Vegan chocolate cupcakes with vegan chocolate frosting just for you and me!
Admittedly, the only non-vegan ingredient in my regular small-batch of chocolate cupcakes in my Sweet & Simple cookbook was buttermilk. Happily, the recipe was already egg-free, and so all I have to do is find a buttermilk substitute, right? Substituting milk alternatives for cow’s milk is easy, right? Wrong.
Recipe testing for vegan chocolate cupcakes:
After a few rounds of sunken cupcakes made with random milk alternatives, I settled on unsweetened almond milk as the best thing to use.
Don’t use coconut milk from the can (the extra oil is problematic) or homemade almond milk (too thick, presumably because of the dates). Anything thin and white will work. Alternative milks with texture or excess oil won’t work.
But let’s talk about what we do have: vegan chocolate cupcakes (small batch) with a ridiculously creamy chocolate buttercream on top.
How to make vegan chocolate frosting without using vegan butter:
We need to talk more about the frosting. It’s just peanut butter, coconut oil, cocoa powder and powdered sugar! I also added in some espresso powder, because I really don’t make chocolate desserts without it.
So so so good, you guys. I refrigerated it so that it would be pipe-able, but after just a few minutes in my hot house, it melted. But it’s okay, because it was still so good.
I would say to save yourself the trouble of the piping bag, just frost these cupcakes with a knife and devour. I’m always a proponent of getting a dessert into your mouth the fastest way possible.
Here’s the before photo of the frosting piped:
After stirring the frosting ingredients together, I refrigerated it for about 20 minutes in the frosting bag. I used melted coconut oil for the frosting, and so it needed some time to set again.
About 5 minutes after I piped it out, it started weeping. It’s okay, though. You don’t need to photograph your cupcakes like I do—you just need to eat them.
You can definitely pipe the frosting, and store them in the fridge before serving! Since our cupcakes don’t contain butter, they won’t harden in the fridge like regular cupcakes. Oh, how I love a good cake recipe made with oil! It’s a bakery and wedding cake maker secret, did you know?
I hope you enjoy these vegan chocolate cupcakes, small batch. Let me know if you have any other vegan dessert requests!
And let me know if you think 4 cupcakes is enough for a small batch dessert :D
Yields 4 cupcakes
Vegan chocolate cupcakes, small batch recipe that makes just 4 cupcakes.
20 minPrep Time
17 minCook Time
37 minTotal Time
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (heaped) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sunflower oil (or canola, or vegetable)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 3 tablespoons (heaped) cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a regular muffin pan with 4 liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the oil, vanilla, and brown sugar. Whisk very well to combine.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, and divide the batter between the 4 cupcake liners.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly, with only a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely.
- Next, make the frosting: in a small bowl, whisk together all of the frosting ingredients. It will resemble pudding. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes to firm it up, and then frost the cupcakes. (You can put it in a frosting piping bag like I did and pipe swirls, but know that they will melt considerably when in warm rooms!