Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

These vegan chocolate cupcakes are rich, decadent, and loaded with chocolaty flavor. Easy to make and perfect for everything from special occasions to just treating yourself!

There’s just something about cupcakes, am I right? I mean, I love a big fat slice of vegan chocolate cake, but cupcakes feel kind of special. Is it the cute little packaging? The vegan chocolate frosting that gets piled on top? I don’t know, but cake in cupcake form is my favorite.

Especially when it’s chocolate.

These vegan chocolate cupcakes were especially excellent.

What You’ll Need

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake with the Paper Partially Removed, with Additional Cupcakes in the Background
  • Non-dairy milk. Pretty much any variety will do (I used almond). Just make sure it’s unflavored and unsweetened.
  • Vinegar. The recipe calls for plain old white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works too.
  • Oil. Any neutral baking oil will work, such as vegetable, canola, or coconut. I used canola.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Flour. Were using plain old all-purpose wheat flour. I haven’t tested the recipe with any other types.
  • Cocoa powder. Make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • White sugar. Use organic to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Brown sugar. This isn’t an ingredient you’d normally find in a chocolate cupcake recipe, but it adds depth of flavor. Again, use organic to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Baking powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Cinnamon. This is optional, but it really brings out the flavor of the chocolate.
  • Salt.
  • Frosting. I love these cupcakes with my vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, but use what you like!

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make vegan chocolate cupcakes. Scroll down if you’d prefer to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by stirring your liquid ingredients together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup: milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
  • Now whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl: flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Form a well in the center of your dry ingredients, then pour in the liquid ingredients.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat the ingredients together until fully mixed, about 1 minute. Be sure not to overmix the batter.
Collage Showing 4 Steps for Making Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Batter: Mix Liquid Ingredients, Mix Dry Ingredients, Pour Liquid Ingredients into Dry, and Blend with Electric Mixer
  • Divide the batter among paper lined muffin tins.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Batter in a Cupcake Tin
  • Pop the tin into the oven and bake the cupcakes until they’re done! You can test for doneness by gently pressing on the top of one with your finger — the cupcake should spring back when you remove it.
  • Move the tin to a cooling rack and let the cupcakes cool completely before removing them from the tin.
Unfrosted Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes on a Wooden Surface
  • Top your vegan chocolate cupcakes with frosting, or skip it and eat them plain (but why would you?).
Chocolate Frosting Being Piped onto a Vegan Chocolate Cupcake

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Tips & FAQ

  • Can these cupcakes be made gluten-free? I’m not sure, but I think your best bet would be to use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend if you’d like to try.
  • Shelf-life & storage: Store any leftover cupcakes in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • This recipe makes big cupcakes! If you prefer smaller ones, or find that the batter is barely fitting into your muffin tin, feel free to make them smaller and make a few extra. The bake time might be slightly less if you do this.
  • Why do the sugars need to be organic? Most sugar in the United States is processed using animal bone char. Organic sugar is processed differently, so it’s considered vegan.
  • Why does this recipe contain vinegar? Is it necessary? The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to help your cupcakes rise. In fact, mixing it with non-dairy milk is akin to making a vegan buttermilk! It is a necessary component of the recipe, but I promise you won’t be able to taste it.
  • Help! My cupcakes aren’t rising. Why not? Usually this is due to old baking soda and/or baking powder. Test your baking soda by sprinkling a small amount in a glass of vinegar. Do the same for baking powder, but using water. Both should fizz. If either doesn’t, it’s time to replace it.
  • What kind of frosting is best for vegan chocolate cupcakes? Vegan chocolate buttercream frosting is great if you like chocolate on chocolate. If you prefer a vanilla frosting, try vegan vanilla buttercream frosting.
  • Prefer vanilla cupcakes? I’ve got you covered! Try my vegan vanilla cupcakes recipe.

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Many Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting on Top


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

These vegan chocolate cupcakes are rich, decadent, and loaded with chocolaty flavor. Easy to make and perfect for everything from special occasions to just treating yourself!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan baking, vegan chocolate recipe, vegan cupcake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 201kcal
Author Alissa Saenz


  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or baking oil of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegan frosting of choice, for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers.
  • In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Use a spoon to form a well in the center of the flour mixture, then pour in the milk mixture.
  • Use an electric mixer at high-speed to beat the ingredients for 1 minute, until fully combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  • Place the tin into the oven and bake the cupcakes for about 25 to 27 minutes. Test for doneness by gently pressing on the top of one with a finger — it will spring back when done.
  • Transfer the tin to a cooling rack and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them.


Nutrition information does not include frosting.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.3g | Protein: 2.8g | Fat: 7.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 18.6g | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

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