Vegan Life > Recipes > Desserts & Sweets > Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

May 18, 2022

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vegan vanilla cupcakes on a long tray with a bowl of sprinkles in the background

These cupcakes are the best vegan vanilla cupcakes—moist, tender, and fluffy. It's a great recipe to make for birthday parties, baby showers, holidays, or any other celebration. Whether your guests are vegan or not, everyone will love them!

Cupcakes on a table, some on plates, one cut in half, and a bowl of sprinkles at the bottom

This vegan cupcake recipe has a rich flavor because it uses vegan butter instead of coconut oil or canola oil. It also uses aquafaba as an egg replacer, which holds the cake together without weighing it down, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. I usually am not a big fan of vanilla, but I'm eating one of these cupcakes as I am writing this, and I can hardly believe how delicious it is.

These pair perfectly with my vegan buttercream frosting, which is an easy recipe made from vegan butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. If you want, you can also top them off with vegan rainbow sprinkles, oreo pieces, vegan chocolate chips, coconut pieces, or even fresh fruit or berries.

A hand dropping sprinkles on vegan vanilla cupcakes

To pipe frosting onto these vegan cupcakes, I recommend using a pastry bag with a large tip. You can use a round tip or a shaped tip (i.e. star-shaped), depending on how you want them to look. There are many different techniques you can use, but I find it's easiest to start at the edge of the cupcake, circle around and then spiral into the center. You could also hold the piping bag at the center of the cupcake and keep squeezing until the frosting spreads out to the edges.

To make this recipe as a cake, use 2/3 of the amounts shown for a three-layer six-inch cake. Or, you can go directly to my vegan vanilla cake recipe.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield24 cupcakes

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time22 minutes

Total Time42 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter sticks (such as Earth Balance, softened to room temperature)
  • 2 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 3/8 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 3/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Then line two cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.

  2. Add your vegan butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until well-combined and fluffy. A handheld electric mixer works, too. Alternately, you can do this by hand, but you will need to spend more time mixing the ingredients.

    Vegan butter and sugar creamed together in stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment on top
  3. Add aquafaba, vanilla, and vinegar to your butter mix, and cream again until well-combined.

  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, sift together your flour, salt, and baking powder.

  5. Add 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the stand mixer, then turn the mixer to medium-low until just combined. Then add 1/3 of your almond milk and mix again. If you need to, you can scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Repeat twice more until you’ve added all of your dry ingredients and almond milk. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

  6. Use a pair of large spoons to scoop your batter into the liners. Fill each liner with 55 grams of batter (approximately 1 1/3 large spoonfuls).

  7. Bake for 21-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, and the cupcake springs back when light pressure is applied.

  8. Let cool in the pan until they’re cool enough to handle, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and transfer them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

  9. After the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them with vegan buttercream frosting. For a thin layer of frosting, use 1 batch, and spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes with an icing spatula. For a thicker, cupcake-shop-style layer of frosting, use a piping bag with a large tip to pipe 2 batches of frosting on top of the cupcakes.

  10. (Optional) Add vegan sprinkles or other toppings to your frosting, and enjoy!

Notes & Hints

For more accurate measurements, I recommend weighing your flour on a kitchen scale instead of using a measuring cup. You can find the weight by turning the switch to "metric" at the top of the recipe card.

More instructions for piping frosting onto the cupcakes are available in the blog post above.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for longer storage.

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1/24 of recipe; Calories: 269Fat: 12 g.; Saturated Fat: 4 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 328 mg.; Carbohydrates: 40 g.; Fiber: 0 g.; Sugar: 31 g.; Protein: 1 g.; Vitamin A: 4 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 0 mcg.; Vitamin C: 0 mg.; Vitamin D: 0 mcg.; Calcium: 48 mg.; Iron: 0 mg.; Potassium: 0 mg.; Zinc: 0 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

Four vegan dishes: Creme Brulee, Detroit-style pizza, General Tso's Tofu, and Lemon Tart

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Three vegan vanilla cupcakes, one in the front with the wrapper open
StephSunshine

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