Hands down the BEST vegan chocolate cupcakes you will ever taste. Light and fluffy, super moist, and ultra rich, these 1 bowl vegan chocolate cupcakes will turn any vanilla lover into a chocolate lover!
Why I love these healthier vegan chocolate cupcakes
I said this before with my chocolate cake recipe, but these vegan chocolate cupcakes have done it again. I used to be such a vanilla person, always my go to.
There’s no way that I would ever turn down these ultra rich, super moist, and absolutely decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes.
In fact, the same sentiment was expressed by my best friend, Caroline, who is also a funfetti lover.
These vegan chocolate cupcakes are incredibly rich, yet sweet, light and fluffy yet full of rich chocolate, and topped with the absolute best vegan chocolate buttercream frosting you’ve ever had.
Made in just one bowl and secretly oil free, these vegan cupcakes are perfect for:
Holidays (think Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Fourth of July, etc.)
Mother’s and Father’s Day
New Year’s Eve!
I just know that you’re going to fall head over heels in love with these cupcakes!
Chocolate cupcake ingredients
For these eggless dairy free chocolate cupcakes, you’ll need:
- Flour: you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour (make sure it has xanthan gum) or regular all purpose flour
- Coconut sugar: you can definitely use regular sugar if you don’t need to keep it refined sugar free
- Baking powder + soda
- Cacao powder: I like to use cacao powder over cocoa powder for not only the richer and deeper chocolate taste, but also for the wonderful nutrients and antioxidants found in raw cacao powder!
- Vegan buttermilk: a combination of dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar
- Dairy free yogurt: or you can use heavy coconut cream here with 1 tsp lemon juice
- Vegan chocolate buttercream frosting: cacao powder, vegan butter, and powdered sugar (or powdered coconut sugar)
You might have noticed that these vegan cupcakes are entirely oil free! This is all thanks to the applesauce. Don’t worry- just because these cupcakes are oil free, they’ll still be super moist and soft yet fluffy!
How to make vegan chocolate cupcakes
I’ve outlined how to make these vegan chocolate cupcakes all in the YouTube video and recipe card below, but I do have a few tips for you to ensure that these cupcakes turn out ultra moist and perfectly baked:
- Don’t overfill the cupcake liner: I recommend filling the cupcakes about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Any higher, and you’ll end up with a muffin top.
- Allow the vegan buttermilk to curdle for 5-7 minutes. Don’t skip this step! Allowing the dairy free milk to sit with the vinegar or lemon juice will create that curdle and the most moist vegan cupcake you’ve ever had- all dairy free!
- Make sure that your wet ingredients are room temperature: always a good rule of thumb, this makes sure that the batter isn’t compromised and the gluten doesn’t start to form or not fully form while baking.
- Use cacao powder over cocoa powder. This just makes these truly the best chocolate cupcakes you’ve ever had, vegan or not.
- Don’t swap out the applesauce: many ask whether you can used ground flaxseed in place of the applesauce. For most recipes, you can, but I highly recommend against it for this particular recipe. The reason being is that the applesauce has a bit more moisture than flaxseed, so with this cupcake recipe being oil free, you’ll get the best results with applesauce.
- Whisk the dry ingredients thoroughly: since these cupcakes are made in just 1 bowl, make sure that you thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients before adding in the wet. You don’t want to over-mix the batter if the dry ingredients aren’t fully mixed together!
- Use a toothpick to check how far along the cupcakes are in the baking process: if the toothpick comes out clean, then they’re perfect!
- The final tip: Let the cupcakes cool in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes before cooling on a cooling rack! This makes sure that the liner comes off cleanly.
How to perfectly frost a cupcake
I totally get it. It might seem intimidating to actually pipe the vegan frosting onto the vegan chocolate cupcakes. But not to worry, it’s actually quite simple!
I go over how to pipe the frosting onto these cupcakes in my YouTube video above. Once you’ve made the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, let’s perfectly frost a cupcake:
- Start by squirting a bit of the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting into the middle of the cupcake.
- Then start spiraling out, twirling the cupcake or your piping tip as you go, laying the frosting to create the height of the frosting.
- Slightly dip the frosting tip down as you finish the frosting to create the perfect point.
Then repeat for the remaining cupcakes!
How to store leftover cupcakes
If you have any leftovers from this vegan chocolate cupcake recipe, simply store the cupcakes in a cupcake container or lightly cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Make ahead option: to make these vegan chocolate cupcakes ahead of time, simply make the chocolate cupcakes, and allow them to cool fully. Store them in an airtight container and freeze for 2 days. When ready to serve, allow the cupcakes to sit at room temperature for 4-5 hours, and then prepare the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. Pipe and frost, then serve!
Can I make these vegan cupcakes gluten free as well?
Absolutely! I’ve only tested this recipe using gluten free 1:1 baking flour, and you’ll use the same amount as you would regular all purpose flour.
Can I make these cupcakes into a vegan chocolate cake?
I actually already have a delicious vegan chocolate cake recipe for you! These cupcakes are heavily based off of that recipe. If you want a true chocolate cake, I would just make my cake recipe.
However, you can also double this recipe for a 2 layer 8″ cake. The bake time for the cake layers will be about 32-35 minutes.
I hope you love these vegan chocolate cupcakes as much as I do! If you make them, be sure to let me know how they went in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating so that others can find these cupcakes!
Happy chocolate cupcake baking!
More vegan cupcakes that you’ll love:
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If you make something from The Banana Diaries, I would love to see your creations! Make sure to leave a review in comments section, as well as giving it a rating so that others may find the recipe. Also, follow along with me on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook for more vegan recipe inspiration!Print
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Hands down the BEST vegan chocolate cupcakes you will ever taste. Light and fluffy, super moist yet oil free, and ultra rich, these 1 bowl vegan chocolate cupcakes will turn any vanilla lover into a chocolate lover!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 27
- Total Time: 37 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cups organic flour, sifted *see note for gluten free option
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk with 2 tsp lemon juice, room temperature*
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1/4 cup dairy free yogurt, room temperature
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 cup cacao powder
- 2–3 tbsp dairy free milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add in the vegan buttermilk mixture, applesauce, and dairy free yogurt, and stir to combine. Be sure not to over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling the liners about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. You should get about 12 cupcakes.
- Place the cupcakes into the over and bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the cupcake tin. After 10 minutes, transfer the cupcakes to the cooling rack until they are fully cooled.
- Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, begin making the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting.
- To make the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, beat the vegan butter until creamy. Sift in the cacao powder and the powdered sugar (or coconut sugar). Continue to beat the frosting, adding in 2-3 tbsp of dairy free milk to help combine the sugar into the butter. The buttercream should be fluffy.
- Fill a piping bag with a tip and pipe the vegan buttercream frosting onto the cool cupcakes. Serve and enjoy!
Vegan Buttermilk: this is definitely a necessity for these cupcakes! Simply combine the dairy free milk and the apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice if you don’t have vinegar) and let the mixture sit for 5-7 minutes to curdle. Then use immediately in the recipe.
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