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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

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You don’t need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!

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.

You don't need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!

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!

You don't need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!

You don't need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!

You don't need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

You don't need any special ingredients for these decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes!

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder until well combined.
  2. Make a well in the center and whisk in vegetable oil, vanilla, water, and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
  3. 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.
  4. All the cupcakes to cool completely while you make the frosting.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until just incorporated after each addition. Beat in sifted cocoa powder and mix well.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, add vanilla, and beat again for an additional 30 seconds.
  8. To decorate: fit a piping bag with a Wilton 1M piping tip and decorate your completely cooled cupcakes. 

Notes

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!

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Emily English

Monday 25th of February 2019

For the frosting, mine turned out all clumpy and not creamy at all so I just added a splash of almond milk and it made it a very nice consistency. Cupcakes are delish!! Would definite make again!

Becca M.

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Okay, so I literally just finished making a dozen of these for my sister in law’s birthday. I had to immediately leave a comment because oh my goodness, these are delicious, and they turned out super cute! My omnivore husband said he had no idea these were vegan, and neither would anybody else. And of course, I tested one myself, and it’s also ovo -lacto vegetarian approved.

I super appreciate that these were made without weird ingredients because I’m not a fan of buying 9,000 different things that I’m never gonna use again. Also I was highly doubtful of the frosting after tasting a bit of the vegan butter. It has THE WORST flavor.. However, after everything was all whipped up together, the frosting tasted great. The cocoa and vanilla were like sour mix to whisky, if you catch my drift.

Anyways, thanks so much for the recipe! Could not have pulled it off without your help.

Meaghan

Friday 8th of June 2018

This warms my heart so much! I love giving these cupcakes to non-vegans and watching the surprise on their face when they realize it's both delicious AND vegan! I hope your sister in law loved them, too. And if you need another vegan recipe to try sans weird ingredients be sure to check out my vegan brownies! https://cookcraftlove.com/simple-one-bowl-vegan-brownies/

Michele @ Queenbeebaker

Tuesday 16th of January 2018

I NEVER met a chocolate cupcake I didn't like and I'm sure this one would be no different! If only I could reach into the computer and grab one. ;-D

Meaghan

Tuesday 16th of January 2018

These are surprisingly delicious! Says the non-vegan skeptic ;)

~Meaghan

Ellen from Ask Away Blog

Wednesday 10th of January 2018

YO! This looks amazinggggg! Thank you and I can't wait to try it. Your blog is so beautiful <3

Meaghan

Wednesday 10th of January 2018

Thank you, Ellen! These cupcakes are a big hit around here. I hope you love them!

~Meaghan

Nicole @ Crazy Lovely Life

Sunday 7th of January 2018

I love how willing you are to accommodate me!! These are seriously delish, and yes for the people who very strict vegans you'll want to swap out for vegan flour and sugar but I am not quite that pedantic! I love being able to share treats with omnis and show them you can be vegan and enjoy delicious treats

Meaghan

Wednesday 10th of January 2018

There's vegan flour and sugar? That's a new one for me. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you love these!

~Meaghan