Get ready to try the smoothest dark chocolate cupcakes you've ever tasted. These black velvet cupcakes are simple to make, super light and dreamy and effortlessly vegan. Plus they're a little spooky. If you like my black candy apples, you are going to love these.
Why We Love These Black Velvet Cupcakes
How much time do you have? I could wax lyrical about these little cakes for days. They are:
What You'll Need
Flour. I use regular old all-purpose flour. You could swap to cake flour for a lighter cake but honestly, I wouldn't bother. These cakes are super light with a beautiful crumb.
Buttermilk (soy milk + apple cider vinegar). Buttermilk helps create a light and tender crumb in cakes. We are making our own vegan buttermilk by combining soy milk with apple cider vinegar. I find soy milk works best to mimic traditional buttermilk. The apple cider vinegar also works to activate our baking soda.
Black Cocoa. Most of the ingredients for these black velvet cupcakes you'll have in your pantry or fridge. To make these cakes gloriously black, you're gonna need black cocoa. I get mine here in Australia at Cakers Warehouse (not sponsored) but I've also seen it on Amazon. You'll find it at most specialty cake suppliers.
Coconut yoghurt. Using yoghurt or sour cream in cakes adds moisture without making the batter more liquid. You can use any plain vegan yoghurt here.
Sugar. I use raw caster sugar for pretty much all my cooking. Regular caster sugar works or you can use a finer granulated sugar.
Oil. Any neutral flavoured oil will do here although I tend to use sunflower oil most often. Oil adds moisture and fat but also helps to keep cakes moist for longer than butter based cakes.
Baking powder & soda. While both of these are leavening agents, baking powder gives us height while soda gives more horizontal air. Does that may sense? One goes up while the other goes out.
What is Black Cocoa?
Black cocoa powder is cocoa powder that has been heavily dutch processed or alkalised. It is smoother tasting than other cocoa-powders and has no colouring, making it an awesome natural black food colouring.
If you've had an Oreo, you know what black cocoa tastes like.
How to Make Black Velvet Cupcakes
You'll find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step 1. Sift the flour, black cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Step 2. In a separate bowl combine the milk and apple cider vinegar and leave for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the remaining wet ingredients and whisk in the wet mixture to the dry until combined. Don't over-mix, just whisk until most of the lumps are gone but a few is OK.
Steps 3 and 4 Line a 12-pan muffin tray and fill each one two-thirds with the batter. Bake in a preheated oven (170° C or 350°F) for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Step 5. Remove from the oven to completely cool before frosting.
Step 5. Prepare buttercream and pipe onto cold cupcakes to serve.
Like the smoothest dark chocolate cake you ever ate. In fact, these cakes are so smooth that some people can't really detect the chocolate - it's not a strong flavour but geez it's good. They taste like Oreo cookies.
Yes they do! Without the buttercream of course. After allowing them to cool completely, wrap the cakes (only) in foil and transfer them to a sealed, freezer-proof container. Freeze for up to three months. To thaw, remove from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Top with buttercream to serve.
You can. I use Bob's Red Mill One-to-One Baking Flour for best results.
Love cupcakes? Try these vegan goodies...
Want more plant-based goodness?
Black Velvet Cupcake Recipe
- stand mixer or whisk for buttercream
For the Cupcakes
- 1¼ cup / 190g all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup / 60g black cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup / 180ml soy milk
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup / 220g raw caster sugar or caster sugar
- ⅓ cup / 80ml sunflower oil
- ½ cup / 125g yoghurt vegan
For the Frosting
- 1 cup / 250g vegan butter
- 3 cups / 450g confectioners' sugar (icing) sifted
- ⅓ cup / 60g black cocoa sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk or more as needed
For the cakes
- Preheat oven to 170°C or 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan.
- Sift the flour, black cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine the milk and apple cider vinegar and leave for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining wet ingredients and then add them to the dry, whisking until combined. Don't over-mix, just whisk until most of the lumps are gone but a few is OK.
- Fill each cake mould two-thirds with the batter and transfer to the oven to bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Once done, remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
For the buttercream.
- With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on low speed until creamy - about 30 seconds.
- Add a cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, and add the sifted black cocoa powder. Continue beating for a minute- you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl - before adding another cup of confectioners' sugar.
- Add in the vanilla, milk and beat again until combined. Add half a cup more of the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the final half-cup if you need to.
- The buttercream should be smooth and silky but hold its shape well. Transfer it to a piping bag and pipe onto your cupcakes to serve. I used a Wiltons 1M tip for the pictured cakes.