I'm just putting it out there: this recipe is a keeper. The thing with vegan cake is once you find a good recipe, you stick to it and NEVER LET IT GO. That's exactly I did with these easy vegan chocolate cupcakes!
These decadent cupcakes are the perfect thing to make for birthday parties and celebrations. The cupcakes come together quickly and are topped with a delicious coconut milk ganache. However, if you are in a pinch, store-bought is fine (as queen Ina Garten would say).
Why you'll love these cupcakes
- They're completely vegan-friendly and made with no weird ingredients
- They're moist, fluffy, rich and chocolatey all at the same time.
- Coconut milk ganache frosting.
- See reason number 3 🙂
How to make vegan cupcakes rise
Some vegan cupcake recipes call for weird ingredients like flax eggs, avocados (?), applesauce, and vinegar. Tasty ingredients nonetheless, but they have no place in a chocolate cupcake recipe. You'll be happy to hear these cupcakes are made with NO weird ingredients, NO eggs, and NO dairy! And best of all, they're loved by vegans and meat-eaters alike!
The secret to making vegan cupcakes rise comes in the form of bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice. These ingredients undergo a chemical reaction in the oven to produce carbon dioxide gas, which translates as the air bubbles in our cake. You should see the reaction starting when you mix the lemon juice into the batter!
So making cupcakes = science experiment = basically homework, right?
How to make vegan chocolate cupcakes
As always, you'll find the full recipe and instructions at the bottom of this blog post.
First, cream together dairy-free butter and sugar until fluffy (photo 1). Mix in vanilla extract then gradually add the dry ingredients and soy milk in increments (photo 2). Finally, stir in the bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice (photo 3).
Divide the batter between cupcake cases (photo 4) and bake until domed on top (photo 5). Finally, top with the chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of cacao nibs (photo 6).
Notes on this recipe
- Don't open the oven during the first 10 minutes of baking or else the cupcakes will deflate.
- Leave the cupcakes to cool COMPLETELY before frosting them.
- Don't overmix the batter.
The ganache does take a while to firm up but it is worth it for the delicious flavour. If you are in a pinch you can enjoy the cupcakes plain or top with store-bought icing.
Apply even pressure starting from the outside and pipe a swirl which works its way inwards. You can practice piping the ganache on a sheet of greaseproof paper first if you'd like.
You can store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More vegan baking recipes:
Easy Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- ⅓ cup/ 100 grams Dairy-Free Spread I use Vitalite
- ½ cup/ 140 grams Caster Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ⅔ cup/ 240 ml Soy Milk
- 1 ¼ cups/ 250 grams Plain Flour
- ½ cup/ 50 grams Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
For the Ganache:
- 1.5 oz/ 50 grams Dark Chocolate roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup/ 75 ml Coconut Milk canned, full-fat
- 1 tablespoon Cacao Nibs optional
Make the Ganache:
- Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over low-medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges.
- Take off the heat, and add the chopped dark chocolate. Mix until smooth and store in the fridge overnight, or in the freezer for an hour.
Make the Cupcakes:
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the dairy-free spread and sugars with a wooden spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the soy milk to the larger bowl in 4-5 increments, folding after each addition.
- Stir in the lemon juice. As the lemon juice reacts with the bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will increase in volume. Fold gently so as to not lose any air bubbles.
- Divide the cupcake batter between the 12 muffin cases. Tip: use a ladle or ice cream scoop to evenly portion out the mixture!
- Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Transfer the cooled ganache to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe on the ganache in a swirl starting from the outside. Sprinkle on the cacao nibs and enjoy!
- Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for up to 3 days.
- If you wish, you can fold in 1 oz/ 30 grams dark chocolate chips to the cupcake batter after step 4, to make triple chocolate cupcakes!