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
4.82 stars (92 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 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
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. Not sure what happened! Did exact measurements and it came out like cookie batter. Could it be the all purpose flour? I’ve never had a recipe that I was unable to sub cake flour for all purpose and had this big of a difference… Anyone else have this issue? I bake often and never had this happen.

    1. Are you absolutely sure you measured everything correctly? It sounds like maybe too much flour? As you can see in the video, and the photos, the batter should not be super thick. I don’t think it was the all purpose flour, as I’ve used it and it worked fine, the cupcakes just come out a bit more dense. When measuring flour, it’s best to spoon it into your measuring cup, then level with a knife. Don’t scoop it from the container, or pack it down or anything like that.

  2. Hi Nora,

    Great recipe! I made your vanilla cake a month ago and it was a hit. Today I made these cupcakes and they outsides got a little hard and stuck to the paper, but the inside is perfect. Anything I can do to fix this? Also—if I wanted to turn these into chocolate cupcakes, could I just add cocoa powder? If so, how much? Thanks!

    1. 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!

  3. Hi Nora, just wondering if this could be made with coconut milk? Have you tried it…. Or has anyone else? I would love some feedback 😊

  4. I have these in the oven now for my son’s birthday! I usually never make something for a special occasion without a test run first, but I have 100% faith in your recipes and know they will come out fantastic!

    Question – I usually use a #20 scoop for cupcakes (1.52 oz/ 45ml/ 3 tablespoon), but when I used that scoop I only got 20 cupcakes with this recipe, so I had to redistribute the batter a bit to get to 24. What size scoop do you recommend for this recipe to yield 24 cupcakes?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy my recipes, thanks for having faith in them! I actually don’t use a certain size scoop, I focus more on filling half full so they don’t spill out the top or form a muffin top as they bake. So I can’t really say a particular size, sorry!

  5. This was my very first attempt at vegan anything, let alone vegan baked goods. I chose your recipe after looking at many others, and reading tips for making them. I appreciated your exact advice about which brands of vegan butter to purchase, and the tip about the cake flour. I decided to make these cupcakes for a friend for a co-worker birthday party. She eats purely vegan, and her children are allergic to eggs. She basically told me that these cupcakes would not be great, and that she has spent hundreds of dollars at different vegan bakeries with nothing to write home about. Well, I’m always up for a challenge, and I made yours! I added 1/2 cup of Oreo crumbs to 12 of them, because she wanted ‘cookies and cream’ cupcakes. End of story, – they all came out GREAT! My husband sampled them the night before, and he said that he never would have known that they were not regular cupcakes. Everyone at the get together loved them the next day, and my vegan friend’s 3 children loved them as well. Thank you for the great recipe along with all your tips for success. Now I’m on the hook for all the future vegan birthday cakes – really!

    1. This story warms my heart! I’m so glad the cupcakes were a hit with everyone! Sounds like you may be doing a lot of baking in the future! Your feedback and review are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

  6. Hello!

    Thanks for posting this recipe, I am excited for the results.

    I have a questions about apple sauce. I noticed you used apple sauce in your cake recipe but not your cupcakes. Is there a particular reason why?

    1. Hi Victoria. Sometimes I use applesauce in baking but not always. I do a lot of recipe testing when it comes to baking to get to the final recipe I post, so it just depends on what I’m making. 🙂 Enjoy the cupcakes!

  7. Thank you so much for this easy and delicious recipe! Our kids gave it 2 thumbs up! I love that you can practically make everything in one bowl! I sprinkled a little cinnamon and nutmeg powder in the batter as well 😊

  8. I’d like to know what size cupcake pans you use. I needed to make 48 cupcakes for a party, they requested larger than regular cupcakes, and I needed to make 6 batches to get the ordered number. I used a grey, 4 oz scoop.
    They taste fantastic.i know they’re going to love them.

    1. I used standard cupcake/muffin pans, I believe they hold 2-3 oz. I’m glad they taste great and I hope everyone loves them!

  9. I made mini cupcakes and they were perfect, I would love to make a full 2 layer cake, can you provide any guidance for scaling up?

    1. I’m thrilled you love the cupcakes! 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!

    1. Hi Jeen. When mixing the milk with the vinegar, it does not need to be at room temperature. Hope this helps!

  10. My kids love this recipe along with your frosting! I have made it several times. I have added cacao powder to both the cake and frosting, on occasion, and it also tastes great! This is the recipe I definitely favor when it comes to easy vegan cupcakes. Thank you!

    1. You are welcome, Valerie! I’m so glad the cupcakes are a hit with your kids! Thanks for sharing your tips and wonderful review!

  11. Hi Nora, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I made the cupcakes a handful of times and it was delicious every single time! I was wondering if I can use the cupcakes recipe for a 8 round cake instead! My q is for how long and with what temperature should I bake it? Thanks

    1. I’m thrilled you love the cupcakes! And 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!

  12. Can I use recipe as is for large cupcake? I have 7 inch silicone mold and directions for it say to use 1 batch of cake batter…so vague. Any idea?

    1. Sorry, I’m not quite sure without trying it. But you could probably just use enough batter to nearly fill your mold (unless it’s only supposed to be filled halfway, I don’t know) and then use the leftover batter to make cupcakes.

  13. Wow! This recipe produced the absolute best cupcakes I have ever tasted! They were so soft and moist. I used King Arthur unbleached all purpose as I didn’t have cake flour on hand. I also used olive oil. I’ll be making these again very soon. My daughter loved them:) Thank you for this beautiful recipe.

    1. You are welcome, Carla! Thank YOU for sharing your fabulous feedback and review! I’m glad your daughter loved the cupcakes!

  14. Made these for my son’s birthday party, everyone loved them and couldn’t believe there were no eggs ! I did reduce the sugar slightly. Very fluffy and moist

    1. Happy birthday to your son! I’m glad the cupcakes were a hit! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review!

  15. These are hands down the best cupcakes. I’ve made them time and time again and they never disappoint. No one can believe they’re vegan!!

    1. Did you use cake flour? Using regular flour or a different flour can make the cupcakes more dense and less light and fluffy. The other few reasons cupcakes can come out dense is if you over mixed the batter or baked them for too long. Hope that helps!

  16. We just did this receipe! This is a good cupcake receipe. I use mini cupcake mold. It takes 18 minutes to cook. I have used oat milk instead of soy milk.
    Thank you!

      1. One of the best recipes in years that I have tried!!! Great flavor and texture 🙂 I added cornstarch to all purpose flour for the cake flour. It really does matter 😉

      2. Possible user error.
        I used bobs red mill 1-1 gluten free flour, I am not sure if the 2 3/4 cup flour to 1 1/2 cup milk was right, it looked more like cookie batter. I tried to add extra almond milk but this made it gooey even though it was cooked. Very tasty though 🙂
        We are gluten free, vegan, I also used date sugar instead of cane sugar as we have allergies. Not sure what happened.

  17. This is the best cupcake recipe! I’ve used it so many times, and have used it as a base and altered in different ways (added crushed oreos once, removed a little of the center when baked and added strawberry jam etc). Thank you Nora for the great recipe, as always!

    1. This recipe was extremely excellent the cupcakes were so moist you couldn’t even tell there were no eggs.

      Thanks Nor for amazing bakers like you keep it up.

  18. My favorite recipe! I added crushed Oreos to my batter for cookies and cream and they came out perfect!

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