Light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes with a touch of zesty orange.
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F if using a fan or convection oven) and line a 12 hole cupcake pan with cupcake cases.
Prepare your vegan buttermilk by mixing together the plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar using a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes and allow it to thicken a little.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar.
Add in the buttermilk along with the vegetable oil and orange extract. Fold until you get a smooth and creamy cake batter.
Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes. Check that they are cooked all the way through by inserting a toothpick through the centre of one.
Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vegan butter into a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Use the soy milk to loosen it as needed.
Add the orange extract and whisk it in using an electric mixer until your buttercream is smooth and fluffy.
Pipe or spoon the buttercream onto the cold cupcakes and top with orange zest if desired.