Moist cupcakes bursting with vanilla flavor topped with a very vanilla buttercream frosting. These vegan vanilla cupcakes are the perfect celebratory treat!
Who doesn’t love a classic vanilla cupcake?
Call me basic, but vanilla is my absolute favorite when it comes to a good cake.
These vegan vanilla cupcakes are so easy to whip up and are beyond soft and moist.
Do I have you salivating yet?
Ingredients for vegan vanilla cupcakes
- Apple cider vinegar
- Almond milk
- Grapeseed oil
- Cane sugar
- Cake flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
Why the cake flour?
Cake flour is needed for this recipe. All-purpose flour is heavier (10-12% protein compared to 7-9% for cake flour) so it won’t be a 1:1 swap. Cake flour is widely available in grocery stores.
For best results, this is recommended because it gives the cake the light and fluffy yet moist texture.
How to substitute cake flour with all-purpose flour
To make your own cake flour at home simply take 1 cup of regular flour and remove 2 Tablespoons. Replace that 2 Tbsp. with corn starch. If you use this method you must sift it at least twice. This will mix it together properly and take out any granules that can be in all-purpose flour.
How to make vegan buttermilk
Add apple cider vinegar to almond milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The acid from the vinegar will cause the almond milk to curdle and give it that tangy taste of buttermilk.
Note: You can swap out the almond milk with another plant milk like oat or soy. I would stay away from coconut milk for this recipe as it doesn’t curdle like other plant-based milks do!
How to make vegan vanilla cupcakes
- While the vegan buttermilk does its thing, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (fig.1)
- Add vanilla and oil to the vegan buttermilk and give it a good whisking (fig. 2)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together (fig. 3)
The batter should be thick and pourable with some clumps (fig. 4)
Line your cupcake tin with cupcake liners and scoop the batter into each liner.
Tip: I like using an ice cream scoop like the one shown above. This gives the perfect portion!
Bake at 350 degreed Fahrenheit for 18-20 mins. You can check the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean, your cupcakes are ready!
Can you make this recipe into a cake?
Yes! Check out the variations below:
For 9 inch Cake– fill about 3/4 of the way (note this is for a regular 9-inch cake pan that is about 2.5 inches tall): Bake 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
For 9×13 inch sheet cake– Bake 32-35 minutes. Please note that glass or metal pans will vary cook time. You should watch the cake by setting your timer to lower end of these cooking instructions and give it 2-3 minute increments more until your toothpick comes out clean.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, top with your vegan vanilla buttercream and some sprinkles for flair!
How to serve and store cupcakes
These cupcakes are best served fresh. Any leftovers can be put in the fridge.
Cupcakes last in the fridge for about 3 days and in the freezer for about 2 months.
To freeze cupcakes:
- Let cool completely and place in a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Let them thaw out completely and frost.
Do not freeze the cupcakes frosted! You’ll want to frost them once they are thawed and room temp.
Can this recipe be made gluten-free?
I haven’t tested it, but I always have good luck with Bob’s GF 1-1 flour.
More vegan cake recipes:
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk can substitute with oat, soy, or cashew milk (do not use coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil can substitute with canola oil (do not use coconut oil)
- 1.5 cups cane sugar
- 3 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3.5 cups cake flour for substitution, see notes
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
For the Frosting:
- 8 ounces vegan butter softened (I use Earth Balance)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 5.5 - 6 cups powdered sugar use organic to ensure it's vegan
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
- Make vegan buttermilk: In a large measuring cup add apple cider vinegar to almond milk and stir. Let sit for about 10 minutes and the mixture with "curdle" similar to buttermilk.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the vegan buttermilk, grapeseed oil, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk until combined.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk until just incorporate (do not overmix!) The batter with be thick and pourable with some clumps.
- Using an ice cream scoop, fill each liner with batter about 3/4 way. Bake for 18-20 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean the cupcakes are ready!
- Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
To Make the Frosting:
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy.
- Add powdered super 1 cup at a time. It will look kinda crumbly at first but this is okay!
- Once you add in the rest of the sugar, the mixture will be super thick and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of almond milk and vanilla. If you need more liquid, add the last Tablespoon of almond milk.
- You’ll know it’s ready when it has a light fluffy texture that stands up nicely on the end of the whisk. You don’t want it too soft or you can’t pipe with it onto your cupcakes!
- Insert your frosting tip into the frosting bag and snip off the tip. Fill a frosting bag about 1/3 of the way frost cupcakes once they are completely cooled.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers keep in the fridge for about 3 days. Cupcakes can be stored in the freezer for about 2 months without frosting.
If you tried this vegan vanilla cupcake recipe let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
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