Nut Free / Dairy Free / Egg Free Cupcakes

My client requested a special cupcake order this week.

Her client required the cupcakes for the children’s birthday party to be nut, egg and dairy free. They were to be iced with pink “buttercream” icing.

This was a challenge for me as this kind of cooking is not something I have often had to do. However, I knew the principles involved, the ground rules were clear and I was confident we could whip up a pretty, snazzy cupcake for a special someones birthday.

This is the recipe I used:

To make 30 cupcakes

3 cups of self-raising flour

2/3 rd’s of a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder ( not drinking chocolate)

2 cups of caster sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups of water

2/3 rd’s of a cup of  sunflower oil ( any light, neutral oil would work well, obviously not peanut oil for nut-free cakes)

I sifted the cocoa and flour together into the bowl of the mixer.

In went the salt & vanilla.

I set the mixer to low speed and poured in the water, lemon juice and sunflower oil.

When the dry ingredients were incorporated I turned the mixer up to medium speed and let it go for 2 minutes.

I used muffin pans lined with cupcake liners, as usual.

The cupcakes took about 17 minutes in a 350F oven.

They looked great. Not as high as my regular cakes. Next time I might put in an extra teaspoon or so of batter.


I made the icing from dairy free spread, pure icing sugar, vanilla extract and rice milk.

Same method as making regular buttercream. The finished texture was smooth and pipeable.


An easy way to fill a piping bag with icing?


Put the bag in a tall glass, fold the bag over the glass and fill!

Once you have the icing in the bag, lift the bag out and jiggle and squish to disperse.



12 thoughts on “Nut Free / Dairy Free / Egg Free Cupcakes

  1. Just wondering what the kids thought of the cupcake – or whether you had any feedback. Thanks!

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting 🙂

    The kids ( and the client who ordered the cakes) loved them!
    Apparently, there was no discernible difference…
    I will definately be using the recipe again.

  3. The topping looks great. Where could we find the measurements for creating the look of buttercream icing without the dairy contents?
    Thank you.

  4. Thank you Sweet Tooth 🙂

    I just used the same method and ratio of ingredients as I do for butter based icing/frosting. It generally works out to be about 100g of butter/non-dairy spread to about 4 cups of icing sugar. Then I like to add a couple of tablespoons of milk/ soy/rice milk etc. This seems to smooth out the mix and make it glossy and pipeable.
    I am sorry the measurments are so approximate *blush* I do tend to “play” with recipes as I go along…
    This link has some more frosting recipes that are non-dairy:
    Good luck _ i’d love to know how you got on!

  5. I used your recipe to make cupcakes for our weekly Bible study potluck last night, since a couple of people are allergic to dairy and eggs. I used canola oil, and cake flour with 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder added per cup of flour, and I didn’t have dairy-free margarine so I just made icing with 3 c. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and added equal small amounts water and lemon juice till it was spreading consistency.

    And they were a big hit! Everyone, including the mom and daughter with allergies, loved them! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. 🙂 You can see a photo of the finished product here.

  6. Hi and thank you for your kind words 🙂

    I am so pleased you were able to take cupcakes for everyone and I am even more pleased you were happy with the recipe.

    Loved your photos!

  7. I did it, I did it, I did it!!! I made the most amazing cake from you recipe last night! I didn’t have the patience to wait for my Orgran flour to come in the mail so I threw together 6 different flours, some xanthan gum some baking powder AND baking soda (I wasn’t sure which to use) and voila! I had to add more water too because I forgot that gluten free flours absorb more liquid than wheat. I can’t even tell you how excited I am. As soon as I’m done fiddling with the recipe I will be posting it. I love you Rosie!

    1. Hi Janice and thanks for your comment. In Australia and Britain flour is available as “plain” – what US cooks call “all-purpose” OR “self-raising” which already has baking powder added.

      The baking powder is what causes the reaction which makes your cakes rise so it is important.

      To make your plain or all-purpose flour into self-raising flour just add:
      2 teaspoons of baking powder to every cup of flour

      To make your own baking powder just mix together:
      2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part bicarbonate of soda

      I hope this helps 🙂

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