chocolate cupcakes & vanilla buttercream frosting

chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting_hot for food

There’s nothing quite like a cupcake, especially if it’s topped with a swirl vegan vanilla buttercream! I don’t eat cupcakes too often, but when I do, I make them myself. That way there isn’t too much thick icing, which is a regular pet peeve I have with bakery versions. I’m sharing my favorite simple chocolate cupcake with vegan vanilla buttercream frosting recipe with you today! It’s perfectly moist and just the right amount of sweet.

These make a perfect base for all kinds of dessert creations! You could use whatever fun muffin wrappers you fancy, or top them with sprinkles for a birthday party. Vanilla buttercream is a classic crowd pleaser, but these little cuties taste great with cookies and cream or raspberry frosting, too. 

vegan chocolate cupcakes recipes

chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting_hot for food
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe

chocolate cupcakes & vanilla buttercream frosting

Here’s the chocolate cupcake recipe of your dreams! Top with buttercream, flavored frostings, or eat ’em plain. 

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword buttercream frosting, chocolate cupcakes, cupcakes, vanilla frosting
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Author Lauren Toyota


chocolate cupcake

  • 1 C soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 C unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 1 C confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 C cold vegan butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp warm water
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped


  1. You can add all the cupcake batter ingredients listed above to a high-powered blender and mix until smooth. Alternatively, mix the soy milk, vinegar, sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut oil together in a mixing bowl or stand mixer. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt together in another bowl with a fork or whisk. Then add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. If using a stand mixer, add the dry ingredients into the liquid while mixing on low-speed and continue mixing until just combined.

  2. Pour the batter in a muffin pan with liners, each about 3/4 full. Bake in a preheated oven set to 350°F for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of a cupcake. Baking time may vary depending on your oven, mine baked in a convection oven so they were closer to 15 minutes.

  3. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

  4. To make the frosting, cream the cold vegan butter with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until a little more smooth. Gradually add some confectioners sugar until a stiff mixture is formed. While continuing to mix, add vanilla extract and warm water. Then add in the remaining confectioners sugar in batches while continuing to mix. Add in the vanilla bean paste and mix until  well combined.

  5. Transfer the icing with a spatula to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice or frost the cupcakes with a small icing spatula.

  6. Store leftover cupcakes at room temperature or in the fridge, but allow them to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving and eating again.

Recipe Notes

Check out my recipes for raspberry buttercream frosting and cookies and cream frosting to kick things up a notch!

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6 thoughts on “chocolate cupcakes & vanilla buttercream frosting”

  1. I know americans love buttercream frosting but I personally find that too sweet and too fatty at the same time.. do you have any ideas for different frostings that would be a little bit more like "cream cheese" or something like that? a little tart? lighter? 🙂 Thanks 🙂

    1. check our carrot cake recipe. That one is made with coconut oil. It is a little lighter! you could also make a coconut whip topping instead.

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