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Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

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Last updated on November 11th, 2020 at 06:57 pm

Rich, moist and deliciously light, these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes are simple to make and guaranteed to please vegans and non-vegans alike.

Made using basic kitchen ingredients, these sweet cakes are tofu, avocado, black bean and general weird-stuff free. If you are looking for a classic chocolate cupcake that happens to be vegan, you’re in the right place.

Chocolate Cupcakes with frosting on a bench

Cupcakes are just muffins that believed in miracles

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A close up image of chocolate cupcakes in a vintage baking pan

How to Make A Cupcake Without Eggs and Butter

If you’ve read my article DIY Vegan Egg Substitutes you’ll know that before you choose an egg replacement for plant-based cooking, you need to know what the egg does in the original recipe.

In cupcakes eggs provide moisture, fat and structure. Eggs coagulate as the cake bakes and, with the starch from the flour, form the crumb.

Meanwhile butter, and all fats in general, create baked goods that are more tender. Think about a plain bread roll verses a buttery brioche bun. Butter also provides flavour.

So, how do we make awesome vegan chocolate cupcake without butter or eggs? The answer is simpler than you think. In this recipe we are using a mixture of buttermilk (for making a tender crumb), sunflower oil (for fat) and leavening agents for lift and structure.

All of these ingredients are most likely in your pantry! Don’t worry, we’re going to make the buttermilk ourselves. Are you ready?

Sources: Baker Bettie and Baking Sense.

Four images in a grid showing the steps to making cupcakes

This recipe for vegan chocolate cupcakes is easy-peasy. It only takes a few steps.

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the sugar.
  2. Combine apple cider vinegar with dairy-free milk (not coconut) to make vegan buttermilk in a separate bowl. Whisk in the oil and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Whisk until just combined and fill your cupcake (patty) liners half-way. Only half-way – this is important.
  4. Bake for 22 minutes at 170 degrees C.

Then, it’s the fun part. Allow the cakes to cool and top with your favourite frosting. I use a quick and simple basic chocolate frosting but I also like to indulge in my vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. It takes a bit longer but is so worth it. I am posting that recipe next.

A Note On Oven Temperatures

Wouldn’t it be great if all ovens worked the same? But they don’t. Bummer. I have a SMEG oven and it has something called Fan Assist. I bake my cupcakes at 170 degrees C ( 338 degrees F) set with an oven thermometer for 22 minutes and they come out perfectly. It’s the same temp Jemma from Jemma’s Cupcakes bakes her’s, so who am I to argue? The woman bakes cupcakes for a living.

If I bake cakes at 177 degrees C – the standard temp for cupcakes – they cook too fast on top and ultimately crack.

The important thing is to know your oven. Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction – the mother of all things baking – bakes most of her cupcakes at 177 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 18-21 minutes. If you know that’s your oven’s sweet spot, by all means set your oven to 177 degrees (160 degrees C if you have a fan forced oven). If you’re not sure, get yourself an oven thermometer and set it to 170.

I find 170 degrees C, a happy medium. If I have to bake a little longer, I’d rather that than have them crack.

Cupcake Facts

I can’t help myself, I love a random food story or factoid.

The first official use of the term cupcake was in 1828 in a cookbook written by author and etiquette expert Eliza Leslie.

According to the Guinness Book Of World Records the largest cupcake was baked in Sterling, Virgina in 2011 and weighed 1,176.6kg (2594 lb).

The most expensive cupcake ever made cost $42, 000 and was embellished with .75 carat diamonds. Whaaaaaat?

Chocolate cupcakes on a bench with the front cupcake patty peeled back to reveal the cake

These gorgeous vegan chocolate cupcakes taste just like traditional cupcakes but are so much simpler. Because we aren’t using butter or eggs there is no creaming or faffing around. They are quick, simple and fantastically light. Perfect for your next birthday party or simply a lovely treat. Oh, and if you’re after the mother of all buttercreams, try my vegan chocolate buttercream recipe. I would never steer you wrong where chocolate is concerned. Pinkie swear. Enjoy, x.

Faqs

Can I freeze these cupcakes?

Yup! Wait until they have cooled completely before popping your un-frosted cupcakes in a freezer proof bag or sealed container. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. To thaw, leave them out on the kitchen counter until thawed completely. This will take a few hours so plan ahead.

How long will these cupcakes last?

I find my cupcakes last 4-5 days on the kitchen counter in a cooler climate. Pop them in the fridge if you live in tropical or hot areas for up to 5 days.

Can I make these gluten-free?

Indeed. You can swap out the all-purpose flour for a baking gluten-free flour or try the gluten-free mix I use in my Coconut Gluten-free Vegan Pancakes with Banana. It’s a great all-rounder flour mix.

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If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.

A tray of chocolate cupcakes in a vintage baking pan

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Rich, moist and deliciously light, these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes are simple to make and guaranteed to please vegans and non-vegans alike.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baking | Dessert
Cuisine: Chocolate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Amanda Logan

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup / 150g all-purpose flour
  • cup + 1 tbsp / 45g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • ¾ cup / 165g raw caster sugar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup / 250ml soy milk or dairy-free milk
  • cup / 80ml sunflower oil or another neutral flavoured oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C (338°F) and set it up so your oven rack is in the middle. Line a 12-pan cupcake tray with patty liners.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in to a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar and set aside.
  • In a 1-cup measuring cup, add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Fill the remaining cup with dairy-free milk and stir. Set aside for 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the milk – now buttermilk – to another bowl and whisk in the oil and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until combined. Don't overmix the batter or you'll end up with rubbery cakes. Whisk until any larger lumps are gone but no more.
  • Fill the patty liners half-way with the batter. Only fill to half-way, no more.
  • Pop the filled tray on to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 22 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sit for 5 minutes before turning them out to cool.
  • Once cooled completely, top with your favourite frosting.

Notes

Oven Temperatures
Wouldn’t it be great if all ovens worked the same? But they don’t. Bummer. I have a SMEG oven and it has something called Fan Assist. I bake my cupcakes at 170 degrees C ( 338 degrees F) set with an oven thermometer for 22 minutes and they come out perfectly. If I bake cakes at 177 degrees C – the standard temp for cupcakes – they cook to fast on top and ultimately crack.
The important thing is to know your oven. Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction – the mother of all things baking – bakes most of her cupcakes at 177 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 18-21 minutes. If you know that’s your oven’s sweet spot, by all means set your oven to 177 degrees (160 degrees C if you have a fan forced oven). If you’re not sure, get yourself an oven thermometer and set it to 170.
I find 170 degrees C, a happy medium. If I have to bake a little longer, I’d rather that than have them crack.
Cup Half-Full
Only fill the patty liners half-way for this recipe. They have good rise and will muffin top if you fill the patties any more. 

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?I’d love to hear your feedback. 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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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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Katrina Varcoe-Cocks
Katrina Varcoe-Cocks
October 3, 2020 9:13 am

5 stars
They look amazing. And if they’re like any of your other cup cakes they’ll taste incredible. If I use almond milk as an alternative will that change the flavour too much do you think or will the cocoa hold it’s own? Personal preference I guess- I just have almond milk already.
Thanks, Kat xx

Kat Varcoe-Cocks
Kat Varcoe-Cocks
October 16, 2020 4:59 pm
Reply to  Amanda

5 stars
Thanks Amanda – the almond milk worked fantastically. I also carefully read your instructions. I tend to over mix batter but stopped way before I normally would and the texture worked out great. My oven was hotter than I thought so I did over cook them slightly. The flavour was great and the frosting made them delicious but – Oh no – I’ll have to cook another batch this weekend just to get them perfect :-). My kids are super happy!!

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