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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 (32)
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.  

Have you made this recipe?

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5/5 (32)

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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 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
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. Clara Asp Norling says

    These look great and I am just about to make them but I’m confused! In the recipe it says water and applesauce (not shown in the video) but the video says “add milk of choices” (not written in the recipe). What am I not getting, since I seem to be the only one?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, sorry for the confusion! Go with the recipe (not the video). The video was made with an earlier version of the recipe, and the newer version is better 🙂
      Jason (media relations)

    • Jason Sanford says

      Coconut flour is very different from other flours, so you’ll have to experiment to see if you can do it and get the ratios correct with liquid. Be sure to report back if you experiment!

  2. Emma says

    This is confusing because in the video you use non dairy milk but in the recipe it says water. And the video doesn’t follow the recipe.. I chose to follow the written recipe so I’m hoping it turns out

    • Jason Sanford says

      You did it right! The video was from an earlier version of the recipe, and it’s been updated/improved since first posting. Always go by the recipe instructions, just like you did 🙂

      • Tree says

        I noticed everyone is commenting about this milk/water discrepancy. Do you know why the milk was changed to water? In recipes milk generally behaves like a better version of water . . . so what does milk do worse than water?? I’m just so so curious!

        • CCK Media Team says

          It makes them lighter and less gummy. But it doesn’t make a huge difference, and using different types of milk can result in delicious variations (for example, canned coconut milk makes them richer).

  3. Ta95 says

    I love his recipe and I would also love it as a vanilla cupcake!
    Is it possible to make this into a vanilla cupcake? What would be the porpotions?
    I made a vanilla cupcake with the recipe and added the 1/4cup + 2tbsp of flour instead of cacao. The cupcake came out too moist but still delicious.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Katie has gotten a few requests for this so will get to work on testing out recipes to hopefully find one to post soon 🙂
      Jason (media relations)

  4. BakerBee says

    I just tried these. Thought the cooking time was a little short but they turned out perfectly! Don’t even need icing. Chocolatey delicious. I’ve got the chocolate peanut butter banana bread in the oven right now. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. jay says

    hi i noticed the video ingredients are different to the ingrefients listed below the video. Are they different recipes?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, sorry for the confusion. The recipe was changed/updated to be even better after the video was made. Go by the written ingredients 🙂

      Jason (media relations)

  6. Harini says

    Hi! I’m making this for my cousin’s birthday as she has MANY dietary restrictions. I just wanted to check, would I be able to taste the applesauce in the recipe if I use it, because unfortunately yogurt is a strict no no in her diet. Thank you!

  7. Michelle says

    I made these yesterday. I am allergic to a lot of things and even the smallest cheat will cost me a prescription of prednisone. These were delish! I am not much of a baker but they were terrific and easy for me not to mess it up. Didnt have Dutch in the market but I made it by alkalizing it with Baking soda. so terrific they didnt need frosting. Kids devoured. Looking forward to using this recipe quite a bit! Thank you!

  8. Gardenia says

    I’ve been craving chocolate and saw your post on Instagram for this recipe: I made the apple sauce from scratch And i forgot to put it in. i read your the instructions and had in mind not to forget the vinegar while i watched the video it didn’t show the applesauce or yogurt. So out of sight out of mind: i hope they are still yummy. Lol

  9. Kaide says

    Made this recipe first with applesauce and gluten free flour, not the greatest texture so I replaced the Bob’s red mill blend with straight almond flour and used yogurt rather than applesauce…..BOMBS IN THE OVEN! Big big mistake! I’m not sure what I did wrong, the batter was delicious but they never made it all the way to cupcakes, what a mess 🙁

    • Jason Sanford says

      Almond flour isn’t listed as an option in the recipe and cannot be subbed in a baked good recipe without eggs unless you add a binder.

  10. Rachel says

    Hi! Did you ever try something to replace the sugar? Maple syrup, coconut sugar etc? Would love to make these but I can’t eat regular sugar ?

  11. C says

    Which frosting is pictured? It doesn’t look like either of the ones linked. Also, is there a recipe for the pb filling shown in the Instagram pic? I’d like to make these today.. Thank you!

  12. Melanie Henderson says

    These cupcakes were absolutely fantastic! Sooo chocolatey and rich! We made these for a birthday party and every person (vegan and non) loved them. I’m definitely saving this recipe for next time. Thank you!

  13. Laury says

    Hello, I must say these vegan choc cupcakes look amazing!! I want to try them but I am a bit stuck on the flour. What exactly is white flour? Would that be just normal all purpose flour? Can you give me any specific brand I can use? I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks so much!!! Happy baking!!

  14. Sarah Denk says

    Sorry if I have missed it, but which frosting do you use on yours? I found the nutella and the frosting shots, but neither looks like this frosting in the photo. Thank you!

  15. Alondra Narvaez says

    I’m sorry I’m a but confused. Is the milk part from the video the water or apple sauce? Bc I didn’t see her use apple sauce or water. Do I need the apple sauce or just the milk?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi! Go with what the recipe says written. It’s been revised from an earlier version to be better than when it was made in the video 🙂

  16. Annika says

    These are the best cupcakes out there. I used bananas instead of applesauce and it gave them such a nice sweetness and flavor. My non-vegan family loves them. My little sister, who is the pickiest person you will ever meet, loves them. I definitely prefer them with a thicker frosting, but any way you make these cupcakes there is no denying that they are magical.

  17. SFerd says

    I’m curious if anyone has made a GF version of these? If I was going to bring these to work, they would need to be GF.

    • Jason Sanford says

      I’ve had really good results in general making recipes with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour. It doesn’t need any xantham gum or other ingredients added. If you try it in these, definitely be sure to report back with results!

  18. Lydia says

    First off, Katie, Thank you for sharing your talent with those of us who don’t know how to invent vegan and gluten free versions of of everyday foods. I don’t know why it took me so long to find you! I have a 6 year old and 2.5 year old who are allergic to eggs, completely. Allergic to casein in dairy and sensitive to gluten (and allergic to rice). Just to name a few. I can certainly follow a recipe but creating something although is a little too scientific for me. I followed your recipe completely. Using the applesauce over the yogurt. Using the cider vinegar vs. regular and using white flour (we can have 1 gluten meal a day). Lastly, the coconut oil instead of vegetable. Didn’t overfill and kept the same cook time. These came out absolutely delicious! I’ve tried the depression, wacky and other recipes and none were 100% on target. These are birthday party worthy, holiday worthy and school function worthy! Thank you for a great recipe that helps make my life easier and helps my boys enjoy their life a little more! I am excited to try more recipes!!

  19. Jenny says

    Hey there 🙂 the recipe sounds amazing and i’d really like to bake them this week. Since i’m living in germany i’m struggling with the regular vs dutch cocoa (which i don’t know) thing.
    What is considered regular here ia the usual dark and bitter cocoa powder with no added sugar. That’s the one we usually use for baking.
    Apart from that there is only drinking cocoa powder which is light brown, sugared and also contains some other stuff i guess. The typical Nestlé powder i’d say..
    Sooo for your recipe which one shall i use?

    Thank you :*

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi, dutch cocoa will have the word “alkali” (or whatever the translation is!) in the ingredient list, while regular cocoa only has the ingredient of “cocoa”. Hope that helps!

  20. Heather says

    These were delicious! I didn’t have the dutch cocoa, so I just used extra unsweetened cocoa powder and they were so chocolatey and moist! I even made them gluten-free and had no complaints! (They did sink a little but you couldn’t tell and I topped them with vanilla frosting and a raspberry) Yum!

  21. Jeannie says

    Has anyone tried to make mini-cupcakes with this recipe? I would love to know how long to bake them and how many mini’s the recipe yields. Thanks in advance!

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