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Dairy-Free White Cupcakes

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My husband and I don’t have an allergy to dairy, but we typically don’t keep milk in the house because we prefer coconut or almond milk beverages.  So when I decided to send some cupcakes to work with my husband to welcome his boss, who lives in Colorado and was coming to Wichita for the first time to stay for a week, I decided just to make them completely dairy free and see how they turned out.  I was really impressed with the results!  I’ve never made white cake without using a box mix, and I was quite pleased with how crazy moist these were, and they did not have a hint of coconut flavor, despite all the “dairy” coming from coconut.  They tasted just like regular white cake, and they were a hit with the boss and co-workers.

I wasn’t sure if these would turn out, so I made this recipe for a dozen cupcakes instead of the usual two dozen.  If you would like to make two dozen, or a two layer cake, just double the recipe.

Dairy-Free White Cupcakes

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

½ cup coconut milk beverage*, room temperature (I used Silk Pure Coconut Original)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder*
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup refined coconut oil, room temperature*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tin with paper liners; set aside.

In a 1-cup measure, mix together the milk, egg whites, and extracts; set aside.  In large bowl, mix remaining ingredients, except for the oil. Add the oil and mix until incorporated and there are moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.. Add all but ¼ cup of the milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 ½ minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more.  Stop mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat again on medium for 20 more seconds.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  Cool in tin on a wire rack.  I prefer to turn mine out onto the rack after a few minutes to finish cooling so the pan doesn’t bake them too much by retaining the heat.

Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost with White Celebration Frosting, or your favorite dairy-free frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

*Notes: you can use canned coconut milk and unrefined coconut oil, but this will give your cupcakes a distinct coconut flavor. If you want them to taste like white cake, please follow the recipe as written. Also, I recommend using Rumford, or another aluminum-free baking powder in recipes calling for more than a teaspoon, as the aluminum can give a very strong, unpleasant aftertaste.  This is especially true in cakes with milder flavors, like white or yellow.

Recipe source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

43 responses »

  1. I love how you include coconut ‘drink’ in this baking recipe! I love coconut, and I’m sure this would be a hit in my house. Mmmmm.

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  2. Sounds yummy,that is a nice way to make a good impression on the big boss! Carson won $270.00 worth of night fireworks. we blew them up at mom & Dads. hope your staying cool!
    Love,Joan

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  3. Those cupcakes look light and wonderful!

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  4. I love cupcakes, your look amazing…

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  5. Can I use real coconut milk?

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  6. Wow, Veronica this recipe sounds so delicious! The cupcakes look amazing :) I love the idea of coconut milk in these cupcakes.

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  7. Veronica, these cupcakes look fantastic – whatever they’re made of. Love the coconut milk idea.

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  8. Pingback: Wacky White Cake {Vegan} « Veronica's Cornucopia

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  10. I was soo excited until I saw eggs in the recipe…ugghh, I wish the recipe was without eggs.

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  11. I think this recipe looks awesome and I am going to practice it before making it for my daughter’s birthday party. I don’t want to do cupcakes though… so how can I make this into a cake? (I am NOT a baker – I tend to mess up every sweet thing I bake.) Will this recipe yield enough for a cake pan (13×9)? How long would I bake it for? Thank you!

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    • I would hesitantly recommend doubling the recipe for a 9×13 pan. I say hesitantly b/c usually 1 cake mix makes enough batter for 2 dozen cupcakes or a 9×13 pan, but it’s been so long since I made these there very well may be more batter here than half a cake mix would make. But if you do double it and there is enough to fill more than just the 9×13 1/2 or 2/3 full, you can use the extra to make a few cupcakes. :) Be sure to adjust baking time – I would start checking at 30 minutes for doneness.

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  12. Just found this on Pinterest. Looks great! How do you think almond milk would taste instead of coconut milk?

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    • I used almond milk and it was great!

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      • Thanks for replying Arianna! My guess would have been it would be fine too, although the coconut milk does have some fat that almond milk doesn’t have. Don’t know if it’s enough to change the texture though. Or maybe almond milk does have fat! Been too long since I bought it – I can’t remember for sure!

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  13. does it have to be coconut milk or can I use soy milk?

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  14. also is there any other oil you can use besides coconut?

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    • I chose coconut oil (refined, not the virgin kind which would have given a coconut flavor) because it’s a dairy-free substitute for butter that is also solid at room temperature. You could probably use regular vegetable oil and it might even make a more tender & moist cake, as is my experience using oil vs. butter/coconut oil.

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  15. Do you have to use aluminum free baking powder?!?

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    • No, but I do recommend it as there tends to be a chemical aftertaste in baked goods made with regular baking powder if there is more than a teaspoon in the recipe, particularly in cakes with a mild flavor like white or yellow cake.

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  16. This recipe for your white cake looks yummy. I would like to know how to change the flour for gluten free

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  17. This looks amazing! I will be baking this tonight using a heart shaped pan to make a cake that looks like a dog’s head for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow :) Wish me luck!

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  18. Hi! Do you think this recipe will work with a 13×9 cake pan? Thank you!

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  19. Can I use whole eggs? Maybe 2 medium?

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    • You can use whole eggs, but this will be more like a yellow cake instead of white. If you don’t mind that, it should still be wonderful! 2 medium sounds perfect.

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  20. Would this recipe work in a cake recipe? Since it makes 12 cupcakes, do you think I’d have to double it to make a cake?

    Thanks!

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  21. I bought everything I need to use this recipe. I’ve never cooked with coconut oil before should I heated up and then let it cool. I know it’s solid but does liquidy when you heat it up. Also if I double this recipe do you think I can get 30 cupcakes out of this? Thank you. I can’t wait to try one.

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    • It does melt when heated, but for this recipe, you just use it in its solid, room temperature state. Scoop it straight out of the jar. :) You should get 24 cupcakes if you double, unless you skimp on how much you put in each muffin well and don’t mind smaller cupcakes.

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  22. Pingback: Baking for Food Allergies

  23. Corin Intrieri

    Thank you for this super yummy recipe! My son was diagnosed with a dairy allergy just before his 1st birthday and I was really sad that I wouldn’t have a cake for him to smash. I searched for and made a few “test” cupcakes in preparation for his big day. This was really yummy and liked by all members of my family. Thank you again for your creativity!!

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  24. Can I use almond milk in pls e of coconut?

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  25. I found this recipe, as my granddaughter can’t have any dairy. Together,we made these cupcakes and they are fantastic! I only had the unrefined coconut oil, so I substituted coconut flavoring for the almond extract. We made a dairy free chocolate frosting and the cupcakes ended up tasting like a mounds candy bar. The whole family thought they were the best.
    Thank you,
    Terri

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