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five vegan chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting on top

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 11-12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan chocolate cupcakes are light and fluffy, moist, perfectly sweet, and topped with dairy-free chocolate buttercream frosting! This indulgent dessert is loaded with rich chocolate flavor. It’s easy to make, contains no milk, and no eggs. All chocolate lovers will enjoy this mouthwatering treat. It’s the best dessert for parties, birthdays, or any celebration!


Units Scale

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or a GF blend)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder (not dutch-processed)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond milk (must be room temperature)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter (2 sticks), slightly softened
  • 3 + 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 26 tbsp almond milk (as needed)


Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with parchment cupcake liners.
  2. Add room-temperature almond milk and distilled white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar/lemon juice) to a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle. After, add melted coconut oil and vanilla extract. Mix together.
  3. In a separate bowl, add flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix together until all clumps are removed.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until evenly incorporated; do not overmix the batter.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full with the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Then, let the cupcakes cool inside the muffin tin for at least 15 minutes. After, you can remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, create the chocolate buttercream frosting. Add vegan butter to a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter for 2-3 minutes or until creamy. I recommend starting on low speed and gradually increasing it.
  2. Add sifted cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt to the butter. Beat together until evenly combined. Then, add sifted powdered sugar. Beat together, adding splashes of almond milk (as needed) to thin the consistency.
  3. Transfer chocolate buttercream frosting to a piping bag. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Alternatively, simply spread the frosting onto the cupcakes using a knife. Enjoy!


  • You must use natural cocoa powder for the cupcakes. Check to make sure the label does not say “dutch-processed” or “processed with alkali” on it. If it just states “cocoa powder” that means it is natural. If you live in the US, Hershey’s regular cocoa powder is natural.
  • You must use room temperature almond milk for this recipe.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free baking flour blend. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 GF Baking Flour.
  • Since the amount of frosting will vary depending on your personal preference, the nutrition information below reflects just the cupcakes (without frosting).


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: vegan chocolate cupcakes, gluten-free cupcakes, vegan chocolate buttercream frosting