Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

These super moist vegan chocolate cupcakes are loaded with chocolate flavor. These easy cupcakes are made with everyday ingredients, making them your new favorite cupcake recipe. Top them with creamy vegan chocolate frosting for parties and celebrations of all kinds.

A group of several vegan chocolate cupcakes have colorful sprinkles on top.

There’s something pretty special about cupcakes. You can decorate them however you like and they come perfectly portioned for one serving. How great is that!

I’m happy to share with you that it’s easy to make chocolate cupcakes vegan! It may seem difficult to bake with eggs or dairy, but my tips today should help pave the way for the best egg and dairy-free cupcakes ever!

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • Using natural cocoa powder infuses these cupcakes with chocolate flavor and interacts with the other ingredients to produce light and fluffy cupcakes
  • Apple cider vinegar helps soften the protein in the flour, creating a tender crumb
  • Using everyday ingredients keeps these cupcakes easy to make on a moment’s notice!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Flour — I recommend using all-purpose flour or you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour.
  • Granulated sugar — I find granulated sugar works just fine, or you can substitute coconut sugar.
  • Cocoa powder — I use natural, not Dutch-process, unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Salt — You can use table salt or sea salt.
  • Baking soda — Make sure yours is fresh by testing a bit in vinegar. If it bubbles, your batch is good to go.
  • Cornstarch — You can use cornstarch or substitute arrowroot powder.
  • Vegetable oil — I used canola oil, or substitute olive oil or melted refined coconut oil.
  • Vinegar — I used apple cider vinegar, or you can use white vinegar.
  • Vanilla Extract — I find this to be an optional ingredient, but if you have some on-hand, it is a nice touch.

How to Make Vegan Cupcakes

I’ve noticed several vegan cupcake recipes looking kind of complicated. That seems antithetical to the whole idea of a cupcake. They should be easy. Fun. Simple, even! So, I’m happy to announce that it’s oh-so-easy to make this vegan cupcake recipe!

Step One: Mix the Dry Ingredients

This recipe requires mixing these together in a mixing bowl: all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch.

Step Two: Mix the Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl combine the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Give it a stir.

Before you pour this in with the dry ingredients, STOP! Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is the oven preheated to 350°F?
  2. Are the cupcake muffin compartments prepared? You can either paper them or grease them.

If you can’t answer a resounding YES to both of these questions, then take a chill pill. Seriously. Do not mix the wet and the dry ingredients until you’re ready to bake. Why? Because we want to take advantage of the chemical reaction that occurs when combining baking soda with the vinegar.

That’s not the only role vinegar plays in this recipe, but it’s one of them. And it’s important!

Marly’s Tips

Vegan cupcake batter should be a little on the thick side. That helps create a slight dome in the cupcakes.

Step Three: Distribute Batter into Cupcakes Compartments + Bake

Once you’re ready to bake, go ahead and pour the water mixture over the flour mixture and stir to combine. I like to get a whisk and give it a few stirs until any flour lumps are gone. You don’t want to overmix, but you also don’t want a bunch of those pesky flour bumps either.

I use a cookie dough dispenser to distribute the cupcake batter evenly between the cupcake compartments. Be sure to fill your compartments between 1/2 and 1/3 full.

A cookie dough dispenser is pouring cupcake batter in a compartment lined with muffin papers.

Reader Reviews

Made these for my daughter’s birthday and they were a hit!


Best Vegan Frosting

Now that your cupcakes are done and you’re itching to eat them (of course!), let’s talk about the frosting.

A hand holds a piping bag full of chocolate frosting and is distributing it over a chocolate cupcake.

I love using colorful sprinkles too! You’ll see I used a Wilton 1M tip (paid link) to make that beautiful frosting tip.

Of course, if you’re wanting to make healthy chocolate cupcakes, you could go a little lighter on the frosting.

A chocolate cupcake has lots of colorful sprinkles on it and around it.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Are vegan cupcakes healthy?

A vegan cupcake may be healthier than a standard cupcake because it’s cholesterol-free and possibly lower in saturated fats. It also is healthier for the environment because it’s free of animal products. However, a vegan cupcake is still an indulgent dessert and should be consumed in moderation.

How long do vegan cupcakes last?

A vegan cupcake has the same shelf life as a non-vegan, traditional cupcake. A vegan cupcake, when stored in an airtight container, will keep about 3–4 days at room temperature and up to 10 days in the fridge. They can even be frozen for up to 3 months when stored properly.

Are Betty Crocker cakes vegan?

Many Betty Crocker cake mixes are made without milk or eggs and therefore are safe for vegans to eat. Simply substitute a flax egg for the eggs called for on the back of the package and you’ll have a very simple, easy vegan cake!

More Vegan Chocolate Cake

Sure, you love easy vegan chocolate cupcake recipes. I mean, who doesn’t? But it’s good to expand your horizons and try some new recipes too. Check these out:

A group of cupcakes sit together, all with lots of chocolate frosting on top.

That’s it for these chocolate vegan cupcakes.

A chocolate cupcake has lots of colorful sprinkles on it and around it.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

These vegan chocolate cupcakes are so simple to make. You'll love the moist, delicious cupcakes, especially when topped with vegan buttercream frosting and sprinkles!
5 from 4 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 36 cupcakes
Calories: 116kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, not dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 batch Vegan Chocolate Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line two muffin pan compartments with cupcake papers, or spray each compartment with vegetable spray.
  • Combine in a large mixing bowl the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt baking soda, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the vegetable oil, water, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes and then remove them from the cupcake pans. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)


Make-Ahead Tips: After cupcakes are baked, cool them completely, and cover in an airtight container. They can be stored overnight at room temperature. You can also prepare the frosting the day before. I actually put it in the pastry bag, place that bag in a freezer bag, and then refrigerate it. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature for about 15–20 minutes before frosting the cupcakes.
I find the batter for vegan cupcakes is best if it’s a little on the thick side. Runny batter will create cupcakes that are flat on the top. They’ll still taste fine! So, this batter will be a little thicker than a traditional cupcake batter.
Nutrition estimate is for the cupcakes without frosting. 
Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

2 Responses to Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNancy Reply

    5 stars
    Made these for my daughter’s birthday and they were a hit!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    5 stars
    Hi there! This is Marly! I’ve tested this recipe multiple times and taste tested it with non-vegans who loved it! One taster said it was one of the most moist and delicious cupcakes she’d ever had!

Rate / Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.