These light and fluffy vanilla vegan cupcakes are so good no one will ever guess they are vegan! Topped with a generous swirl of vegan buttercream.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
So it seems you're all hungry for vegan cake recipes, (and I don't blame you!) - my Vegan Victoria Sponge, Vegan Coffee & Walnut Cake and Vegan Carrot Cake are consistently amongst my most popular recipes.
So here's a recipe for some in incredibly light, moist and fluffy Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes. These taste every bit as good as they look - fluffy, moist and piled high with buttercream - no one will ever guess these are vegan.
A combination of vegan yoghurt and plant milk replace the eggs. It sounds weird I know, but it works so well! And of course vegan block margarine is a super-simple butter replacement both in the sponge and in the buttercream.
📝 What you need
Dairy-free margarine Make sure you use a good-quality block margarine, rather than a tub of spread. My favourites are the new Flora Plant Butter or Naturli Block. A block margarine has a far lower water content than spread, which is so much better for baking.
Dairy-free yoghurt I use unsweetened soya yoghurt for baking - it has a much higher protein content than other plant yoghurts, so is the best egg replacer. However if you can't or don't want to use soya, a good unsweetened oat or coconut yoghurt will also work well.
Dairy-free milk Again, I use unsweetened soya due to its protein content, but any oat or nut milk will work well.
Self-raising flour If you don't have any self-raising flour to hand, don't panic - you can make your own! Just use 300g plain flour with 4 teaspoon baking powder. (You will still also need the bicarbonate of soda listed in the recipe).
Vanilla extract Use the best quality vanilla extract that you can - it really makes a difference to the flavour.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your vegan cupcakes
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Beat together the vegan butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix together the dairy-free milk, vegan yoghurt and vanilla extract and stir through the 'butter' and sugar.
Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix slowly until just combined. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Beat together icing sugar, vegan butter, dairy-free milk and vanilla extract until soft and fluffy. Pipe or spread over each cupcake and decorate as required.
👩🏽🍳 Top Tips and FAQs
Before icing, store the cakes overnight in an airtight tin or tupperware. The moisture from the middle of the cake works its way to the edges and the whole cake becomes moist and soft, and the crispy edges turn deliciously soft.
Beat lots of air into your 'butter' and sugar. It is tempting to mix the butter and sugar until they are, well, mixed. But in fact you want to mix them long and hard until they are pale, soft and fluffy - I leave the mixer on for 2-3 minutes at this stage, which feels like an age, but the results are worth it.
Use good quality ingredients. I've mentioned above about block margarine - that will make a big difference. But also make sure everything is fresh and in date. Did you know that bicarbonate of soda and self raising flour have use-by dates? Their efficiency at giving your cakes their rise drastically reduces after that time, so chuck out that decade-old bag of flour lurking at the back of the cupboard!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the cakes themselves freeze well but the buttercream doesn't, so you can make the cakes well in advance, then just defrost and add the icing on the day you serve them.
If kept in an airtight container these vegan cupcakes will be fine for 2-3 days. They are very moist and soft so don't dry out.
Vegan block margarine replaces the butter in both the cake mix and the buttercream, and a mixture of dairy-free yoghurt (soya or oat) and dairy-free milk (soya, oat or nut) replaces the eggs. These replacements work so well that vegan cupcakes taste almost identical to non-vegan.
Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 110 g dairy-free margarine
- 165 g caster sugar
- 110 g dairy-free yoghurt (I used plain soya)
- 110 ml dairy-free milk (I use soya or oat)
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the buttercream:
- 140 g dairy-free margarine
- 280 g icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan) / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4. Prepare a 12-hole muffin tray by lining each hole with a paper muffin case.
- In a food mixer or large bowl beat together the margarine and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the yoghurt, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and fold in slowly until just combined.
- Divide the mixture between the 12 cake cases, then bake for 15-18 minutes until an inserted skewer or knife comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, and if possible leave in an airtight container overnight to ice the following day.
- In a food mixer or large bowl, beat together the margarine and icing sugar, add the vanilla extract and milk and beat again until pale and fluffy. If the buttercream is a little stiff, add a few drops more milk and beat again.
- Pipe a generous swirl of buttercream on the top of each cupcake.
Free 4-Week Vegan Meal Plan
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