Vegan red velvet cupcakes are soft, fluffy, moist, and topped with a thick swirl of vanilla buttercream frosting! The simple recipe is made with pantry staples, like coconut milk and coconut oil. They are dairy-free, gluten-free friendly, and so easy to make. These red chocolate cupcakes are a festive dessert for Valentine’s Day!

three vegan red velvet cupcakes on a round marble board

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? These fluffy miniature cakes are the perfect vehicle for sweet buttercream frosting. If you’re a fan of this dessert, you may have already tried my Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes and Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes. Today, I’m sharing another classic flavor: Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes!

These deep red cupcakes are soft, light, and super moist. They contain a hint of rich chocolate flavor and a thick swirl of vanilla frosting on top. You can decorate them with sprinkles, red velvet cake crumbs, or leave them plain.

Pro tip: If it’s near Valentine’s Day, add pink and red sprinkles. If it’s the holiday season, add green sprinkles for a festive Christmas treat.

These red velvet cupcakes are:

  • Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free friendly
  • Sweet, soft, fluffy, and moist
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Made with pantry staples // simple ingredients
  • A delicious vegan Valentine’s Day dessert!
vegan red velvet cupcakes with a bite taken out of the center one

What are vegan red velvet cupcakes made of?

  • Flour: All-purpose flour, otherwise known as plain flour, is best for this recipe. However, if you follow a gluten-free diet, use 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose baking flour instead.
  • Sugar: Regular cane sugar sweetens these cupcakes. I don’t recommend using another sweetener.
  • Coconut milk: Be sure to use full-fat canned coconut milk, not light coconut milk. It is found in the Asian food aisle at grocery stores. Shake the can well before opening.
  • Coconut oil: Use refined or unrefined coconut oil. The refined variety is flavorless and odorless, while the unrefined variety has a strong coconut flavor.
  • Cocoa powder: A couple spoonfuls of cocoa powder creates a hint of chocolate flavor.
  • Vinegar: When it is paired with non-dairy milk, distilled white vinegar creates a “dairy-free buttermilk” for baked goods. Alternatively, use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: These leavening agents help the cupcakes rise, creating a light and fluffy texture.
  • Red food coloring: Liquid red food coloring creates the deep red appearance.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla enhances the cocoa flavor.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt balances the sweet ingredients.
a pile of ingredients for vegan red velvet cupcakes

How to make dairy-free red velvet cupcakes

For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners.

In a bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix together until all of the clumps are removed.

In a separate bowl, add coconut milk and distilled white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) to a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle. After, add melted coconut oil, red food coloring, and vanilla extract. Mix together.

Then, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until evenly incorporated; do not over-mix the batter.

a four part photo collage showing how to make vegan red velvet cupcakes batter

Next, fill the cupcake liners ⅔ full with the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool inside the tin for at least 10 minutes. After, you can remove them from the tin to cool completely.

How to make vegan frosting with coconut milk

Instead of cream cheese, this vegan frosting for red velvet cupcakes contains a touch of coconut milk. In particular, we’ll use canned full-fat coconut milk.

First, add cubed vegan butter, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt to a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat together until creamy.

Then, add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together until evenly combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar to the bowl, and beat together again. If needed, add extra splashes of coconut milk to thin the frosting.

Lastly, pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cupcakes. If desired, decorate with sprinkles or red velvet cake crumbs. Enjoy!

a four part photo collage showing how to make vegan red velvet cupcakes and coconut milk frosting

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Are red velvet cupcakes just chocolate?

Nope! Red velvet cupcakes have far less cocoa than chocolate cupcakes. As a result, the chocolate flavor is less intense. Red velvet cupcakes and cakes contain just a hint of chocolate.

What is red velvet batter made of?

Red velvet batter contains the same ingredients as your typical cake batter (flour, sugar, oil, butter, etc). However, it also contains cocoa powder and red food coloring. This combination creates a deep red color, hence the “red velvet” name.

Why are my red velvet cupcakes not red?

If your cupcakes are not red, you likely did not use enough food coloring. I recommend using 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of liquid red food dye for this recipe.

What’s the difference between vegan cupcakes and regular cupcakes?

Regular cupcakes and vegan cupcakes are nearly identical in flavor and texture, but the latter uses dairy-free ingredients and no eggs. For example, this recipe uses dairy-free milk and dairy-free butter.

vegan red velvet cupcakes with coconut milk vanilla frosting

How to store red velvet cupcakes

These vegan red velvet cupcakes are best enjoyed the same day you bake them. However, if you have leftovers, store them in a sealed container inside the refrigerator. They will keep for 3-4 days. Let them come to room temperature before enjoying.

three vegan red velvet cupcakes with coconut milk frosting

More vegan cupcake recipes

If you try these Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!

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three vegan red velvet cupcakes on a round marble board

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan red velvet cupcakes recipe is easy, dairy-free, and gluten-free friendly! These deep red cupcakes are soft, fluffy, moist, and contain a hint of chocolate flavor. The simple recipe is made with pantry staples like coconut milk and coconut oil. They are topped with a thick swirl of vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s a perfect vegan Valentine’s Day dessert! #redvelvet #cupcakes #vegancupcakes #cupcakerecipe #vegandessert #veganbaking #vegancake #cupcakerecipes


Ingredients

Units Scale

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp liquid red food coloring
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp natural cocoa powder (not dutch-processed)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Vanilla Frosting


Instructions

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix together until all of the clumps are removed.
  3. In a separate bowl, add coconut milk and distilled white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) to a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle. After, add melted coconut oil, red food coloring, and vanilla extract. Mix together.
  4. Then, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until evenly incorporated; do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Next, fill the cupcake liners ⅔ full with the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool inside the tin for at least 10 minutes. After, you can remove them from the tin to cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting

  1. First, add cubed vegan butter, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt to a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat together until creamy.
  2. Then, add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together until evenly combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar to the bowl, and beat together again. If needed, add extra splashes of coconut milk to thin the frosting.
  3. Lastly, pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cupcakes. If desired, decorate with sprinkles or red velvet cake crumbs. Enjoy!

Notes

  • How to store: These are best enjoyed the same day you bake them. However, if you have leftovers, store them in a sealed container inside the refrigerator. They will keep for 3-4 days. Let them come to room temperature before enjoying.
  • Coconut oil: Measure melted coconut oil, not solid coconut oil. In order to melt coconut oil, microwave it for 45 seconds.
  • Powdered sugar: Start with 3 cups of powdered sugar. Increase to 4 cups if you would like a sweeter flavor.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 462
  • Sugar: 44g
  • Fat: 24g
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g

Keywords: vegan red velvet cupcakes, dairy-free red velvet cupcakes

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