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

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 10 cupcakes


Delicious old-fashioned oatmeal cupcakes with a crunchy coconut pecan brown sugar topping. Vegan and gluten-free.


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350° and line a cupcake tin with ten paper liners.
  3. Using an electric mixer beat sugar, brown sugar and buttery spread on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Beat in flaxseed eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add in oat mixture, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Stir until well blended.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake tin with paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cupcakes cool while preparing the topping — combine melted buttery spread, brown sugar, pecans, coconut, coconut milk and vanilla in a small mixing bowl.
  8. Spoon cupcake topping over each cupcake, making sure to cover the whole top.
  9. 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 Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 262
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 2g

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.

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  1. 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?

    • 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.

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