate cupcakes are perfect for chocoholics.
My low carb keto strawberry muffins would be delicious with either frosting from this post.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating below!
Low Carb Keto Vanilla Cupcakes
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 4 eggs large, room temperature
- ½ cup / 114g butter melted, then cooled
- ¼ cup / 60g cream cheese
- ¼ cup / 60ml almond milk
- ½ cup / 100g granulated sweetener (So Nourished) use up to ⅔ cup if you like sweeter cupcakes
- 2 cup / 200g almond flour
- ¼ cup / 30g coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a muffin / cupcake pan with paper cups.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer or in a food processor, beat the room temperature eggs until pale, thick and double in size. This takes about 2 minutes.
- Now add the sweetener, melted and cooled butter, cream cheese, unsweetened almond milk and vanilla extract. Continue beating for a further minute.
- Stir together the almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until you have a smooth batter.
- Fill the cupcake batter into 9 paper cups and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before you make the sugar free vanilla frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- It is absolutely essential the both the butter and the cream cheese are room temperature. Heat fridge-cold for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.
- First, mix the butter using an electric mixer. Then, add the cream cheese and beat until fully combined.
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