Delicious moist vegan chocolate cupcakes with a vegan chocolate frosting that is actually good for you (aka healthy).
Since starting on this dessert blogging journey I have learnt a lot about dietary restrictions that I had no clue excited before. Sure, I knew that a vegan diet/lifestyle means avoiding all animal-related products. Consequently I thought most desserts must be taboo altogether.
Because how on earth could you bake without butter, eggs and milk?
Turns out, you can! And it does not have to taste like cardboard. Claire Gosse wrote a dessert cookbook full of tasty treats that are all vegan. While recipe testing and having others (non-vegans as well) taste test the result she often was told "Are you sure that's vegan?" (In the end this is what she ended up naming her cookbook )
The same holds true for these amazing chocolate cupcakes from Claire's cookbook. Although I knew I hadn't put any animal-product into the batter, I couldn't tell that they tasted any different. They were deliciously moist, while being fluffy and super chocolate-y!
But I didn't want to rely on only my own opinion and also had my husband and family try these vegan chocolate cupcakes. Only...I didn't tell them they were vegan - and sure enough, without knowing, none of them noticed any difference. They were inhaled just like any regular chocolate cake.
Now you might wonder, why would I make vegan cupcakes when no one in my family is vegan?
I don't know about you but I love to make desserts for other people. And every once in a while I know there will be people with certain dietary restrictions at a gathering. I just love to be able to bring something that they can enjoy as well.
For example, a few years back my little sister had asked me for cupcakes to bring to school for her classmates. She knew that a couple of her classmates were lactose-intolerant. Having tried-and-tested vegan recipes on hand was perfect for this occasion.
"Are You Sure That's Vegan?" features 55 vegan clones of everyone's favorite desserts. There are recipes for classic layer cakes, delectable cookies, pies, fudge and even cheesecake!
Instead of a buttercream I chose a healthy frosting from Texanerin to pair these chocolate cupcakes with. The frosting consists of the flesh of 1 avocado, maple syrup, cocoa and espresso powder. That's it! So simple yet so delicious and even healthy. I assure you, it does not taste like avocado at all.
Another great frosting option would be this easy delicious 2-ingredient chocolate mousse.
Recently, I figured out that many of my cake sinking issues are related to the high altitude we live at now. A few changes like reducing sugar and leavening, increasing liquid and temperature make regular recipes work for high-altitude. I included the alterations I made in brackets () in the recipe below.
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with healthy Chocolate Espresso Frosting
For the vegan cupcakes:
- 2 cups all purpose ﬂour
- 1 ½ cups white sugar (1 ⅓ c)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (½ tsp)
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (heaping ½ c)
- 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
For the healthy frosting:
- 1 avocado
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
() denote adjustments for high-altitude baking
- Preheat oven to 350 F (370 F for high-altitude baking).
- In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Stir or whisk until there are no more lumps.
- Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill each ⅔ full with batter. Bake for 20-25 mins. (17-20 at 370 F) until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until fully cooled.
Healthy Chocolate Espresso Frosting:
- Combine all frosting ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth. It might take a while to get all avocado chunks out.
- You can add more maple syrup or espresso powder to adjust sweetness and coffee flavor to taste.
- Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and decorated with sprinkles (optional). I used these edible glitter heart sprinkles.
Note: Do your research on your grocery store brand sugar! I know that the sugar refineries in my area use bone-char (charcoal from animal bones) in the refining process. If I want to make truly vegan desserts I use this organic sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners which is also certified vegan.
Looking for more vegan treats?
My Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is vegan and uses healthy coconut oil:
Another awesome vegan snack are these Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Banana Bites:
If you are into cake decorating this vegan fondant recipe is a great alternative to gelatin fondant:
This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission, if you decide to buy any products through the links in this post (bloggers have to live too so I can keep bringing you awesome recipes and giveaways 😉 )
My sister is vegan,and she likes cakes so much 😀
This book would be perfect for her then Adrienn 🙂
Indeed, it is hard to go wrong with blueberries. I actually have a bueberry recipe coming up at the end of the week, and since it uses coconut oil instead of butter it is vegan too 🙂
I just made these cupcakes and had to comment on how great they are! They are extremely moist and have a great chocolatey flavor. I'm not a vegan, but I needed a cake recipe that was egg and diary free. This is going to be my go to chocolate cake recipe from now on.
Thank you so much for taking time to leave this great feedback Jennifer! Much appreciated. I always use my vegan recipes when I want to bake for someone with dairy or egg intolerance 🙂
I would try the Nanaimo Bars.
I love Nanaimo bars soo much 🙂
Oh, I am going to try these next weekend, I have a friend coming over who is vegan. And this recipe doesn't have a list of expensive, hard to find ingredients, perfect !
So glad this recipe can be useful to you so soon! The relatively 'normal' ingredient list is what intrigued me about this recipe as well. No fancy replacer products you wouldn't usually need 🙂 Let me know how you like them
Chocolate chip cookie! Thanks for the amazing giveaway~
Absolutely Amy, I love to be able to bring these giveaways 🙂
I'd love to try the peanut butter cups! Yum!
PB and chocolate are just too awesome together 😀
Peanut Butter Cups! There are so many that look delicious, but this is one of my all time favorites 😀
They are soo addicting 😉
Can't wait to try the carrot cake! 🙂
Carrot cake is one of my all time favorites 🙂
strawberry daiquiri cupcakes 🙂
Those sound so fun!
Kimberly Camille Tiu
peanut butter fudge! <3
PB Fudge! My goodness!
Mmm one thing I haven't tried baking since becoming vegan is cheesecake so I would have to trytthat!
I am so intrigued by that concept as well Ray 🙂
I would love to try the cheesecake recipe. Thanks for the great giveaway! 😀
Thank you for participating 🙂 Vegan cheesecake seems very interesting indeed
the PB fudge sounds delicious, you cupcakes look AMAZING.
Aww...thanks so much Natalie
It does indeed look soo yummy 🙂
These look/sound DELICIOUS, Regina. Will have to try this recipe - maybe with carob powder... Loving the little heart sprinkles. 🙂
You know, I have never made anything with carob powder but have heard of people using it instead of cocoa so that should work for these cupcakes 🙂 And I definitely have to look into loosing my carob virginity 😉
I'd like to make the Nanaimo Bars
I love Nanaimo Bars Margot! Though I can only have a tiny piece at a time 🙂
i gotta try peanut butter fudge
It is really intriguing to me too Heather 🙂
I want to try the peanut butter fudge.
I am there with you Maggie. I love fudge!
yepper I have only been vegan since April 7th and I miss some good fudge lol.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse pie sounds delicious! Thanks for the giveaway!
That pie does look awesome!