Perfect vegan vanilla cupcakes that are so fluffy, tender, and light. Topped with the most amazing light and airy one-bowl vegan frosting for the perfect combination.

Made with an incredibly fluffy and flavorsome cake batter, which can easily be adapted as a vanilla cake. It even forms the base of my vegan apple cake recipe.

Like my vegan rice crispy treats and chocolate cake recipes, these vanilla cupcakes are perfect for birthdays and special occasions.

vanilla cupcake with frosting and a bite taken out of it.Pin
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💭 What To Expect From This Recipe

🥛 Ingredients Needed

Here's everything you need to make easy vegan vanilla cupcakes from scratch:

ingredients to make vegan cupcakes measured out in bowls.Pin

Notes about the ingredients

  • Soy milk combined with apple cider vinegar creates a vegan buttermilk alternative. It tenderizes the cupcakes, making them light and fluffy. Almond milk can also be used in place of soy milk.
  • Vegan yogurt is what makes these non-dairy vanilla cupcakes so special. It adds a slightly tangy flavor from the acidity. It also contributes to rising the cupcakes as the acid in the yogurt reacts with the baking soda.
  • Vegan butter rather than oil makes the best vegan vanilla cupcakes recipe in my opinion. Being a solid fat, butter gives a cakier crumb and provides some structure as well as a delicious buttery flavor.
  • Granulated sugar is a must for this recipe as vanilla cupcakes need to stay light in color. Brown sugar or coconut sugar will cause the cupcakes to be darker in color with an overpowering flavor.
  • These cupcakes call for a good dose of vanilla, this is the main flavor. Go for a good quality natural vanilla extract, not vanilla essence. Vanilla bean paste is also great.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: work in tandem to leaven the vanilla cupcakes.

🥣 How To Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

(1) Cream together the sugar and vegan butter in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or stand mixer.

(2) Add in the vegan yogurt and vanilla and whisk again to combine.

(3) Switch to a regular whisk and add the dry ingredients and vegan buttermilk in 2 increments, whisking to combine each time.

(4) Do not overmix the batter, it's ready once the dry ingredients have been just incorporated.

creaming wet ingredients for vanilla cupcakes in a large mixing bowl.Pin

(5) Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to measure out the batter into a muffin pan.

(6) Distribute the batter between the cupcake liners, filling them three-quarters full, and bake.

(7) Allow the cupcakes to rest in the pan for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting and topping them with sprinkles.

adding vanilla cupcake batter to a muffin tray and cooling a cupcake on a wire rack.Pin

👩‍🍳 Expert Tips

  • If you're making these vanilla vegan cupcakes for a party, you can make them ahead the day or night before. Keep them stored in an airtight container and refrigerate without frosting. The buttercream only takes 5 minutes to make, so it's best to whip this up fresh and decorate on the day!
  • Don't overfill the paper liners. Make sure you fill the cupcake liners only three-quarters full, otherwise they will flow over the sides of the muffin pan.
  • 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're in a rush.

💬 FAQs

How long will vegan cupcakes last?

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If longer, refrigerate them for up to a week.

Why did my vegan cupcakes sink?

This usually happens if the ingredient ratios are off or if too much raising agents have been added. The cupcakes rise super fast and then sink. Be sure to follow the ingredient quantities closely to prevent this.

Vegan cupcakes can also sink if the oven door was opened during baking. Opening the door can change the oven temperature up to 150°F or more (The Kitchn) Do not open the door before the first 20 minutes of baking and you'll be good.

Can vegan cupcakes be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. This can be done with or without frosting too.

Can I divide the recipe to make fewer cupcakes?

Yes, you can two-thirds the recipe for 12 cupcakes or half it for 9 cupcakes. You can also make 24 smaller vegan buns with this recipe.

vanilla cupcakes with funfetti spinkles and frosting on a cooling rack.Pin

🧁 More Vegan Cupcakes

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Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

5 from 3 votes
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 mins
Servings: 18
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Description

These easy vegan vanilla cupcakes are soft, fluffy, and moist. Bursting with real vanilla flavor with a hint of tanginess from vegan yogurt. They are perfect for birthday parties!

Ingredients

  • 236 ml soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 170 g granulated sugar, *see notes
  • 100 g vegan butter, block butter NOT spreadable margarine, room temperature
  • 85 g vegan Greek-Style yogurt, or unsweetened soy or coconut yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract, or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 batch vegan buttercream frosting
  • vegan funfetti sprinkles, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 175°C (347°F). Line 2x 12-hole muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners. (You can do one tray at a time if you only have one pan)
  • To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a medium bowl or jug, stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a stand mixer or large mixing bowl and cream them together with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add in yogurt and vanilla and mix again to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Switch to a regular whisk and add the buttermilk and dry ingredients to the creamed butter in 2 increments. Whisk to combine between each one, being careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake liners using an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop. Fill the liners no more than three-quarters.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until they are very lightly golden on top. 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 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool further for 30 minutes to cool completely.
  • Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle and pipe it on top of each cupcake.

Storage

  • These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. Always store them in an airtight container.
    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.

Notes

  • Some white sugar in the US is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
  • To make fewer cupcakes, use two-thirds of the recipe for 12 cupcakes or half for 9 cupcakes. You can also make 24 smaller vegan buns with this recipe.
  • You can freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. This can be done with or without frosting too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg
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