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bitten vegan chocolate cupcake on a wooden table

Best Easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes (Gluten Free option)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 24
  • Total Time: 34 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


These vegan chocolate cupcakes are the BEST chocolate cupcakes you will ever have!  Super rich, fluffy, and moist, these easy vegan chocolate cupcakes will turn any vanilla lover into a chocolate lover! 



Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) homemade vegan buttermilk, room temperature*
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all purpose flour, sifted *see note for gluten free option
  • 5 tbsp (30 g) all natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) coconut sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (83 g) unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) hot coffee (caffeinated or decaffeinated*)

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, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. Make the chocolate cupcakes batter: In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer or whisk, mix together the melted vegan butter, sugar, and applesauce until combined. Carefully add in about half of the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and half of the vegan buttermilk. Mix again lightly until almost all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, being careful not to over mix the batter. Finally, pour in the hot coffee and mix to incorporate throughout 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 22-24 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 Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag, for gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes.

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

Keywords: vegan chocolate cupcakes, vegan chocolate cupcake recipe, best chocolate cupcakes, vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, vegan cupcakes