Moist cupcakes bursting with vanilla flavor topped with a very vanilla buttercream frosting. These vegan vanilla cupcakes are the perfect celebratory treat!

closeup of vegan vanilla cupcake with rainbow sprinkles

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 on pink background

Ingredients for vegan vanilla cupcakes

    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Almond milk
    • Grapeseed oil
    • Cane sugar
    • Vanilla
    • Cake flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

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. 

hand pouring apple cider vinegar into measuring cup to make vegan buttercream

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!

mixing ingredients for cupcakes in mixing bowl

How to make vegan vanilla cupcakes

  1. While the vegan buttermilk does its thing, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (fig.1)
  2. Add vanilla and oil to the vegan buttermilk and give it a good whisking (fig. 2)
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together (fig. 3)

The batter should be thick and pourable with some clumps (fig. 4)

handing scooping cupcake batter into tin

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!

cooked cupcakes in cupcake tin

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.

frosting vanilla cupcake with piping bag

Once the cupcakes are cooled, top with your vegan vanilla buttercream and some sprinkles for flair!

vanilla cupcakes on cooling rack with rainbow sprinkles

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.

hand holding a vanilla cupcake with rainbow sprinkles. cupcakes on cooling rack in background

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.

close up of vanilla cupcake with bite taken out

More vegan cake recipes:

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
Vegan German Chocolate Cake
Vegan Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze
Vegan Carrot Cake

closeup of vegan vanilla cupcake with rainbow sprinkles

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Print Recipe
Pin Recipe
Super fluffy and moist vanilla cupcake recipe that's so easy to make! Using all simple ingredients, this cupcake recipe is perfect for any special occasion!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan birthday cupcakes, vegan cupcake recipe easy, vegan vanilla cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 301kcal
Author Amanda

Ingredients

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+1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3+1/2 cups cake flour for substitution, see notes
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1+1/2 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+1/2 - 6 cups powdered sugar use organic to ensure it's vegan

Instructions

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!

Assemble 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.

Notes

To substitute cake flour:
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.
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 9x13 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake (with frosting) | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8.7g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 713mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 38.8g | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @themindfulavocado or tag #mindfulavocado!

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!

Please note this post may contain affiliate links which do not impact the cost to you but gives me a small commission. Thank you for your support!

DID YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE? GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!