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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Deep, dark, rich, fudgy vegan chocolate cupcakes – no eggs required!

vegan chocolate cupcakes

What’s the secret to making cupcakes rise without eggs?

It’s something you probably already have in your kitchen!

This basic chocolate cupcake recipe uses vinegar and baking soda to create an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles to form and thus the cupcakes to rise as they bake.

(Remember that famous volcano experiment from elementary school???)

The simple vegan chocolate cupcakes can be made with just a few basic ingredients you might already have at home – NO tofu, NO black beans, NO avocado, and NO flax eggs!

Also Try This Vegan Brownies Recipe

chocolate cupcakes

These classic chocolate cupcakes will take you right back to childhood.

Irresistibly light and fluffy, they hold their own against any box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker cake mix, with none of the unhealthy corn syrup or artificial ingredients.

And even if you aren’t vegan, it’s a good idea for everyone to have a go-to vegan cupcake recipe, because you never know when you’ll need it!

For example, have you ever been asked to make a last-minute dessert when you didn’t have any eggs on hand?

Or needed a recipe suitable for a child with dairy allergies or a guest who’s a vegan?

Or maybe you just want a foolproof basic cupcake recipe that’s super quick, easy to make, and turns out perfectly every single time.

Trending Right Now: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

vegan chocolate cupcake recipe

This has been my go-to cupcake recipe for over three years now, and it’s incredibly versatile.

Every time I serve the cupcakes, they are always completely devoured, by vegans and meat eaters alike!

You can easily turn the basic chocolate cupcake into new flavors by using different extracts, fillings, or frostings.

Top them with your favorite vegan frosting, nut butter, or Coconut Whipped Cream.

If you want to be fancy, you can even pipe the frosting through a pastry bag fitted with a 1M star tip, as seen in the photos, effortlessly turning the cupcakes into a culinary work of art.

And if you can find Dutch cocoa, I like to include a few tablespoons in the recipe, because it really heightens the chocolate flavor and gives these cupcakes a classic straight-from-the-bakery taste.

*For the cupcakes in the photos, I used my favorite Basic Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Above – Watch the video how to make vegan cupcakes!

How To Make The Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from this classic Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

The best easy vegan chocolate cupcake recipe, with no eggs or dairy!
5/5 (35)
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 9 – 10 cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or yogurt, such as almondmilk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white or cider vinegar
  • 1 cup spelt, white, or bob’s gf flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder or additional unsweetened
  • 3/4 cup sugar, unrefined if desired
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • *If you want to frost them, I mentioned a few of my favorite frosting recipes earlier in this post, or use your own favorite frosting. For the additional 2 tbsp cocoa, you can use either Dutch or regular. I highly recommend Dutch for heightened chocolate flavor. To find Dutch cocoa, just look for the word “alkali” in the ingredients. Be sure to use regular unsweetened (not Dutch) for the initial 1/4 cup.
    To make the vegan cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. In a large bowl, whisk first 5 ingredients. Do not forget the vinegar. Let sit at least 10 minutes, and sift all remaining ingredients in a separate bowl while you wait. Pour wet into dry, stir just until evenly mixed, and smooth into liners. Only fill up 2/3 of the way at most, because they rise a lot and you don’t want them to burst and then sink in the middles (although if it happens, just hide it with frosting!). Bake 20 minutes on the center rack. Let cool. These taste even better the next day, and the liners will peel off easily after a day.
    View Nutrition Facts


For a vanilla version, try these Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes.  

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Published on March 26, 2018

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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  1. Whitney says

    They look beautiful! If I only have Dutch cocoa on hand, would it be okay to use that for the 1/4 cup of cocoa as well as the 2 Tbsp? Would I have to increase the baking soda? I remember your previous post about the reaction of Dutch processed cocoa and baking powder, and how you swap it out for more baking soda (or, was it the other way around?), so I wanted to check.

    • Natasha @ Thoughts of Tradition says

      In the instructions, she specifically states not to replace it with more Dutch cocoa.

        • Jason Sanford says

          Feel free to experiment! Sometimes it works, such as in the Chocolate Eclipse Cake, so you never know unless you try. Be sure to report back if you do.

          • Nicole Emiliani says

            Hi! I have tried with only dutch processed cacao (its what i had on hand) and it went amazing. Great texture and color.

  2. Sarah-Beth says

    HOW DARE YOU!!! You’ve had this recipe for THREE YEARS and not told us! Looks delicious and I’ll have to try it soon Xx

  3. Heather Carley says

    Does this recipe translate well when baked as a cake? I’m guessing in an 8 inch pan? Please comment below if anyone has tried. Please & Thank!

  4. Natasha @ Thoughts of Tradition says

    Your baked goods are always so beautiful. They look even better than regular cupcakes since you didn’t slather on an obnoxious amount of frosting. I love chocolate cake, but I haven’t had luck with making a vegan version that tastes good. Perhaps this recipe is a long-awaited cure.

  5. Kayla Jarvinen says

    These look great! Would a liquid sweetener such as honey or pure maple syrup be an acceptable substitute for the sugar?

  6. Katie Goad says

    I made these for my husband’s birthday (with a peanut butter core and ganache!) and they were a HIT! Everyone commented on how delicious the cake was and were surprised that they were vegan. It’s going to be a new staple in our house- we always have these ingredients on hand!

  7. Tamara says

    Was wondering about the “directions” vs the “video”. In the recipe you clearly state to mix the first 5 ingredients – the liquids – and let sit at least 10 minutes. In the video you just show pouring the liquids, one at a time, right into the dry mixed bowl.
    So… do we have to whisk together and let sit 10 minutes, or no?

    • Jason Sanford says

      It’s really the milk and the vinegar that need to be stirred together and set aside for ten minutes (essentially creating buttermilk), which is why the video shows the milk and vinegar added at the same time. So you can let all the liquids sit together if it’s easier, or just the milk and vinegar.

      Jason (media relations)

  8. kirti singh says

    As i am a vegan this recipe is exceptional for me. I have been through the video and delighted to see such a delicious vegan cup cake. I love to make this at home. Thanks for sharing such and exquisite recipe with us.

  9. Melissa says

    Hi. I made this recipe using a brownie pan. I also subbed apple sauce for sugar. Equal amount of apple sauce and I reduced the water by 1/4 c. I added one and a half packet of truvia. Used safflower oil because that was the only oil I had on hand. They came out perfectly with a cake consistency. They were scrumptious! Thanks Katie! These truly are the best. I made them out to be two smart points considering less sugar.

  10. Monika Singh says

    Chocolate cupcakes are one of my favorite but i never get a chance to make this at home. i went through the video and you made this easy for me. Now i am definitely going to make this at home. Thanks for sharing ingredients.

  11. Heidi Timinsky says

    Can I double this recipe and then bake 2 muffin pans in the oven at the same time side by side? Thanks

  12. Sandra Metius says

    Please know that spelt is a form of wheat and is not gluten free.
    Please read this i found on the internet: Like other forms of wheat, spelt contains the gluten protein, and therefore, isn’t safe for those of us who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The idea that spelt, spelt flour, and baked goods made with spelt are safe on the gluten-free diet is one of the oldest gluten-free urban myths.Feb 12, 2018
    i am so glad you have an alternative flour in this recipe.

  13. Ha says

    Made these for my little girl’s 2nd bday and she absolutely loved. My husband ate a few too! Thanks for yet another tasty healthy recipe!!

  14. Chocolate Lover says

    Really Thank’s for sharing a great recipe
    i will make it on my brother birthday and i hope he will be happy with this cake

  15. Maureen says

    These cupcakes look delicious. Your instructions were organized and very clear. This makes it less of a chore for those of us who don’t cook much!:)

  16. Kirsten says

    These were not delicious…These were amazing!!!!! I replaced the applesauce with pureed cooked pears and they were soft, moist and super delicious. The mini chocolate chips were fabulous in them….

  17. Sophie says

    I was looking for a good vegan chocolate cupcake recipe and came across quite a few online, all slightly different. I narrowed it down to six recipes, and decided to make a small batch of each to test. I got my family to blind taste all of them and this recipe came out as the best overall! ( was a close second)
    I reduced the sugar to about ⅔ cup and increased apple sauce to ⅜ cup while reducing coconut oil to ⅛ cup, but followed the recipe for the other amounts. They turned out soft, moist, fluffy, and delicious! Sweetness was just right, and they smell and taste very chocolatey ☺️
    Thanks for the recipe, Katie! Will definitely be making these again xx

  18. Sherri Bennett says

    Should I make the normal high altitude adjustments? I usually decrease the sugar and baking powder, and increase the liquid a little.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Unfortunately we don’t have any experience with high altitude baking, so you will have to experiment. Be sure to report back if you do!

      Jason (media relations)

  19. Sandra M says

    I’d love to adapt these to be keto friendly for our family as well – do you think almond flour or a blend of almond and coconut flours would work? I have a few options for non-sugar sweeteners, both liquid and dry. Thanks!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Unfortunately there’s just no way to know unless you try. Be sure to report back if you experiment!

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