My vegan vanilla cupcakes are so easy to make and you need just 6 ingredients to make these light and fluffy morsels of yumminess. Just 25 minutes from prep to plate and they pair well with my silky vegan vanilla buttercream and a drizzle of strawberry sauce. Perfect for any occasion such as kids parties, weddings, or even just to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea.
Why I Made This Recipe
When I was growing up in the UK, my Mum always used to make fairy cakes. I used to love helping out and I think that’s where my love of baking really started. The smell of freshly baked cupcakes always takes me right back to my childhood kitchen in Wales. So when I started to develop food allergies a few years ago, cupcakes were at the top of my list of bakes to perfect. They are the perfect little treat for any occasion and are so quick and easy to make and I wanted to be able to make a safe option for our kids.
Why You Need to Make These
These cupcakes are light and fluffy, moist, easy to bake and use just 6 ingredients. Perfect for every occasion and to whip up as a last minute treat. Pair with my vanilla buttercream and your favourite sprinkles or fruity sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
I adore this vegan vanilla cupcakes recipe as it contains just 6 ingredients, most of which you may already have in your pantry. We are using plant-based butter, apple sauce, and some extra baking powder as our main substitutes for a more traditional cupcake recipe. Check out the FAQs for more tips.
Flour: I highly recommend using self-raising flour in your cupcakes. This will help your cupcakes rise and also ensure a lighter, more airy texture. We want to achieve a nice, springy crumb and self-raising flour is perfect for that. I will be adding a more detailed post all about different flours so keep an eye out for that.
Sugar: Fine white sugar is perfect as we are wanting to keep everything light and fluffy. If your sugar is more coarse, I highly recommend blitzing it in a food processor for a few seconds to grind it down. No food processor? Just skip the blitzing – it will affect the crumb slightly but it’s not a big deal.
Baking Powder: we need to add ‘puff’ to our cupcakes. The SR flour already contains some but not quite enough for an egg-free recipe. Generally, eggs help a light batter rise so a little bit of extra baking powder will help compensate for that.
Plant-Based Butter: My butter was taken out of the fridge around 30 minutes before I started making this recipe. You want to ensure that your butter is still slightly cold and firm-ish to the touch. Too soft and your cupcakes will sink. Too hard and it won’t incorporate into the batter evenly. I also highly recommend using a block butter, not a spreadable version, as block butter reacts better in baking and has a less greasy consistency.
Apple Sauce: my go-to egg replacement in cakes and cupcakes is usually apple sauce. It helps to bind the other ingredients together and also adds extra moisture to the bake. Feel free to sub with your preferred egg replacer (such as flax) or if you’re not vegan, use 2 eggs.
Vanilla Bean Paste: I use this paste in almost every recipe. I love the little speckles of flavour that it adds. Of course, if you don’t have the paste, you can swap it out with extract. Feel free to change for a totally different flavour as well. The possibilities are endless with this recipe.
As a bonus, I’m also including my vegan buttercream recipe in this recipe card. If you’d like to learn more about this buttercream, check out the video further down this page for all of my tips and tricks. I also have a more detailed post that you can check out as well. This is a wonderful buttercream that comes together in no time at all and is so silky smooth, I guarantee that you’ll be wanting to lick the spoon. I also added a drizzle of store-bought strawberry sauce and added a cute royal icing flower to finish off the cupcakes.
How to Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
6 ingredients? Yes, you read that correctly. This is about as basic as it comes for a cupcake recipe. If you’re new to baking, it’s a great one to start out with. And if you’re a seasoned pro, why not add this to your back pocket of staple recipes. I guarantee that it won’t let you down, both in terms of taste and consistency.
I also use an all-in-one method to make the batter. Wait, what?? Ok, so generally you would start with creaming your butter and sugar first then add in the rest of your ingredients. I tested 7 variations of this recipe and the one that had the most consistent results was the all-in-one method. Yay for skipping steps! Perfect when you want to make a quick treat with very few steps.
You can literally throw all of your ingredients into your mixing bowl (ok, maybe don’t throw them), stir to combine, and then add to your pre-lined cupcake pan. This batter is fairly thick so I love using my trusty ice cream scoop to evenly fill my cupcake cases without getting in a huge mess. It’s seriously my favourite tool when I’m baking and is such a timesaver.
As a side note, when I was developing this recipe, I also wanted to ensure that the cupcakes would bake flat. There is always a debate in the baking world whether cupcakes should be flat or slightly domed…. and honestly, I think it’s a personal preference. I usually decorate my cupcakes with either fondant or buttercream so I prefer a flat surface to work with. I will be sharing more domed cupcake recipes on my site in the future. Meanwhile, let’s take a moment to look at these beauties when they came out of the oven. The smell always transports me back to my childhood. So good!
Frost with my vanilla buttercream and your cupcakes are ready to serve.
These cupcakes are best enjoyed on the day of baking but will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Absolutely. To freeze, seal in an airtight container and store for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove from the freezer and leave on the counter to come to room temperature before opening the container. This will reduce condensation forming on the cupcakes.
These pair wonderfully with my vegan vanilla buttercream. Check out this buttercream recipe and also the bake along video in the recipe card for my bonus frosting tutorial.
If you’re not a fan of vanilla or want to experiment with this recipe, swap out the vanilla bean paste with your preferred flavouring. This is a great base recipe and easily adaptable.
Love cupcakes as much as I do?
Check out more of my cupcake and muffin recipes here:
- Indulge with some red velvet cupcakes
- How about some zesty lemon drizzle muffins
- Satisfy your chocolate cravings with some rocky road muffins
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
- 125 grams Self Raising Flour (1 US Cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 125 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (1/2 US Cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 125 grams White Sugar (1/2 US Cup plus 2 tbsp)
- 110 grams Apple Sauce (1/2 US Cup)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (5 ml)
- 100 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (7 tbsp)
- 227 grams Icing Sugar (1 3/4 US Cup)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 10 mililitres Plant Based Milk (2 tsp)
- Pinch Salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C and line your cupcake pan.
- Using the all in one method, mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until just combined.
- Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full. I highly recommend using an ice cream scoop to fill them evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes then place cupcakes on a cooling rack.
- Top tip: let the cupcakes cool completly before icing them.
- Cream the butter in your stand mixer.
- Add icing sugar in stages and mix on a low speed until fully combined.
- Add the milk, vanilla bean paste and salt then stir until fully combined.
- Scrape down the bowl to double check that everything is incorporated.
- Add to a piping bag and then you're ready to decorate.
- These cupcakes are best enjoyed on the day of baking but will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- These pair wonderfully with my vegan vanilla buttercream. Check out the bake along video above for my bonus frosting tutorial.
- To freeze, seal in an airtight container. To defrost, remove from the freezer and leave on the counter to come to room temperature before opening the container. This will reduce condensation forming on the cupcakes.
- To change the flavour, swap out the vanilla bean paste with your preferred flavouring.