Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Here’s to my first vegan cupcake recipe – hooray! I am so pleased with how this turned out. After quite a few failed attempts, I think I finally nailed eggless, vegan chocolate cupcakes. I already have similar recipes that are already GF/DF but didn’t realise how hard it would be to take out the egg and make it still as good. Perseverance took me there in the end. I hope you think it was worth it! You’ll have to bake these yourself and see.

I wanted to keep the beautifully light spongy texture I managed with my ‘egg-containing’ recipe. After experimenting with both plain and self-raising flour, I actually found the latter to be really useful for this part. That and the sieving of ingredients to add in extra air. Make sure not to skip any of these steps – I promise the extra few minutes will help immensely.

Not only are these unbelievably soft, but they are so moreish. You’d never know they were GF and vegan. It is so easy to indulge in more than one as they are really light. Plus, the addition of the buttercream adds a beautiful depth to the cake too. I find having the melted chocolate in there brings out its decadence.

I was actually tasked with making these by a few people. I have had quite a few messages for more ‘veganised’ recipes as well as some vegan friends asking to try my bakes. I thought it was time to try it out! I can’t wait to try and make vegan versions of other recipes too. I have also been asked to do this for my sugar cinnamon doughnuts.

One thing I did differently to my usual cupcakes is I decided to brown my butter first. This gave the cakes so much flavour! In a way, it was subtly nutty and gave a ‘nutella’ feel. Without the nuts, of course. I only recently started using browned butter in my recipes but have noticed a huge difference in taste. It really enhances the tones of the bake and brings it alive. Will definitely be using this more. On this note though, make sure to be careful when browning your butter. There is a fine line between browned and burnt. I find a good tip is to move the butter into a bowl after heating to prevent further cooking in the saucepan.

You’ll honestly be so surprised these are vegan – my partner and friends didn’t know until I told them. They have been going down a treat at work with colleagues too. You could always whip up a batch of these and accompany them with my boozy Black Forest style cupcakes too. Just make those vegan, if you wish, by using the base recipe from here.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten-free, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Decorating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, British, European
Servings 15 Cupcakes
Calories 358 kcal


  • Oven
  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing Bowl x2
  • Whisk
  • Sieve
  • Bain-Marie/Microwave
  • Small bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Spatula
  • 15 cupcake cases
  • Cupcake baking tray
  • Scoop/spoon
  • Piping bag
  • Piping nozzle


For the chocolate cupcake sponge

  • 240 grams Gluten-free Self-raising Flour
  • 25 grams Cacao Powder
  • 160 grams Caster sugar
  • 75 grams Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice Substitute: apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
  • 100 grams Dairy-free Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 220 ml Plant-based Milk Recommendation: coconut or GF oat
  • 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 150 grams Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

For the chocolate buttercream icing

  • 160 grams Dairy-free Butter
  • 165 grams Icing Sugar
  • 15 grams Cacao Powder
  • 100 grams Vegan Chocolate Suggestion: mix of milk and dark chocolate


To make the chocolate cupcake sponges

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C (conventional) or 180 °C (fan)
  • Line a cupcake tray with cupcake baking cases and set aside
  • Sieve the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum into a mixing bowl
  • Add the salt, brown and white sugar to the bowl and mix together then set aside
  • Add the butter to a saucepan and gently heat on a medium setting until it reaches just past boiling point (about 5 minutes) which will cause the butter to become browned, giving a beautifully nutty taste
  • Move the butter to a small bowl to prevent it from burning
  • Make a well in the centre of the bowl containing the flour and sugar and add in the butter, vanilla extract, milk and lemon juice then mix in until combined
  • Whisk the mixture to give extra fluffiness and body
  • Finally add in the chocolate chips and gently fold in, making sure to keep as much air in as possible
  • Using a scoop (or spoon), place the batter evenly into the baking cases and then pop into the oven
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes (I do this in two batches)
  • Once baked, remove from the cake tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely

To make the buttercream frosting

  • Beat together the butter, milk, vanilla extract and icing sugar until a stiff but malleable buttercream forms (you can use a whisk to help remove any lumps)

Constructing the cupcakes

  • Open a piping bag and place the nozzle down to the bottom of the bag (do not cut it yet)
  • Add the buttercream into the piping bag and then clip the end of the bag when ready
  • Carefully pipe the buttercream over the top of the cupcake, starting on the outer edge and spiraling inwards
  • Decorate with any extras you like (I added some melted chocolate and chocolate buttons)
  • Enjoy!


  • Calories include the cupcake sponge and buttercream but no additional toppings
  • Storage: in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days
Keyword Buttercream, Chocolate, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cupcake, Cupcake, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Icing, Nut free, Vegan
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