Side view of vegan chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting with bite taken out

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan)

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


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
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1  1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk 
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp beetroot powder
  • 1 1/2 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
  • 1/3 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



  1. Preheat oven to 335 F. Line a muffin/cupcake tin with liners.
  2. In a stand mixer or a mixing bowl + hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well incorporated. 
  3. Add in applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue mixing at a medium-low speed. 
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. 
  5. Slowly incorporate about half of the dry mixture into the wet, then slowly stream in almond milk. 
  6. Add remaining dry ingredients and melted chocolate. Beat until smooth and creamy. 
  7. Let batter sit for 20 minutes, and then use a cookie scoop to evenly portion batter into cupcake liners. 
  8. Bake for 26-28 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. 


  1. Make sure butter is completely softened. If you need to do this quickly, microwave in 7 second intervals until soft, but not melted. 
  2. Cream butter in stand mixer or in a mixing bowl with hand mixer. 
  3. When light and fluffy, slowly incorporate powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup at a time). 
  4. When fully incorporated, add remaining ingredients and continue mixing until light and fluffy. 
  5. To frost cupcakes, use a piping bag or simply use a knife or spatula. 
  6. Optional: sprinkle frosting with chocolate shavings. 

Keywords: vegan chocolate cupcakes