The pretty vegan red velvet cupcakes are moist, fluffy and absolutely delicious! The sponge base is slightly chocolatey and I’ve topped them with a gorgeous vegan buttercream.
These vegan cupcakes are very easy and make lovely snacks or light desserts. They’re also special enough to make a lovely addition to a birthday buffet table.
Recipe tips and variations
- Colouring your cupcakes – the beautiful red color of the cake comes from a combination of cocoa powder and vegan red food coloring. Make sure to use a paste, rather than liquid, as this will produce a better color and consistency. A little goes a long way with the paste.
- Frosting – a lot of recipes use a vegan cream cheese frosting, but I’ve opted for buttercream here and the result is delicious. Switch it up for your favorite cream cheese frosting if you prefer.
- Decorating – the classic ‘red velvet’ decoration comes from sprinkling red crumbs over the frosting. For this, you’ll need to sacrifice a cupcake and crumble it to make small crumbs.
- Alternative decoration – if, like me, you’d rather eat that cupcake than crumble it, try decorating with raspberries or chocolate instead!
Store in an airtight container on the counter top for up to 3 days.
Freeze the cakes as soon as they’re cool, and before decorating. Make sure to wrap well with cling film and/or foil, or in a sealed container, as it needs to be air-tight otherwise the cakes will dry out. Use within two months of freezing.
Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 200 ml (1 cups) oat milk or other plant milk
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 200 g (1 ½ cups) all purpose (plain) flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 200 g (1 cups) sugar
- 80 ml (5 ⅓ tbsp) light olive oil or sunflower oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon vegan red food coloring paste this produces a deep reddish-brown colour but you can add more coloring if you prefer a brighter colour
- 100 g (½ cups) vegan butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 325 g (2 ½ cups) powdered (icing) sugar
- 2 teaspoons oat milk you may not need it all
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Stir together the milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- To the curdled milk and vinegar, add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and food colouring and whisk well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out without any wet batter.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack. While they are cooling, make the frosting.
Make the frosting:
- Cream the butter and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer. Sift in around 125g of powdered sugar (icing sugar) and beat well.
- Add the remaining sugar, 100g at a time, beating well between additions until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Add the oat milk, one teaspoon at a time, if needed, to thin the frosting to your preferred consistency. You can also use an alternative non-dairy milk or water.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag and swirl it over your cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag, heap the frosting on the top and swirl it with the back of a spoon.
- Storing: Store in an airtight container on the counter top for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: freeze the cakes as soon as they’re cool, and before decorating. Make sure to wrap well with cling film and/or foil, or in a sealed container, as it needs to be air-tight otherwise the cakes will dry out. Use within two months of freezing.
- I’ve used oat milk, but almond milk or soy milk are great too.