Sunny Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Whipped Topping (Vegan and Gluten-Free!)

lemoncupcakeonplate with waternark

April is just around the corner, bringing with it Easter, some warmer days (hopefully), and, for our family, a whole slew of birthdays. Making this a perfect time for….

lemoncupcakeinside with wm


Not just any cake. These are spring-approved, naturally bright sunny yellow, and unbelievably lemon-y cupcakes topped with the fluffiest tart/sweet lemon whip, ever. If you follow Feeding Your Beauty on Facebook, you may have seen my teaser post picturing lemons and golden beets. Well, my friends, this is the recipe that had me going through bunches of a certain root vegetable and bags of lemons. Yes, you heard that right, these cupcakes hide a surprising treat ingredient: beets!


I had seen other blogging folks use deep red beets to make rich chocolate muffins and cakes, so I thought hey, why not use a naturally yellow golden beet in lemon cupcakes?? The astonishingly delicious result… soft, light, perfectly moist cake, dronched in natural lemon flavor. You’re not going to believe your taste buds. The beets? Undetectable. All you taste is gloriously sweet, chocked-full-of-lemon, bakery shop worthy cupcakes. PLUS they are vegan and gluten free. DOUBLE PLUS… they are less than 170 calories each (fluff and all), if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

I have to thank my eldest sister for inspiring me to come up with these gorgeous cakes (a.k.a. heaven in a paper liner). About a month ago, I asked her if there was anything she’d like me to work on, as I’m always looking for ideas and requests. Her answer: anything lemon-y.  So, thank you, sis! After many, many tries (and tasting way too many cupcakes) I think I’ve hit the cupcake jackpot. I’m hoping these satisfy her craving for a lemon flavored springtime treat.

These cupcakes would look perfectly pretty as part of an Easter brunch or dinner spread, or as the main attraction at a spring birthday gathering. Tasty, dainty, light, yet completely devour-able.

April showers, meh!  With these lemon cupcakes I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day 🙂

Sunny Lemon Cupcakes

Makes 10 cupcakes



  • 1 small-medium golden beet, roasted and chopped (about a level 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • zest of 1 lemon (or 1 tbsp+1 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sweetener (cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc)
  • 2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted


  • 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (or spelt, or regular all-purpose) when using Bob’s Gluten Free, I add 1/8 tsp of xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain pink himalayan salt

1. Roast your beet. I peeled and then wrapped mine in foil and roasted it for about an hour and 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Test with a fork. You want it to be very, very, tender.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. Add all wet ingredients except oil to your blender and blend on high until very smooth. Then add the melted coconut oil and blend on low until mixed.

3. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together dry ingredients. Pour in your wet ingredients, and mix them together with electric beaters or by hand, until no clumps remain. Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle cupcake comes out clean.

4. Let them cool completely. Very important. Patience, friends! Set the pan on a cooling rack for a couple hours, at least, before trying to unwrap the paper (otherwise it will stick).

Lemon Whipped Topping

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, like Thai Kitchen*
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp powdered cane sugar*


1. Refrigerate your can of coconut milk overnight. Then, open the can and scoop out just the thickened cream off the top and place in a bowl. Save the liquid for smoothies/recipes.

2. Add the lemon juice, zest, and powdered sugar and either using a fork and some muscle, or electric beaters, whip the coconut cream until fluffy. Cover the bowl and pop it back in the fridge for a few hours for firmer whipped cream. Also, the cream gets more lemon-y with time.

3. Dollop a spoonful on top of each cupcake or use a pastry bag and pipe it onto the cakes. I suggest topping your cupcakes immediately before serving for best results.

*Check your can of coconut milk at the store before purchasing. Give it a gentle shake and if you don’t hear much/any sloshing around, it’s a good one for whip.

**You can make any sugar into powdered sugar, just put it in your blender and give ‘er a whirl until the sugar is ground into a fine powder.


13 thoughts on “Sunny Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Whipped Topping (Vegan and Gluten-Free!)

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