Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
The absolute best vegan chocolate cupcakes! Light, fluffy, moist, and tender, but super flavorful and rich, these vegan cupcakes are perfect for birthdays or any day. You won’t believe how easy dairy-free, eggless cupcakes are to make.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled healthy recipes to bring you these delicious classic vegan chocolate cupcakes! February is not only Valentine’s (chocolate) month, it’s my birthday month too. So let’s eat cake!
While I love making healthier treats, like this Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake (made with cashews and no refined sugar!), I also love traditional baking. No one would ever guess these incredibly delicious cupcakes are actually vegan. They would be so perfect for any birthday party, and safe for anyone with dairy or egg allergies. However, they are simple enough to whip up after dinner on a weeknight.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free, refined sugar-free version, check out these Chocolate Banana Muffins.
What You’ll Need for Dairy-Free Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes
- All-Purpose Flour. Cake flour, which is more finely ground, works well with cakes, but all-purpose is totally fine for cupcakes. I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free blends.
- Cocoa Powder. Use good quality Dutch-process cocoa powder here. Natural cocoa powder may result in a rubbery texture here, though I love it in my smoothies. This is where the flavor is coming from so it’s where you want to splurge.
- Baking Soda. An essential ingredient in crazy cake, wacky cake, vegan cake, baking soda reacts with vinegar to leaven the cake.
- Baking Powder also helps make the cake lighter.
- Plant-Based Milk. I only tested this recipe with soy milk, but oat milk would also work well.
- Vinegar is essential as the acid reacts with the baking soda to create an incredibly light and tender cake. You can use white or apple cider vinegar here.
- Coconut oil adds moisture, but you could also use melted unsalted vegan butter or vegetable oil. Applesauce is a nice oil replacement in baking, but I haven’t tested it here, so I cannot recommend it.
- A stand mixer or regular mixing bowl and whisk.
- Muffin Tin and cupcake liners. I almost exclusively use parchment liners for muffins and cupcakes as they release so easily, even with low-oil recipes, and are non-toxic.
How to Make Vegan Cupcakes
The challenge with making vegan cakes and cupcakes is in finding substitutes for dairy and eggs. Eggs add structure and lift to most cupcakes, but they are actually totally unnecessary.
While sometimes we use egg replacements, such as flax eggs, that’s not my favorite method for cupcakes. As depression-era bakers discovered, lift can be achieved with a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Yay science!
You can whip up this dairy-free, eggless cupcake batter using an electric mixer or simply with a whisk. I tested it both ways and both worked equally well.
Frosting for Chocolate Cupcakes
You have a few options for frosting these cupcakes.
- Dust with Powdered Sugar. These cupcakes are so tasty on their own that they don’t really need frosting.
- Vegan Ganache. Use the ganache recipe from this Vegan Chocolate Cake and simply pour it over the top, or dip cupcakes into a bowl of ganache.
- Fudgy Vegan Chocolate Frosting. These cupcakes are nice and light. I like the contrast of a thick and fudgy frosting.
- Store-Bought Vegan Chocolate Frosting. Look, we all need shortcuts sometimes. I like this one from Simple Mills.
- These cupcakes taste best the day they are made, but they can be made one day in advance. Store cooled cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
- They can also be baked and frozen, frosted or unfrosted. Wrap in plastic wrap, then store in an airtight freezer container for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature.
Sources consulted in the creation of this recipe:
Vegan Cupcakes on allrecipes
Baking All Year Round, by Rosanna Pansino
Vegan for Everybody, American’s Test Kitchen
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk (or oat milk)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 1/3 cup melted coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 batch Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or another large mixing bowl, add the milk, vinegar, vanilla, sugar, and oil. Whisk or beat until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix on low until combined and most of the lumps have dissolved.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the tops spring back slightly when gently pressed.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
These cupcakes are best the day they are made, but can be made one day in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze them, frosted or unfrosted, wrapped in plastic, and then placed into an airtight freezer container for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature.
It's important to use good quality Dutch process cocoa powder here, rather than natural cocoa powder. Dutch process is darker and milder and results in a much nicer texture.
Nutrition information was calculated without frosting.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 11 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.