Holiday Recipes / Vegan Baking / Vegan Desserts and Sweets

Simple Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

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Last updated on May 3rd, 2020 at 06:46 pm

While I made these vegan vanilla cupcakes for Valentine’s Day, they are simple enough to make any time. Whether for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Wednesday, these lovely light cakes are sure to be a hit. 

Random factoid: St Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy. He is called on to not only watch over the lives of lovers but also for help regarding beekeeping. epilepsy, the plague, fainting and traveling. As expected he is the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.

Flat-lay image of vegan vanilla cupcakes with one centred and focussed. Pink buttercream frosting and heart-shaped sprinkles scattered.


I am not what you would call a romantic person. I am not a fan of grand gestures – thank goodness the husband proposed in a car – and I don’t really like fanfare. Honestly. if you do the dishes after dinner and hang out the washing once in a while my heart is pretty much yours for life. I like simple. 

Few things turn me to putty like the sight of the husband playing dress up with my daughter even when I know he’s tired or older couples on the street who still hold hands…that kills me. Make my coffee in the morning before you leave for work and I’ll love you for days. Simple. Or you could make me a batch of these vegan vanilla cupcakes. 


When words run dry,

he does not try,

nor do I.

We are on par.

He just is,

I just am

and we just are.

– Lang Leav

Front-on image of five vegan vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting and sprinkles on a distressed grey table

Our “we” is a “three” so it seemed fitting to make my daughter’s favourite cupcakes on this the day of love. I am quietly confident they are the husband’s favourite too. I haven’t really made anything special for Valentine’s Day since my [Loved Up] Nut-Free Raw Chocolate Cake so I am excited to make these little cupcakes. 

My vegan vanilla cupcakes are how I like my romance. Simple. Adapted from a vanilla and strawberry cake I created for my cookbook, these little morsels are super easy to make emerging from the oven light, moist and delicious. With no creaming of butters or sifting of flours these cakes, like the best classic vegan chocolate cake, are simply mixed, baked and enjoyed. I made a version for my little one’s 5th birthday and no could guess at the vegan-ness hiding within. I’ve also served my vegan pumpkin cupcakes to non-vegan with awesome success. 

Flat-lay image of freshly baked vegan vanilla cupcakes in 2 rustic baking trays


While I opted for a whimsical and romantic pink buttercream frosting, the recipe (adapted from Alison’s simple recipe at Loving It Vegan) can be tweaked to your taste. I love Alison’s recipe because, while it is a buttercream frosting, it isn’t loaded with butter. Perhaps it’s just me but I find the butter ratio in many buttercream recipes too…er, buttery. It’s a tongue-coaty-texture-thing.

Using the recipe as a base you could sub out the vanilla for a coffee, mint or any extract you like. My advice with other flavours however, is to start small and add. I imagine a teaspoon of peppermint extract might knock you off your rocker. I could be wrong; let me know if you try it and your rocker remains intact.

Close up image of vegan vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting on a distressed grey table

Whether your celebrating love, birthdays or beekeeping these simple vegan vanilla cupcakes are a sure way to any sweet-toothed heart. Even a romance grinch like me is smitten with them. Enjoy.

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flat-lay image of vegan vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting in a line


Overhead image of pink frosted cupcakes.

Simple Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

These vegan vanilla cupcakes could not be easier to make with no creaming of butters or sifting. Simply mix together and bake. 
4.7 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert | Vegan Baking
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 380kcal
Author: Amanda Logan


For the Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached if you can
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup raw granulated sugar fine
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk almond or soy work best
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Vegan Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar up to 3 3/4 cups
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 3-4 tbsp soy milk
  • 1-2 drops natural food colouring (optional)


For the Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C (340 F).
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the raw sugar, sunflower oil, apple sauce, dairy-free milk and vanilla extract. 
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry and gently whisk until smooth - a few lumps are fine. Better a few lumps than to over-mix the batter. 
  • Line a 12 pan cupcake tray with cupcake paper cups and spoon the batter in to each about 2/3 of the way up. I transfer my batter to a jug and pour them from there for less mess. 
  • Pop the cakes in to the oven and bake for 17 - 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of a cake. Remove from the oven and after 10 minutes remove the cakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely. 

For the Vegan Buttercream Frosting

  • Add the confectioner's (icing) sugar, vegan butter, vanilla and salt to a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat on low for around 2 minutes or until combined but lumpy. Add the food colour (if using) and one tablespoon at a time beat in the soy milk until you have your desired consistency. 
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag (or a large zip lock bag with a corner snipped and a frosting nozzle fitted) and pipe on to the cake once they are completely cooled. 
  • Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for 3 days. 


Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 178mg | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Tried this recipe?Please rate it & leave your feedback in the comments section below. Or you can tag @mygoodnesskitchen or hashtag #mygoodnesskitchen on Instagram. Thank you!


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Close up image of vegan vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting with text overlay

Overhead image of pink frosted cupcakes with text


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About Author

Amanda Logan is a published cookbook author, recipe developer and food photographer based in Australia. She is a contributor to Nourish Australia magazine and has appeared in Thrive Magazine, Vegan Food and Living, The Zoe Report and The Australian Vegan Magazine.

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Claire Dabrowski
September 28, 2020 5:47 am

5 stars
Very good. This was exactly what I needed today. I did have to bake them longer. No big deal. That’s why we check them before we cool.
I also shared the recipe with my followers! Thank you.

Edward Blocker
February 13, 2019 9:54 am

5 stars
I just loved it, I’m not only going to give it 5 stars. But, I’m going to share it with all my website’s followers on the social media. Thank you for giving me something useful to share it today!

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