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Real Deal Keto Vanilla Cupcakes

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How to make keto cupcakes that everyone will absolutely love. Fluffy, perfect vanilla cupcakes topped off with dreamy American style vanilla keto buttercream frosting.

Today I’m sharing my no-fail, tried and true vanilla keto cupcake recipe with American style sugar-free vanilla buttercream frosting. These are sure to please, whether you make them for a special birthday or just for fun!

Vanilla Keto Cupcake with sugar free vanilla buttercream and homemade sugar free sprinkles

How To Make The Best Keto Cupcakes

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this keto cupcake recipe:

  • Softened butter (I use unsalted butter and I let it sit out for a couple of hours so it’s nice and soft without being melty)
  • Allulose (I love allulose for keto baking because it has a clean flavor that tastes like sugar, and no aftertaste — find it on Amazon HERE).
  • Vanilla extract (Good vanilla is so important in vanilla cupcakes! I’m trying to avoid the vanilla extracts that contain sugar — I’m using this one currently and it’s available on Amazon)
  • Large eggs (It’s very important to bring the eggs to room temperature. You can do this quickly and safely by submerging the eggs in hot water for 10-15 minutes before cracking them)
  • Half and half
  • Coconut flour (I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour as I do since all coconut flours seem to vary in absorbancy. Find it on Amazon HERE).
  • Whey Protein Powder (This helps provide additional structure in the cupcakes. I use and recommend this brand because it’s from grass-fed cows and the flavor and texture are better than any of the other plain whey proteins I’ve tried).
  • Baking powder (I order this double-acting baking powder on Amazon)
  • Salt

And Here’s The Equipment You’ll Need To Make This Keto Cupcakes Recipe:

Do Keto Cupcakes Need More Baking Powder Than Regular Cupcakes?

There’s a huge myth in keto baking that keto treats are dense and require a huge amount of baking powder. This simply isn’t true. In fact, using too much baking powder will actually cause your cupcakes to fall flat! Here’s why that happens:

Baking powder creates air bubbles that help our cupcakes puff up to be fluffy and delicious. And in regular baking, gluten helps create a strong structure to support those air bubbles. But in gluten-free keto baking, the structure simply isn’t as strong. Here’s the problem — that structure needs to be strong enough to withstand the baking powder’s chemical reaction. And the more baking powder we use, the more powerful that reaction is.

That’s why gluten-free and keto cupcakes with too much baking powder will puff up beautifully in the oven, only to fall flat (and often concave) as they cool. Usually, you’ll also see tunneling — large vertical holes created by excessive amounts of carbon dioxide.

Excess baking powder will also leave a residual chemical flavor and that would definitely overpower the vanilla flavor in our vanilla cupcakes.

So how do we find just the right amount of baking powder? Well, I start with a ballpark dry ingredient/baking powder ratio that I know will be close and then I test, test… and test some more! Often in 1/4 tsp increments, until it’s just right.

Should You Use Homemade Baking Powder?

Homemade baking powder is trendy within the real food/paleo movement but should you use it in your keto baking?

I don’t use homemade baking powder and I don’t recommend it. Why? Food science! Here’s the thing — store-bought baking powder is double-acting, which means the baking powder reacts twice: once when it combines with liquid and then again when it’s heated.

Homemade baking powder is only single-acting. It only reacts once: when it combines with liquid. So the majority of the chemical reaction is already over before you even bake the batter.

If you’re in a pinch and you’re out of store-bought, you could go ahead and try using homemade but the result won’t be nearly as good as if you’d used double-acting.

Keto Vanilla Cupcake with low carb vanilla buttercream and homemade sugar free sprinkles

How To Make Keto Frosting

These sugar free vanilla cupcakes are topped with soft and fluffy American style keto buttercream frosting. This is the fastest and easiest type of buttercream to make, so you can whip these cupcakes up in no time!

Which Sweetener To Use In Keto Buttercream

With so few ingredients, buttercream depends heavily on the flavor of the butter, sweetener, and vanilla extract. So for this keto frosting, I really wanted to use allulose because of its clean, sugar-like flavor. I haven’t found any powdered allulose sweeteners that are pure allulose and not a blend of allulose and other sweeteners like erythritol, however. Luckily, I’ve made my own powdered allulose before, when I created my Keto Muddy Buddies recipe. So I know from experience that it’s super easy and takes less than 5 minutes!

I simply put the granulated allulose (which is already extremely fine) in a blender and blended it until it was powdered. I didn’t even use my fancy Vitamix for this — I just used my little Nutribullet (find the one I use on Amazon HERE)! My biggest tip is to let the powdered allulose settle before you open the blender.

Can You Use Confectioners’ Swerve Instead?

You can use confectioners’ Swerve in the buttercream frosting instead. I know many will already have that on hand, and it’s OK to use here. Confectioners’ swerve absorbs quite a bit more liquid than powdered sugar or allulose, however, so I’ve provided the alternate measurements you’ll need in the notes section of the recipe card.

One other note to keep in mind — confectioners’ Swerve tends to look a bit grey, so buttercream made with it isn’t as light and bright looking.

Can You Use Lakanto Powdered Monkfruit Sweetener Instead?

I typically love Lakanto products but I don’t recommend using their Powdered Monkfruit Sweetener in this recipe. This product is TWICE as sweet as sugar, so if you substitute it in this recipe in place of the allulose, your frosting will be way too sweet.

You might wonder if you can simply use a smaller amount of the powdered Lakanto, right? But American style buttercream depends on the right amount of powdered sweetener to absorb enough moisture from the other ingredients.

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make The American Style Keto Buttercream Frosting:

  • Softened butter (I use unsalted butter and I let it sit out for a couple of hours so it’s nice and soft without being melty).
  • Allulose (I love allulose for keto baking because it has a clean flavor that tastes like sugar, and no aftertaste — find it on Amazon HERE).
  • Vanilla extract (I’m trying to avoid the vanilla extracts that contain sugar — I’m using this one currently and it’s available on Amazon)
  • Salt (just a pinch is all you need but salt is so important to help bring out flavors and create balance in sweet treats).
  • Heavy cream

Equipment You’ll Need To Make American Style Keto Vanilla Buttercream:

  • Either an electric hand mixer (this is the one I own and recommend) or a stand mixer (this is the one I own and recommend) for creaming the butter and allulose together and whipping in the vanilla and heavy cream. You could try to do this by hand with a wooden spoon but you won’t be able to get the same light and fluffy result.
  • A rubber spatula for scraping down the bowl. My favorites are the restaurant-style heat resistant spatulas with the red handles (grab one on Amazon HERE).

How To Decorate Keto Vanilla Cupcakes

I used a piping bag and a large round piping tip to do a simple dollop of frosting on each of my vanilla cupcakes. Next, I sprinkled the cupcakes with my home-made sugar-free sprinkles. Here’s what you’ll need:

Keto Cupcakes with keto frosting and homemade sugar free sprinkles

How To Store Keto Cupcakes

Store your keto vanilla cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. Remember, since these are homemade and don’t contain preservatives, they’ll be at their best and freshest for about three days. Need them to last longer? I recommend freezing them.

Can You Freeze Keto Cupcakes?

You can freeze keto cupcakes and I highly recommend it if you’re the only low carb eater in your household! This is a great way to make sure you always have a little treat available when a craving for sweets hits. You don’t have to worry about slipping up and eating something sugary when you can grab one of these vanilla cupcakes out of the freezer. I especially love cupcakes for this because they defrost pretty quickly!

If you have a little extra freezer space, go ahead and put a plate of your frosted cupcakes right in the freezer until the buttercream is firm (this won’t take long — I usually just leave them for an hour or two while I’m busy with something else in the kitchen). Next, individually wrap the frozen cupcakes well with plastic wrap. I like to put the individually wrapped cupcakes in a gallon ziplock as an added layer of protection. Then they go back in the freezer for up to three months.

To defrost a cupcake, simply remove the plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes (usually I find 30 minutes is plenty of time).

Keto Vanilla Cupcake with low carb vanilla buttercream and homemade sugar free sprinkles
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Keto Vanilla Cupcakes With Sugar Free American Buttercream Frosting

How to make keto cupcakes that everyone will absolutely love. Fluffy, perfect, and topped off with dreamy American style vanilla keto buttercream frosting.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time52 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Keto, low carb
Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Calories: 252.7kcal

Ingredients

For The Vanilla Cupcakes

For The Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened (1 stick) 113 g
  • 1 1/3 Cups Allulose (granulated) 260 g
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1-3 Tbsp Heavy Cream 15-45 mL

Instructions

For The Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 325° F and prepare your cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Into a small bowl, sift together the coconut flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, salt and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and allulose until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating to incorporate each egg, making sure to scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula after each addition.
  • Add the coconut flour mixture to the butter mixture in two parts, alternating with the half and half and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition.
  • Scoop the cupcake batter evenly into the lined cupcake tin.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 325° F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them.

For The Frosting

  • In two batches, blend the granulated allulose in a blender until it reaches a powdered consistency and then set aside. Starting with 1 1/3 cups granulated allulose, you should get roughly 2 1/4 cups of powdered allulose when you're done.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and half the powdered allulose and beat to combine. Add the remaining powdered allulose and cream the mixture until very light and fluffy (this is very important to get that dreamy buttercream consistency).
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • Add the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. If it's a hot and humid day or you live in a warm climate, you likely won't need the full amount. Continue beating the frosting for 3-5 more minutes.
  • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them using a piping bag and large round piping tip (or simply spread the frosting on with a small spatula). Optionally, add sprinkles!
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @BakeItKeto or #bakeitketo!

Notes

To substitute confectioners’ Swerve in the keto buttercream frosting recipe: use 1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ Swerve in place of the homemade powdered allulose (Swerve absorbs much more liquid than allulose and regular confectioners’ sugar do, so you need to use less).
Nutrition Facts
Keto Vanilla Cupcakes With Sugar Free American Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 Cupcake)
Calories 252.7 Calories from Fat 212
% Daily Value*
Fat 23.6g36%
Carbohydrates 4.9g2%
Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugar 1.3g1%
Protein 5.1g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 

Nutrition facts have been calculated using Cronometer, with the carbs from all erythritol and allulose sweeteners subtracted because I do not personally have to bolus insulin for Swerve, erythritol, or allulose as a Type 1 (autoimmune) Diabetic. All Bake It Keto recipes have been tried and used successfully, but results may vary from person to person. All information provided regarding nutrition on the Website is intended to be used for informational purposes only. I am not a nutritionist. Consult your medical professional before using any recipe if you have concerns about how you may individually react to the use of any particular recipe or ingredient. By voluntarily creating and using any recipe provided here, you assume the risk of any potential injury that may result. Please see my full disclosures at https://www.bakeitketo.com/disclosures-privacy-policy/.

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