These vegan chocolate cupcakes with vegan chocolate buttercream need no selling. They're fluffy and pillowy and combined with the velvety frosting they'll send you into a chocolate coma you'll never want to wake up from.
I've been making, eating and feeding these vegan chocolate cupcakes for more than a decade now, and I wanted to bring them back to the front of the blog along with a recipe for a scrumptious and easy chocolate buttercream I usually top these cupcakes with.
These are the cupcakes that I send with Jay for birthdays at school and for teacher appreciation days (along with these scrumptious vegan vanilla cupcakes). These are the cupcakes I make for special friends. These are the cupcakes that have always won the hearts of anyone I feed them to, because they just are so good. Soft, pillowy, intensely chocolate-y, with a buttercream so delicious that after a bite you'll think you've died and gone to chocolate heaven.
And they are so easy to make. Easy enough that you could teach a child to make them. Although you probably shouldn't or they will be eating chocolate cupcakes for every meal.
- These are really so easy, you don't need a whole lot of tips. But if I had to ask you to pay attention to one thing, it would be to make sure that you sift all of the dry ingredients. This ensures your cupcake is lighter, and it also makes sure that there are no lumps of baking soda remaining in the flour that could ruin the batter.
- Use a good quality cocoa powder or cacao powder. These are chocolate cupcakes, so you need to make sure that the chocolate flavor is true and awesome. I link to the kind I use from the recipe.
- These cupcakes are soy-free, and although I use almond milk, you can make them nut-free by using any other nondairy milk.
- For the buttercream, make sure your vegan butter is at room temperature.
- You can make your frosting as sweet as you want it to be. I go with three cups of powdered sugar, which is sweet enough for me without being cloying, but if you have a sweeter tooth, use about 3 ½ to 4 cups. Taste as you go.
- The cupcakes themselves are so awesome, I sometimes serve them without any frosting and with just a dusting of powdered sugar. And if you're on a health kick (around the holidays?) you can certainly do that, but they are really, truly divine with the buttercream.
- Unbleached all purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- Almond milk
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sugar (use cane or turbinado)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil
- Vegan Butter
Just made these and they are truly scrumptious! jumping up and down because I love chocolate and I love cupcakes!"-- Cheryl
More vegan cupcake recipes
- Vegan Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting
- Vegan Orange Cupcakes
- Vegan Carrot Cupcakes
- Vegan Lemon Cupcakes
- Vegan Irish Cream Cupcakes
- Also check out the ultimate vegan Chocolate Cake recipe.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
For the chocolate cupcakes:
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
- 1 cup nondairy milk (I used almond but any non-dairy milk is fine)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the vegan chocolate cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, mix the almond milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes until it curdles.
- Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and beat togeter until it turns frothy.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, coffee granules if using, and salt.
- Add the cocoa-flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two batches, mixing well until the mixture is fairly smooth. Don't overbeat. A few small lumps are fine.
- Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Pour the batter into each liner, about ¾ full.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then unmold the cupcakes and place them on the rack to cool thoroughly before frosting..
Make the vegan buttercream:
- Place the butter, soft and at room temperature, into a bowl. Add the milk and vanilla, cocoa powder and a cup of sugar. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then add more sugar and whisk again to mix, continuing until you've used up all three cups of sugar. This is best done in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or using a hand mixer.
- Frost the cupcakes.
When I first posted this recipe almost 11 years ago, I dedicated it to my resident chocolate cupcake, my dog Opie, who was quite possibly the most adorably headstrong dog I ever walked. Opie has since passed away, and as I rewrote this post, I could not bring myself to erase this essay about this very special baby of mine, who lives forever in my heart.
Walking my dog Opie is an adventure. You never know where it's going to take you, and you're lucky if you get back home on time and in one piece.
Okay, I exaggerated just a little about coming home in one piece because so far I have, but the rest of it is absolutely true.
When Opie was younger, we tried all we could to train him to walk like a "good dog." But for some reason- likely the fact that he is the most stubborn creature I've ever known - he refused to fall in line.
Although he walks at least twice a day, rain, shine, snow or ice, Opie treats every walk like it's his first one. He goes raring out the door, eager to chase down every squirrel, stare at every person he sees, and sniff hard at every calling card left in the grass by every dog in the neighborhood.
Sometimes, he decides he wants to go a certain route. And arguing with Opie is not easy. If I walk in another direction than the one he's set his mind to, he will first bury his front feet in the ground, put his head down, and refuse to budge. His big, brown eyes meanwhile will make a frantic appeal, asking me to reconsider.
If I insist, he'll just sit down.
As you might have guessed, I usually give in.
But although he might sound like a bit of a pain in the rear- and he certainly is a lot of the time- it is indeed hard to fight that kind of curiosity and vibrance. I am always awe-struck by how his enthusiasm never seems to wane.
In freezing weather, as I plod with him through knee-deep snow, begging him to walk fast, he will plonk down on a smooth patch in a neighbor's lawn, turn on his side, and move vigorously back and forth to make a snow angel. Then he'll put down his ear to the ground, push up his playful butt, and go sliding through the snow, enjoying himself completely. Even though my fingers and toes are screaming for life by this time, I can't help but laugh.
Some of you might wonder - as I am sure most of my neighbors do- why I don't work harder to make Opie behave as I want him to. Well, Opie's not a badly behaved dog. As a stranger delighted by his antics once remarked, very astutely, he just has a mind of his own.
And I'm certainly not going to fight that.