These easy cinnamon cupcakes are decadent and sweet, yet lower in sugar and undetectably vegan! Topped with a vegan cinnamon buttercream, they’re perfect for fall!

This post is sponsored by the California Prune Board and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Banana Diaries possible!

cinnamon cupcakes on wooden board

So I’ll confess.

Nothing makes me feel more in my zone (as Kanye would say) than baking in the fall. Autumn bakes are just my jam, and I feel like I may be walking a very thin line of being a fall enthusiast versus falling down the autumn rabbit hole.

But I don’t just walk it, I dance over it, my friend.

overhead of cinnamon cupcakes

And these vegan cinnamon cupcakes fit the bill. Packed with a deliciously sweet (yet lower in sugar! Thanks to a secret ingredient 😉 ), these fluffy and decadent cinnamon cupcakes taste like a snickerdoodle in cake form (and I would know, because these snickerdoodle cookies I made have me drooling every time!).

Just forget the cinnamon and chai lattes, and make these vegan cupcakes! Or ya know, you could do what I do and enjoy the cupcake alongside a latte haha! Double the cinnamon, double the fall festiveness!

cinnamon cupcakes with buttercream swirl

But okay bake…I mean back… to these healthy cinnamon cupcakes. You’re probably wondering what my big secret is.

Well, the secret to getting these gluten free vegan cupcakes to taste incredible, still have a light fluff to them, and be lower in sugar all comes down to…California Prunes.

If you’ve watched my recent Instagram stories, you might have seen that I recently visited prune orchards in California. Not only did I get to see how a plum becomes a prune (yes, prune, not dried plum! Let’s get back to basics here!), but I also had a chance to chat with one of their chefs who said that California Prune puree actually makes a great substitute in baking.

bowl of prunes

Naturally, I was all for it because if there’s anything I love, it’s a challenge. So, I got back to Connecticut dreaming about what flavors would go amazing with California Prunes…think cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, all of the warm and yummy sweet spices that also go very well in the form of gluten free vegan cupcakes 😉

But what’s different about these vegan cinnamon cupcakes is that unlike my other vegan cake and cupcake recipes, I decided to puree the prunes to resemble the texture and effect that eggs usually have.

The result: a light and cakey cinnamon cupcake base that’s fit for all taste buds, whether you’re vegan, gluten free, both, or neither. And a really cool bonus to using California Prunes is that because they’re sweet yet lower in sugar than most dried fruits, you can lower the rest of the sugar in the cupcake as well!

close up of cinnamon cupcake

But first, let’s go over how to puree prunes for baking because that’s definitely an essential.

How to make California Prune puree

So you might be thinking, well that’s great and all, but I only see California Prunes and prune juice in the grocery store, not prune puree.

Well, prune puree is pretty easy to make, and is definitely a necessary (yet effortless) step in making these cinnamon cupcakes undetectably gluten free and vegan.

Simply combine about 1 cup of whole, pitted prunes with about 1/4 cup of warm or hot water in a food processor. Blend until smooth and there you have it! Pureed prunes fit for baking your cinnamon cupcakes!

sliced open cinnamon cupcake

How to make cinnamon cupcakes

Now for the fun part.

I know sometimes vegan or gluten free cupcake baking can be intimidating, especially when combined together, but that’s why you have me, doing all the test runs for ya haha!

Let’s walk through the steps together:

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients. If you’re not gluten free, you can absolutely swap in your favorite all-purpose flour here!
  • In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Make sure that everything is really well mixed here, because that will help the texture of these cupcakes.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. And then finally pour the batter into the cupcake liners to bake!
cinnamon cupcake with sprinkling of cinnamon on top

Easy, right?

Now for the frosting, I basically did a variation of my vegan vanilla frosting and added a ton of cinnamon.

You basically prepare it like any other frosting, starting by whipping the softened vegan butter until it’s nice and fluffy, then add in the powdered sugar in increments until it’s thick enough to pipe through a frosting bag. The only difference is that we’re adding cinnamon to make our vegan cinnamon cupcakes extra warm and spicy 🙂

overhead of cinnamon cupcakes with prunes

I hope you love these cinnamon cupcakes as much as I do! Personally, I think they might just convert you to wanting to use California Prunes in all of your baking recipes (I know I will- I used to just snack on them as a kid and adult, but this just blew my mind away!).

Let me know how your cupcakes go in the comments down below, and as always, I absolutely love seeing your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

bite taken from cinnamon cupcake

Happy baking, California Prune pureeing and cinnamon swirling! 😉

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

pinterest pin for cupcakes
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cinnamon cupcake with sprinkling of cinnamon on top

Vegan Cinnamon Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 22
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These easy cinnamon cupcakes are decadent and sweet, yet lower in sugar and undetectably vegan! Topped with a vegan cinnamon buttercream, they’re perfect for fall!


  • 1 3/4 cup gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cardamom 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or regular sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pureed prunes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vegan Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, softened but still chilled
  • 3 cups powdered sugar or 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and coconut sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the unsweetened coconut milk mixed with apple cider vinegar, pureed prunes, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry and mix thoroughly until there are no more clumps. 
  5. Fill each cupcake tin about 3/4 of the way up with batter and place the cupcakes into the oven to bake for 21-24 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool before frosting.
  7. To make the vegan buttercream, use a hand mixer to whip the vegan butter until it’s fluffy. 
  8. Sift in the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup at a time until the buttercream becomes thick and fluffy.
  9. Add in cinnamon and whip the buttercream until it’s smooth.
  10. Place frosting into a piping bag and pipe.

pinterest pin for cupcakes
pinterest pin for cupcakes