Grain-Free Cardamom Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

This post is part of our restricted diet series from Beth of Tasty Yummies.

I feel like I am constantly reiterating how aloof I am about most sweets. I honestly just don’t have much of a sweet tooth, never have. Yet, as of late, I feel like I am constantly creating and sharing sweets and baked good recipes on my Tasty Yummies. I was thinking about why that might be, as someone who is much more into savory and I started to realize that it was a subconscious decision I was making because of how much happiness sweets bring people and how intimidating baking and desserts can be with a restricted diet.

More specifically when I say “people,” besides all of my lovely readers, I really mean my husband, Mark. He is a self-professed sweets junkie. He loves any and all sweets and has been known to eat a slice of cake for breakfast, on occasion. So, whenever I can create a healthier sweet that not only works for my dietary restrictions, but also makes him very happy, it is a HUGE win, in my book. I have been on a roll lately, so I am just going with it.

I had been dreaming of a subtly sweet vanilla bean infused grain-free cupcake of some sort for a while now and I realized that one of my favorite spices, cardamom would be the perfect pairing. These cupcakes have a taste similar to carrot cake – subtle, comforting, spicy and not overly sweet. The creamy coconut cream frosting has complimentary flavors with a bit more of the spicy ground cardamom and two whole vanilla beans, plus a bright pop of citrus flavor from the orange zest.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

grain free vanilla bean cupcakes

Grain-free Cardamom Vanilla Bean Cupcakes – Gluten-free and Dairy-free

makes 12 cupcakes


•           3 cups blanched almond flour (I prefer this brand:

•           1/4 cup coconut flour

•           2 teaspoons baking soda

•           1/2 teaspoon sea salt

•           1/2 cup coconut sugar

•           1 tablespoon ground cardamom

•           4 large eggs, room temperature

•           1/4 cup honey (I used raw)

•           1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

•           1/2 cup coconut milk

•           1 tablespoon vanilla extract

•           seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans


Orange Cardamom Vanilla Bean Frosting (Vegan)


•           1 1/2 cups chilled full fat coconut cream (either from a can of coconut cream or separated from 2+ cans of coconut milk, that has been chilled)

•           seeds scraped from 1 or 2 vanilla beans

•           2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

•           2 teaspoons vanilla extract

•           1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

•           zest from one orange, leaving a little aside for garnish

grain free vanilla bean cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Position your rack in the middle of the oven. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, coconut sugar and ground cardamom and whisk together until well incorporated. In a medium sized bowl add the eggs, honey, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla extract and seeds from the vanilla beans. Whisk until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Using a large spatula, gently mix to combine all of the ingredients together. Fold until well incorporated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each nearly all the way full.

Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 30 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Then remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to finish cooling on the cooling rack.

While cooling, make your frosting. Add the chilled coconut cream and seeds from the vanilla bean(s) to a bowl and using handheld mixer, beat until smooth, creamy, fluffy and whipped. Add in the sweetener, vanilla extract, ground cardamom and orange zest. Whip another 30 seconds to a minute to incorporate and add to your piping bag. I keep this in the freezer for about 15 or 30 minutes while I am waiting for the cupcakes to cool, it allows the frosting to really set up and get thick.

Frost the cupcakes and serve immediately or place in the fridge until you are reader to serve. I find storing these cupcakes covered and in the fridge to be best – especially once frosted.

grain free vanilla bean cupcakes

grain free vanilla bean cupcakes

For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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9 years ago

These look amazing! If I am ok with using regular or oat flour, would the amount still be the same? Thanks!

9 years ago

These look delicious! I love cardamom. I also really appreciate, as someone who struggles with gluten free baking, that it doesn’t have 8,000 ingredients! So often the replacement for regular flour is a complicated mix of things I don’t have. This one looks simple and also yummo!

9 years ago

@mandy – if you can have regular flour and do not wish to use almond flour or coconut flour, then regrettably, I have to say that this recipe probably isn’t for you. There are just no simple substitutions when using almond flour and coconut flour, substituting regular flour cup for cup likely will not work, though I haven’t tried it yet, myself. I am sure if you searched around the web there has to be a similar recipe that isn’t grain-free, so you wouldn’t have to worry about subbing. If you can get your hands on some almond flour and coconut flour – I highly recommend you make these, you will be shocked that this are totally grain-free!!

9 years ago

These sound to die for.

9 years ago

Wow, these look so yummmy :) Anything Vanilla bean I’m in!
Xx, Tiffany { }

9 years ago

These look amazing! Is there an easy way to print the recipe or am I blind and just totally missing something…? LOL

9 years ago

Nothing makes me happier than gluten-free/dairy free recipes! These are perfect for a girls’ night!

9 years ago

My daughter is allergic to almonds do you think Hazelnut flour would work?

9 years ago

I’m half Finnish, and I spent a lot of my childhood in Finland. One of my favorite memories is baking a Finnish pastry with my grandma that had tons of cardamom in it. Now whenever I eat anything with cardamom, I’m always reminded of her. Thanks for this recipe–it looks delicious and I’d love to try it.

xo Katie

9 years ago

Oh my goodness, these look absolutely fabulous!! I love cardamom. I’ve recently gone low carb and I’ve been struggling to source things like coconut oil, but just today found an online supplier so I will definitely be having a go at this recipe.

Thanks for sharing!
P x

9 years ago

@anonymous – I think another nut flour should work just fine, but I haven’t yet tried any others myself, yet. I say give it a try! Please report back if you try it, I would love to hear how it comes together.

9 years ago

so I have to confess in reading the comments i really didn’t appreciate how you spoke to one person asking to use regular flour…but then you responded more positively to someone who asked about another nut flour. Some of us have very VERY limited many that is all we can easily get our hands on. try not to judge. and you can say you weren’t but, it was very easy to spot the difference between those comments. thank you.

9 years ago

@alexis Thanks for the comment and I am sorry you feel that way. I can tell you with 100% honesty there was no difference at all and certainly no judging – I am sorry you read it that way. I am simply being honest, in my reply that this recipe is created to be grain-free. Grain-free flours are absolutely not at all able to be substituted with a regular gluten containing flour, this is just a fact. There really isn’t anything else I can say as regular flour will not work, which would mean this recipe isn’t for someone that is looking to use regular flour. The only reason you might see a difference in how I responded is because one is totally possible and the other one is absolutely not. I am very cooperative with my readers in finding replacements and substitutions but the truth of the matter is not all recipes are meant to be substituted. I create gluten and grain-free recipes that are meant for those of us that cannot consume those things, usually for health related reasons. If a reader wants to use regular gluten containing flour, I haven’t worked with it in over 10 years and I cannot offer any advice, at all. It isn’t about limited resources or not, it is simply about what is feasible and what isn’t. Gluten-free is my area of expertise.
The internet is filled with lots of really wonderful recipes that use regular flour, however as someone that writes only gluten-free recipes, I cannot help there. Thanks.

9 years ago

These sound wonderful! Cardamom is such an underused spice, yet works so well in baked goods! I once made coriander & cardamom snickerdoodles, which I highly recommend!

// Regina

Now there’s a spice that I have yet to include in my baking. I think I see some cupcakes in the near future. Thanks for sharing!!

9 years ago

Just made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and we both loved it! Super delicious and very rich. Thanks for the recipe!

Cardamom and orange – I LOVE that combo! I never would’ve though of that.

9 years ago

Hi – This recipe looks great and it’s something I would like to try. Quick question, and I’m not sure if you would be able to answer. I want to make a diabetic friendly version of these, which means I need to replace the coconut sugar and honey in the cake recipe. The amount in the frosting is negligible after you divide it between so many cupcakes. But I use an erythritol sweetener. Any idea how much I would need to sub, or if it could even be subbed since it’s all granular and the honey is viscous? Thanks!

9 years ago

Any idea how long for mini cupcakes?