The Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

So here it is. This is my recipe for the most perfect, bestest in the westest, (and eastest) vegan cupcake… Strike that. This is my idea of the most perfect cupcake. Period. Vegan or not, this is a damn good cupcake. When I served these to a group of strangers, one girl declared that it was the best cupcake she had ever eaten… and then I told her it was vegan. Surprised? Grin.

I came up with this recipe after doing a Vegan Vanilla Cupcake Off where I compared the 3 top vegan cupcake recipes to each other to determine which one was the winner.  The results were that there were no clear winners, so I had to do the only logical thing I could think of.  Make batch after batch of cupcakes, until I made my own winner. This recipe is everything I look for in a cupcake, light fluffy, sweet-vanilla deliciousness, simple to make, and even simpler to eat.

I guarantee… ooo risky, but I’m gonna do it, I GUARANTEE that if you make these cupcakes, that they not only will be devoured, but not a single soul will know they are vegan without being told so.


The Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup plus 1/3 Cup White Sugar

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients:

2/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or other Non-Dairy Milk)

1/3 Cup Canola Oil

2 Tablespoons Apple Cider or White Vinegar

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract


1/4 Cup Non-Hydrogenated Shortening (I used Earth Balance Shortening)

1/4 Cup Vegan Margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Almond Milk (or other Non-Dairy Milk)

Sprinkles for decoration (optional)

*Makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes… Unless you are one of those people who like more frosting than cake. (Hey, I don’t judge!). In which case you might want to double the recipe. If you have leftovers you can always freeze it in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or on the counter for a couple of hours before you want to use it.


Preheat your oven for 350 F (180C). Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners, or lightly grease the pan.

In a big bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.


In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together.


Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk that up. Whisk until the batter just comes together, don’t over mix it or your cupcakes will be sad cakes.


Evenly divide batter among the  liners. Bake 18-20 minutes until the tops are slightly golden.


Like this. Omnomnom.


To make the frosting, mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer. Wait until the cupcakes are cooled completely before frosting. Use a piping bag, a butter knife or just a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner to frost your cakes.


Now devour. Bon Appetgan!



  1. Jess says

    hey I find the apple cider vinegar flavour rather overpowering, it takes away from the vanilla flavour even when I cut back on it, is there something else that can be used instead? I imagine it’s to activate the baking soda and help the muffins rise and become fluffy, would it be possible to substitute baking powder which already has an activating agent, or add cream of tartar instead?

    • says

      Hi Jess!
      Huh. I find that the apple cider vinegar flavour cooks right out and you can’t taste it all. Apple cider is usually very mild, and also has health benefits which is why I opt for it, but you could use any vinegar. Try finding one that has the least amount of flavour or try lemon juice. You’re right it’s about the acidity, think volcano experiment from science project days. The reaction makes the cupcakes light and fluffy.

    • says

      Nope not at all! It acts like normal frosting. If it was very hot it might melt, but my cupcakes hang out on the counter for a few days perfectly happy… If they last that long. Haha

    • itdoesnttastelikechicken says

      Yes, absolutely. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar will work just fine. Just don’t use balsamic…gross! Haha.

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