Vegan chocolate cupcakes

Beautiful, fluffy chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting that happen to be vegan! Your non-vegan friends will never know the difference!

vegan chocolate cupcakes

For this past New Year’s Eve, we celebrated with some friends. Addie and their oldest son went to preschool together, and we’ve stayed in touch since. Although the kids do not attend the same elementary school, we find time to hang out a few times a year. One of those times is on New Year’s Eve. We pay a babysitter, and the four adults eat an early dinner. We’re usually back by the time it’s 9:00PM. Yup, we are such party animals.

Unfortunately, one of our friends has a milk allergy. She developed it when she was pregnant with son #2 and it hasn’t gone away. Son #2 is also allergic to milk and dairy so they have to be super careful when they eat out.

vegan chocolate cupcakes

I usually feel bad for son #2 because his older brother and Addie get to eat pizza. He gets to eat pasta with sauce as an alternative. Each year, I’ve done my best to bring vegan desserts to their house so he can enjoy them too. I’ve made this healthy deep dish chocolate chip pie and vegan chocolate cake. This year I wanted to bring cupcakes for everyone.

Addie proudly boasted to the family that the youngest son could eat these. Both of them enjoyed one of these cupcakes after they had their dinner. I was so excited that I was able to bake something for the entire family to enjoy. And I doubt any of them would have known that these were vegan if I hadn’t told them!

Vegan chocolate cupcakes

These perfectly fluffy chocolate cupcakes (and frosting) happen to be vegan. An average person will never know!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, Cupcakes
Servings: 11
Author: Eva Bakes



  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Vegan chocolate buttercream

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar more or less, depending upon how stiff you like it
  • 3-4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4-5 Tablespoons soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the cupcakes

  • Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the water, applesauce, vegetable oil, vanilla and vinegar. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  • Pour the applesauce mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until everything just comes together. Divide the batter evenly into your prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Make the frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the vegetable shortening on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add in the powdered sugar. Then add the cocoa powder.
  • Add the soy milk to thin out the frosting to your desired consistency. Then add the vanilla and the pinch of salt. Add more powdered sugar or soy milk as needed to reach the thickness you want for your frosting. Frost the cupcakes once they are cooled. I used a large open tip to pipe my frosting.


Leftover cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for several days.
Source: Cupcakes from Chocolate Covered Katie; frosting is an Eva Bakes original

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