These quick and easy vegan vanilla cupcakes are made with just 9 pantry ingredients and in one bowl for the fluffiest and most tender vanilla cupcake ever. Based on my award-winning vegan vanilla cake recipe, you’ll think these vegan cupcakes came from a bakery!

vegan vanilla cupcake on a cupcake stand

Why you’ll just LOVE these easy vegan vanilla cupcakes:

Your parties and celebrations just got so much more delicious with these easy and ultra moist vegan vanilla cupcakes! Seriously, this is the best vegan cupcake recipe around.

Made from scratch and only using one bowl, these undetectably healthy cupcakes are the perfect treat for a birthday, party, or any time celebration!

And while these eggless vanilla cupcakes, like any base recipe, are very straight forward in process (and downright simple!), if you’ve ever thought that vanilla cupcakes are boring, your mind is about to be changed drastically.

Here’s why:

  • Texture: We’re using vegan sour cream or cornstarch to keep these cupcakes ultra moist and fluffy, and create that tight yet deliciously soft crumb. The texture is soft, lush, and fluffy- what any cupcake should dream of being!
  • Easy for beginners: Learning the basics of baking is key to mastering more complex recipes. This recipe is as straightforward as it gets- add the ingredients to a bowl, mix, and bake!
  • Deliciously full of rich yet light vanilla flavor: You won’t just taste sugar in these cupcakes. These vanilla cupcakes are as rich in flavor as my vegan chocolate cupcakes, and shine through with a sweet “buttery” vanilla flavor.
  • Made with simple plant-based ingredients: The ingredients listed are not only dairy free and egg free, but they’re SIMPLE. It’s ingredients you can easily find in any grocery store and probably already have on hand!
liner pulled off vegan vanilla cupcake

These vegan vanilla cupcakes are the perfect healthy birthday dessert for both kids and adults. Not only are they all of the above, but you’ll never know that these cupcakes are allergy friendly (aka they can be made free of the Top 8 Allergens), dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, egg free, vegan, and nut free.

And I’ve even been told by several people who do not regularly consume vegan baked goods that they’d never know these cupcakes are vegan. These are the best vanilla cupcakes, whether you’re vegan or not!

Vegan vanilla cupcake ingredients

The ingredients you need for these cupcakes are super simple. For these vegan vanilla cupcakes, you’ll need:

  • All purpose flour: If you need gluten free, swap in King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour!
  • Granulated sugar: I recommend using Florida Crystals Organic Granulated Sugar. It’s 100% vegan and organic, meaning it wasn’t processed with bone char. To make these cupcakes refined sugar free, swap in coconut sugar.
  • Leavening agents: This is your baking powder and baking soda.
  • Vegan buttermilk: this is a combination of dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar.
  • Vegan butter: Most cupcake recipes call for oil, but I recommend using vegan butter. This is because we don’t have any eggs in our cupcakes, so we need to add back some richness to the flavor. The vegan butter will achieve this!
  • Cornstarch and vegan sour cream: You can also swap in vegan yogurt. I recommend Forager Project! The reason why I grouped these two together is because they’re acting as our vegan egg substitutes. This helps to not only add a really tender texture to our cupcakes, but also bind the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla extract: I also add in vanilla powder for the specs of vanilla bean seeds in the actual cupcakes.
vegan vanilla cupcake ingredients

We’re going to be using a lot of vanilla. In fact, this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract in the cupcake batter. Using any less is probably the reason why you think that vanilla cupcakes are boring!

This recipe is seriously straight forward. You really only need one large bowl and a whisk to make the batter. But for frosting, you might want some piping bags and tips!

For piping bags and tips: I use the Wilton closed star tip if you’d like to get the same frosting look as I do.

cupcakes on cupcake stand

Overview: How to make vegan vanilla cupcakes in just one bowl:

First, we’ll go over how to make the vegan cupcake batter, then the vegan buttercream frosting!

In the final section, I’ll go over some tips for the cupcakes. If you’re just learning how to pipe frosting onto cupcakes for the first time (or are a beginner), definitely check out the YouTube video because it will give you a visual tutorial on how to create those swirls!

The cupcake batter

The cupcake batter is made in just a few simple steps. You’ll first start with the prep steps, including weighing out your ingredients, preheating the oven, preparing your cupcake pan, and making the vegan buttermilk (super important for fluffy cupcakes!).

Pro Baking Tip: please weigh out your ingredients rather than using US cups! I’ve given both measurements in the recipe card, but the most accurate results will come from weighing your ingredients, especially your flour. The reason being is that 1 cup of flour can yield anywhere from 125 grams to 170 grams of flour, which is a massive difference. This all depends on whether you’re spoon & leveling, or scooping your cup (don’t do the latter!). Using gram measurements will ensure your flour is truly the accurate measurement rather than just guessing!

Start by whisking together the wet ingredients. This is the vegan butter, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract and paste.

cupcake wet ingredients in a bowl

Then whisk in the dry ingredients. Just add everything to the bowl, and mix!

vanilla cupcake batter mixed in a bowl

Scoop the batter into the cupcake tin. I recommend using an ice cream scoop to get even cupcakes.

And bake until lightly golden! The cupcakes should spring back to the touch. Then let the cupcakes cool fully before frosting!

Easy vegan buttercream frosting

Any good frosting starts with vegan butter. You’ll need the room temperature vegan butter. You should be able to make an indent into the vegan butter with your finger tip, but it will still feel slightly cool.

Another important tip for making vegan frosting is sifting the powdered sugar. This will ensure that there are no clumps when it comes time to frosting the cupcakes. This will make the frosting not only look more elegant, but will also prevent it from clogging the piping tip.

I have several different amazing dairy free frostings to use for these cupcakes: classic vanilla frosting, classic chocolate frosting, vegan white chocolate frosting, vegan cream cheese frosting, vegan hazelnut frosting, vegan raspberry frosting, and more! Be sure to check out the cake and cupcakes recipe page for a list of all the different types of frostings you can use for these vegan cupcakes.

Can I make these vanilla cupcakes gluten free?

Yes, these vegan vanilla cupcakes can easily be made gluten free. If you’d like to make gluten free vanilla cupcakes, simply sift together gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour with a little arrowroot powder (exact measurements are in the recipe card) or cornstarch. This will give the texture of cake flour. I recommend using King Arthur Measure-for-Measure.

How can I make my cupcakes more moist?

These vegan vanilla cupcakes are definitely designed to be moist, but to ensure that these cupcakes retain their moisture, here are a few tips:

  • Weigh out all ingredients: like with the flour, making sure you have enough of the wet ingredients is also super important.
  • Keep the oven door closed: this makes sure that the warm air stays in the oven and continues to heat the cupcakes.
  • Allow the cupcakes to sit in the tin post baking: just for 5 minutes to lock in the moisture!
  • Cover the cupcakes after they’ve cooled if you’re frosting them the next day: make sure that you’ve covered the cupcakes entirely before storing, so that the moisture doesn’t escape!
bitten vegan vanilla cupcake

Can I make these cupcakes ahead of time?

You can absolutely make these healthy vanilla cupcakes the day before serving. Simply make the cupcake part the day before. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap on a cooling rack or plate (I recommend the cooling rack to keep the air still filtrating). Store in a cool area overnight.

The next day: unwrap the cupcakes and make the buttercream. Frost and serve!

Freezing: you can also freeze these cupcakes unfrosted for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, simply allow the cupcakes to thaw at room temperature for 2 hours. Frost and enjoy!

Recipe tips & tricks:

Make sure all wet ingredients are room temperature: using room temperature wet ingredients will prevent a vegan cupcake from becoming gummy or under-baked (despite sitting in the oven for a long period of time!). Give yourself an hour or two for the ingredients to come to room temperature before beginning to bake!

Refined sugar free option: to make these vegan vanilla cupcakes entirely refined sugar free, swap in coconut sugar for both the cupcake and the frosting. With the vegan frosting, you’ll need to turn the coconut sugar into powdered sugar by pulsing it in a food processor. An extra step, but so worth it if you’re looking for a healthy cupcake!

Don’t over mix the batter: I know we all get eager to make sure our batter is entirely mixed, but don’t over mix, or this will create gummy cupcakes rather than light, fluffy, and tender cupcakes.

Keep the oven door closed: Whatever you do, keep that oven door shut while baking your cupcakes. Many don’t realize that the oven temperature drastically changes when you open the door. Have you ever opened your oven door and felt a rush of warm air? That’s because the warm air is so drastically different in temperature from the cool, so it seeks an equilibrium (this is getting scientific, I’m so sorry you didn’t come for a science lesson but it needs to be explained!), so the heat transfers to the cool, leaving the oven not at the 350F that you set it at. This will ultimately cause an uneven bake.

If the cupcake liner isn’t peeling off: allow the cupcakes to rest in the tin for 5 minutes post baking. Then transfer them to the cooling rack to fully cool.

Add in vanilla powder for extra vanilla flavor. If you want to get fancy like Georgetown Cupcakes (ugh, miss working there! It was so much fun!), you can add in some vanilla bean pod seeds or vanilla paste for that speckled vanilla look! Plus the taste is so “buttery” without adding any dairy!

sliced vegan vanilla cupcake

You are just going to absolutely LOVE these easy vegan vanilla cupcakes! These cupcakes are perfect for:

  • Weddings
  • Bridal showers
  • Birthday parties
  • Engagement parties
  • Graduations
  • Holidays
  • Just because!

If you make them, be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others may find this recipe.

As always, I love to see your beautiful creations, so be sure to tag me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Happy cupcake baking!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

vegan vanilla cupcake Pinterest pin
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vegan vanilla cupcake on a cupcake stand

Soft & Moist Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes (One Bowl!)

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These quick and easy vegan vanilla cupcakes are made with just 9 pantry ingredients and in one bowl for the fluffiest and most tender vanilla cupcake ever. Based on my award-winning vegan vanilla cake recipe, you’ll think these vegan cupcakes came from a bakery!


Ingredients

Units Scale

*Please note! The recipe has been further improved from the time the video was released! The written recipe is the latest adaptation. Enjoy!

*Second note: If you’re a fan of the original recipe, please find it posted right below the recipe card! Enjoy!

  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan buttermilk , room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (130 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 3/4 cup (230 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour*
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 batch vegan vanilla buttercream or vegan cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  1. Read through the instructions before beginning, and make sure to measure out all ingredients.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12 cup-cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by whisking together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. 
  3. Make the cupcake batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan butter, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract with the paste. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk until JUST combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
  4. Bake the cupcakes: Use a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop or a spoon to fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 of the way full. Place the cupcake tin into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Another way to test this is the tops of the cupcakes should be lightly golden and the cupcake should spring back at a light touch.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely before making the vegan buttercream frosting.
  6. Make the vegan buttercream: When ready to frost, creamy the vegan butter until thick fluffy, and lighter in color; then sift in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, while beating the frosting. Add in 1-2 tbsp of dairy free milk to help the buttercream become more moveable rather than thick. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  7. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes: Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with frosting tip, and frost each cupcake. Alternatively, you can smear the frosting on with a butter knife. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired and enjoy!
  8. Storage: Store any uneaten cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze these cupcakes unfrosted for up to 1 month. 

Notes

Gluten free: I like to use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour (it’s the one that contains xanthan gum). Highly recommend! You can use the gram or weighted measurements for that. It’s 1:1 on both.

Sugar: You can use coconut sugar in place of granulate sugar, just note that the cupcakes will be slightly darker in color, but still delicious! I recommend using Florida Crystals Sugar for a vegan granulated sugar. 

Make ahead: To make one day ahead, prep the cupcakes by following steps 1-5 the day before. The next day, allow the vegan butter to come to room temperature and follow the remaining steps.

Please read through the blog post for all cupcake tips & tricks!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake with frosting
  • Calories: 322
  • Sugar: 36.6 g
  • Sodium: 274.3 mg
  • Fat: 11.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan vanilla cupcakes, gluten free vanilla cupcakes, healthy cupcakes, vegan cupcakes, vegan cupcake frosting

OLD RECIPE:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (110 grams/mL) dairy-free milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) cake flour or sifted gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (if doing gluten-free, add in 1 tsp arrowroot powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar or coconut sugar (see Notes)
  • 1/4 cup (67 grams) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract + 1/8 tsp vanilla powder

Directions:

  1. Read through the instructions before beginning, and make sure to measure out all ingredients. 
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12 cup-cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by whisking together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. If using a stand mixer, make sure you’re using the whisk attachment. Otherwise, you can use a large bowl and a hand mixer.
  3. Make the cupcake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda until combined. Set aside. Add the vegan butter to a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl, along with the sugar. Use a hand mixer or the stand mixer to cream together until the sugar has almost dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add in the unsweetened applesauce and vanilla extract (and optional vanilla powder), and cream again until combined. Sift in half of dry ingredients and half of the vegan buttermilk mixture, and use the stand mixer or hand mixer to mix together on medium speed. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture, and mix only until the dry ingredients have JUST combined. 
  4. Bake the cupcakes: Use a large cookie scoop or a spoon to fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 of the way full. Place the cupcake tin into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Another way to test this is the tops of the cupcakes should be lightly golden and the cupcake should spring back at a light touch.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely before making the vegan buttercream frosting.
  6. Make the vegan buttercream: When ready to frost, creamy the vegan butter until thick fluffy, and lighter in color; then sift in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, while beating the frosting. Add in 1-2 tbsp of dairy free milk to help the buttercream become more moveable rather than thick. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  7. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes: Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with frosting tip, and frost each cupcake. Alternatively, you can smear the frosting on with a butter knife. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired and enjoy!
  8. Storage: Store any uneaten cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze these cupcakes unfrosted for up to 1 month.