You need these Classic Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes in your life. They're easy to make, decadent and topped with a rich vanilla buttercream frosting swirl and shaved dark chocolate. Plus, they're gluten free and have a *secret* healthy ingredient!
This recipe in particular hits a happy medium by being egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free yet flavor-full, so everyone can enjoy.
Just starting your vegan baking journey?
These vegan chocolate cupcakes are the perfect place to start. They're rich, chocolatey and surprisingly easy to make. These cuties are definitely easier than baking a full cake, which is why I suppose cupcakes are so popular.
Everyone needs a basic vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. Even if you're not vegan, it's the perfect allergy-friendly but tasty dessert to make for your vegan or dairy-free friend's birthday.
They'll love you forever, I promise. Seriously, vegan people get way more excited about yummy baked goods than most people.
Sometimes when I'm traveling in a big city, I literally plan my whole day around finding the best possible vegan/gluten free bakery. We don't have too many options in southeast Michigan, so it's a real treat.
(By the way, if you're ever in NYC I highly suggest making a stop at Erin McKenna's Bakery! They also have locations in L.A. and Orlando.)
When it comes to cupcakes, or any kind of cake, I am definitely Team Frosting.
IMO, it's the best part of any dessert. I used to be mystified by vegan buttercream frosting, but it's actually quite simple. As long as your butter is softened to room temp, the frosting is very simple to whip up.
Oh, you should also know that it's impossible to get this texture and smoothness without at least 3 cups of powdered sugar. Believe me, we've tried using less sugar (because we get that question a lot), but it just doesn't stabilize without at least three cups.
Hey, you're having dessert after all! And without dairy or eggs, why not embrace a little sugar in your buttercream?
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned a *secret* healthy ingredient.
Surprise! It's beet powder.
It's really not all that exotic, but we throw in an extra tablespoon of red beet powder for a slight nutritional boost. It also cuts down on the sweetness a bit, which isn't a bad thing considering the sugar in the vegan buttercream.
We get all of our beet products from our pals over at Love Beets - check them out here! We love the health benefits of beets so much that we've been known to throw them in everything from winter salads to summer popsicles, and now chocolate cupcakes.
One you try this recipe, we think you'll be on board with beets too!
More vegan and gluten free desserts
Now that you've got this vegan, gluten-free chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting recipe in your back pocket, here are a few more classic desserts to try:
- S'mores Brownies
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
- Salted Dark Chocolate Mousse
If you make these classic vegan chocolate cupcakes, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
You need this Classic Vegan Chocolate Cupcake recipe in your life. They're easy, decadent and topped with a rich vanilla buttercream frosting swirl and shaved dark chocolate. Plus, they're gluten free and have a *secret* healthy ingredient!
- 5 tbsp vegan butter, softened
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp cane sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups almond milk
- 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp beetroot powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (only use if your GF flour doesn't contain it)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup melted vegan chocolate chips
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 2 tsp almond milk or dairy free creamer
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 335 F. Line a muffin/cupcake tin with liners.
- In a stand mixer or a mixing bowl + hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well incorporated.
- Add in applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue mixing at a medium-low speed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Slowly incorporate about half of the dry mixture into the wet, then slowly stream in almond milk.
- Add remaining dry ingredients and melted chocolate. Beat until smooth and creamy.
- Let batter sit for 20 minutes, and then use a cookie scoop to evenly portion batter into cupcake liners.
- Bake for 26-28 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
- Make sure butter is completely softened. If you need to do this quickly, microwave in 7 second intervals until soft, but not melted.
- Cream butter in stand mixer or in a mixing bowl with hand mixer.
- When light and fluffy, slowly incorporate powdered sugar (about ½ cup at a time).
- When fully incorporated, add remaining ingredients and continue mixing until light and fluffy.
- To frost cupcakes, use a piping bag or simply use a knife or spatula.
- Optional: sprinkle frosting with chocolate shavings.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan chocolate cupcakes