Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes

My Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes are an all-time fan favorite. That’s because they taste incredible and they’re super easy to make! This easy paleo dessert recipe is made with only 7 ingredients. To throw these together all you need is coconut flour, eggs, palm shortening, honey, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Given that the entire batch of cupcakes contains only 2 tablespoons of honey, they’re also a fantastic low-carb cupcake recipe. If you’ve been wondering how to make vanilla cupcakes, then this easy gluten-free cupcake recipe is your answer!

Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes are perfect for your birthday celebrations. They’re gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and best of all since they’re made with coconut flour, they’re a nut-free paleo cupcake. Yes, for all of you nut-free folks, this is the perfect nut-free dessert. If you are looking for more nut-free recipes, don’t miss out on my Nut-Free Recipes page.

Frost these incredible Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes with my easy Paleo Chocolate Frosting recipe for your paleo birthday celebrations. I hope you enjoy these Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes as much as we do. They’re quite a treat.

Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes

Print Pin Recipe
Servings 6 cupcakes



  • In a food processor, combine coconut flour, salt, and baking soda
  • Pulse in eggs, shortening, honey, and vanilla
  • Divide batter between 6 cups in a paper lined muffin pan
  • Bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes
  • Cool for 1 hour
  • Frost with Paleo Chocolate Frosting
  • Serve
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

I haven’t tried making this recipe without eggs, so not sure if that will work. If you are on an egg-free diet, check out my Egg-Free Recipes page.

In terms of other substitution questions regarding this recipe, I wish I had a crystal ball and could predict which substitutions would work and which wouldn’t. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found such a thing! If I did it would save me the 10 rounds or so I do of testing every recipe on this website. The only way I get an answer to a substitution question is to test it. So go for it guys. Test out your substitutions, and after you do, leave a comment so that others can learn from you in this incredible Elana’s Pantry community.

Here are some of my other nut-free paleo dessert recipes for you!

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paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

These are the best cupcakes with chocolate frosting I have EVER made!


206 responses to “Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes”

  1. Just made this cupcake recipe over the weekend and it was delicious! So moist! I have one question though. The cupcake seemed to stick to my cupcake papers. Just wondering what caused this? Someone said I could have overcooked it but it was still so moist. Someone else just suggested to spray the papers next time. What do you think could have kept the cupcake to stick?

  2. Ok, I was skeptical because it sounded way too simple to be good, but these turned out GREAT! If you are looking for a cupcake that is EXACTLY like a cupcake made from a boxed mix, this isn’t it. BUT these are REALLY GOOD! And the usual weird coconut flour texture that I dislike is very minimal. I just ate mine plain. The only thing I changed was to use 3 tbsp maple syrup instead of the honey. I will be checking out the variations in the comments and trying some of those!

    • These were wonderful ! I was short an egg so used flax/water…and also used coconut oil..added a handful of blueberries…super yummy !! Thanks !!! :)

  3. I’m 7 months pregnant , and recently I found out that I’m having gestational diabetes , I’m very careful with what I eat since I need special diet . Do you think this recipe is good for me now ? I love coconut flour , but now I’m kinda lost with what should I eat and avoid.
    Thanks for your wonderfull recipes

    • Lucy, thanks for your comment! I would recommend checking in with a functional medicine doctor for recommendations on what to eat while pregnant and dealing with gestational diabetes :-)

  4. Hi. I went through all of the comments and gathered the ones that covered most of the questions/interesting adaptions and helpful info posted from all the other commenters. Hope this saves you some time. x (ps also cut out all the praises to Elana. Sorry Elana but hope this also saves you some time answering questions)

    vanilla buttercream I whipped up…4 oz grass fed butter, 1/2 c. palm shortening, 1.5 oz honey, and 1/2 c. coconut cream.

    Adapting it both times as her school does not allow icing covered treats.
    The first time I made it, I added organic freeze dried strawberry pieces. The second time, I used Enjoy Life mini dark chocolate chips(yes, I know that chocolate chips aren’t paleo). AWESOME both times. I also added a tablespoon of full fat coconut milk to get the right consistency.
    Baked them for 20 minutes in a paper lined mini muffin pan (made about 14).

    Now, I made this recipe again but this time added a bunch of things because I think this is a perfect base cupcake/muffin recipe.
    I doubled your original recipe and added:
    2 cups shredded zucchini
    1 cup rehydrated craisins
    Instead of 2 tbsp vanilla I did 1 tbsp orange extract, 1 vanilla.

    I just made these with a few substitutions, and they were amazing! I used butter instead of shortening, baking powder instead of baking soda (because that’s all I had), and xylitol with 2tbsp water instead of honey.

    Yes people substituted either butter or coconut oil for palm shortening and both worked successfully

    Yes people froze these successfully

    i have recently found that replacing the egg whites can be done easily by replacing 1egg white with 1 table spoon of chia seed in half a glass of water left to rest and expand for 10min. then add in food processor with the rest and the seeds will soon disappear, i leave the egg yolk . voila! tastes the same.

    I made them exactly as the recipe called over the weekend. Then for his birthday party, I subbed half of a large banana for one of the eggs, and added Enjoy Life chocolate chips, then topped them with the paleo chocolate frosting. They were superb. Very moist, great crumb, and just delicious.

    From Elana recommended brands of coconut flour listed in this post:

    I topped the cupcakes with a date sweetened chocolate frosting as another reader suggested.

    !! I also made the chocolate frosting, but used 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tbsp orange extract to give it a different flavor and these cupcakes rocked!!

     doubled up the ingredients to make 12 and only kept 2 tbsp honey in so less sweet and they are delicious! Just perfectly sweet enough with half the honey and I used real vanilla instead of extract

     I used duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and duck fat instead of the shortening. Yummy!

    I made these with the pulp left over from making coconut milk and substituted almond extract for vanilla. Amazing! I made 24 cupcakes

    And my favorite icing is the rawitarian raw chocolate icing. It’s just dates, cocoa powder, water and coconut oil and very delicious.

    Coconut is NOT a tree nut. If someone is allergic to both, it’s because he’s allergic to BOTH, not because they’re in the same category.

    “*The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) states: “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet.””

    • I used coconut oil that is hard like shortening at room temperature and they worked out just fine Also grated nutmeg in with teaspoon vanilla not tablespoon as vanilla is so expensive now and it tastes a bit like an old fashioned donut from Tim Hortons.
      Thank-you for another simple yet good recipe Elana.

  5. I’ve been searching for paleo cupcakes to make for our son’s 1st birthday and these made up my mind! These are so delicious! Not overly sweet and they pair well with your frosting. We haven’t been let down by your recipes yet, always yummy. Thank you so much!

    • Claire, happy birthday to your son, I’m thrilled that I could be part of your celebration via this recipe! Thanks for letting me know these cupcakes are so delicious :-)

  6. How is the frosting paleo when the chocolate chips always have sugar. Is there a special sugar free brand you use that sweeten with a natural sweetener?

  7. Great recipe, thanks for sharing with us! I put some blueberries and made a blueberry vanilla paleo cupcake, really delicious! My substitutions worked: butter instead of palm, and maple syrup instead of honey. And also I mixed everything by hand. :)

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Recipes » Desserts » Cakes and Cupcakes » Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes