Absolutely delicious vegan vanilla cupcakes. Soft, decadent, moist. You’ll only be upset you didn’t have the recipe before. Just 9 ingredients! Can be Top 8 Allergen Free!
There’s nothing like a simple, but classic vegan vanilla cupcake. There’s nothing insanely fancy about it, but it’s decadent, moist, and reminds you of your childhood.
Everyone should be able to enjoy a cupcake, no matter if they have allergies or there are ethical reasons behind their choices.
These vegan vanilla cupcakes are the answer.
We create a simple, 9 ingredient sponge cake baked into small cupcake tins and then topped with a delicious frosting on your choice – we are using vanilla frosting in the photos.
Whether you need this recipe for a birthday party or just because, it will be enjoyed by everyone!
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What ingredients do you need to make vegan vanilla cake?
In order to make this vegan vanilla cupcake recipe you need just 9 ingredients! You’ll need a few more, depending on the frosting that you choose.
Full amounts of each ingredients is listed In the printable recipe card below.
The ingredients that you need for these vegan vanilla cupcakes are:
- Flour – The star of the show, we only used all-purpose flour here because we wanted this recipe to be as accessible as possible for everyone.
- Vegan Sugar – Cane sugar is what we are using. If you want to learn more about why your sugar may not be vegan, you can learn more by clicking on the link.
- Baking powder – added to cake for leavening purposes
- Baking soda – helps to neutralize the acid, some leavening, and then create a more tender cake
- Salt – this helps enhance the flavor and while you may be tempted to reduce or omit, we encourage you not too
- Oil – You want to use a neutral oil – canola or vegetable. Oil helps the moisture in your cake but also helps by slowing down the formation of gluten that yields a very tender and fluffy cake – isn’t that what we all want!
- Vanilla Extract – we are keeping it simple with extract for this recipe since it’s an ingredient that most people already have in their pantry
- Unsweetened Dairy Free Milk (we like oat) – Using milk instead of water adds more flavor into the recipe. We have tried this with both oat and almond and there’s not much of a difference honestly. Use either unsweetened plain or unsweetened vanilla flavored milk, but you don’t want any sweetened milk in this already sweet recipe.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Since there are no vegan buttermilks on the market, we use acid to mix with the dairy free milk to make a vegan buttermilk. Acid helps tenderize gluten and therefore making a softer cake.
That’s all the ingredients you need for these vegan vanilla cupcakes – but you will need other ingredients for the frosting portion. We won’t include those here, but we give options for choosing the best vegan frosting for vanill cupcakes below.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- Flour – Cake flour could be swapped for all or half of the all-purpose flour. Also an all-purpose or 1:1 gluten free flour could be used.
- Vegan Sugar – While we haven’t tried, you could replace this with a coconut sugar or date sugarBaking powder – added to cake for leavening purposes
- Oil – Melted coconut oil could also be used here and it is normal for it to resolidify when mixing. It will melt back down again when baking. Alternatively, you could use applesauce (same amount) of even half oil, half applesauce if you are trying to reduce your oil consumption.
- Unsweetened Dairy Free Milk (we like oat) – Any dairy free milk that you like can be used in this. The important thing is just not using a sweetened milk in this already sweet recipe.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – You can use white vinegar or lemon juice if that’s all you have
- Vanilla – to kick up the flavor a bit, try use vanilla bean powder or vanilla bean paste
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Absolutely! Did I just make your day? You can swap out the vegan all-purpose flour for Gluten Free Cup for Cup flour. You can also swap out the cake flour with a gluten free version. All the other ingredients that we use in this recipe are naturally gluten free and no swaps are needed.
Besides the flour, that you can use gluten free as recommended above, the only other ingredient is the vegan butter which typically contains soy.
Just choose a soy free vegan butter like Flora Plant Butter. Any dairy free milk can be used that is safe for your allergens.
All of the ingredients have a purpose in making the most decadent and moist cupcakes – from the oil to the acid and leavening agents – they all give the perfect chemical reaction for the best cupcakes that are not dry.
Also – you really want to make sure that you don’t over mix. The longer you mix, the more gluten forms and leads to more dense cupcakes.
You can absolutely make this into vegan vanilla cake. We’d encourage you to just follow the ingredients and steps in our vegan vanilla cake recipe.
By adding some acid to your batter, you are creating a vegan cake that is moist and delicious. It helps to break down the tough gluten strands, yielding in the most delicious vegan vanilla cupcake recipe. Don’t skip this step!
Yes. You can make this oil free. Replace the full amount of oil for applesauce. It is very important to know that using applesauce does lead to a more dense cupcake.
HOW DO I MAKE THIS VEGAN VANILLA CUPCAKES LOOK EXACTLY LIKE YOURS?
We get it. No one likes “Pinterest fails”. You see something and think, “that’s out of my league, no way I’m trying that.” Take a deep breathe and instead say, “I’m going to following these steps and make the best cupcakes I’ve ever made.”
Step 1: It’s all about positive thinking.
Step 2: You need to follow some really important tips that we’re going to share with you on how to make the best dairy free vanilla cupcake that actually looks like it came from a bakery. Your guests (and yourself) are going to be blown away.
Here’s our tips for making this cupcake recipe look exactly like ours in the picture:
- Follow the instructions pretty please. Cake baking is a science, especially when making a dairy free/vegan cake. The sifting and exact ingredient amounts are very important. Every step has a purpose to ensure the perfect dairy free vanilla cupcake.
- Make sure that you evenly distribute the cupcake batter.
- Do not overfill the cupcake tins. You should only fill them ½ way. Otherwise they will rise too much and spill out a little.
- When the cupcakes are cooked, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cakes to cool evenly.
Tips for piping:
- We used a Wilton 1m Icing Tip.
- Use a piping bag and a large round tip and pipe frosting in a circular motion from the inner middle to the outer edge.
WHAT ARE SOME VEGAN FROSTING IDEAS FOR THIS CAKE?
One great thing about cakes is that you can mix and match frostings! We absolutely love doing this. Some ideas for vegan cake frostings are:
- Vegan Vanilla Frosting
- Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Vegan Strawberry Buttercream
Leave a comment below and tell us what frosting flavor you want to see next!
What other delicious vegan desserts should I try?
Once you have perfected these vegan vanilla cupcakes, you may be looking out for other delicious dairy free cupcakes or cakes. Here are some dairy free dessert recipe ideas.
- Vegan Coconut Cake
- Dye Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Vegan Strawberry Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Apple Pie
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Vegan Lemon Pound Cake
Get all our vegan cake recipes!
Pin this Vegan Vanilla Cupake recipe for later!
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cups flour (use GF flour if needed)
- 1 cup vegan sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup neutral oil (vegetable or canola)
Frosting (Optional) – Pick One
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners (you'll need approximately 24).
- In one bowl, add the dairy free milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla together. Let that mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour the non-dairy milk mixture and oil into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Pour mixture into cupcakes liners – fill each tin ½ way full. Bake for 22-30 or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool. While cooling, make frosting of choice. Once completely cooled, frosting as desired.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
Wonderful cupcake recipe! Two thumbs up from the kiddos. Thanks!
Thanks you two for the wonderful recipes. The chocolate chip cookie is the best vegan cookie recipe I’ve tried! (And I’ve tried many lol) I have several family members that are vegan, and I often refer them to this site. Again, many thanks to you guys for your continued content.
You’re so kind, thank you so much
WOW! These were so simple to make and came out perfectly with almost no effort at all. I will be making these again for sure.
So glad that you love them!
My son, who thinks every vegan is nasty, absolutely loved these cupcakes. I’d prefer these over nonvegan ones!
Winning! So glad to hear that!
Good Day! Question I’m in the process of making these for Vday, I’m reading instructions and see baking soda and soda? What is the extra soda? PS keep those recipes coming
Just to help out anyone in the future— it should say baking soda and salt. Just a small mix up.
Thank you, this has been fixed!