Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond ‘Buttercream’ and Raspberry Glaze

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 8, 2011


It’s my party and I’ll cry eat delicious cupcakes if I want to!

Ok, it’s not technically my party, but it is my girlfriend’s birthday tomorrow and we’re have a girl’s get together for lunch. I was ever so politely asked (note: begged) to bring a dessert along and I have had cupcakes on my mind ever since!

It feels like forever since I have made cupcakes (which probably means 2 weeks in my world) and I knew I had to do something to remedy this situation.

Liz loves cupcakes. I love cupcakes. Other people love cupcakes. It’s a win-win-win. Beat that Team Sheen.

Cupcakes, to me, are a triple threat. They are one of my favourite desserts to bake (easy), decorate (fun + easy), and photograph. You really can’t screw up a photograph with a cupcake in it!

It’s impossible.

On second thought…sometimes cupcake photos can turn out like poo-poo


I present the ever-horrifying chocolate turd cupcake.

In all my excitement, I didn’t realize that I had piped perfectly formed turds on my beloved cupcakes until after I uploaded the photos.

It was not a proud moment.

Eric and I could not stop giggling at them. Seriously. It was bad.

Shits ‘n giggles?


Luckily, I redeemed myself with these delicious Chocolate cupcakes topped with fluffy sweet clouds of frosting and a fruity raspberry glaze. They are a fun cupcake to bring to any Spring or Summer gathering because they are just so light and fluffy with a hint of fruit on top. Gathering or not, you should make them just because you are special. That should be reason enough!


I love cupcakes because the batter can be thrown together in just a few minutes. This recipe doesn’t get any easier too. It is literally- 1) Mix wet, 2) Sift in dry, 3) Mix. 4) Scoop.



Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

print this recipe!

Adapted from the famous eggless chocolate cake recipe. <—awesome!!

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Vanilla Almond milk)
  • 1 cup sugar (I used natural cane sugar)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or other oil)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract (optional, but awesome)
  • 1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I used Dutch-process)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste



1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. With an electric mixer, beat together the following ingredients in a large bowl (non-dairy milk, oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, almond extract). Beat on medium speed for a minute or two.

2. Now sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). Mix well, until the clumps are gone.

3. Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan, about two thirds full for each. Bake for about 22 minutes at 350F, or until the cupcake slowly springs back when pressed with a finger. Allow to completely cool before frosting.



My Aunt got me hooked on this famous eggless chocolate cake recipe years and years ago! I adapted it only slightly. It always seems to turn out no matter how I make it!


These cupcakes are chocolaty, fluffy, and flavourful with a hint of almond and vanilla.


While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. Red heart



Fluffy Almond ‘Buttercream’ Frosting

Yield: ~2 cups


  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery stick or equivalent, room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted (I used organic)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract (may sub. other extracts)
  • 1.5-2 tbsp non-dairy milk, to achieve your desired consistency

Note: If making the frosting as shown in the pictures, please double the frosting recipe above.


1. In a mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup of Earth Balance (or equivalent) with an electric mixer. Add in the milk, extract, and salt. Mix. Now gradually add in the sifted icing sugar, starting with 1 cup and mixing slowly until fully combined. I like to use my stand mixer when making frosting because I leave it mixing for about 5-10 minutes until nice and fluffy. Alternatively you can beat the frosting with a handheld mixer, for at least 4-5 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the frosting if you want to make the raspberry glaze (shown below).


I thought I would show you how I like to pipe my cupcakes!

My favourite decorating tip in the entire world is the very large Wilton 1A tip, as shown below. It eats small tips for breakfast. And you don’t need a coupler either!


1) To use, simply insert the tip into a pastry bag. Snip off the end of the bag so the tip fits through (as shown above).

2) Now place the pastry bag into a tall glass to hold it up and fold down the sides around the glass (image left).

3) Fill the bag with frosting and carefully twist the end of the bag tightly (image right). Secure the end with a rubber band, if desired.


Now you are ready to pipe delicious, fluffy mounds of frosting! Don’t be scared, it is easy! You can always do a couple practice trials too and don’t worry they don’t have to look perfect.

To pipe, start near the centre of the cupcake, squeezing the frosting out evenly working your way up the cupcake in circles. I like to make 3 tiers for an extravagant effect.

This is a great how-to video!

Fluffy clouds of heaven.

IMG_2269 IMG_2272

You can stop right there or you can top them with a glaze if you are feeling frisky like I was.

I saved a bit of the frosting (~1/2 cup) and I made a raspberry glaze. I mashed about 5-6 fresh raspberries with a fork and mixed it with the frosting. The raspberries release a bit of water and the frosting thins out into a lovely glaze that you can drip over the cupcakes. It added a lovely hint of raspberry to the cupcakes that paired well with the chocolate and almond flavours!


Of course, I was ‘forced’ to taste-test before giving them to Liz.

I slowly unwrapped the corners of the liner, revealing a chocolaty cupcake…


I slid the fork through each layer of fluffy frosting…


And I devoured every last crumb!


After devouring this cupcake in a blissed out trance, I deemed they were birthday quality, which is sort of a shame because I wanted to keep all of them. I am comforted knowing that tomorrow I will be able to enjoy another at lunch. ;)

Sweet Dreams.Birthday cake

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

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Tori February 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Wanted to let you know I used your almond ‘buttercream’ recipe making a cake for a friend who is dairy free, and it turned out wonderfully. Made it “cookies & cream” frosting by mashing up five oreos, then mixing it in once the frosting had set up a bit. I’m using it to ice a chocolate mayonnaise cake tomorrow, can’t wait to try it all together!


Receitas de Cupcakes March 4, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Cupcakes are my go-to vegan recipe, and I bet the raspberries would make an incredible touch! Fruit and chocolate is about as good as it gets!


Kristen March 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm

These are by far the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever made (vegan or otherwise) and possibly the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. However, I didn’t care for the salt in the frosting. I re-made the frosting a second time without the salt and it was OMG bliss.


Laura March 25, 2015 at 2:28 am

I’m not the best of cooks but my fam said these taste like proper cafe quality goodies! This recipe is seriously better than the cupcake recipes I used to use when I wasn’t vegan! Thanks so much!


Samantha April 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm

These are amazing! Yum yum! As I was making these cupcakes, I desperately wished I had some berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, anyberries!) around to put on top just like your beauties above. Alas, nothing. Instead, I used some crumbled up Oreos (do anybody else’s kids smash the Oreos in the box?) and beat them into the frosting. I also put a chunk of Oreo on top after the cupcakes were frosted. Voila! Deeeeeelicious! Thank you for your inspiration!


Niki May 4, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Hi! I’m new! :D I love this recipe it’s awesome, but I wanted to ask you something. My boyfriends sister is celiac and seven, she saw these cupcakes and wanted one so bad so I promised I would make her some, what can I use to replace the flour?
Thanks so much! :D


Megan May 11, 2015 at 3:19 am

Wondering if it would be okay to use almond butter for the frosting because I’m not sure if I can get other vegan butter where I live, planning on making some tomorrow for a vegan friendly stall at my school Aware Day for Peta and Oxfam.


Rachael Watson May 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Can I make a regular cake with this recipe? I made the cupcakes for my daughters birthday and they were the best cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life! However, my son wants a “normal” cake for his birthday.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 26, 2015 at 10:57 am

Hi Rachael,

I did a chocolate layered cake in the Oh She Glows cookbook that is based off of this recipe. Check it out if you are interested.


runninggag May 22, 2015 at 6:43 am


I used the dough of this recipe, combined it with the coconut whipped cream, and filled them with some strawberries – everybody loved it, even non-vegans. also it was the first time i ever tried to fill cupcakes and the consistency of these is just perfect, not too crumbly and not too moist.
now i’m going to make them again for another occassion, but the same people will be there so I want to use the components a little bit differently. i was thinking about making a “blond” base, top it with the whipped coconut creme and fill it with mango and passion fruit.
but because i don’t have a lot of experience with vegan baking (mostly doing normal stuff) i’m not sure if it is safe to just leave out the cocoa powder, consistency-wise? should i replace it with something (ground almonds, nuts…?) or reduce the amount of liquid?

thanks a lot (and sorry for any english-related mistakes :D )


Rebecca June 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Fabulous cupcakes – will be my go to recipe from now on when a craving for chocolate cake hits! I like to top my chocolate with whipped coconut milk to provide a nice contrast without the sugar or extra sweetness.


SM June 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Can I use regular white vinegar ?


Barbara Gifford July 18, 2015 at 9:40 pm

I see frosty tops! :)


Carolyn July 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Thank you for this amazing cupcake recipe- this is the only one I use for chocolate cupcakes! Vegan and non vegan approved & loved!


Debbie August 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm

I just made these – they are amazing! I can’t wait to bring them to the potluck today.


Harriet August 12, 2015 at 4:11 am

Is it possible to make this without an electric mixer or will my hand fall off if I try?


Deb November 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Hi- just checking the measures for vanilla and vinegar are table not teaspoons? Original recipe calls for teaspoons. Thx x


Gillian November 30, 2015 at 12:04 am

I just made a batch of these for my lactose-intolerant daughter’s birthday – they are SO delicious and were a big hit with her friends and the whole family! I made a couple of small changes : I used balsamic instead of cider vinegar (after seeing a comment on the all recipes website about chocolate and balsamic), and I think it works well :-) I also threw in a half cup of small choc chips. Then I halved the amount of icing ingredients, added a bit of orange zest and instead of the milk and almond ext. I squeezed a tsp or two of fresh orange juice into the bowl. Wonderful recipe, I’ll be making these again and again, thanks so much !


Olga December 5, 2015 at 11:16 pm

I used this recipe for mini cupcakes for my son’s 2nd birthday party. I used different frosting, but the cupcakes were perfect and really easy and quick to make.


Jenny S January 3, 2016 at 9:54 am

Can’t BELIEVE it, these turned out EXACTLY as pictured!! WOHOOO! Delicious, and pretty. Win!! Thanks SO Much for dairy/soy free baking options. Our world just got a bit happier :)
Jenny from down the street (Hamilton, ON). LOL


Amber February 5, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Are those measurements for the frosting correct? I tried making it and it was waaay too powdery and ended up looking up another recipe which had slightly more butter (subtitute) and milk (soy) which really helped.
Also followed the cupcake recipe which was absolutely amazing!


Rebecca March 12, 2016 at 10:38 am

I’m not yet finished making this yet but I have just made the frosting.
While mixing the frosting, it was INCREDIBLY dry and powdery until the last 15 seconds of mixing. I found that I just had to stick with it until the icing sugar gets fully incorporated into the wet mixture. This way you end up with a lovely, thick, buttercream icing.
Also, it’s SO delicious!


Jaime May 17, 2016 at 8:32 pm

These are officially my “go-to” cupcakes for every event!! Thank you SO much! Everyone loves them, they just taste devine!!
I used coco-quench for the milk it’s an Australian organic coconut milk mixed with a little rice milk and water but tastes really good and not as thick as regular coconut milk. I use coconut oil in place of the other oil it does solidify slightly when mixing so I put the mixer up quite high after I’ve added in the dry ingredients. And I use Rapadura sugar for the sugar as its gives them this rich delicious taste. Wonderful and nut free so safe for my daughters kindy cupcake day too.

Thank you again!!


Holly July 20, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Do you think I could sub spelt flour and melt coconut oil?
These look delicious!


Jaime August 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Hey Holly,

I used Wholemeal spelt flour as a healthier alternative and they still turned out delicious!!


Emily August 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

Is there any way to make these gluten free??


Patti November 22, 2016 at 11:51 am

Hi Emily! I just made these with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 All Purpose Flour. The recipe made 12 nicely raised, dense, moist chocolatey cupcakes. See my comment dated November 21, 2016.


Jenny September 27, 2016 at 12:15 pm

I made these once before and I can attest to their deliciousness however i made two batches this past weekend and I could not get the icing to stiffen. I made this almond buttercream and a peanut butter buttercream I also came across (basically the same recipe but with peanut butter added). I thought my kitchen was just too hot so I tried to cool the icing down, add more sugar, use less almond milk, etc and still I did not get an icing that would keep shape after being piped. Flavor is still great but I have to keep them in the fridge or my cupcakes will look more like cinnamon rolls. Any thoughts to where I went wrong?


Angela Liddon October 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm

Hey Jenny, Great question! I have experienced this before too. I find that it can depend on the type/brand of vegan butter that’s used. Do you know which kind you used? I use the soy-free vegan buttery spread by Earth Balance usually, and while I love that it’s soy-free, I find it doesn’t hold its shape as well for piping compared to using the butter “sticks” or shortening…I think because the water content might be higher in the spread, but I’m not sure. It’s also important that the cupcakes are completely cooled before adding any icing, even a bit of warmth will often make it melt off. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any luck in the future!”


Patti W November 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I made these cupcakes for a birthday party yesterday with Gluten Free Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour. 1 to 1 replacement. This recipe made 12 nicely raised, moist, dense cupcakes that held together, with a rich chocolately flavor. I used Silk Vanilla Almond Creamer for the liquid. My Vegan family member thought they were the best she had ever eaten! I topped them with your 2-ingredient Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Oh my goodness! This frosting is amazing & I do not like or eat coconut! It was a deep rich, not too sweet fudge surprise! Definitely both recipes are keepers! Thank You so much for sharing!


Angela Liddon November 22, 2016 at 10:00 am

Glad they were a hit! :) Chocolate on chocolate…what a decadent (and such a delish!) combination!


Kolyssa May 13, 2017 at 2:25 am

Hello! If I use Earth Balance buttery stick for a buttercream frosting, can I leave the leftover frosted cupcakes in a container on the counter (room temperature)? What is your experience with the shelf life of the frosting if you don’t refrigerate it? Thanks!


Jaime May 17, 2017 at 12:59 am

Hello Kolyssa, I never refrigerate mine and they always keep well for a couple of days, although they never get a chance to sit for long to be honest!! Too yummy! But yes about 2 days. :-)


Angela Liddon June 7, 2017 at 8:13 am

Hey Kolyssa, I don’t generally recommend letting them sit on the counter as the frosting will soften quite a bit. If you can leave them in the fridge that’s probably the best option. Hope this helps!


Jean May 23, 2017 at 7:40 am


I absolutely love this recipe and have used it with all of my cupcakes orders :)
But now I have been asked if I can make vegan and gf chocolate cupcakes !!!!! I can’t possibly use any other recipe than this one, what can I do, can this be adapted to gf?
Please, please try to get back to me, Love Jean X


Angela Liddon May 29, 2017 at 10:13 am

Hey Jean, Thanks so much for the recipe love! I’m so happy to hear this one’s become your go-to. Vegan baking can be a bit finicky, and as I haven’t settled on a GF version of these cupcakes myself, I hesitate to make a suggestion on what to try. None of my GF trials have been worthy of sharing. :( If you experiment, I hope it goes well–and that you report back! Good luck :)


Rachael June 2, 2017 at 8:29 am

Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda?


Rachael June 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Never mind. I answered my own question. Don’t do it!


Kris December 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm

I only quickly scanned the comments so sorry if this has been mentioned, but did you know that this recipe was featured in a scene on the 2013 movie What If (aka The F Word)? It was posted on the fridge next to a more relevant storyline item. I haven’t tried it yet, but seeing it made me want to search for it online and I surprisingly found it!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2017 at 8:17 pm

No way…I had no idea! Now I need to watch the movie. :) Thanks for letting me know, Kris!
I hope you love the cupcakes if you try them.
Oh my updated version is here:


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