These wholesome homemade cupcakes are subtly sweet and delightfully moist. (They also happen to be gluten-free.) The secret ingredient in the creamy vanilla frosting is white sweet potato.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,



  • ¾ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Frosting and Garnish

  • ¾ pounds white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 kiwis, cut into half-moon slices
  • 4 small strawberries, halved
  • ¼ cup blueberries


  • Preheat the oven to 335℉. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine milk, maple syrup, vanilla, vinegar, and flaxseed.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the wet mix to the flour and mix well.
  • Evenly divide the batter between 12 cupcake molds.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out dry.
  • Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • For frosting, place yam pieces in a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Cover pan and steam sweet potato 20 minutes, or until very tender. Let sweet potato cool; then transfer to a food processor. Add maple syrup, tahini, and vanilla. Process until smooth and creamy.
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag, and pipe onto the tops of cooled cupcakes.
  • Chill cupcakes in the fridge for an hour or until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, decorate tops of cupcakes with fresh fruits.

Comments (8)

(5 from 1 vote)

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Why use so many different flours? That gets expensive, having to buy 3 different types of flour. Can I just use one type of flour?

Courtney Davison

Hi Melissa, Our gluten-free baking recipes tend to use at least two different gluten-free flours, because a blend does the best job of mimicking the light, neutral flavor of regular all-purpose flour. You can find more info about that in our gluten-free baking guide: Hope this is helpful! Thank you, Courtney Davison Editor, Forks Over Knives


Is the amount of vanilla correct in the recipe? Did you mean 1/4 teaspoon instead of 1/4 cup?


Still waiting to hear if 1/4c. Of vanilla is a typo?

Megan Edwards

Hi Terri, We've checked with the recipe creator and it is correct! It may sound like a lot but it makes for deliciously vanilla-y cupcakes. Let us know how it goes when you give it a try!


I made these with about 2.5 cups of sweet potato and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. It has good flavor.

Prachi Gupta

Please let me know if I can use Jaggery powder instead of maple syrup


I have a question. Is the vanilla amount correct in the cupcake? That seems like a lot of vanilla extract .

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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