Vegan Sweets: 7 Recipes to Satisfy Your Cupcake Cravings

Although milk, eggs, and other animal byproducts are frequently found in cupcake recipes, vegan-friendly alternatives that can be used in making these confections — and the results — are just as delicious! Using creative substitutes like almond and soy milk, vegan margarines, agave, and even tofu products can result in chewy, moist, and altogether delicious cupcakes that everyone — including non-vegans — will enjoy. These 7 recipes make rich, moist, and totally shareable cupcakes. Try making all of them and indulge the vegan way!

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Vegan Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

The snickerdoodle cookie originated sometime in the late 1800s, according to Bake Me More, and remains one of the world’s most beloved varieties to this day. It mixes the spiced goodness of cinnamon in with the sugary richness of cookie batter, coming in somewhere right behind chocolate chip in the world’s collective cookie rankings. Indulge in a spinoff variety of the confection with these rich, moist, cinnamon-infused cupcakes. This recipe from the Pretty Bee takes about 35 minutes to complete and yields 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1½ cups white spelt flour
  • ¾ cups coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Frosting

  • ¼ cup vegan buttery spread
  • 2¾ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1-3 tablespoons almond milk
  • Cinnamon for top

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

To make the cupcakes, put the dry ingredients in a bowl, and whisk to blend. Add the wet ingredients and beat with a mixer on medium speed. Fill each muffin cup about two thirds full with batter. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until cupcakes have risen and are golden brown. Let fully cool on cooling rack before frosting.

To make the frosting, whip the vegan buttery spread on medium speed. Add the powdered sugar and one tablespoon of almond milk and continue to blend together. If the frosting is too thick, add a little more milk until the desired thickness is reached.

Frost the cupcakes and dust with cinnamon.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

These fluffy Funfetti-inspired cupcakes are loaded with colorful sprinkles and infused with a buttery vanilla flavor. Using simple vegan substitutions like vegan butter and a non-dairy milk (almond, rice, or soy) will keep these cupcakes — and their frosting — deliciously moist and light. This recipe from Minimalist Baker takes about an hour to complete and yields 12 vegan-friendly servings.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened
  • Scant 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup rainbow sprinkles + more for topping

Frosting

  • ½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter, softened
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Splash non-dairy milk

Directions: To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a standard muffin holder with 12 paper liners. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out non-dairy milk and add vinegar or lemon juice. Let set to curdle/activate. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer. Then add sugar and vanilla and beat until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add dry ingredients (omitting sprinkles) to a sifter in this order: 1 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and then remaining 1/2 cup flour. Sift over butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the almond milk mixture. Blend until until well incorporated and no large lumps remain. Add sprinkles and gently fold/stir with a rubber spatula or mixing spoon.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake holders making sure not to overfill. Bake on a center rack for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They will have a slight golden brown color. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make the frosting, wipe clean your mixing bowl and add softened butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Then add vanilla and mix once more. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Drizzle in a little non-dairy milk to thin. You want this frosting to be thick so it will hold its shape once on the cupcakes.

Once cooled, frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Serve immediately. Store leftovers covered at room temperature or refrigerated.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Vegan Green Tea Cupcakes With Caramel

These unique cupcakes have a light vanilla base topped with a perfectly sweet frosting infused with the calming and complex flavors of green tea. They are fluffy and tender to the touch, which, combined with their beautifully balanced taste, makes for a wonderful departure from the usual cupcake dessert. The confection is topped with a sophisticated caramel drizzle. This recipe from Savoring Spoon yields 12 cupcakes and takes about an hour to complete.

Ingredients:

Cake Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk

Cake Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon imitation vanilla extract

Green Tea Frosting

  • ½ cup vegan margarine
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon white imitation vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon green tea powder

Garnish

  • Salted caramel drizzle
  • Chocolate curls
  • Toasted coconut
  • Chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate small bowl and then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir to incorporate.

Drop batter into cupcake liners. I use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to measure out about 1 ½ tablespoons of batter per cupcake. Bake until inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Cream vegan margarine and vegetable shortening together with an electric mixer. Add in all remaining frosting ingredients except the soy milk. Cream together, adding 1 teaspoon soy milk at a time to control thickness of icing. Feel free to add more or less green tea powder depending on how intense you want the flavor to be.

Once cupcakes are done, cool completely. Pipe or spread frosting onto cupcakes. Drizzle salted caramel on cupcake and add toasted coconut and chopped pecans as desired. Finish off with a chocolate curl.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Vegan Chocolate Beer Cupcakes With Irish Whiskey Buttercream

Who needs a trip to the pub when you’ve got these vegan cupcakes? These moist, chocolatey cupcakes have a twist of stout beer that adds some complexity to their cake-y goodness. The cocoa and beer flavors in the cupcake base are perfectly offset by the sweet, light buttercream frosting — which itself contains some whiskey for an extra kick. This recipe from Chef Chloe makes 14 cupcakes and takes about an hour to complete.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stout beer
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Irish Whiskey Buttercream

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Caramel

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine
  • 4 teaspoons soy, almond, or rice milk

Directions: To make the chocolate beer cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together stout, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

To make the Irish whiskey buttercream, using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the non-dairy milk. Add whiskey, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired taste. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.

To make the caramel, in a small saucepan, over medium heat, heat brown sugar, margarine, and non-dairy milk, stirring frequently. Once mixture comes together, increase heat to medium-high and let cook for one to two more minutes, until it begins to boil and the bubbles move into the center of the caramel. Remove from heat.

To assemble the cupcakes, frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and dust with cocoa powder. Drizzle warm caramel over cupcakes using a fork or a squeeze tube. Caramel will be easier to work with while warm.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

The light vanilla flavor in these vegan cupcakes balances beautifully with the rich, creamy peanut butter frosting that tops them. The incorporation of tofu in this recipe helps give the cakes their irresistibly moist texture, while thickening the peanut butter frosting to perfection. This recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life takes about an hour to complete and yields 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups oat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces tofu
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup soy milk or water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 4 ounces tofu
  • ½ cup agave
  • ½ cup melted earth balance
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ peanut butter

Directions: For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the first 3 ingredients. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients; blend until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture; and pour all the batter into muffin tins (lined with paper). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, mix all ingredients until smooth. Apply to cupcakes after cakes are cooled.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting

These red velvet cupcakes incorporate creative ingredients like almond milk and apple cider vinegar to create a uniquely soft and tempting texture. The buttercream frosting that tops the cake is incredibly light and sweet, making a beautiful and sophisticated balance for the dish as a whole. This recipe from Eggless Cooking takes an hour to complete and yields 12 cupcakes (Eggless Cooking‘s original vegan buttercream frosting recipe can be found here).

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegan red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Frosting

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon no color butter flavoring (optional)
  • 4 cups confectioner’s icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons milk or water (as required)

Directions: For the cupcakes, preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and grease it lightly. In a medium size bowl, mix together the milk and vinegar allowing it to curdle. This will take about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the sugar as well.

Once the milk has curdled, stir in the oil, food color, and the extracts. Whisk it well to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients to it, stirring it until all the ingredients come together. Do not over-mix. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 full of the batter. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it remain there for 5 minutes. After that remove the cupcakes from the pan and let it cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, in a bowl, add the shortening, vanilla, and butter flavoring and 2 tablespoons of water. Cream until light and fluffy. Add sugar one cup at a time, beating after each addition, until all the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so, until creamy. This produces 3 cups of stiff consistency icing.

For medium consistency, add 1 teaspoon of water to each cup of stiff consistency icing. For thin consistency, add 2 teaspoons of water for each cup of stiff consistency icing.

STAN HONDA/AFP/ Getty Images

STAN HONDA/AFP/ Getty Images

7. Vegan Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes

The mix of bitter coffee, spicy cinnamon, and sweet cocoa come together in this recipe from Parade to make an incredibly rich vegan cupcake dessert. Each decadent cupcake contains 440 calories — so you’d do well to share among friends! This recipe takes about an hour and 10 minutes and yields 14 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Frosting

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in ¼ cup water

Garnish

  • Ground cinnamon
  • Chocolate shavings

Directions: To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder. Pour wet mixture into dry; whisk until just combined.

Fill liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out dry, with a few crumbs clinging to it. Let cool.

To make frosting, with a mixer, beat shortening smooth. On low, add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat to incorporate. Add espresso liquid 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency and flavor. Increase speed to high and beat 2 more minutes or until fluffy. Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon and garnish with chocolate.

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