These vegan raspberry cupcakes are so simple yet so flavorful. With a fluffy vanilla cake base and creamy raspberry buttercream frosting that's bursting with raspberry flavor, these pretty pink cupcakes are perfect for every occasion. They even have a surprise raspberry center which makes them even more irresistible!
📖 Recipe Overview
- Tender and moist
- Fluffy and light
- Not overly sweet
- Easy to make
- Eggless and dairy-free
- Great for special occasions (birthday parties, Valentine’s Day, Mother's Day, baby showers, etc)
🧾 Ingredients Needed
- Baking soda and baking powder: These are the leavening agents for your vegan cupcakes.
- Soy milk: This is mixed together with some apple cider vinegar which creates a vegan alternative to buttermilk. The buttermilk mixture helps to tenderize the vegan raspberry cupcakes, making them light and fluffy. You can swap out the soy milk for almond milk if needed.
- Superfine sugar/caster sugar: Since this recipe is based on a vanilla cupcake, white sugar helps to keep them light in color.
- Sunflower oil: You can use any neutral flavored oil for these cupcakes, rapeseed, or light olive oil also work well.
- Vanilla extract: These cupcakes call for a good dose of vanilla, as this flavor really shines through in the cupcakes. Go for a good quality natural vanilla extract, not vanilla essence.
- Sea salt: Salt is a flavor enhancer, it also helps to balance the sweetness of the recipe.
- Fresh raspberries and lime juice: This is for the homemade raspberry coulis which will be used to fill the raspberry cupcakes. You can also use lemon juice and frozen raspberries, depending on what you have to hand.
- You'll also need to prepare a batch of vegan raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, and if you want you can leave half of it plain like this vegan swiss meringue buttercream to create a pink and white swirl effect with the frosting.
🥣 How To Make Raspberry Cupcakes
Make the vanilla cupcakes
As mentioned above, the base of this recipe is a simple vegan vanilla cupcake, which you can also enjoy plain with some vegan Swiss meringue buttercream. To make them simply mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, in this case, that's flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Then combine the wet ingredients in a separate medium bowl jug, which consists of the vegan buttermilk mixture, sunflower oil, and vanilla extract.
Now pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry cupcake ingredients and whisk until they form a batter. Don't be tempted to over-mix here, it will only take a few seconds to get the right consistency (picture below).
Now it's time to bake the vegan cupcakes. Although you can go for smaller cupcakes or "buns" as we call them here in Ireland, I prefer to make larger cupcakes closer to the size of muffins. This recipe will make 12 large cupcakes or about 24 smaller buns.
Line your muffin tin and distribute the cupcake batter between each case, an ice-cream scoop works great for scooping the batter.
The cupcakes will take 20 minutes to bake in a preheated oven, and once done you should be able to insert a skewer or toothpick that comes out with just a couple of crumbs on it, but no visible batter. Allow the cupcakes to cool to room temperature before attempting to fill them.
Filling the cupcakes
To make the raspberry filling, simply add the ingredients (raspberries, sugar, and lime juice) to a saucepan and simmer until they resemble a thick jam consistency. Make sure you stir the jam every so often to prevent it from sticking to the pan. It's important to cool the jam to room temperature as well, but this won't take any longer than 15-20 minutes.
Using a cupcake corer, carefully remove the centers of the cooled cupcakes, be careful not to dig all the way to the bottom, and reserve the cuts you remove. If you don’t have a cupcake corer at home, not to worry! King Arthur Baking and Boston Girl Bakes share tips and tricks on how you can use everyday kitchen tools to core and fill your vegan cupcakes.
Spoon a little raspberry jam into each cupcake and then top with the reserved cuts and you are ready for frosting.
For the frosting, you can use either vegan raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream or plain vegan Swiss meringue buttercream. I recommend making half and half, by simply adding the raspberry powder to one part of the buttercream at the end. Then transfer both buttercreams to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle. Alternate between raspberry and vanilla buttercream when filling the bag to give a swirl effect.
These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. If you’re keeping them for more than a couple of days, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan buttercream which stiffens up when chilled.
🧁 More Vegan Cupcakes
- 236 ml (1 cup) soy milk, or other plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoons (1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar
- 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 170 g (0.85 cup) superfine sugar (caster sugar)
- 2 ½ teaspoons (2 ½ tsp) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (½ tsp) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (½ tsp) sea salt
- 75 ml (⅓ cup) sunflower oil, or rapeseed oil/light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (2 tbsp) vanilla extract
- 1 batch vegan raspberry Swiss buttercream, Only add raspberry powder to half of the buttercream to give a swirl effect using both pink and white frosting
- 150 g (1 ¼ cups) fresh raspberries, or frozen raspberries
- 30 g (2 ½ tbsp) superfine sugar (caster sugar)
- 1 tablespoon (1 tbsp) lime juice, or lemon juice
- 20 ml (1 ⅓ tbsp) water
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners, or 24 small bun cases.
- To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a medium bowl or jug, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the flour, sugar, soft baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Add the sunflower oil and vanilla extract to the bowl/jug with the vegan buttermilk and stir to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined - do not over-mix.
- Distribute the batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes. Check they are done by piercing them with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further for 30 minutes.
- Add the raspberries, sugar, lime juice, and water to a saucepan and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Whisk the mixture from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Make a batch of vegan raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, if you want to create a swirl effect, only add the raspberry powder to half of the buttercream.
- Use a cupcake corer (or apple corer) to cut out centers in the cooled cupcakes, reserve the pieces that you remove. Fill each cupcake with raspberry filling and place the reserved cuts back on top of each one.
- Transfer both buttercreams to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle. Alternate between raspberry and vanilla buttercream when filling the bag to give a swirl effect. Pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake.
- These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. If you're keeping them for more than a couple of days, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan buttercream which stiffens up when chilled.
- Nutritional information is based on filled cupcakes without frosting.
- Don't overmix the cupcake batter. If there are a couple of pockets of flour still visible, that's totally fine!
- Don't overfill the paper liners. Make sure you fill the cupcakes liners ¾ ways.
- Cool the cupcakes to room temperature before filling. You can pop them in the fridge on a plate for a few minutes to speed up the cooling time.
- If you don't have a cupcake corer, you can use an apple corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes for the raspberry filling.
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