Based off of my award winning vegan chocolate cake, these vegan chocolate cupcakes are moist, rich, tender, and topped with a silky chocolate frosting that’s unbelievably dairy free!

frosted vegan chocolate cupcakes on a cooling rack

The only chocolate cupcake recipe you need:

These are truly the ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe, not just vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. And I’m prepared to back that statement up.

We’re talking incredibly moist, rich, full of robust chocolatey flavor with a tender crumb (that’s ANYTHING but dry) and just overall drool-worthy.

Based off my best vegan chocolate cake recipe, 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.

Sure, the fun and fancy flavored vegan cupcakes (like the ones in my cookbook!) are super delicious, but nothing beats this classic vegan chocolate cupcake recipe (and they pair great with my vegan vanilla cupcake recipe!).

bitten vegan chocolate cupcake

Need other veganized versions of classic base recipes? Check them out:

I just know that you’re going to absolutely love these undetectably eggless dairy free chocolate cupcakes!

vegan cupcakes on a cooling rack

Overview: How to make vegan chocolate cupcakes from scratch

I’ve outlined how to make these vegan chocolate cupcakes all in the YouTube video and recipe card below. You’ll find the full written instructions there, along with ingredient measurements in both cups and grams.

Watch how to make vegan chocolate cupcakes:

The written instructions just also outline how to make these cupcakes in a stand mixer.

To make these easy vegan chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. This is an important step to make sure that the leavening agents are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients: Add the oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and vegan buttermilk into a bowl, and whisk until combined.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients and whisk while you pour in the coffee. It’s imperative to not over mix the cupcake batter, as then your cupcakes will turn out more rubbery and lose their lift.
  4. Pour the batter into the cupcake tin and bake! I usually yield between 10-12 cupcakes and aim to fill them up about 3/4 of the way. Use the toothpick test to ensure that your cupcakes are completely done (and not over-baked!).

TIP: 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. Once you’ve made the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, let’s perfectly fost a cupcake:

  1. Start by squirting a bit of the vegan chocolate buttercreamfrosting into the middle of the cupcake.
  2. Then start spiraling out, twirling the cupcake or your piping tip as you go, laying the frosting to create the height of the frosting.
  3. 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!

liner pulled off of vegan chocolate cupcake

Why do I need to add hot water to chocolate cupcake batter?

This is a great question, as it goes against all advice of using “room temperature ingredients.” I totally get it! This is the one ingredient that you’re allowed and able to have not at room temperature.

The reason being is that adding hot water to the cocoa powder helps to bloom the cocoa powder. In other words, the cocoa powder will release more chocolate flavor throughout the cupcakes, yielding a much richer chocolate cupcake. 

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. I also have a wonderful small batch chocolate cupcake recipe that uses oat flour, which I’ve linked below in the “more cupcakes” section.

Alternatively, you can try my single layer 6″ small chocolate cake!

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.

frosted vegan chocolate cupcakes on a cooling rack

Important final tips & tricks for this recipe:

  • Use either applesauce or dairy free yogurt- don’t swap in flaxseed: My favorite vegan egg replacement for cupcakes is yogurt. 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, and will more closely resemble the texture that you would achieve with using real eggs. 
  • Don’t overfill the cupcake liner: I recommend filling the cupcakes about 3/4 of the way full. Any higher, and you’ll end up with a muffin top. Any lower, and your cupcakes won’t rise to the top of the muffin liner.
  • 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.
bitten chocolate cupcake

You are just going to love these easy vegan chocolate cupcakes! They’re perfect for any party and will be absolutely loved by anyone who tries them, vegan or not! If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This helps others find the recipes!

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

Happy chocolate cupcake baking!

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

MOIST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe - So easy! Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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frosted vegan chocolate cupcakes on a cooling rack

MOIST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe – So easy!

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Based off of my award winning vegan chocolate cake, these vegan chocolate cupcakes are moist, rich, tender, and topped with a silky chocolate frosting that’s unbelievably dairy free!



Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (157 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) neutral oil
  • 2 tbsp (35 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) hot water + 1 tsp dissolvable espresso powder

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) vegan butter, softened
  • 2 cups (260 grams) powdered sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup (100 grams) cocoa powder
  • 23 tbsp dairy free milk


  1. Please read through all instructions. Measure out all ingredients before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with liners. Make sure for the vegan buttermilk, the dairy-free milk and lemon juice/ACV are mixed together and set aside to curdle. 
  3. Prepare the dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the chocolate cupcakes batter: In a  large bowl with a hand mixer or whisk, mix together the neutral oil, sugar, brown sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and buttermilk until combined. Carefully add in about half of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and half of the coffee. Mix again lightly until almost all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add in the remaining dry mixture and coffee, being careful not to over mix the batter. 
  5. Bake: Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling the liners about 3/4 of the way full. You should get about 10-12 cupcakes. Place the cupcakes into the over and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool: 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.
  7. Make the vegan chocolate buttercream: 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 cocoa 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.
  8. Top the cupcakes: Fill a piping bag with a tip and pipe the vegan buttercream frosting onto the cool cupcakes. Serve and enjoy!


Gluten free: Swap in gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend.

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.

Hot coffee: If you don’t want to use coffee, you can simply use warm dairy free milk or sub in an herbal coffee, like Anima Mundi Herbals Happiness Powder.


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 280
  • Sugar: 36.7 g
  • Sodium: 225.4 mg
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.2 g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg