Next up in our egg-free baking category! If you thought it wasn't possible to make a delicious eggless chocolate cupcakes recipe, think again! This recipe uses any milk of choice and a small amount of any kind of vinegar to give the lift and rise that an egg would normally provide. If you have a little one with an egg allergy (like I do), this one is for you!
We've come a long way in our eggless baking recipes collection, haven't we? To be honest, I continually add to this recipe category for families that deal with food allergies. I never thought I would become one of those families, but we will talk more about this soon.
I created my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies without Eggs for the times when I forgot to buy eggs, but I never knew that recipe would become so popular during 2020, when grocery stores shelves were near empty. It's about time for these eggless chocolate cupcakes.
My follow-up recipe of Eggless Sugar Cookies is another way to use cream cheese as an egg substitute in a cookie. Sometimes, we even use pumpkin as an egg substitute, like in my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, which we make even when it is not Fall.
Egg Substitutes in Baking:
- Cream Cheese. I use one tablespoon of cream cheese to take the place of one egg yolk in a cookie recipe. Often, my cookie recipes only call for an egg yolk, since they're small-batch.
- Apple Sauce. When making a cake, eggs provide moisture. We can use apple sauce instead. Please note you might need to increase your baking soda or baking powder.
- Pumpkin. Same principle as apple sauce.
- Flax Egg. Flax seed has a natural gelatinous texture when combined with water that mimics eggs. I have used 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water successfully.
- Chia Egg. Similar to flax eggs and the same ratio, too: 1 tablespoon chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water.
- Powdered Egg Substitute. A powdered mix that can be used in place of eggs in baked goods. We use this a lot in pancakes and muffins!
- Milk + Vinegar. For these eggless chocolate cupcakes, we're using milk (any type of milk works) plus a small amount of vinegar. This is the best thing to do when making cakes eggless, because the milk provides the moisture that an egg would normally provide, and the vinegar gives the rise of an egg.
These eggless chocolate cupcakes came out of a necessity I never saw coming. My youngest has an egg allergy, and I feel crazy for not recognizing it earlier. When I look back, he has avoided eggs and anything with a cake-like or cookie-like texture for nearly a year, but as a non-verbal kid at the time, he couldn't tell me that his tummy hurt after eating such foods.
Now that he's slightly older, it's so clear to me! I have been creating eggless recipes for the past few months for him, hoping he will start trusting cakes and cookies again, now that they don't give him a tummy ache or make him super itchy.
We also had other symptoms with his egg allergy, which I'm happy to discuss offline with any other parents. I just want to keep that info off my food blog, if you know what I mean.
Back to baking: these beautiful eggless chocolate cupcakes are so enticing to him, because of the swirly chocolate buttercream and sprinkles, of course!
How to Make the Best Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes
This recipe makes 4 cupcakes, but it is so simple to double or triple for more servings, because the ingredients are very straight-forward and easy to scale up.
Seriously, most of these ingredients are pantry ingredients, just make sure you have cupcake liners around!
Yes, this is my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe that you see swirled on top. However, you can use plant-based butter and keep this dairy-free, too!
- All-Purpose Flour. Just regular all-purpose flour, not cake flour.
- Cocoa Powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Baking Soda. Please make sure this is fresh, un-expired baking soda. You can test it by combining it with a little vinegar in a small dish--it should actively bubble and fizz.
- Baking Powder.
- Instant Espresso Powder. This is optional, but coffee really does boost the flavor of chocolate. The resulting cupcake does not taste like coffee in any way; the chocolate just tastes richer. The caffeine in the cupcakes is very, very low.
- Milk. Yes, really, ANY type of milk works here--unsweetened nut milks, dairy milk from a cow, or even buttermilk! If you're using buttermilk, please omit the vinegar here. The only milk I wouldn't use is super thick coconut milk from a can or carton. Regular chilled thin coconut milk from a milk carton works, though.
- Vinegar. We need a small amount of acidity from vinegar to react with the baking soda and baking powder to make the cupcake rise and turn into cake. Any type works here: apple cider vinegar, regular white vinegar, champagne vinegar.
- Oil. Any neutral, flavorless oil works here: canola oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil.
- Vanilla Extract. Chocolate cakes all have a hefty dose of vanilla extract for even more flavor.
- Brown Sugar. Light or dark brown sugar are both fine here. Dark brown sugar has slightly more molasses.
- Unsalted Butter. At room temperature, for making the frosting. If you want to be vegan or dairy-free, use plant-based butter here.
- Powdered Sugar. Sifted and for the frosting.
- Optional: Fun sprinkles!
- Gather all ingredients for eggless chocolate cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350-degrees F, and place 4 cupcake liners in the cups of a muffin pan.
2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and instant espresso powder in a medium bowl.
3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla and brown sugar. Use a whisk to really break up all of the brown sugar and ensure no lumps remain.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and whisk very well to combine. Divide the batter between the four cupcake liners.
5. Bake the cupcakes for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake only comes out with moist crumbs (no wet batter). Pictured below is a double-batch of this recipe.
6. Let the eggless chocolate cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack while you make the frosting. Gather all the ingredients for the frosting: softened butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Combine the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl, and beat until creamy.
7. Add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth.
8. Beat until creamy, adding extra milk as needed to make it smooth, pipeable and creamy.
9. Scrape the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a tip, or simply use an offset spatula to spread the frosting over each cupcake once they're cool.
FAQ: Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes
You simply cannot just omit eggs from a cake recipe. You need a plan to replicate the lift and moisture an egg provides. For this eggless chocolate cupcakes recipe, we're using milk and a small amount of vinegar to replace the eggs.
Yes, this recipe works with any type of milk (including nut milk or non-dairy beverages), and does not require eggs. They're still perfectly moist and delicious. You would never know these cupcakes don't have eggs.
- ⅓ cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (14 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
- ⅓ cup (79 mL) milk
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons (20 mL) neutral oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (50 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
For the frosting
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (75 grams) powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (14 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- splash of milk, as necessary
- cute sprinkles (optional, but not)
1. Gather all ingredients, preheat the oven to 350-degrees F, and place 4 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and optional espresso powder.
3. Whisk together the wet ingredients separately: combine the milk, vinegar, oil, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Whisk the brown sugar very well until it dissolves fully in the mix.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together, stirring only enough to combine without over-beating. Divide between the 4 muffin liners, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick to ensure they're done. Moist crumbs can cling to the toothpick, but no wet batter. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and after a minute, move them from the pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
5. While the cupcakes cool, gather the ingredients for the frosting.
6. Beat together the softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
7. Add the cocoa powder and a splash of milk, and continue beating until soft, fluffy and pipeable. Use additional milk in small splashes, if needed. Scrape the frosting into a piping bag, frost the cupcakes and add the sprinkles and serve.
Instant Espresso Powder: Optional; if you don't have it, just omit. It simply enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
Milk: ANY type of milk works here--unsweetened nut milks, dairy milk from a cow, or even buttermilk and sour cream! If you're using buttermilk, please omit the vinegar here. The only milk I don't recommend is super thick canned coconut milk. Vinegar: For reacting with the baking soda and baking powder to make the cupcake rise and turn into cake. Any type is fine: apple cider vinegar, regular white vinegar, champagne vinegar.
Oil: Oils without flavor include: vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil. Don't use olive oil or coconut oil, because they will impart flavor on the cupcakes and overpower the chocolate.
Brown Sugar: Either light or dark brown sugar.
Unsalted Butter: Regular dairy butter or a plant-based butter work equally well here.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g