Here's the chocolate cupcake recipe of your dreams! Top with buttercream, flavored frostings, or eat 'em plain.
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.
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.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
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.
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.
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.