Vegan Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

When I was 9 years old, in the same weekend I visited a wonderful petting zoo in Oakland on Saturday and on Sunday I was ‘taught’ the in’s and out’s of animal cruelty by my 7 year old next door neighbor and good friend. Of course, I ultimately decided to become a strict vegetarian. Like most children trying new things, this attempt lasted no longer than two weeks. My parents ‘cure’ was to cook spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Although my vegetarianism was a short-lived extravaganza, I have always admired the ideals and reasoning behind vegetarian and/or vegan living. In my English class this year we were assigned a creative project on a societal flaw, and one of my peers chose to present on animal cruelty and the motives behind living a vegan life. Her presentation was both fascinating and heartbreaking, and I immediately became interested in vegan lifestyles. This let me to research vegan recipes. After trying a few out, I started to fall  in love with vegan baking. Knowing that I will probably never be vegan doesn’t stop me from trying to bake delicious vegan treats.

While eating at vegan restaurants in NYC is always an eye-opening and fun experience, I struggle to find homemade vegan cookies, cupcakes brownies etc. that I am proud to give out to my vegan friends. This recipe is definitely an exception. These vegan vanilla cupcakes tasted no different than any other cupcake I’ve made, and the chocolate frosting, even without butter and milk, tasted delicious. My success with this recipe has definitely inspired me to continue to trying vegan recipes in the future. I can’t wait to try some vegan brownies next! ENJOY!






1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups almond milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Vegan Buttercream Chocolate Frosting:

1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened (sifted)

1 1/4 sticks of vegan butter (softened)

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 18 paper baking cups.
  2. Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. When done, cool in the pan over a wire rack.
  7. While the cupcakes are baking, make the vegan frosting:
    1. Add the butter, milk, vanilla extract and cocoa powder to a large mixing bowl and using an electric hand or standing beater, start mixing them together until the liquids thicken with the fluffy cocoa. Turn beater on low and beat until smooth.
    2. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat until frosting is fluffy. Avoid overbeating.
  8. Frost the chocolate frosting onto the cupcakes when they are completely cooled. If the cakes are warm, the heat will easily melt the vegan butter.