The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes! Moist, light, fluffy cupcakes with a mouthwatering chocolate frosting. Plus they’re made in 1 bowl!

close up of a chocolate cupcake

I adapted these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes from my Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe. And sure, you could just make cupcakes instead of cake from that popular recipe, but you’ll end up with a ton of cupcakes! 

This recipe makes a smaller batch (about 12 cupcakes) and I’ve made them so easy to make in just 1 bowl. Plus you can make the cupcakes with just a whisk and a spoon, no hand mixer required. Though you will need one for the frosting. I hope you love them as much as I do! And of course, feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed for birthday parties and other occasions that call for a lot of cupcakes. 

looking down on lots of vegan chocolate cupcakes

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How do you make vegan chocolate cupcakes?

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Next, measure your soy milk in a glass measuring cup, then add the apple cider vinegar to it and let that sit for a few minutes to curdle. This is your “buttermilk”. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and “buttermilk” and stir well to combine. The batter should be fairly runny, and not too thick.

batter for vegan chocolate cupcakes in a bowl with a green spatula

Fill the paper liners 1/2 full. You do not need to fill more than that, they will rise to the top but not over the top this way, which is perfect. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This is how they will look out of the oven:

baked chocolate cupcakes in a muffin pan

Make a batch of Vegan Chocolate Frosting while they cool. Once cooled completely and not before, frost generously. I used a Wilton 1M tip and a piping bag for these cupcakes; so pretty right? 

How to store leftover cupcakes:

If you have leftover, frosted cupcakes, store them in the refrigerator for about 5 days. A covered container of some kind is preferred, or a plate covered with plastic wrap would work. 

You can also make the cupcakes in advance and then frost the day of serving. Cupcakes can be frozen, then thawed and frosted, or made a day or two ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to frost and serve. 

close up of vegan chocolate cupcake with white liners

Want more vegan cake/cupcake recipes?

a chocolate cupcake that is sliced in half with more cupcakes behind it.

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close up of a chocolate cupcake

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes! Moist, light, fluffy cupcakes with a mouthwatering chocolate frosting. Plus they're made in 1 bowl!
4.86 from 7 votes



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a measuring cup, combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit a few minutes until it curdles (this is your vegan buttermilk).
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  • To the dry ingredients, add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and milk/vinegar mixture. Stir well with a large spoon or spatula until smooth and well combined. The batter should be fairly thin and smooth, not too thick. (see photos in post above for reference)
  • Fill the liners half full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool completely, then frost as desired with Vegan Chocolate Frosting.


  1. Feel free to substitute almond, cashew, coconut or hemp milk for the soy milk. Any plant based milk will work here.
  2. You can substitute coconut oil or even melted vegan butter for the canola oil if you want. Coconut oil may leave a slight coconut flavor though.
  3. Calories are an estimate only, and will vary greatly on how much frosting you put on each cupcake. I estimated the calories for 1 cupcake with 1/18th of my Vegan Chocolate Frosting.
  4. Cupcakes can be frozen, unfrosted, for up to 2 months. When ready to serve, thaw at room temperature and then frost. Leftover frosted cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days.
  5. For gluten free, try a gluten free flour mix that you trust. I haven't tried this myself though, so I can't be sure it will work.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 273mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 21IU, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

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