Mom It Down: Vegan Cupcakes

We attended a party recently where the host was vegan. I decided to continue the cupcake trend I’ve been on and bake her some vegan treats. I used to bake a lot of vegan baked goods when Toby Joe was vegan. But it’s been years. Much to my surprise, they were easier than their dairy companions. They may kill you, however.

These cupcakes simply can’t be beat when it looking at the time-taste ratio. 

I took this recipe from Chow. It can also be found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

What you will need

  • Cupcake baking papers
  • Muffin tins
  • Mixer

Ingredients (Cupcakes)

  • 1 cup soy milk (I use Silk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients (Icing)

  • 1/2 cup vegan shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine, (Earth Balance)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer

Mom It Down!

Preheat oven to 350. 

In your mixer add the soy milk and the apple cider vinegar. Whisk that together and let it sit for a few minutes.

Add your sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and almond (or other extract). Mix that until it’s foamy. 

Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix that.

Your liquid will be quite runny. I was nervous at first, but its perfectly normal. 

Fill your papers 3/4 of the way full. The recipe calls for 12 cupcakes. I got 11 out of it. I imagine I could have removed a little from each one to get 12. But 11 works!

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

You’re done!

Let the cupcakes cool completely. While they are cooling, remove your vegan butter from the refrigerator. Let it warm to room temperature. I let it warm in the mixer itself.


Take your butter and your vegetable shortening and cream them together. You can let that mixer do it’s thing for a while—until it’s nice and fluffy. Add your powdered sugar. The recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups. I think I stopped at just under three. I might suggest tasting it while adding your sugar and flavor it to taste. 

Add vanilla and soy milk and mix it for 5 to 7 minutes. 

You’re done! Once those cupcakes are cooled, feel free to apply your icing. And don’t be shy with it either! The cupcakes aren’t super sweet, whereas the icing is. So it does balance out. I was fairly liberal with my icing.

Feel free to add some Newman O’s to the tops of your cupcakes. 

Overcoming Obstacles

These cupcakes are pretty “mom-friendly” as is. The fluffiness of the icing makes them a cinch to ice and any icing mistakes are quite endearing—sweet nuances, if you will. So, go with it. And feel free to pile it on. I added enough to mine so I could securely fasten a Newman O to the top of each one.

Pouring the cupcake batter into each paper is much easier than the dairy cupakes from last week because the batter is much thinner. And thin batter makes for a super quick cleanup.

I did not sift my powdered sugar nor did I sift the dry ingredients together before adding them to the wet mixture. Everything turned out perfectly fine. So, if you’re tight on time, skip all that. 


I haven’t tried it, but I imagine applesauce could be used in place of some of the oil, if not all of it. Also, depending on how many you need, doubling the recipe might be wise since it only makes a dozen or less. 

You may want to artificially color your icing. Some folks are freaked out by the whiteness. But I didn’t mind it so much.

Speaking of the icing, this stuff is far from healthy. I have no suggestions as to how one might change that. If you look at it as a special treat instead of an everyday occurrence, it’s no big deal. And, as my friend Lisa pointed out on Facebook, while they aren’t necessarily healthy for us humans, they’re bound to make our animal friends breathe a sigh of relief.

If you’re transporting them, and are therefore making them ahead of time, I might suggest adding the icing as close to show time as possible. The icing is really easy to apply, you could even do it day of and onsite by transporting both separately. 

Adorn these babies however you choose. They hold up quite well.

That’s all! Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

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  1. Yucko, i’d skip the transfat/saturated fat fake butter and either 1) just lightly sift some confectioner’s sugar over those pretty cupcakes or if you wanted more of an “icing,” thin the confectioner’s sugar with a tiny amount of soy milk, add vanilla extract, and brush it on…not make an obscene pile of sweet fat. ummm but how do i really feel about it….*lol*


  2. the only bad thing in here is the frosting

    the rest is pretty good. 1/3 c canola oil might sound bad, but its actually less than what the store-bought mixes use.


  3. Blah, you know, in my opinion? As long as you don’t eat this more than say twice a year, it’s not a problem. I know they aren’t particularly healthy, but they are really quite good.

    And I never claimed the cake part was bad at all. In fact, I thought maybe combining a dairy icing with this cake might be pretty great. (assuming you don’t want vegan cupcakes in the end.)

    Anyway, yeah. MODERATION! PEOPLE! :] Everything is OK in moderation. Except for cocaine and murder.


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