These vegan yellow cupcakes are tender and light, and so delicious when topped with chocolate buttercream frosting! This is a perfect cupcake recipe to try for a birthday party or any special occasion.
One of my favorite desserts growing up was yellow Duncan Hines cake mix with canned chocolate frosting. Of course, this is probably not the healthiest option, and now that I can’t eat eggs or dairy, it just isn’t an option at all for me! But I still associate “yellow cake with chocolate frosting” with birthdays and celebrations.
We had a little gathering a few weeks back and I wanted to recreate this cake, but using ingredients that were safe for my family to eat. I wound up making vegan yellow cupcakes, and I was really happy with how they turned out! The texture is just right – very light and fluffy. You might be surprised that an egg free cupcake can be so light.
The frosting is amazing, rich, delicious, and perfect on top of the yellow cake. If you don’t want to frost these, you could just dust them with powdered sugar, or serve them with a scoop of vegan ice cream on the side.
- Flour – I used white spelt flour. You could also use all-purpose flour. I haven’t tried gluten free flour with this particular recipe. If you try it, use a light gluten free flour blend without any gums. You may also like to try this recipe for vegan gluten free vanilla cupcakes.
- Oil – Organic canola oil or melted vegan buttery spread is the best choice for this recipe.
- Cocoa Powder – Use unsweetened cocoa powder – we like Hershey’s cocoa powder.
- Non-Dairy Milk – Be sure to use a neutral tasting non-dairy milk in the frosting for the best results You could also use water in a pinch.
Make Ahead Option
If you’re a food allergy parent, you know that it’s nice to have safe cupcakes on hand in case you need to send one with your child to school or to a party. These cupcakes work very well for that purpose! You can make these ahead of time, wrap them individually, and store in the freezer. When you need a cupcake, just pull one out to thaw – they should thaw out in a few hours.
- You can use brown sugar or coconut sugar if you want, but then the cupcakes will be more tan than yellow.
- You can use melted vegan buttery spread, organic canola oil, or another neutral tasting oil in this recipe. Coconut oil may make the batter too oily.
- Try frosting these with dairy free vanilla buttercream for a change.
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Vegan Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.
Moist and delicious vegan yellow cupcakes are perfect when topped with rich and decadent chocolate frosting!
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups white spelt flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅞ cup cold water
- ½ cup organic canola oil You could also use melted vegan buttery spread
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
For the Frosting:
- ¼ cup vegan buttery spread
- 2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-3 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
Make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
Place the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed.
Add all other ingredients and mix on medium speed. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are nicely golden on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool fully.
Make the frosting:
Place the vegan buttery spread in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, some of the confectioner's sugar, and a little non-dairy milk.
Continue to mix, adding more powdered sugar and a little milk until the frosting is thick and creamy.
Frost cooled cupcakes. Store any leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator.
If you don’t want to use canola oil, try melted vegan buttery spread, or coconut oil.
These cupcakes can be frozen. Wrap them well, and they should stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Serving size is one cupcake with frosting.
Recipe adapted from VegWeb.
This post was originally published in July 2013. It has been updated.
So soft and delicious! The frosting is perfect-I made these for my wife’s birthday and everyone loved them!!!
I am NOT a great chef or a cook-easy to follow successful recpe!
This were so delicious and kid approved! Made for my vegan sister and my kids loved them! Thanks so much for sharing!!
I’m so glad to hear these were a hit! Thanks for letting me know!
Can you successfully substitute the spelt flour with a gf flour blend?
These were delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe. My whole family enjoyed them. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
Looks delicious. I have not baked with spelt flour before but am itching to try it. Can’t wait to try these!
I think it’s really a nice flour, but these will work just fine with all-purpose flour as well!