These vegan vanilla cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. Basic cupcakes are a staple that everyone should know how to make, and I want to show you how to do it without eggs or dairy!
In honour of my dear ole’ mum getting married this week, I wanted to create a wedding-inspired dessert.
Nothing too fancy, but something plain, white and beautiful. Just like these vanilla cupcakes!
I have a few other cupcake recipes on the blog but I wanted to bring it back to basics! No fancy flavourings or decorations.
I think every baker should know how to bake simple vanilla cupcakes. It’s one of the first things I learned to bake as a child.
Of course, making vanilla cupcakes vegan can be a bit of a challenge if you’ve never played around with dairy-free or egg-free baking.
First, you need to find a way to make them fluffy without using eggs. But not too fluffy- because you don’t want them to collapse in on themselves as they bake. And then there’s the other problem of how to keep the cupcakes moist.
But don’t worry, this recipe tastes just as good as any non-vegan cupcake I’ve made before!
How To Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
The first step is to preheat your oven to 180C / 350F and line a cupcake tray with 12 cases.
Mix together 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 140ml (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) of soy milk. Set it aside for now.
I almost always bake with soy milk because it is closest in consistency to dairy milk in my opinion. But feel free to use whichever kind of plant-based milk you like.
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar instead.
In a large bowl, mix together 115g of self-raising flour (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon), 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 90g of caster/superfine sugar (~1/2 cup).
If you’re unable to find self-raising (also known as self-rising) flour where you live, you can use plain flour instead and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to the recipe.
Using a combination of plain flour and baking powder seems to work well. The cupcakes will rise nicely and give a delicious, crumby texture.
Want more vegan cupcake recipes?
Now add the milk mixture into the dry mixture along with 3 tablespoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Mix well until you have a smooth cake batter.
Your cake batter should be “dropping consistency”. This means that when you put some on a spoon and tip the spoon upside down, the batter should “drop” off. It shouldn’t be too runny nor too thick- just somewhere in between.
Divide the cake mix between 12 cupcake cases and bake them for 15 minutes. A toothpick through the middle should come out clean.
When they’re done baking, transfer them onto a wire rack until they are completely cool.
Buttercream frosting to top
No vanilla cupcakes would be complete without buttercream frosting!
You can totally use a store-bought version if there’s one available where you live. Just be sure to check the ingredients for things like milk, eggs or gelatine.
But I always think that homemade frosting is the best kind of frosting. It only takes 5 minutes to make, pipes really well and will hold tall when the cupcake is left at room temperature. No more puddles of vegan frosting… yay!
All you need to do is put 240g (1 cup) of vegan butter into a bowl along with 600g (5 cups) of icing/powdered sugar. Gently mix it together using a wooden spoon until well combined.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix it in well. The result should be a smooth and creamy vegan frosting!
If it’s too thick, you can add a splash of milk until you get your desired consistency. Or if it’s too thin, just add more icing sugar.
You can spoon the frosting onto the cupcakes if you like but this recipe will give you enough to pipe beautiful swirls onto each cupcake. Of course, this step is totally optional but if you don’t currently own a piping bag and nozzle, I urge to you to check your local pound or dollar store. There’s something about piped frosting that adds an extra special touch to cupcakes.
They taste best stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure the room isn’t too hot or they’ll become soggy quite quickly.
These cupcakes also freeze really well, with or without frosting. Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool before placing them in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
To defrost, allow them to sit on a plate at room temperature for a few hours until they become soft again.
The cupcakes will keep well for around 4 days. After this, they’ll start to lose their fluffy texture and the vanilla flavour won’t be as strong.
Once your cupcakes are all frosted, you can leave them just as they are or you can add some decorations like I did.
I personally used white edible pearls from Baking Time Club, and I’d highly recommend their site for all of their vegan-friendly sprinkles. They have lots to choose from.
There are also lots of options available in supermarkets but watch out for animal-derived ingredients. The most common non-vegan ingredients in sprinkles tend to be milk, whey powder, egg or egg powder, gelatine, shellac, carmine, and beeswax.
If you make these cupcakes yourself, I’d love to know what you think. Please leave a comment or rating below and share your thoughts!
A simple, elegant cupcake made without eggs or dairy!
- 140 ml Plant-based milk of choice (½ cup + 1 Tablespoon)
- 1 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 115 g Self-raising flour (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon)
- ¼ Teaspoon Baking soda
- 90 g Caster/superfine sugar (~½ cup)
- 3 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 1 Cup Vegan butter (240g)
- 5 Cups Icing / powdered sugar (600g)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons Plant-based milk (depending on desired consistency)
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F fan or convection oven) and line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cases.
Mix the apple cider vinegar and plant-based milk together. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and sugar.
Add in the milk mixture, the oil and the vanilla extract. Mix well until you have a smooth cake batter.
Divide the mix between the cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes. Check the cakes are baked all the way through by inserting a toothpick through the middle.
Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
Gently mix the vegan butter and icing sugar together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Add the vanilla and mix again. If your frosting is too thick, add a splash of plant-based milk until you get your desired consistency. If it's too runny, add more icing sugar.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe a swirl onto the middle of each cupcake.
Decorate with vegan sprinkles if desired, and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days