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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

A basic vegan chocolate cupcake recipe for light and fluffy sponges! No fancy ingredients and super easy to make.

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 425 kcal


  • 280 ml Soy milk (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar (sub for white vinegar)
  • 200 g Self-raising flour (1+½ cups)
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 200 g Caster / superfine sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons Vegetable oil

Chocolate buttercream:

  • 120 g Vegan butter (½ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa powder
  • 600 g Icing/powdered sugar (5 cups)
  • Splash Plant-based milk (optional)


  1. 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 tray with paper cases.

  2. Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside. This will become your vegan buttermilk.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar until well combined.

  4. Now add in the vegan buttermilk along with the oil and vanilla extract. Mix well until you have a smooth cake batter.

  5. Divide the batter between your 12 cases and bake for 18-20 minutes. Check they're ready by inserting a toothpick through the centre- if it comes out dry, they're done.

  6. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

For the chocolate buttercream:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter until it’s slightly soft.

  2. Add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder, a little at a time, mixing as you go. I like put the sugar and cocoa powder through a sieve together before adding it to the butter.

  3. Once you’ve mixed it all in, you'll have frosting that will stand firm when piped onto the cakes. If it’s too thick, add a splash of plant-based milk. If you want it thicker, add more icing sugar.

Recipe Notes

  • Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days
  • The frosting recipe will produce enough to pipe onto all 12 cupcakes. If you plan to spread on a thin layer of the frosting instead of piping it, half the recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake with buttercream)
Calories 425 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Sodium 57mg2%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 58g64%
Protein 3g6%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.