Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan chocolate fudge cupcakes with decadent chocolate buttercream. This recipe makes a dozen delicious chocolate cupcakes that are a breeze to make and taste like they’re from a bakery!

Chocolate cupcakes that are perfect for simply any celebration or occasion, but especially great to bake in time for Easter!

These chocolate cupcakes are soft, fluffy and topped with ultra smooth and creamy chocolate buttercream. One bite of these cupcakes and no one will guess they’re vegan.

The cupcake batter takes all of just 10 minutes to prepare. Start by making a vegan ‘buttermilk’ and to do this you’ll mix plant milk with vinegar – this mixture will help the cupcakes rise as they bake. In a mixing bowl you’ll combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Next, add oil and vanilla extract to the vegan ‘buttermilk’ mixture you prepared at the start of the recipe. Add that to your dry cake mix ingredients and then add plant milk/coffee and whisk until you have a smooth batter.

As with most chocolate cupcake batters, this one is runny so I’d recommend pouring the batter into a jug or using an ice cream scoop to distribute between the paper liners.

Bake the cupcakes until risen and springy to the touch. Then leave to cool completely, but as they cool you can make the buttercream and leave it in the fridge ready to decorate the cupcakes later on.

For this vegan chocolate buttercream, I swapped the butter for vegan baking spread, the icing sugar and cocoa powder is kept the same and then to lighten buttercream I’d normally add some double cream (I prefer adding cream instead of milk) so I switched my usual double cream for oat cream.

Testing out this vegan chocolate buttercream, I would say that the oat cream/plant milk is totally optional. I prefer a super creamy buttercream so add this extra ingredient to loosen my buttercream. However, even without the vegan cream the buttercream is easy to pipe, so don’t go out of your way to get vegan cream especially as your buttercream will taste great and have a wonderful creamy texture.

I usually make chocolate buttercream with melted chocolate, but I’d seen a lot of vegan chocolate buttercream recipes called for cocoa powder, so I decided to stick with adding cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate this time. This decision did have an added benefit too as it meant I could keep my supply of dark chocolate for future bakes and to snack on when I’m in need of some chocolate!

Top the cupcakes with grated dark chocolate, vegan mini speckled chocolate eggs or your desired cake decoration. If these cupcakes appear on your table over Easter I really do hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

120ml plant milk (I use soya but any plant milk will work)

1 and 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

200g caster/granulated or dark/light brown sugar

180g plain flour

40g cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

80ml vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

120ml plant milk + 1 teaspoon instant coffee – the milk will need to be warmed before adding the coffee

Chocolate Buttercream: 

150g dairy-free baking spread

400g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

30g cocoa powder, sifted

2-3 tablespoons vegan cream or plant milk (optional) – add enough until the buttercream has reached your preferred consistency

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. To make the cupcakes: In a jug, mix together 120ml plant milk with the vinegar and leave it to one side – this makes a vegan-style buttermilk and will help the cupcakes rise when baking.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Whisk together until combined.
  4. Now add the oil to the plant milk/vinegar mixture you prepared earlier and mix together. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients along with the vanilla extract.
  5. Heat the remaining 120ml plant milk until warm (approx. 30 seconds in the microwave will do or place on the stove top and heat until warm) and add the coffee. Stir to dissolve the coffee in the milk and then add this mixture to the other ingredients.
  6. Whisk until you have a smooth batter free of any lumps. Distribute the cupcake batter between the paper liners and bake for 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  7. To make the buttercream: In a large mixing bowl, cream the dairy-free baking spread until softened – about a minute or two should do. Now add the icing sugar in two batches, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and continue mixing for a further 5-7 minutes until the buttercream is pale and creamy.
  8. Add cocoa powder and the vegan cream/plant milk (if using) and mix for another 30 seconds until thoroughly combined. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with piping nozzle and decorate the cupcakes. You can spread the buttercream on each cupcake if you prefer. Decorate the cupcakes further as desired.

The cupcakes will keep stored in airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to a week.

Enjoy!

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Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

A perfect cupcake for when you can’t decide whether you fancy chocolate or vanilla cake! This simple cupcake recipe consists of chocolate and vanilla cake batter layered together and decorated with a swirl of milk chocolate buttercream. 

Sometimes I want a chocolate cake and other times I really crave a vanilla cake, but when you combine the two in a cake you’ve created a truly special cupcake treat.

My sister bakes amazing marble cakes and this cake really is a super popular birthday cake choice in our house because you get the taste of chocolate and vanilla together!

I asked on my social media platforms what cupcake recipes you wanted to see on the blog and I had some delicious responses. My friend, Alice, suggested baking marble cupcakes and I figured because I hadn’t shared a marble cake/cupcakes recipe on here yet, it was time to do something about that!

As you know already if you’ve baked/read recipes from this blog you’ll know I only share easy recipes that are totally fail-proof. The last thing I want you to do is waste your time and money on recipes that don’t work and you’re unhappy with. I love putting a big smile on you and your family and friends faces with my recipes!

This cupcake batter is super easy to prepare. It’s made the same way I make the batter for this Classic Victoria Sandwich, but this time we’re splitting the batter into two and adding cocoa powder to one part of the batter. The only bad part is there’s one more bowl to wash up once you’re done baking, but these cupcakes are worth it!

To construct the cupcakes ready for baking, once you’ve filled your cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases, dollop a spoonful of vanilla batter in one paper case, then repeat the previous step this time with a spoonful of chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter (or do this the opposite way round if you prefer). Then continue to repeat alternating the batters until all the paper cases are 3/4 full and you’ve used up both cake batters. Seriously so easy and these cupcakes look impressive when they’re baked!

The cupcakes suit a whole host of different buttercream recipes. I picked to decorate my cupcakes with milk chocolate buttercream, but cream cheese frosting or even vanilla or white chocolate buttercream would pair well with the cupcakes.

I used my favourite ultra creamy milk chocolate buttercream recipe to top the cupcakes. I had a slight ingredient problem in my kitchen before baking these as I was running low on icing sugar and we couldn’t get any in our shopping and to make things worse I also discovered that my muffin tin was thrown out by accident < every bakers absolute nightmare! So first I had to order a new tin to bake the cupcakes and then I had to improvise by making icing sugar ready for my buttercream! Simply using my blender (which I use to make smoothies) I blended caster sugar with cornflour. I worried how it would turn out, but I’m impressed how easy it was to make my own.

If you’re looking for a new cupcake recipe to bake during lockdown, here’s my super simple and yummy marble cupcakes. These cupcakes lasted less than a day in our house, I think that tells you just how good these cupcakes taste. Enjoy everyone!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter: 

175g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

175g caster or granulated sugar

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175g self-raising flour, sifted

50ml milk

3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

125g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

200g milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly – you can use a mix of dark/milk or use all white chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons double cream or milk (sometimes I add a tablespoon extra to make it creamier)

Small pinch of salt (add a pinch extra if using unsalted butter)

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. To make the cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until creamy and pale in colour. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well before adding the next and also add the vanilla – don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled as once you add the flour it will be fine.
  3. Now fold through the sifted flour and once the flour is nearly all mixed through add the milk and mix until combined.
  4. Split the batter into two portions – this doesn’t have to be exactly equal. Then stir the cocoa powder into one batter until incorporated.
  5. Take a spoonful of vanilla batter and add to the paper case, then place a spoonful of the chocolate batter in top. Repeat until all the cake batter has been used up.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transport them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  7. To make the buttercream: Cream the butter for a minute to soften. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat for about 5 minutes until it’s fluffy and has turned pale in colour. Add the melted chocolate along with the cream and a pinch of salt. Mix until just combined.
  8. Decorate the cupcakes as desired, I pipe buttercream on the tops of mine but you can also spread the buttercream with knife on top of the cupcakes. Add sprinkles if you like – I used white chocolate stars from Cake Angels Sweetie Pie Sprinkles which were kindly gifted to me to bake with during lockdown.

The cupcakes will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Love cupcakes? Try these recipes next!

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy!

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