Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on May 12, 2016

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Good morning!  I hope your week is going well so far. It has flown by on my end. I’m back with a recipe today, and will be posting my 20 Weeks pregnancy update later today and Friday FAQs tomorrow.

As you may know, I’ve been busy revamping reader-favourite blog recipes and shooting new photography for the Oh She Glows Recipe App. As I re-test old favourite recipes, I often find myself improving upon them in various ways (such as easier-to-follow directions, better tips, the addition of metric units of measure, or simply by creating something that tastes even better!). I kept saying that I wished there were a way I could share with you guys both what I’m up to and the recipes I’m revamping! Then it dawned on me…well, why don’t I just share quick, mini posts doing just that? Initially, I brushed the idea off because I’ve never done “bite-sized” posts before, but it could be fun. With summer quickly approaching, short and sweet posts might be nice here and there! So why not turn it over to you, dear readers, and see if this is something you’d be into?

Basically my idea is this: I pop in with a mini recipe post sharing a recipe that I’ve revamped (or, occasionally, a new quick and easy recipe I’ve added to the app) along with one or two new photo(s). There will be a brief hello/update from me, and then the recipe! Boom. Bob’s your uncle. (Wait, do people say that anymore? lol) Anyway, I’d love to hear what you think!

I’m kicking off today with my all-time favourite vegan chocolate cupcakes from way back in 2011. I had a major craving for cake last week (thanks Shari!), so this seemed like the next logical recipe to revisit. I ended up streamlining the written directions/ingredient list, adding metric units of measure (weight/volume), and pairing the cupcakes with a salted buttercream frosting. I also tested a gluten-free version (using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour), however I wasn’t happy with the outcome (the cupcakes were quite dense). I think I’ll have to work on a custom gluten-free flour blend in the future!

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4.9 from 41 reviews
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Fail-Proof Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

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These are my go-to, never-fail vegan cupcakes! They are the perfect cupcake for all of your celebration needs. You won't believe it when you see how much they rise while baking. I top them with a layer of salted buttercream and sprinkles for a festive twist. They never last long! For the fluffiest cupcakes use all-purpose flour, however the recipe is pretty forgiving so feel free to use white spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour in a pinch (bake times may change slightly). Recipe updated from my 2011 version.

Yield
12 cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup (220 g) natural cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) grapeseed oil*
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (27 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the salted buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) vegan butter**
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) powdered icing sugar, sifted if necessary
  • 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Sprinkles, for decorating***

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. For the cupcakes: Add the milk, sugar, oil, vinegar, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. With electric mixers, beat the wet ingredients on low speed until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until no clumps remain.
  4. Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until smooth and no patches of flour remain.
  5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, about two-thirds full for each.
  6. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the cupcakes slowly spring back when pressed gently with a finger. A toothpick inserted into the centre should also come out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack.
  7. For the buttercream: In a large bowl, beat the butter and vanilla with electric beaters until light and fluffy.
  8. Add the icing sugar, gradually, while beating on low speed. Now, add in the milk to thin it to your desired consistency, while gradually increasing the speed. I add a teaspoon at a time. If at any point you add too much milk and the buttercream becomes runny, simply add more icing sugar to thicken it back up. You want a nice spreadable consistency that is not runny.
  9. Add the salt to taste and beat again to combine.
  10. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spread a thick layer of frosting on top of each, followed by a generous amount of sprinkles. Enjoy!
  11. Leftover cupcakes will keep for a couple days in a sealed container, or you can freeze them for up to 1 month. I freeze them uncovered at first and then once they are frozen solid, I wrap each cupcake individually in foil. Then I place all of them into a large freezer zip bag, pressing out all the air.

Tips:

  • * You can also use melted coconut oil in this recipe, however make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature (no cold milk!) to prevent the coconut oil from hardening upon contact.
  • ** I use soy-free vegan buttery spread (by Earth Balance), however feel free to use any kind of butter you prefer.
  • *** Look for natural sprinkles (without artificial dyes), such as "Let's Do Organic" brand.

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{ 181 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy May 12, 2016 at 10:54 am

Love this idea! There are so many of your recipes that I haven’t tried, so mini posts would be a great reminder to try the ones you revamp that I may never have gotten around to making. These cupcakes look amazing, I will try them soon! Also, I love that you are posting more frequently these days, I missed this space a lot the last few years.

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Erica House May 12, 2016 at 11:22 am

I’ve been drooling over these on your snapchat!

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Amy Lauren May 12, 2016 at 11:32 am

Ahhh, these look amazing! Will definitely need to try! X

Amylaurenxo.blogspot.co.uk

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Kari May 12, 2016 at 11:53 am

Salted buttercream sounds amazing!!!
Kari
www.sweetteasweetie.com

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Jillian May 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Love the idea of mini-posts with revamped recipes! I very rarely go digging through recipe archives on blogs, I almost always just take inspiration from whatever my favorite bloggers are currently posting so bringing back those old favorite or newly improved recipes would be awesome!

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Kristen May 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE the mini post idea! Thank you soooo much!

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Sarah May 12, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Love the mini post idea! And it’s our anniversary this weekend (21!) so I might just make these as I don’t always get to enjoy whatever cake my family is eating. Have a great weekend!

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Angela Liddon May 13, 2016 at 10:13 am

Aw, happy anniversary, Sarah! I hope you enjoy the cupcakes if you make them :)

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Sarah May 14, 2016 at 9:30 am
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Thank you! I made them yesterday and there are only 2 left that we are eating for breakfast ;)
My 12 yo daughter can’t believe they are vegan, so thank you for making our celebration great!

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JJ May 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Mini posts—maxi posts—ANY POSTS!!—I think we’ll enjoy them all! I don’t have the right phone for the app, nor am I on the various social medias, so I especially enjoy whatever and whenever you post on your blog. (Yes, I do have your book #1 and have preordered #2. Can’t wait!!).
This recipe looks yummy, as do all your recipes, but I do have a request: I know you can’t address everyone’s dietary specifics, but for those of us who can’t/don’t eat chocolate (gasp! yes, I know I’m in the minority!) I wonder if you can share any tips on substituting with carob? Other than just stirring it into something like (vegan) yogurt or smoothies or oatmeal, I’ve never really experimented with it…..never cooked with it as a substition for cocoa or other forms of chocolate. I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on this!

Thanks for being you— and for sharing yourself with us!

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hairwonderfulday May 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Oh my, I am actually dreaming about making these! Looks gorgeous and tasty!
www.hairwonderfulday.com

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Shirin May 12, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Absolutely love the mini-post idea!! Please please do!
Also, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve pre-ordered Book #2…so excited for it to come out!

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Angela Liddon May 13, 2016 at 10:10 am

Thanks so much for your support, Shirin! I hope you love the second cookbook when it finally launches :)

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Louise May 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Two thumbs up to both this recipe and the mini posts!

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Ruth May 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm

I like that idea. There are some “oldies” here which are some of my favorites.

Also…just want to send appreciation for the beautiful work you do. I’ve been swamped at work, which means I’d rather order takeout than stop and cook a meal, but seeing new recipes download into the gorgeous app inspires me to keep being diligent in making choices that are good for myself.

Finally, I brought your Life Affirming Warm Nacho Dip to a potluck Sunday, and literally every person there said they loved it and wanted to know where to find the recipe. I am so delighted to share the joy of Oh She Glows with them. :-). Maybe I need to buy the book in bulk to give out at potlucks? Hee hee.

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Angela Liddon May 19, 2016 at 8:11 pm

Hey Ruth, Oh I’m so thrilled to hear that the app is inspiring you so much! I can relate to feeling the urge to order takeout lately, and I agree that sometimes all it takes is scrolling through some beautiful dishes to ignite the inspiration again. I’m also happy that my Life Affirming Warm Nacho Dip was enjoyed by all. It’s a favourite in this house for sure! Thanks for spreading the love!

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Cathy Vu May 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm
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Hi Angela,
First of all I just wanted to say that I can tell you are working really hard on your multiple platforms to not let your readers down, considering being a pregnant mom I don’t know how you manage all of that. So I really admire you. Secondly I just wanted to give my two cents regarding this bite sized blog post idea: as readers obviously the more content you give out the better for us, I am just not sure if it will be get kind of confusing to keep track of everything you put out. For example, yes I am one of the lucky readers who has an iPhone and I can see your app, so between your book and your app (the two sources that I can index everything) there’s also your blog in case I see something on your snaps or insta or simply I want something I wonder if you ever blog about it, I feel like i can keep tap of all the contents you had and are putting out. This mini series will be kind of confusing to me to be honest. Like I don’t know if it is a double content from the app or is it something completely new…I just don’t know how it will be. Am I being an OCD reader here? I’m sorry if other android users feel otherwise because after all it is your business and like I said from the start, the more content the better for us after all. Thanks for being awesome. By the way my little family (we have a 19 month old toddler) and I are going to Toronto this summer! So excited. Play date? ;)

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Morgan May 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm

I love the idea of mini-posts! Both as an intro to recipes I haven’t tried yet, and to inform of changes or improvements. I was making your crowd pleasing caesar salad not long ago and, knowing most of it off by heart now, I measured in some sesame seeds for the nut and seed parmesan. Went back to double check I hadn’t missed anything and was like heyyyy… I could’ve sworn they were supposed to be in there!

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Fiona Young May 12, 2016 at 10:51 pm

I love the idea of mini posts featuring recipes you’ve re-vamped!! Please do it! ;)

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VegSinai May 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm
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I can’t wait to try these. My man is loving all the dishes I put on our table and I can’t wait to make these treats for him! that damn sweet tooth of his I tell ya!

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Angela Liddon May 13, 2016 at 9:57 am

I hope these satisfy that sweet tooth! :)

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Edith May 13, 2016 at 12:57 am
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They look sooo pretty!!!
http://thehappyvegangirl.com

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Almut May 13, 2016 at 1:30 am

I just LOVE your metric units of measure ;-) Makes it so much easier for me!
Oh, and I love your recipes – by the way ;-))))
Wish you all the best!
Almut

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Angela Liddon May 13, 2016 at 9:55 am

I’m so happy you find them helpful, Almut! :)

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Olya May 13, 2016 at 5:46 am

Love the idea of mini-posts!

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Rosie May 13, 2016 at 6:28 am

Yes! Amazing idea as there are still so many recipes of yours that I haven’t discovered!

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Jennifer May 13, 2016 at 7:56 am

Love this idea!! Thanks Angela!!

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JoAnn May 13, 2016 at 8:17 am
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My daughter made these for us this week and they are amazing! The family votes them the best!

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Caryn May 13, 2016 at 8:35 am

Thank you for the fabulous recipe. I am wondering what substitutions would work for the cane sugar in the recipe? Coconut sugar and how much? Or honey? How about white and brown sugar? Thanks.

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Angela Liddon September 16, 2016 at 6:56 am

Hey Caryn, Great question! White sugar is your best bet for maintaining the recipe’s original texture, moistness, and flavour. Cane sugar is actually very similar to white sugar (the most similar of all vegan sweetener options, in fact!). You can substitute at a 1:1 ratio. Brown sugar might work, too, and maybe impart a richer flavour. I wouldn’t recommend substituting coconut sugar here, however, as it can be quite drying; the cupcakes likely wouldn’t be as moist and they might crack on the tops. But if that isn’t an issue for you then knock yourself out! Swapping in a liquid sweetener takes more experimentation and I haven’t tried any yet myself. If you try anything, please let us know how it goes!

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Diane May 13, 2016 at 8:57 am

These look yummy but for sure would love a gluten free version.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

I don’t care what you post Ange – I always love reading everything! These cupcakes look ahhhhhhmazing, and I might just have to make them for a co-worker’s birthday! I’d definitely be interested if you come up with a great gluten-free flour blend. That’s one of the things that always holds me back from baking – I know I’ll need to use a gluten-free flour but don’t trust ones that I buy in the grocery store to work properly. Have a lovely weekend!!

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Meghan May 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

Any tips for those of us who are gluten free? I’m so allergic to almonds so I would sub the almond milk for something else. Thanks for your advice!

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Annaliese May 13, 2016 at 9:54 am

Oh chocolate!!! Love the idea of a salted buttercream. And yes to mini posts, why not??? Also, Gena Hamshaw had a great guideline/recipe for custom GF flour blends on Food52, I found it very interesting and helpful….!! Happy friday!

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Stella @ Stellicious Life May 13, 2016 at 10:17 am

Love the idea of the mini posts! And these cupcakes look so cheerful, perfect for a birthday party! (Today’s Boyfriend’s birthday, so I see cakes and balloons everywhere ;-)

I can’t wait for your 2nd cookbook! When is the release date?

Have a lovely weekend! :-)

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Tary May 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

Hi Angela, we don’t have earth balance here in Indonesia. Do you think it will work if I use coconut butter or cacao butter instead for the frosting? Thank you

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Rina May 13, 2016 at 11:50 am

Would love to see mini-posts!

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Rose May 13, 2016 at 11:56 am

Love it! :D Both the idea and the recipe ;)

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cathy May 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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yes, more mini posts :)

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Heidi Kokborg May 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

I love the idea, Angela! I have never tried these cupcakes so your idea is working perfectly for me. Can’t wait to give these babies a try :)

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Kathy May 14, 2016 at 10:01 am

Yay for mini updates! Also, yay for cookbook #2. I’m pre-ordering. It debuts right around my birthday, and I’m waaaay too impatient for someone else to buy it for me. :0 You look fantastic! Hope the home reno’s aren’t too crazy. And thanks for all you do for all of us. It helps to keep me motivated by trying new recipes.

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Pam Clark May 14, 2016 at 7:48 pm

In the buttercream for frosting the chocolate cupcakes, do you use the Earth Balance spread in the tub or the more solid sticks?

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Natalie | Feasting on Fruit May 14, 2016 at 11:21 am

These are so cure and perfect in ever way <3

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Corporate Caterers in Mumbai May 16, 2016 at 3:56 am
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This Fantastic recipe is really mouth-watering… & I love the way you have presented it so wonderfully… Thanks for sharing & your kind attention to detail!!!

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Rhonda Valentine May 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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Hello,

I’m happy to say that I have tried this recipe! It is delicious! It is my go to recipe for cupcakes now for parties and holidays! Can we have a red velvet cupcake recipe please! Vegan and healthy would be nice!! Thank you in advance!

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Angela Liddon May 19, 2016 at 8:17 am

I’ll definitely keep that idea in mind, Rhonda!

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Tasha Bone May 17, 2016 at 1:58 am
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Made these cupcakes yesterday and they were soooo delicious. I gave a few to my friend and she said they were better than the ones she buys at her favourite cupcake store!! They are super moist and the icing was gloriously salty/sweet perfection. Once again another 10/10 recipe! Thanks Ang, you are a genius in the kitchen!!

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Angela Liddon May 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

Oh, I’m so happy to hear you and your friend loved the cupcakes!! Thanks so much for the sweet comment.

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Claire May 17, 2016 at 10:32 am

Hey there, I love your Oh She Glows cookbook and was wondering if you’d be writing another?
Kind regards,
Claire

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Angela Liddon May 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

Hi Claire, oh, I’m so happy to hear you enjoy my cookbook! Thank you so much for your support. I’m happy to tell you that my second cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day, is coming out this September 2016 (it’s set to launch on the 6th). It’s actually already available for preorder on Amazon and Chapters/Indigo — release date is getting closer and closer!

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Becky | GlutenFreeCuppaTea May 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Love the idea of mini posts, I’ve followed your blog for a while now & I’d love to see some revamped pictures etc :) Reminds me that I should do the same too!! x

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paul miller May 18, 2016 at 11:02 am

Well I was pretty sure after reading this post that I was going to print this recipe off and give these a try. After reading all the comments on how great they are, I am 100% I will be printing this recipe. Thanks for sharing! Off to the printer I go.

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Angela Liddon May 19, 2016 at 7:56 am

Haha, I hope you enjoy the cupcakes, Paul! :)

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paul May 20, 2016 at 3:38 am

This looks nice, i keep on learning thanks again.

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Sarah May 21, 2016 at 6:17 am

Hi Angela!
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and when I use your recipes, they are always a hit in my house! It’s so crazy but when you were expecting your first, I was too, and our babes are two months apart. Now we both are expecting again!!! I love it! I love how honest you are about your pregnancy. I’m 26 weeks this week and even though I’m having another boy, it has been a waaaaaay different pregnancy. My cervix started thinning at 20 weeks so I’m on modified bed rest (still get to work thank goodness!) and they have me on progesterone. This babe is worth every bit of the struggle though! I’ve made it six weeks and hoping to make it to full term!

Keep feeling well! (AND I’m going to try these cupcakes after my glucose test!) ;)

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Angela Liddon May 25, 2016 at 10:34 am

Hey Sarah, Thank you so much for your lovely note! That’s so awesome our little ones are so close in age. :) Way to stay positive on modified bed rest too. That sounds challenging, but like you said, totally worth it. Hopefully my blog posts will help you pass a bit of time. ;) I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible!

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Chrissi May 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

I was craving chocolate (have to love pregnancy cravings) and your email with the link to this revamped recipe is a life safer. I just made them and they smell delicious! Now I only have to work on my patience and let them cool.
I am originally from Germany so I am used to the metric measurements and love that you put them behind the US measurements. I personally think they are more accurate than the US measurements. The only thing I noticed for me is, that 1.5 cups of flour would have been 186g instead of the 210g with the flour I used, so I did go with yours.
Thank you so much for you constant inspiration to cook and bake, and I so can’t wait for your new cookbook to come out (I just pre-ordered it today)

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Angela Liddon May 24, 2016 at 9:53 am

Thanks so much for your support Chrissi! I hope you absolutely love the new cookbook when it comes out. :) Did the cupcakes satisfy your chocolate craving? I sure hope so! Congratulations on your pregnancy – sending you lots of well wishes!

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Chrissi June 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm
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They turned out amazing and made my neighbors and my day. And I am making them again right now as mini cupcakes.

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Karen May 21, 2016 at 3:13 pm

These look amazing! I’m excited to try for my daughter’s birthday! We are an allergy household and use your recipes for much of our cooking!! Have you ever tried these in cake rounds? If so, any tips? Thank you in advance!

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Ali May 24, 2016 at 11:18 am

Looks amazing! I am allergic to nuts; do you think coconut milk would work as a substitute for the almond milk?

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Angela Liddon May 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Hey Ali, Yes I think most non-dairy milks would work in this recipe! Let us know if you try anything out.

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Lyn May 26, 2016 at 8:42 pm
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I made these the other day (though without the frosting, I am not a frosting person), and SO SO good. Though I do have a question: If I wanted to go from “cupcakes” to “layer cake” or “sheet cake” what kind of modifications to either ingredients or cook time or temperature would I need to make?

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Angela Liddon June 1, 2016 at 9:39 am

So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes Lyn! :) This cake recipe is wonderfully versatile and I’ve had success baking it many different ways. I have a recipe for a double-layer vegan chocolate cake (with instructions on how to make it into a sheet cake, too) in The Oh She Glows Cookbook on page 249, which was adapted from these cupcakes. Hope this helps!

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jules May 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Love finding great vegan recipes for normal things … like cupcakes! I bet my gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour would be great in this recipe (lighter and finer than Bob’s). I can’t wait to try it! If you try it first, let me know what you think – far easier than creating your own blend for each recipe. :)
https://gfjules.com/product/gfjules-gluten-free-flour/
~jules

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Meli May 30, 2016 at 9:55 pm

They look beautiful and delicious! and they seem very easy to make! I need to try them :)

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Amber June 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm
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The fact that these cupcakes turned out perfect despite all the mistakes I made says a lot. I wasn’t concentrating so I put the sugar in with the dry ingredients rather than beating it with the wet ingredients first. I also used coconut oil but forgot the part about not adding it to cold almond milk to avoid it solidifying. And yet they still came out amazing! They were delicious, light, fluffy and not too sweet at all. I used all spelt flour so they weren’t as challenging on my stomach as wheat flour. I didn’t bother making the buttercream as I just wanted to have a simple, easy and enjoyable hour of baking for the first time with my 2 year old daughter (hence the lack of full concentration!) but I imagine they’re even more delicious when the entire recipe is made. I’m not joking, I ate 5 of them over the course of an afternoon and evening! They’re not great ‘for vegan cupcakes’ – they’re great compared to any cupcakes. Thanks for a wonderful recipe – I will be making again!

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Elin June 2, 2016 at 5:37 pm

How much cocoa powder do you think you would need to make a chocolate frosting?
Thanks!

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Rhonda valentine June 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

I’ve made this recipe 3 times now it’s my sweet tooth cravings I’m trying to get rid of! Help!

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Anna Lee June 8, 2016 at 8:12 pm
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I made these for a stay-in girl’s night, and they were a big hit! They were perfectly fluffy and moist and sooo delicious. And easy too! I did make a little bit more frosting because we’re frosting fanatics haha. Another great recipe!

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Shannon June 11, 2016 at 9:47 pm
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Wow! I had a real craving for some chocolate (it’s… A sensitive time ;-) ) and I searched these out! I didn’t have a cupcake tray handy so I used a loaf pan in a pinch (and let’s be real, in this state I would have just drank the batter and chased it with the frosting!) and it worked perfectly! The buttercream was the perfect compliment and I and my non-vegan girlfriend gobbled half the pan without coming up for air!! We both agree that these are better than any vegan baked good we’ve paid for at a café!

Angela saves the day again!!! Thank you!!!

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Angela Liddon June 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Haha, I’m so glad the cupcakes hit the spot, Shannon! Thanks for the sweet comment. :)

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Ena June 28, 2016 at 3:22 am

Has anyone tried replacing cane sugar with brown sugar (the non-sticky type)?
Btw, can’t wait to try these!!

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Tisha July 2, 2016 at 9:12 am

Can this recipe be doubled?
Love your blog and cookbook. Finally embracing the whole foods plant based way of life!! Thanks for helping make it easy and enjoyable!!!!

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batsheva July 12, 2016 at 12:59 pm

These look amazing!

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Joy Schwabach July 13, 2016 at 9:30 am
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I made a fourth of this recipe for a small cake for hubby, just to try it out. He loved it and he isn’t vegan! He was ecstatic! I didn’t have grapeseed oil so I used canola oil, and I used soy milk instead of almond milk, and the original Earth Balance product. It was as good as any non-vegan chocolate cake I’ve made, perhaps better. I’m not so into chocolate cake myself but this is a winner for those who are.

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Angela Liddon July 13, 2016 at 4:24 pm

That’s so great to hear, Joy! I’m glad the cake was a hit. :)

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Robyn July 18, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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I was looking for a vegan cupcake recipe for a babyshower found this one. Oh my gosh. I made these cupcakes but used gluten free flour. They are fantastic. I don’t need to look any father. Easy to make and delicious!

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Angela Liddon July 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

So glad to hear the cupcakes are a hit, Robyn! I hope the baby shower was fun! :)

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Audra July 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm
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I made these for a family birthday celebration! They were UH-MAZING!! They were also a hit with all the non vegans too!! I can’t wait for your new book!! You have totally helped my transition into vegan life and with my vegan pregnancy too!! THANK YOU!!

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Angela Liddon July 25, 2016 at 2:01 pm

So glad to hear it, Audra! :) I’m glad the cupcakes a hit.

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Joann @ Woman In Real Life August 2, 2016 at 11:16 am
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These are so good…and easy to make. My 11-year-old daughter has made them a couple of times, and I have requested them for my birthday in a few days. ;)

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sandy August 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Hi Angela, Thanks so much for the revamped recipe! One question – will the recipe translate into a cake? Thanks!

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Angela Liddon August 8, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Hi Sandy, this cake recipe is super versatile! I’ve had success baking it many different ways, and it will definitely translate well into a cake. In fact, in The Oh She Glows Cookbook I have a recipe for a double-layer vegan chocolate cake (with instructions on how to make it into a sheet cake, too), which was adapted from these cupcakes.

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Jo August 22, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Hi! Just wondering if I can use canola oil instead of grapeseed oil?
Looking forward to making these! :)

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Angela Liddon August 25, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Hey Jo, I haven’t tried the recipe with canola oil myself, but as both canola oil and grapeseed oil are neutral-tasting oils, I think the substitution should work out well for you! You could also try using melted coconut oil in this recipe; just make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from hardening upon contact.

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Clarissa August 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Can you make these with a gluten free flour or non-wheat flour?

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Angela Liddon September 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

Hi Clarissa, I tested a gluten-free version (using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour), but I wasn’t totally happy with the outcome: I found the cupcakes to be quite dense. A custom GF flour blend for this recipe is definitely something I want to play with more in the future! But, that said, I believe a reader or two tried it with gluten-free flour (I’m not sure of brand/type) and enjoyed their results. So if you decide to experiment yourself, I’d love to hear back!

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Anne August 29, 2016 at 8:29 am

Hi Angela,

I’m wondering if if I could substitute coconut milk for the almond milk. My son’s girlfriend is allergic to nuts.

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Angela Liddon September 16, 2016 at 6:54 am

Hi Anne, I think most non-dairy milks would work in this recipe!

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Karen Mcdonald September 12, 2016 at 4:57 pm
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Made these today, except made icing chocolate also. Very good and they did rise and no fall, yay will be making more.

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Angela Liddon September 16, 2016 at 5:24 am

Oh, I bet that was delicious, Karen!

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Selma September 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm
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Hi Angela, I made these for my husband’s birthday today with two small modifications: I used soy milk instead of the almond milk and canola oil instead of grapeseed. We enjoyed them, but the frosting was way too sweet and we didn’t taste the salt. Next time I would reduce the amount of sugar with half cup. By the way, thanks for adding metrics – it’s so much easier to just weigh the ingredients as I add them to the bowl!

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Angela Liddon September 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback, Selma! :)

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Elle October 6, 2016 at 6:08 pm

These were a total lifesaver. I made them for my daughters 2nd birthday to take to daycare where they have a dairy & egg free kid. She normally just gets ‘a defrosted treat from the freezer with some sprinkles’ and I was told not to worry, but that broke my heart! I added some dutch pressed cocoa to the icing and omitted the salt and added some gorgeous vegan edible butterflies at the end – the kids and carers thought they were excellent and some of the carers even went without so they could freeze a few extra for the child with allergies, who was beside herself that she got to eat the awesome cupcakes too. This is a fantastic recipe and tastes absolutely delicious.

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Angela Longo October 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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I made this recipe last night and brought it into the rehab team that I work with in a local hospital. I have no cupcakes left…people came back for seconds. My co-workers definitely approved. I used coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil, I didn’t add salt in my frosting (mostly because I forgot), and I used mini-chocolate chips instead of sprinkles.

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Angela Liddon October 7, 2016 at 7:36 pm

I’m so glad that the cupcakes were a hit, Angela. What a lovely thing to do!

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Lavues November 13, 2016 at 2:37 am
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Amazing recipe, I should try this too! Love your recipe!

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Sarah November 13, 2016 at 10:38 pm

If I don’t have electric beaters can I just whisk it? And is powdered sugar the same as powdered icing sugar?

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SilviA November 19, 2016 at 11:55 pm
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This is the first time ever that I am trying to make cupcakes… this was a n absolute success!My kids loved it, my husband loved it and of course me too?

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Angela Liddon November 22, 2016 at 10:15 am

I’m so happy to hear they were a hit, Silvia!

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Lindsey Noonan December 3, 2016 at 3:12 pm
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I made these this past week for my high school class and everyone loved them! I subbed white-wheat flour for the all-purpose for extra nutrition and they turned out great :)

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Lindsey Noonan December 3, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Also subbed coconut oil for grapeseed and made sure to beat quickly before it started to solidify, there were small chunks of the oil but it didn’t effect the overall recipe!

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Angela Liddon December 5, 2016 at 3:43 pm

So glad to hear the cupcakes turned out well with the swaps! I’m happy they were a hit with your class, too :)

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Claudia December 10, 2016 at 4:24 pm
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I made these yesterday just because I was feeling like baking something and I had most the ingredients at home. They turned out really great. I used 50grams of vegetal butter instead of the grapeseed oil since I didn’t have any, and they were still great (: Thank you for the recipe!

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Dana December 13, 2016 at 3:23 am

do these freeze well?

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Angela Liddon December 19, 2016 at 11:42 am

Hey Diana, Yes – these ;eftover cupcakes freeze great for up to 1 month. I freeze them uncovered at first, and then once they are frozen solid, I wrap each cupcake individually in foil. Then I place all of them into a large freezer zip bag, pressing out all the air.

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Monica December 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

These were sooo yummy! Just made them today and I can’t wait to share them with my mom’s daycare kiddos tomorrow (:

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Angela Liddon December 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Aw, I hope they love them!

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Sarah December 30, 2016 at 6:02 pm
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Yumm!!! I tried these with the President’s Choice Gluten Free All-Purpose flour blend and they turned out great! Not too dense at all! I’m serving them tomorrow for New Year’s Eve! Hopefully I don’t test too many more before then! :P Happy New Year!

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Tana Lise January 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm

My kiddo’s requested cupcakes for his 4th birthday party this weekend. Your chocolate almond cupcakes were SO easy and a HUGE hit last year, so we’re looking forward to making these this week. I noticed a cupcake-cake at the bakery the other day where all the cupcakes were bound together by a flat layer of icing. I’m going to give this a whirl then add a little birthday note and some sprinkles on top. Should be delicious. Thank you Angela!!

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Angela Liddon January 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm

That sounds like such a neat way of serving the cupcakes, Tana! I’d love to hear how the end result turns out. I hope your little guy enjoys them and has a great day! :)

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Jeanie January 6, 2017 at 11:02 am
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OMG, these are delicious!! I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, rose beautifully, fluffy & moreish! This recipe is a keeper! Thanks Angela!

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Lo January 7, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Wondering if you’ve tried making this recipe as a cake? It looks sooo dreamy and I’m hoping your answer is yes

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Angela Liddon March 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

Yes! :) This cake recipe is super versatile and can easily be made as a cake. In fact, my recipe for chocolate cake in The Oh She Glows Cookbook was adapted from these cupcakes.

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Jackie January 12, 2017 at 3:07 pm
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I made these last night to bring to a baby shower this weekend. I was a little skeptical about them not having a real binder, but the crumb turned out super soft and tender! My only complaint is they are not very chocolately. I added 1 tbsp extra of cocoa, even. Next time I would use at least 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, subbing out some of the flour. They were super easy to throw together though so will definitely try again!

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Jessica McNutt January 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Hey! I am wondering if this is adapted to a cake? I’m looking to make a cake for my sons birthday, and like the sounds of this – thanks!

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Angela Liddon January 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Hi Jessica, This recipe is wonderfully versatile and I’ve had success baking it many different ways—including as a cake. I have a recipe for a double-layer vegan chocolate cake (with instructions on how to make it into a sheet cake, too) in The Oh She Glows Cookbook on page 249, which was adapted from these cupcakes. Hope this helps! (And happy birthday to your son!)

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Harry January 18, 2017 at 11:22 am
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Thanks for the recipe, I will try this to night ! Love your blog!

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Riley February 4, 2017 at 11:37 am

Could I use this for a regular cake not cupcakes?

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Angela Liddon February 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Absolutely, Riley! This cake recipe is wonderfully versatile and I’ve had success baking it many different ways. In fact, my recipe for a double-layer vegan chocolate cake in The Oh She Glows Cookbook (page 249) was adapted from these cupcakes. Hope this helps!

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Michelle February 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Do you freeze the cupcakes with or without the icing?

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Angela Liddon April 3, 2017 at 11:58 am

Hi Michelle, You can freeze cupcakes with or without frosting–really, whichever makes the most sense for you at the time! If you’ve already frosted them with buttercream, I recommend freezing them uncovered at first and then wrapping each cake individually in foil once they’re frozen solid (and the frosting will hold its shape). Then I place all of them into a freezer zip bag, pressing out all the air. I hope this helps!

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Maggie February 22, 2017 at 2:16 pm
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Looks amazing! How well does these keep in the refrigerator if I make them the day before serving? Is it better to make the buttercream the same day I serve these? I’m making these for my birthday so just want them to be perfect. :-) Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! :-)

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Angela Liddon February 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Hi Maggie, Happy Birthday! The cupcakes (with buttercream) will stay fresh in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a couple days, so absolutely feel free to make them the day before serving.

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Isabella February 26, 2017 at 4:29 am
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I made these cupcakes and for some reason (It might be because I didn’t use the right sugar), the batter was really thin and didn’t seem to rise as much as normal cupcakes? Still really yummy though :)

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Sara Peshnak March 7, 2017 at 11:05 am

Can you substitute in a gluten free flour?

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Angela Liddon March 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

Hi Sara, I tested a gluten-free version using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour, but I found the cupcakes were quite dense. I’m still hoping to work out a custom gluten-free flour blend in the future! If you try a substitution of your own, I’d really love it if you’d report back on how it goes.

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emma March 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm
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These are so good. I tried many recipes and this is the one! Thanks so much. I made them for a baby shower. I also tweaked the recipe to make vanilla cupcakes so omitted the cocoa and added a little more flour – perfect :)

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Angela Liddon March 17, 2017 at 9:11 am

I’m glad to hear the recipe was a hit, Emma! And so great to know they can be easily altered to become vanilla cupcakes, too.

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Lindsey July 20, 2017 at 12:08 am

I am in the same boat. Best recipe I’ve tested for cupcakes so far. Did you sub the same amount of extra flour for the cocoa powder? 1/3 cup? I was thinking of doing that but I didn’t know if it would work!

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Julia April 9, 2017 at 7:36 pm
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Just made these for a friend’s birthday, and they are incredible! The cupcake is light and fluffy, but the frosting is the best part. So creamy and delicious. I gave one to my roommate (who is not vegan), and she loved it!

Just a note: I didn’t have electric beaters, so I did the frosting by hand. It took a lot of work, but definitely worth it. I was able to get the right consistency (and a gnarly arm workout). Thanks for the recipe!!

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Angela Liddon April 10, 2017 at 10:24 am

Hi Julia, I’m so happy these were a hit, and happy birthday to your friend! I can imagine it was quite the arm workout, for sure. Glad to know the frosting worked out for you with a by-hand approach, though. :)

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Jessica April 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm
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Made these tonight for a shower on Saturday. Am eating one without icing right now. WOW! Light, moist, rich. The best homemade chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve tried.

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Angela Liddon April 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm

I’m so happy you like them, Jessica! Hope they’re a hit at the shower Saturday. Have fun!

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Natalie April 14, 2017 at 10:40 am

How many calories are these with and without frosting?

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Angela Liddon April 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Hey Natalie, I haven’t done that calculation myself, but you should be able to find out the calorie count using a free online tool like NutritionData.com or CalorieCount.com. Hope this helps!

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Laura April 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Hi,
Can I use gluten-free four and replace the cane sugar with coconut sugar?
Thanks:)

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Angela Liddon April 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

Hey Laura, I’ve tested these with different combos of GF flour and haven’t been 100% happy with one yet. I’m not a big fan of the all-purpose GF flour blends that I’ve tried, either. If you decide to experiment, please let us know how it goes! :) As to the second part of your question, I wouldn’t recommend substituting coconut sugar here, however, as it can be quite drying; the cupcakes likely wouldn’t be as moist and they might crack on the tops. But if that isn’t an issue for you, then go for it!

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Stacy April 15, 2017 at 10:01 pm
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Made these for the third time today. The first time I made them for a friends birthday as we are both vegetarians and this recipe just sounded fantastic. We were not disappointed and he loved them, as did I, so much so I made the next batch a month later for my birthday. Tomorrow we are celebrating my son’s birthday and of course I made a double batch of my favorite go-to cupcake recipe. I’m not planning on telling anyone they are vegan until afterwards. Thank you for this wonderful recipe and these sweet little sugar bombs of happiness.

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Angela Liddon April 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Aw, I’m so happy to hear this recipe has been such a success for you, Stacy! Happy birthday to your son! :)

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Claire May 1, 2017 at 7:38 am

I love the sound of salted buttercream! Looking forward to trying it out. Have you ever tried the cupcakes with gluten free flours?

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Angela Liddon May 2, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Hey Claire, I tested a gluten-free version using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 flour, but I wasn’t totally happy with the result: I found the cupcakes quite dense. So, I’m hoping to play with a custom GF flour blend for this recipe in the future! That being said, I seem to remember a reader or two tried it with gluten-free flour (I’m not sure of brand/type) and enjoyed their results? If you decide to experiment yourself, I’d love to hear back!

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Erin May 29, 2017 at 10:17 pm
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Just made these for the first time- am hosting a vegan wedding shower at work. I didn’t have enough cocoa, so melted some vegan chocolate and threw it in with the wet ingredients. They turned out AMAZING! Even my picky hubby loved them.
Good job Angela!

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Angela Liddon May 30, 2017 at 10:15 am

So happy to hear that, Erin!

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Jacqueline June 4, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I made these for a party this weekend and they were such a hit! My friends could not believe they were vegan. I also added Watkins Raspberry Extract into the icing, which paired perfectly with the chocolate. Thanks Angela!!

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Amanda Renny June 20, 2017 at 4:39 am

These cupcakes are so good. Awesome recipe. I tried it at home and made a really yummy dish. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe. Please share some more vegan recopies.
small batch cupcakes frosting vegan

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Kayla Klajko July 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Do you mean like confectioners sugar when you say powdered icing sugar? :)

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Kayla Klajko July 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Oh, do you think these would be safe for baby’s first birthday? :) I’m trying to find a healthy yet yummy cake recipe for my sons birthday coming up in September ☺️💕

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Angela Liddon July 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Hi Kayla, I always say that if you’re unsure about any of the ingredients (especially any potentially allergenic ones), it’s best to consult with your pediatrician before introducing them. And yes, powdered icing sugar is the same as confectioners’ sugar. :) Happy birthday to your little one!

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Jac Hives August 2, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Hi – can the cane sugar be swapped for coconut sugar?

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Angela Liddon August 10, 2017 at 10:23 am

Hey Jac, I wouldn’t recommend substituting coconut sugar here, as it can be quite drying; the cupcakes likely wouldn’t be as moist and they might crack on the tops. But if that isn’t an issue for you then knock yourself out! If you need a sub, white sugar is your best bet for maintaining the recipe’s original texture, moistness, and flavour. Cane sugar is actually very similar to white sugar (the most similar of all vegan sweetener options, in fact!). You can substitute at a 1:1 ratio. Brown sugar might work, too, and maybe impart a richer flavour. Hope this helps!

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Sophia August 24, 2017 at 6:48 am
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I loooooove these! The cupcakes and frosting are bloody delicious. I will say that they get a little dry on day 2, but still freaking tasty!

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Jennie F September 20, 2017 at 10:47 am

These look amazing! I’ve been struggling to find an excellent vegan cupcake recipe, and several people pointed me towards these. However, we have a chocolate allergy to consider (crazy, right?!) – I could leave out the 1/3 cup chocolate to make them vanilla…but what would I sub in as a dry ingredient? just more flour? thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 21, 2017 at 8:31 am

Hey Jennie, Thank you! Unfortunately, these don’t adapt well to a vanilla version that I know of. My vanilla attempts were a bit gummy. Cocoa powder doesn’t absorb as much liquid as flour does, so if you add 1/3 cup more flour the batter will probably be quite dense and possibly dry. Your best bet is probably looking for a vegan vanilla cake recipe online, but if you do any experimenting please let us know how it goes! :)

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Claire October 11, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Does the cupcake recipe double well?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 13, 2017 at 11:03 am

Hey Claire, Oh good question. I don’t think I have doubled it before! If you try anything please let me know how it goes.

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Holly October 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm
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Just made these tonight for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. Mmmmmm soooo delicious!!! The icing was made with coconut oil instead of vegan butter. I actually wanted the coconut flavor and it worked with coconut flakes on top!! Oh so yummy. Because for me, nothing complements chocolate better than coconut!

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Holly October 23, 2017 at 8:12 pm
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i meant to give this a 5 star rating. Sorry about that. It’s worth the raving reviews! Nice and light and fluffy too!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

hey Holly, Oh I love the coconut oil + flakes idea…great combo with chocolate for sure. I just saw your rating too, thanks so much for your feedback! Happy birthday to your daughter. :)

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Holly November 20, 2017 at 10:38 am

I just saw your comment just now. Thank you :-) She loved them!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm

That’s great news! Thanks Holly :)

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Jane November 3, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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So yummy! I subbed real butter for vegan butter (we stay away from fake foods) and these were terrific. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 4, 2017 at 6:36 am

Hey Jane, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for trying them out.

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Asha Pritchard November 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm

I made these for a charity bake sale at work and they went down so well ☺ even with non-vegans! The sponge is lovely and moist but fluffy at the same time. Definitely going to try and make a full cake using this recipe too.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 6, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Oh that’s great news! If you have my first cookbook, there’s a great 2-layer chocolate cake recipe which was adapted from this recipe. :)

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Laura January 2, 2018 at 5:33 am
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I am not vegan but i made these last night and they taste amazing! they’re really dense (in a good way), rich and if i didn’t know they were vegan I don’t think i would be able to tell. I adapted the frosting recipe as I wanted to make that chocolate too, but I’m sure it would taste! Would definitely recommend this recipe

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2018 at 7:46 am

Hey Laura, Oh that’s so great you loved them! We do too. :) I heard from a blog reader last week that she made it into a themed birthday cake for her little one’s birthday. It’s quite a versatile recipe as a base. Thanks for your review!

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Natalie Roizman February 1, 2018 at 8:58 pm

I would like to make these for a vegan family member but won’t have time to make them to day of, or even the day before. Would the cupcakes freeze well do you think? Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 2, 2018 at 11:17 am

Hey Natalie, Yes they should freeze just fine (cool them fully and then tightly wrap). I’m not sure how the frosting freezes though.

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Natalie Roizman February 5, 2018 at 1:21 am

Thanks Angela, I will try to freeze the cupcakes and I can make the frosting a day or two ahead of time which should be fine in the fridge for a couple days I should think. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

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Karm February 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Thank you! Ur a lifesaver, my son is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts. And it can be challenge to celbrate birthdays when I myself am not a baker. But thank you for sharing this amazing recipe I have been using it for last 5 years and now he feels involved in class celebrations because I freeze a batch and send in his lunch box when needed. Thanks again ❤️

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 10, 2018 at 8:14 am

Aww that’s so sweet Karm…just picturing your son being able to celebrate with his class is so touching. Thanks for sharing!

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Michele Friel February 26, 2018 at 4:57 am
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oopsie, I couldnt stop eating the batter!
served these along with your carrot cake at dinner party to none Vegans and at the very end it came up in discussions that I was a plant base eater and they were all shocked! No one had the slightest idea. Can I reach through my computer and give you a hug for making my life easier?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 26, 2018 at 7:46 am

Awww that’s so sweet! Thank you Michele :) I’m so thrilled to hear this.

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Dori March 25, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Recipe looks great and easy to follow. I would like to make these gluten free for my daughter’s b-day party. I don’t normally cook gluten free and am unfamiliar with how to do so.
Can you please tell me how to make the cupcake portion gluten free. I’m assuming I’d swap out the flour, but I’ve tried using several gluten free flours and don’t have much luck. Any assistance is much appreciated.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 26, 2018 at 8:40 am

Hey Dori, Thank you! I have tried to make a gluten-free version before using all kinds of different flours and store-bought mixes and I never arrived on anything that I really loved enough to share. I’m so picky with my baked goods. If I do I will definitely share! :)

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Karla Lindic April 9, 2018 at 7:04 pm

Can I use soy milk or coconut milk? My daughter in law has a nut allergy. No almond milk.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 16, 2018 at 7:52 am

Hey Karla, I think any plant milk should work okay as long as you like the flavour! If using soy milk, there will likely be curdling when the vinegar is added…just to warn you :)

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Elisa April 10, 2018 at 6:33 am

Hi there!
Can’t wait to try these but just had one question… the apple cider vinegar in the recipe, what is it used for? I thought perhaps to make buttermilk but the recipe doesn’t mention it? Help!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 17, 2018 at 7:25 am

Hey Elisa, The vinegar is there so it can react with the baking soda and help the cake rise. I used apple cider as it’s a bit sweeter than other varieties. Hope this helps!

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