Classic Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are soft, moist and fluffy with a hint of cocoa. Made in 1 bowl, they are easy to whip up any day of the week!
Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are inspired by a cupcake shop my family and I used to frequent years ago called Sprinkles. We lived in Phoenix, Arizona for about a year when the twins were little, and while I didn’t care for the heat or the scorpions, the vegan scene in Phoenix was pretty great!
Sprinkles had one vegan cupcake back then (haven’t been to one in ages so I don’t know what it’s like now), and it was red velvet. I remember it being so soft and fluffy, with the best frosting.
These cupcakes remind me so much of the ones I used to love so much. If you want to make a cake instead, check out my Vegan Red Velvet Cake.
Step by step photos of how to make red velvet cupcakes
- Whisk dry ingredients together – flour, cornstarch, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt.
- Add wet ingredients – vegan “buttermilk”, oil, applesauce, vanilla and food coloring.
- Stir – the batter will be fairly thin.
- Fill liners about 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, see how tall they get?
- Let them cool completely before frosting.
I’ve included a recipe for my favorite imitation “cream cheese” frosting. It’s basically a buttercream vanilla frosting with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar added for tang. It pipes really well, and tastes amazing!
It’s a lot sturdier than my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, and doesn’t require finding vegan cream cheese. But if you want to go a more traditional route, feel free to make the cream cheese frosting instead. Either is great!
Want more vegan cupcakes?
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
- 1 Bowl Vegan Lemon Cupcakes
- Funfetti Vegan Cupcakes
- Vegan Mint Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
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Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 1 cup soy milk
- 2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1-3 tablespoons vegan red food coloring
- 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 vinegar. Let sit a few minutes until it curdles (this is your vegan buttermilk).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined.
- To the bowl with the dry ingredients, add the oil, applesauce, vanilla, red food coloring and milk/vinegar mixture. Stir well with a large spoon or spatula until smooth and well combined. I used 2 tablespoons of red food coloring.
- Fill the liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- Make the Frosting: Using a hand mixer, beat the softened vegan butter for 1-2 minutes until creamy, then add the powdered sugar, apple cider vinegar and vanilla and beat everything together until smooth and creamy, adding a tablespoon of non-dairy milk at a time as needed. If you add too much milk and it gets runny, you will need to add more powdered sugar.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, frost as desired and serve. If you are going to pipe a lot of frosting on each cupcake, you may want to double the frosting.
- May substitute another non-dairy milk for the soy milk, such as almond, oat, coconut or cashew.
- The flour + cornstarch helps the cupcakes be light and fluffy like using cake flour. You could use all cake flour instead for similar results.
- You could likely use another oil if you don't want to use canola, such as refined coconut oil (melted), avocado oil, maybe even olive oil.
- If you can't find a vegan friendly red food coloring, you can always use a few tablespoons of beetroot powder instead. The cupcakes won't be nearly as bright and colorful.