These soft & moist Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes are topped with a silky smooth chocolate buttercream frosting for a truly delicious dessert! If you're looking for the best eggless & dairy-free chocolate cupcakes, this recipe is for you.
While I have many delicious vegan cupcakes on SGTO, I haven't been the best at sharing my classics.
While you all have loved my more unique cupcake flavors like Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes or Earl Grey Blueberry Cupcakes, I think it's about time I share a recipe for classic chocolate cupcakes with you.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: I used Ghiradelli cocoa powder. Any brand works, but do not use sweetened cocoa powder as this will make the cupcakes way too sweet and affect the texture.
- Applesauce: Can be substituted for a dairy-free yogurt. It will make the cupcakes slightly less sweet and a little denser but still should work.
- Soy milk & coconut milk: Can be substituted for any unsweetened plant-based milk.
How to make vegan chocolate cupcakes
Whisk dry cupcake ingredients
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl including the all-purpose flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. This helps to remove any clumps of cocoa and leads to a much smoother batter.
P.S- While I normally use pastry flour for cupcakes, I don't with chocolate cupcakes as the cocoa powder is already very fine. When I tried this recipe with pastry flour the cupcakes still tasted great, but they were too delicate and fell apart easily.
Make the chocolate cupcake batter
In a separate bowl whisk together the soy milk, olive oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla bean paste. Then, add the bowl of dry ingredients and gently mix into a smooth batter.
P.S- when it comes to eggless chocolate cupcakes, it's important NOT to overmix the batter so it stays light and tender once baked. That's why we sift the cocoa powder and flour before adding them to the wet ingredients!
Add to cupcake liners & bake
Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners and add the chocolate cupcake batter until each liner is ¾ full.
Then, add the tray to the oven and bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes until cooked through. Move the chocolate cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
How to make vegan chocolate frosting
Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the chocolate buttercream frosting!
First, whip the butter until smooth using an electric mixer. This step is crucial for light and fluffy frosting. Then, add in the cocoa powder and plant-based milk. Whip together until smooth.
Next, gradually whip in the powdered sugar until your desired sweetness level is reached.
Add the frosting to a piping bag and frost the vegan chocolate cupcakes!
I like to finish the cupcakes with chocolate shavings on top, but chocolate sprinkles also work as a great cupcake topping.
FAQ & Tips:
Can I make these cupcakes gluten-free?
Definitely! Just make sure to use a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix like this one from Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Baking flour.
Please keep in mind that flour alternatives like coconut flour or almond flour will not work in this recipe as it's not a 1:1 substitution.
How do I store leftover chocolate cupcakes?
Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days. However, once frosted, they should no longer be stored at room temperature.
Frosted cupcakes can be stored in a closed container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Just defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour before enjoying.
Frosted cupcakes can also be stored in the fridge for around 24 hours. Any longer than that, and it tends to dry them out. That's why I always recommend storing chocolate cupcakes in the freezer as it keeps the texture.
I can't wait for you to try these soft, fluffy, & absolutely delicious Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes! When topped with dairy-free chocolate buttercream, they make the perfect easy dessert.
More vegan cupcake recipes you will love:
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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder unsweetened and sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened soy milk or any plant-based milk subbed 1:1
- ½ cup+ 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- ½ cup cold vegan butter
- ¼ cup cocoa powder unsweetened and sifted
- 2 Tablespoons full -fat canned coconut milk can sub for any plant-based milk
- 1- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted, start with 1 cup and add more for a sweeter frosting
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Fill a muffin tin with 8 cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together the cupcake batter dry ingredients including the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together the cupcake batter wet ingredients including the soy milk, sugar, olive oil, applesauce, and vanilla.
- Add the bowl of whisked dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and use a whisk or spatula to gently mix together until a smooth batter forms. Be careful not to overmix during this step for the ideal cupcake texture!
- Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way full with batter. Place the tin of cupcakes into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. You can use a toothpick to check that the centers are fully cooked before removing.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the baking tray for 5 minutes. Carefully move the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Make the buttercream frosting
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, make your frosting. Add the cold cubed vegan butter to a small bowl and use an electric mixer to cream together until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Next, add the sifted cocoa powder and coconut milk to the mixing bowl and whip with the vegan butter until incorporated.
- As the last step, turn down the speed and slowly add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until a smooth frosting forms. I like to start with 1 cup of powdered sugar and add up to 1 ½ if you desire a sweeter frosting.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag and pipe it onto the cooled chocolate cupcakes. Top with optional chocolate shavings and enjoy!
- Please see the blog post for substitution notes.
- It's super important to sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar before using them in this recipe. This helps to avoid any clumps of cocoa powder in your batter or frosting and a clumpy frosting!
- Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days. However, once frosted, they should no longer be stored at room temperature.
- Frosted cupcakes can be stored in a closed container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Just defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour before enjoying.
- Frosted cupcakes can also be stored in the fridge for around 24 hours. Any longer than that, and it tends to dry them out.
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