Simply the best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes! Tender, fluffy and perfect for birthdays and other celebrations. Easy to make in 1 bowl. If you love these, you will also love my Vegan Vanilla Cake.

one cupcake in focus with sprinkles, more in the backyard that are blurry

This is my favorite recipe for vegan cupcakes. They are the fluffiest cupcakes, not to mention soft, buttery and sweet with the perfect vanilla flavor. You definitely don’t need eggs, butter or milk to make delicious cupcakes, I promise!

Top with swirly Vegan Buttercream, Vegan Chocolate Frosting, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting or Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

What I love about this recipe

  • The cupcakes are made in 1 bowl, with a minimal list of simple ingredients.
  • You don’t need a hand mixer (except for the frosting!)
  • Cake flour makes the cupcakes incredibly fluffy, soft and moist. I made a batch with all purpose flour and the cupcakes were fine but drier and not nearly as fluffy and light.
  • They are so easy to make; you will be eating cupcakes in no time!
bite taken out of a vegan vanilla cupcake with lots of swirly frosting and sprinkles

How to make vegan cupcakes in 1 bowl

  1. In a measuring cup, combine soy milk (or another non-dairy milk) and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle (this is vegan buttermilk).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Pour in milk/vinegar mixture, melted vegan butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
collage showing how to make vegan cupcake batter

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. You will get 24 cupcakes out of this recipe, so either bake one pan at a time, or both at the same time if you have two pans.

unbaked cupcake batter in a pan with liners

Let them cool a few minutes in the pan before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.

unfrosted baked cupcakes on cooling rack

Frosting for vegan cupcakes

To truly make these cupcakes in 1 bowl, simply wipe or rinse out the cupcake batter bowl and use it for the frosting. OR if you are feeling really lazy, you could pick up a container of Duncan Hines Vanilla Frosting, which happens to be vegan. I recommend making your own, it tastes way better! But I’m not here to judge. ?

Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting with Vegan Buttercream or other frosting you desire. I use this simple piping kit for decorating cupcakes, but you could simply spread the frosting on with a butter knife.

Check out my little tutorial for how to pipe cupcakes nice and tall in my Vegan Frosting Recipe. I also love to decorate them with sprinkles. Sweetapolita has the prettiest vegan sprinkles, and I always keep some on hand!

Gluten free vegan cupcakes

To make these cupcakes gluten free, you can substitute a quality gluten free flour mix, such as King Arthur’s Measure for Measure. They won’t be quite as light or moist as using cake flour, but it works pretty well!

looking down on several vegan cupcakes, some with sprinkles and some without

Want more vegan cupcakes?

lots of cupcakes, yellow with white frosting, some with sprinkles
4.91 stars (54 ratings)

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Simply the best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes! Tender, fluffy and perfect for birthdays and other celebrations. Easy to make in 1 bowl. Makes 24 cupcakes.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan (2 if you have them, if not bake one tray at a time) with paper liners. I usually spray the liners with a little oil as well to prevent sticking.
  • Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup or bowl, give a little stir and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.
  • Now pour in the milk/vinegar mixture, melted vegan butter or oil and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. There may be a few small lumps, but you don't want any large lumps in the batter.
  • Fill the liners 1/2 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Carefully transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack, then place new liners in the pan and bake the rest of the cupcakes until you have used all the batter.
  • Cool completely, then pipe on Vegan Buttercream Frosting or another frosting of your choosing. Decorate with sprinkles or sliced strawberries. Enjoy!
  • Store cupcakes on the counter, covered for up to 4 days (they stay moist!). They also freeze perfectly for up to 3 months, with or without frosting.

Video

Notes

  1. I tested a batch with all purpose flour, and cake flour definitely produced fluffier, softer cupcakes. But in a pinch, you can use regular flour.
  2. Gluten free – Use a gluten free flour mix.
  3. One batch of vanilla frosting was enough for me to frost all 24 cupcakes, but if you want a LOT of frosting on each one, you may want to double the frosting recipe.
  4. Funfetti cupcakes – Add 1/2-3/4 cup sprinkles to the batter, folding them in at the end. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*This recipe was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated with a slightly improved recipe (less salt, vegan butter instead of oil) March 2022. I’m always working on improving my recipes, thank you!

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Comments

  1. I made your recipe with all purpose flour. I want to accommodate someone with gluten allergy but I have never baked with gluten free flour.
    Would King Arthur Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour work for your vanilla and chocolate cupcakes 🧁?

  2. Hi,
    I’m going to try and make these for my daughters birthday.
    Should I use plain cake flour or swell raising cake flour?
    Thanks
    Mel

  3. Made these yesterday with vanilla paste, but felt they needed a more intense vanilla flavour, so remade them today with the following adjustments:
    – made my own cake flour (all purpose flour with cornstarch)
    – used oat milk
    – used a vanilla bean instead of vanilla paste
    – stirred the seeds from the vanilla bean into the butter (fat absorbs flavour, stops it evaporating if just blended with main mix)
    – sifted flour, baking powder and salt mix 4 times before adding sugar, then whisked to ensure all ingredients well incorporated
    – stirred combined oat milk and apple cider vinegar into dry mix slightly, before adding combined butter and vanilla (and tried not to over beat)
    A really great recipe which I’ll use again and recommend to friends.

  4. These were so easy and turned out perfectly! Thank you for such a great recipe. I used the vegan butter from Trader Joe’s.

    1. Hi Emily. I’m always glad to know people find my recipes easy, and delicious! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review!

  5. Delicious cupcakes!! We make them twice as big and get 12 from this recipe. I think they’d be pretty tiny if you stretched it to 24 but might help if the batter wasn’t so delicious 😉

    1. Hi Catherine. I’m so happy to hear you love the cupcakes! Big cupcakes sound awesome! I appreciate you taking time to share your positive feedback!

  6. Made these for my Granddaughter who is vegan and she loved them. She thought they were better than Whole Foods. Actually the whole family loved them. 

  7. made them twice, now making them for a third time! they always get lots of compliments and they taste delicious!!! highly recommend

  8. Can this recipe be made into cake? I do not want to use Aquafaba as your cake recipe has. If so, what temp should the oven be and how long should it bake?

    1. Hi Merci. Yes, this recipe can be made into a cake! There should be enough batter for two 8-inch cake pans. Bake them in a 350ºF oven for 30-35 minutes. Happy baking!

  9. Love those cupcakes!!!?
    Question though: I made this recipe for my daughter’s bday that took place outside and the buttercream started to melt. 
    I also made your vegan chocolate cake and had some of the buttercream left so I made few vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. The chocolate frosting stayed untouched. How come that one was melting and the other one wasn’t?
    Would adding coloring to the buttercream change it’s consistency? I made them pink for my little one. 
    Thanks! 

    1. Was the chocolate frosting kept in the fridge before it went on the cupcakes? The vanilla frosting might have melted because it wasn’t cold enough before the cupcakes were put outside. Or it could be that the cocoa powder in the chocolate frosting keeps it sturdier. And yes, it’s possible the added food coloring (AKA added liquid) made the buttercream softer and less sturdy.

      1. No, the chocolate buttercream wasn’t in the fridge, neither was vanilla one. Should I try refrigerating frosting before putting it on the  cupcakes? 
        When it’s for home purposes it’s fine, but in case I will be bring it to an event that is outside, I want to make sure it lasts. 
        I’m going to make more cupcakes on Monday, for my child’s school and I won’t add any coloring and see how it goes. 

        YOUR RECIPES ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD! ?
        THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! ❤️

        1. It does help if the buttercream is refrigerated beforehand because the cold temperatures can help it firm up. I hope the new batch works out well for you! 🙂

  10. I love this recipe. My only issue is that it makes about 22 cupcakes and not 24. When filling orders for my bakery I always have to increase the recipe. Other than that I make them a day ahead and keep them in container with a lid so that they easily peel off the paper. Hope those tips help other bakers.

    1. Hi Maggie. Thank you for sharing your great feedback and tips! I’m glad you are loving the cupcakes! It makes me smile to know they are being used in your bakery! Happy baking!

  11. For those who weigh ingredients it’s 326 grams of cake flour and 300 grams of sugar. Great recipe, very tasty, super easy, one bowl, no electric mixer. Perfect for when you need cupcakes in a hurry.

    1. Thank you for sharing your helpful tips and great feedback! I’m glad you love the cupcakes! All of my recipes include a metric measurement tab which is located just below the ingredients section!

  12. Hi! You mention a lot in the comments not to over-mix these. Do you suggest not using an electric mixer then? What would you suggest between by-hand, hand held electric, and a stand mixer? Thanks!

    1. I prefer making these with a simple whisk by hand. You can use an electric mixer though. The key is to mix until just combined and smooth, not continuing to mix after that, to prevent dense cupcakes. Hope that helps!

  13. Hi! I am making these for my daughter’s first birthday next week and I have a few quick questions- is melted butter better than leaving the butter at room temperature in the summer? Someone’s comment said the butter was hot from melting and turned out weird so I want to avoid that. Also, everyone in the comments mentions oil, is that just because they skipped the butter? If I use butter I don’t need oil right? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lilly. Melt the butter but let it cool to room temperature before using it in the batter. Mixing hot melted butter with cool or room temperature ingredients will throw off the recipe. And yes, a neutral oil can be used instead of the melted butter.

  14. Hi Nora!

    I’m wondering what the difference between this recipe and your vanilla cake recipe (which has a note on how to adapt into cupcakes) is? I know the ingredients are different of course, but is there a reason this one is better than the cake recipe? I would’ve thought the aquafaba in the cake would yield a fluffier texture. Trying to decide which recipe to make as wedding cupcakes!

    Thank you so much in advance!

    1. They are both wonderful recipes, and if you know you love the cake you can absolutely make it into cupcakes. They are just different recipes! I don’t think you can go wrong with either.

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