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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 8 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