Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cupcakes (vegan + gluten-free)


Treat yourself to these vegan + gluten-free old-fashioned oatmeal cupcakes with a crunchy coconut pecan brown sugar topping. 

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cupcakes on a clear cake stand.

I didn’t realize it until today, but I haven’t posted a single cupcake recipe here on EBF. Eight years of blogging and no cupcake recipes to show for it. I guess it makes sense considering this is a healthy eating blog, but still!?! Well that’s about to change because I have a sweet treat to share with you today.

Surprise — it’s an oatmeal cupcake recipe! One that’s crazy delicious, vegan, gluten-free and made with OATS. Of course I had to put oatmeal in them… this is a healthy living blog after all. Plus, oatmeal can be decadent. Let me show you how!

Overhead shot of Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cupcakes on a clear cake stand.

I’ve seen plenty of recipes for oatmeal muffins and oatmeal cookies, but never oatmeal cupcakes so I found this recipe for old-fashioned oatmeal cake and decided to use it as inspiration.

I wanted the recipe to be gluten-free and vegan so I used gluten-free all purpose flour, flaxseed eggs and Earth Balance Buttery Spread instead of butter. I’ve used Earth Balance products many times before and have been impressed with the taste and flavor. They make vegan baking a breeze! <— While I’m not vegan I know many of you are and I like to provide vegan options whenever possible.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cupcakes on a clear cake stand. Ingredients in the background.

These cupcakes are pretty much the bees knees. Sans honey, of course.

The oatmeal cake portion is dense and moist, similar to coffee cake or a quick bread, but the best part is, by far, the broiled brown sugar coconut pecan topping. It’s kind of sticky and gooey, but sweet, crunchy and full of coconut flavor at the same time. I gravitate to baked goods with a crunchy toppings so it’s basically like cupcake perfection in my book.

The cupcakes have plenty of sugar, but they’re not overly sweet. Plus they have oatmeal so they’re semi healthy and dare I say breakfast-worthy. I certainly wouldn’t feel bad about having one as a morning treat or serving the whole batch to a crowd for brunch.

I took one for the team and tested it — the oatmeal and brown sugar flavors do indeed make a lovely pairing with coffee. 🙂

One old fashioned oatmeal cupcake on a white plate with a silver fork.

Ready to try them for yourself? Maybe make a batch for Easter brunch?!? Here’s the recipe:

Vegan Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cupcakes

4 from 3 votes
Delicious old-fashioned oatmeal cupcakes with a crunchy coconut pecan brown sugar topping. Vegan and gluten-free.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour, regular all-purpose flour will work too
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Coconut Pecan Topping

  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • In a small mixing bowl add oats and boiling water. Let stand for 20 minutes. In another bowl make flaxseed eggs by combining ground flaxseed with water. Mix together and let stand.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350° and line a cupcake tin with ten paper liners.
  • Using an electric mixer beat sugar, brown sugar and buttery spread on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Beat in flaxseed eggs and vanilla.
  • Add in oat mixture, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Stir until well blended.
  • Pour batter into cupcake tin with paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool while preparing the topping — combine melted buttery spread, brown sugar, pecans, coconut, coconut milk and vanilla in a small mixing bowl.
  • Spoon cupcake topping over each cupcake, making sure to cover the whole top.
  • Place the cupcakes back in the oven and broil 4-6 inches from the heating element for about 2 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for about 30-60 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1cupcake Calories: 262kcal Carbohydrates: 33g Protein: 2g Fat: 15g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 12g


Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

I hope you get a chance to try these oatmeal cupcakes!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Earth Balance. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

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Recipe Rating

    1. Katie
      October 8, 2020 AT 2:07 pm

      5 stars
      These were absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
      Do you have any recommendations for storing them, where the should be stored and for how long?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 9, 2020 AT 1:33 am

        Hey Katie – So glad you loved this recipe. I would store these in an airtight container. They’ll last about a week in the fridge or 3-4 days stored at room temp.

    2. Chelsea
      April 23, 2020 AT 2:45 pm

      Would replacing the butter spread with coconut oil work?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 23, 2020 AT 5:09 pm

        Hey Chelsea – That should work just fine!

        1. Chelsea Scott
          April 23, 2020 AT 9:48 pm

          Awesome!!! Making them tomorrow! I can’t wait to try. Everything I have made from your blog so far has been AMAZING!

          1. Brittany Mullins
            April 24, 2020 AT 2:19 pm

            Awww I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes!! Definitely come back and let me know how the cupcakes turn out. 🙂

    3. Pamela
      January 10, 2018 AT 11:06 pm

      We cannot use flaxseed how many eggs do I substitute for in the recipe

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 10, 2018 AT 11:17 pm

        Hi Pamela. You’ll want to do two eggs in place of the 2 Tablespoons of flaxseed and 6 Tablespoons of water.

    4. Valerie
      March 9, 2017 AT 6:00 pm

      These look amazing!!! Two quick questions: Is it canned coconut milk you used? And, can I use the Earth Balance sticks instead of the spread?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 10, 2017 AT 7:26 am

        Thank you! It was canned coconut milk, but I think the bottled variety would work as well since it’s such a small amount. And I’m pretty sure the Earth Balance sticks will work instead of the spread too! Enjoy these.

    5. Mary
      April 3, 2016 AT 2:12 am

      How many eggs do you add?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 3, 2016 AT 4:25 pm

        Hi Mary. There are no eggs in this recipe.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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