Friday, June 25, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Yes, I made vegan cupcakes and I want you to know they were very good. Not just okay, or “not bad for a vegan recipe” but very, very good. In fact, I think they turned out better than the cupcakes that I made from my favourite Chocolate Cake recipe.

I had not originally set out to make something vegan but circumstances pushed me in that direction and the result was a nice surprise. I was bringing cupcakes to my daughter’s kindergarten class for her birthday but it turned out that one of the little guys in her class had a dairy and egg allergy. I decided that I would find a vegan recipe so he could have a cupcake too.

Being the skeptical sort, my original intention was to make the regular chocolate cupcakes for the class and just bring a couple of the vegan cupcakes for him. Then, by one of the mysterious laws of baking, the cupcakes from my usually oh so moist and wonderful Chocolate Cake recipe turned out a little dry. This seems to be a fairly common problem. Something that works so well in the larger cake form does not hold up in the smaller cupcake version. When the vegan ones turned out so fluffy, moist and rich I decided to bring them for everyone.

Up until now I had been unconvinced that you could make something as light and airy as a cake without the use of butter, milk or eggs. Most of the vegan baked goods I had tried so far always seemed a little…meh. Well, this recipe has made me a believer and it made me a little curious. I decided to search around on the web to find other vegan baking recipes and I came across this site. Now, I’m not saying I am giving up baking with butter, milk and eggs, but I am definitely open to trying new things. Plus, it never hurts to have a full bag of tricks for when you just have to have a cake, or a cookie, or a pie, or a pudding, or…

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
from a recipe found at the Instructables website

for the Cake:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon distilled apple cider vinegar

for the glaze:

1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons margarine or vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons soy milk
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease and flour the cups well.
In an medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Make sure that all the ingredients are well blended. Add the warm water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar. Stir until well combined. Do not overmix.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cakes spring back when you lightly touch the centre. Remove from oven. After 5 minutes, carefully remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Make the glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, margarine, water, milk, and cocoa to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla and stir for 5 minutes.

Using a tablespoon, pour a little of the glaze over each cupcake.  Add sprinkles, if desired.


  1. I am going to try these. I am not a vegan but a girlfriend of mine has 2 sons who are. If this works for me, she will want to make them for her boys. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice to see a bit of vegan stuff, and to hear that it worked well.

  3. I have to tell you that these were AMAZING!! Not too sweet, beautifully moist without being sticky, not crumbly. Honestly, they were just about the best cupcake I've ever had. And I have to give you kudos for being conscientious of a child's allergy. As the parent of a son with a severe allergy to nuts, I appreciate people who are so careful and thoughtful.

    I am definitely going to try to bake these myself!

  4. I love how the cupcakes are dripping in chocolate!! Great Pictures!! YUM!!!
    Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

  5. Yum! I looove the gooey-looking frosting.

    Some of the best cupcake recipes I've seen and made (like these) use coconut milk, and I think the moisture it lends is superb. I wonder what these would be like with coconut milk instead of the water!

  6. These look incredibly yummy. I could lick the screen!! :)

  7. These look incredible- can't barely believe they're vegan!

    Love that first picture of the frosting dripping over the sides! I just wanna dig right into one!

  8. Hi Amber Shea, I was thinking the same thing. I made them according to the recipe the first time but I was thinking coconut milk or almond milk if I made them again.

  9. These might also be good if you sub coffee for the water, not for kids, but us grown ups love a good cupcake as well!! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Hi Penelope, Good thinking! I will have to try that next time, I love coffee and chocolate together and I bet it would work really well in this recipe.

  11. Looks super yummy!!! perfect with a cup of coffee. I am a fan of yummy cup cakes and soothing coffee :) I might do that at home :)

  12. I'll definitely be trying this one soon, would you happen to know the calories?

  13. Hi Anonymous, I'm sorry I don't know the calorie count but I would imagine it would be very close to the calorie count I found on this similar recipe

    I hope that helps. If you try them let me know how it works out.

  14. they look delicious! i was wondering if you know how well these cup cakes store?

  15. Hi Bobby's Girl, We ate them so fast that I'm not sure but I think they would be fine for a couple of days in an airtight container. If you are not eating them right away I would wait to glaze them. I found the glaze was a little runny and soaked a bit into the cupcakes, so you would not want them to sit for long like that.

  16. so cute. Beautiful photos. I hope you will submit this recipe to my new "vegan finds" website: ~Kathy

  17. I love chocolates! This cupcakes is suit for my taste. The chocolate toppings are glistening in appearance which is perfect.

  18. Replace vegetable oil with the same quantity of apple sauce to make them virtually fat-free.

  19. These were so good! Definitely going to make them again.


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