You don’t need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!
One of my best friends went vegan last year and since she’s my favorite taste tester that’s meant a lot of experimenting with vegan recipes over the last year. That and making her co-workers happy when something isn’t vegan.
One thing that I’ve always been adamant about when it comes to specialty baking is not having to buy special ingredients. Which is why when I set out to find the perfect vegan chocolate cupcake when I made these for her 30th birthday I skipped over a TON of recipes that included things like nut milk and coconut cream.
I keep exactly zero of those things in my house and the few times I have bought them they get thrown out. And y’all know how I hate to waste. So I made it my mission to find a random-ingredient free cupcake recipe made from everything I already had on hand but that was still tender and moist.
And this recipe does not disappoint.
These cupcakes are packed with an intense chocolate flavor, moist as all get out, and super tender. Thanks to science for the leg up with these guys while also being able to avoid the specialty ingredients if you don’t eat vegan all the time or just don’t like them. They are the perfect vegan chocolate cupcake for any celebration!
And the best part is that when we feed these to people no one knows they’re vegan. Even the pickiest of eaters and staunchest anti-vegans rave about these cupcakes. And they disappear like hot cakes when my friend takes them to work.
In my opinion, the best part about a vegan cupcake is not being able to tell that it’s vegan!
For the Frosting:
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
For the Cupcakes
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup water, room temperature
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder until well combined.
- Make a well in the center and whisk in vegetable oil, vanilla, water, and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
- Fill lined muffin tins 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- All the cupcakes to cool completely while you make the frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until just incorporated after each addition. Beat in sifted cocoa powder and mix well.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, add vanilla, and beat again for an additional 30 seconds.
- To decorate: fit a piping bag with a Wilton 1M piping tip and decorate your completely cooled cupcakes.
Baker's Note: You'll need a pretty good balance of butter to powdered sugar to avoid needing milk or cream to reach the right consistency. A good pipeable buttercream is stiff but flexible. 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar worked perfectly for me!