Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

The Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes as rated by readers!! Vegan, dairy-free, low oil option and bursting with vanilla and maple flavor! Perfect for parties! Nobody ever believes these are vegan! Just 9 ingredients!

Vegan vanilla cupcakes with white buttercream frosting and yellow sprinkles

These really are Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes because I really like flavor. Most vegan vanilla cupcakes or cakes rely on white sugar alone. However, my recipe is different as it is infused with maple syrup also. This creates a delicious depth of flavor that just tastes better than all the others. Furthermore, the texture is perfection. They are light, moist, fluffy and sweet. They are dangerously delicious. In other words, you really need to try them!


I love to create desserts for parties. In fact, I baked up these recently for my best friend. I've known my best friend Kacy since we were 6 years old. She is truly one of the most amazing people I've ever known. She is humble, intelligent and downright hilarious. She is getting married soon and has graciously asked me to be her matron of honor. I just hosted her bridal shower this past Saturday and served these cupcakes. They were a huge hit and of course nobody could tell they were vegan! Another popular dessert I served were my No-Bake Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars!

Overhead view of vegan vanilla cupakes with yellow sprinkles


First, you need the following ingredients:

  • all-purpose flour
  • white sugar
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • pure maple syrup
  • grapeseed oil (for a low-fat version, you can use half applesauce (6 Tbsp) and half oil (6 Tbsp)
  • canned "lite" coconut milk, helps make them fluffy
  • lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • vanilla extract


At the party, I made these Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes, 4 ingredient peanut butter cookies, mint chocolate chip cookie bars. Additionally, I had also planned on serving my Roasted Strawberry Mousse Shots, however that didn't work out, as I dropped the entire bowl on the floor, lol.

Other amazing vanilla cakes and cupcakes:

Note: This recipe I wrote on my other blog before I started this blog, The Vegan 8, so it is 9 ingredients instead of 8 and not gluten-free or oil-free, but come on...still ridiculously easy and so delicious. Great for a special occasion, event or birthday!

Yields 24 cupcakes

Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

The Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes as rated by readers!! Vegan, dairy-free, made with all-purpose flour and maple syrup, nobody would know these are vegan!

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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5 based on 3 review(s)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, room temp
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil (for a Lower Fat version, you can use half applesauce (6 Tbsp) and half oil (6 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned "lite" coconut milk, room temp, do not sub with a watery thin milk like rice or almond. The coconut makes them fluffy.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • For the Icing
  • two 4 oz vegan buttery sticks, room temperature (1 cup total) Do not sub with the tubs of spreads, as they contain too much liquid
  • 2 1/2 cups (380g) vegan powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond milk or desired milk, if needed
  • Update: This recipe has been updated with a lower fat option and less sweetener and it is still perfect!


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two muffin pans with decorative paper liners or grease and line with parchment paper rounds on the bottoms of two 9 inch round cake pans. This will make for easy removal later.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl through a mesh strainer and whisk well.
  3. Make sure your liquids are not cold, otherwise it will cause the coconut oil to harden when added. If your coconut oil is thick, warm it to a liquid before measuring. In a small bowl, add the syrup, oil/applesauce, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, slowly a little bit at a time and beat on low, just until combined. Do not overmix the batter or it can make the cake tough. Pour the batter into the lined muffin pans or cake pans.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes for cupcakes and 25-30 minutes for cakes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let them cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes/cakes onto cooling racks to completely cool before icing.
  5. For the icing, add the vegan buttery sticks into a large metal bowl. Add 2 cups of vegan powdered sugar and beat until fluffy, adding more sugar until it reaches a light, fluffy consistency. Add the vanilla and almond milk. Beat until light and fluffy. For an oil-free (meaning, no added oils) buttercream, make my Funfetti Buttercream !


You can make the icing the day before an event and store in the fridge. Then just re-beat the icing to fluff up again before icing your cupcakes or let it soften to room temperature and pipe out with your favorite piping tip. I personally like to bake my cupcakes the day of an event so they are fresh and fluffy. Just store them in an airtight container on the counter.


  1. You did an awesome job, looks beautiful (the bride is gorgeous), love the yellow and grey theme. The cupcakes are beautiful you have some made piping skills. The gifts with the yellow sand and candle are so creative and beautiful. So happy everyone had a great time and you managed to cater successfully despite some bumps in the road, the mark of a true professional.
    • Thank you so much!! It was so much fun. I wanted to cry about the mousse shots and cake failing...I was so SAD! But it is what it is, and everything worked out and everybody loved the cupcakes. The mint chocolate chip bars were the biggest hit. It was so much work and I'm pooped but so thrilled she was happy!
      • Well you would never know about the flubs, it looks like everything was delicious and beautiful. Big Congrats!I know you must be exhausted, and you have a baby so little rest for the weary!!
    • Thank you so much're a sweetheart!
  2. Anonymous
    Absolutely awesome! You could have a second career if you wanted...;-)
    • Thank you so much!! And thank you for following my blog! Means a lot to me :)
  3. Oh my gosh you are BOTH gorgeous!! What an adorable event, and those cupcakes are AMAZING!! Great job Brandi!!
  4. Wow, you are so talented! I loved everything. The centerpieces and favors were amazing and all of your photos look gorgeous!
  5. You are a precious friend Brandi!! You are both gorgeous, stunning ladies :-) Love it all - so beautiful, cupcakes and all!!
  6. Gorgeous job Brandi. You're a natural events organizer! Love the colour theme, and those cakes look amazing (absolutely perfect piping)!
    • Thank you so much Saskia!! I do enjoy it. I love making cupcakes and decorating's so fun and makes people smile!
  7. Tiffany Cockrell
    Brandi you did an outstanding job! Everything looks beautiful!!
  8. I love hosting events! If you and I got together we could make one incredible team! I always forget something or leave something out though. I guess I just run out of time. This shower looks great and I really wish I could dive into all of those desserts! I really want to give them all a try!
    • That would be awesome Holly!! :) It's hard to remember everything to do...I always have a long to do list and paper with notes and check things off as I go...otherwise I'm a mess! Thank you!
  9. Love the cupcakes - and the favors!
  10. Brandi, what a sweetheart you are! That looks like an amazing event that you hosted - the decor is gorgeous and the desserts! Lady, you have some serious baking skills, plus most of what you make is healthy! I love the combo of yellow and grey too, it's so modern, clean and sleek. Plus, can I mention how stunning both you and Kacy are? Talk about beautiful ladies!
    • Thanks so much Nancy!! Your compliments made me smile! I love baking like I love air...I can't get enough of it...I'm sure you can relate!! I wasn't always good at it and am always working on honing my skills :)
  11. This is such a lovely post Brandi. Able to make quick decision and still whip up a tray of gorgeous cupcakes is so in you. That really needs a cool mind with full talent. Everything you have created for your friend are beautiful and elegant. ....And I thought the lady in gray looks gorgeous too! :)
    • Thank you so much Danny! You're so sweet! It was so much fun, but yes a lot of work..especially with a 1 1/2 yr old baby girl! Somehow it all got done though and the bride was thrilled :)
  12. I think you've missed you calling, Brandi. This party was so well designed and your refreshments look delicious.This is one Bride who chose her Matron of Honor very well. :)
    • Thanks John! I love designing/crafting/interior design as well as painting when I'm not cooking. I want to create something always no matter what it is..thank you so much! You are so kind!
  13. Excellent post and great ideas! Thank you Brandi. All the best. Shane
    • Thank you so much Shane for featuring this post and recipe on your news article today! It means so much to me, truly! :)
  14. Wow, great job Brandi! This party looks great and I love the sound of your cupcakes. Sorry to hear about your cake and mousse mishaps but it sounds like everything still came together beautifully. :)
  15. What a fun event! Looks like you did a great job Brandi! That's a lot of work, and your cupcakes turned out beautifully! Much prettier than a sheet cake!
    • Thank you so much Somer. Sniff sniff the cake didn't work out, but I'll do one another time! :)
  16. Brandi, you are incredible! You did a wonderful job!! Loving the cupcakes!! I love the favors you designed. Exquisite and warmth! You two are beautiful!
  17. What you did is truly amazing !
  18. Wow! You are such a sweet friend--that looks like it was a lot of work, but it paid off wonderfully! I love the decorations and I'm drooling over the food. I can't believe you dropped a whole bowl of mousse on the ground! That's so awful--I think I would actually cry if I did that :( But glad you salvaged the event and looking forward to the recipe :)
    • Oh Eika...I literally almost cried. I was so sad...and defeated feeling with the mousse and sheet cake both not working out. When you have a vision in mind and it doesn't work feel like poop. But, I didn't have time to feel like that for long and had to act quick so cupcakes saved the day!! Thank you girl!
  19. Congrats, Brandi ! You delivered a wondeful job! That looked like a lot of hard work though! Your friend is one lucky woman, to have you i her life! Those cupcakes look amazing & must be so tasty too! Another must make of yours! :) MMMMMMM!
    • Thank you so much Sophie! The cupcakes are truly the best I've ever had! I prefer vanilla cupcakes over chocolate when it comes to cupcakes!
  20. you are both so beautiful, and the cupcakes turned out perfectly!! It's always such a bummer when things don't turn out the way you planned but these cupcakes were a great fall-back option :)
  21. [...] you don’t have to serve them as mousse shots. This was my original intention when I hosted this shower, but that plan failed the morning of. This can easily be served in two bowls as dessert, or [...]
  22. Everything looked gorgeous...including you and your friend! What a wonderful celebration!
  23. Can I use all purpose gluten free flour? Also since I'm the only one in the house eating them, do you think I could freeze some and thaw them out in the fridge when I want to eat them...?
      Hi Kate! I haven't tried these with a gluten-free flour blend, so I can't say for sure, but I would think so. If anything, they might just be less fluffy, but since I make all my own homemade blends, I have no experience in commercial ones. Please let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear the results!
  24. [...] icing is spread over The World’s Best Vegan Vanilla Maple Cupcakes. It could also be used as a fruit dip, over blondies, brownies, oatmeal, whatever you [...]
  25. Is this coconut milk in a container? Or canned coconut milk?
      Either will work! If you use canned though, make sure to use the lite and not the fullfat and shake it well first before measuring. Let me know if you try them! Thank you!
  26. Hi! I want to make these for my son's 2nd birthday party tomorrow. I had 2 questions; why did you double line the cupcakes, was it just for decoration? And I know you mentioned how you prefer making them the day of an event, does this mean the next day they're not as fresh tasting? I want them to taste their best! Thank you so much! Guljan
      Hi Guljan! Wonderful! The only reason I double lined them was yes, for decoration, since my friend's shower was gray themed, but the gray liners don't bake well, so I added them afterwards. I only use staybright foil liners where the interior lining is the foil and they are made by Reynolds. They bake up perfectly everytime and never stick and it makes it so much easier for guests! They are still good the next day, but for birthdays and events, they are always softest and just the best tasting the day they are made, so that's what I prefer. I really am excited to hear how they go at your son's birthday party, would you come back and leave feedback? I'd love to hear, thank you so much and happy birthday to your son! I also served these for my daughter's 1 year birthday party (she's 3 now) and they were the biggest hit at the party! They taste just like traditional cupcakes....sweet, light and fluffy and nobody could detect they were vegan. Oh and no they have absolutely no coconut taste whatsoever. The light coconut milk doesn't taste like coconut at all, so nobody will know! :)
  27. One more question.... :) Do the cupcakes have a coconut-y flavour due to the coconut milk? thanks again!
  28. Hi! I was wondering if I could use coconut/almond milk blend? Also, could I use this recipe as a small 8" cake? If so, do you know what the timing and temperature would be? Thank you so much for sharing delicious alternatives for vegan foodies :)
      Hi Amanda! Yes, you can use that milk blend, no problem! If you make an 8 inch cake, then you will definitely need to half the recipe, as it makes enough for a double layer cake or 2 dozen cupcakes. I'm not sure if that would be too much batter for an 8 inch or not, but I would fill the pan no more than 3/4 full. I would bake it anywhere from 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out basically clean. Let me know how it turns out please!
  29. Hi! With which other sugar I could substitute the coconut palm sugar? Brown sugar? Regular or superfine sugar? I am not vegan just I do not consume dairy due to health reasons so I can't wait to try this recipe! Regards, Jane
      Hi Jane! Yes, just use regular white sugar and that works perfect. Please let me know how they turn out!
  30. Hi could I use soy milk and regular oil instead for this recipe?
      Yes, definitely! Let me know how they turn out!
  31. Its amazing how many "vegan" recipes will tout "the BEST" when the fact is, not ALL vegan recipes are. I've been vegan many years and yes, part of that is changing your tastes, but frankly, cooking vegan is also an art. Its knowing what to use and how to use it, ESPECIALLY if you're trying to remain relatively healthy. me when I say these REALLY are THE BEST Vegan Vanilla Maple Cupcakes I've ever had. My son fixed this recipe last night and they are absolutely delicious. (I went from "we'll see how they turn out" to IMMEDIATELY posting pictures and the recipe on my facebook page! lol) Moist, light, yet packed full of flavor & the icing is downright decadent. I promise its one of the recipes you'll fix for your NON-Vegan friends and they will spend their time asking "Vegan? Really? NO dairy...? At all? Seriously?' Every Vegan has those "staple" recipes...those tried and true recipes that stay up front in your "to go to" pile...and this recipe has just been added to "my favorites." Thanks Vegan 8 for making my life easier and my job to impress Non-Vegans that much sweeter!
      This really is the best feedback ever Beth, I read it before but forgot to respond! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a fantastic review, so happy these were such a hit!
  32. These are delicious!! I love to bake, but also love to eat my baking... Do you think they would freeze ok? So we can eat half now and save half for a rainy day when we want something sweet?
      Thank you so much Tally! So happy you loved these! I actually have never tried freezing them. I actually never freeze my desserts, but just keep leftovers in the fridge and we got through them pretty fast, haha. I would *think* they'd be ok if they are tightly sealed, but I just don't know since I'm not one to freeze much. Sorry!
  33. Hi! Would this recipe work in a 9 × 13 pan and if so, how long should I bake it for? Thanks!
      Hi Lynn! I'm so sorry I must have missed this comment before, I apologize. Hmm, not sure to be honest. I've only ever made them as cupcakes. I don't know how long exactly it would take in such a larger dish. You can always try and let me know how it turns out, but I didn't write this as a cake recipe, so they may be rather delicate, not sure. I would guess 25-30 minutes baking time, but you just need to make sure the toothpick is clean from the center. Not sure if the batter amount is right for that size pan either.
  34. Hi! i made these today and two things: 1.) the cake itself is a little gummy....i dont know if thats the right word lol. I will admit, im kind of poor so i dont have a beat mixer i just hand beat it with a fork. is this what you meant about "careful not to over beat it?" 2.) My frosting is melting everywhere. I did the exact recipe to the T but as i was icing the cakes it started melting fast and dripping off the sides. it wasnt the cakes, i let them cool 100%. The frosting was actually melting in the piping bag i was squeezing it out. I put it in the freezer and it turned out perfect obviously but im scared to leave them on the counter, so i put the end result in the fridge....suggestions?? I do live in georgia, it is mid 80's but my AC stays on. This was a dissappointment :( overall, i took a bite of one and they taste great! lol
      Hi Shante, very weird! I've been making these cupcakes for years and they are perfect every time. The cake shouldn't be gummy whatsoever so the fact that you mixed the batter with the fork would mean that the batter wasn't whipped correctly, therefore affecting the air being incorporated into the batter and the ingredients mixing their best. Also, how did you measure your flour? Scoop the flours with your cup or spoon them in? I would do a large wire whisk instead, not a fork when mixing the batter because it needs to be whipped properly so they are fluffy. Technique is just as important with the batter so it bakes correctly. Also, sounds like you used the wrong butter for the frosting (did you use sticks of butter or a tub?) because I've made this frosting dozens of times and so have a lot of my readers and it is fluffy and holds up for hours, even days at room temperature, so I really don't know what to say why yours would melt unless you didn't add enough sugar?? The sugar packed into the cups. It doesn't make any sense that it was melting everywhere. Did you melt the butter first? The sticks should be soft at room temperature. Nobody else has experienced this issue and this is one of my oldest recipes. I always make this one for parties and it holds up and is a big hit with guests! It should look just like it does in the photos. If your frosting is ever too soft, just fyi, just add more sugar and that will thicken it right up. Hope this helps to troubleshoot what went wrong on your end!
  35. JD
    I’ve been struggling to find a great vegan cake recipe, these have come the closest. They smell amazing and began to rise right in the mixing bowl. Very light and fluffy but the mouthfeel is wrong. As soon as you start to chew they become very dense/gummy and almost form a ball of dough in your mouth. The hunt continues.
      Hi there! Oh no, if they are forming a ball of dough in your mouth, then they were not fully cooked. That isn't right. Or the ratios were slightly mis-measured. The reviews above have been wonderful as you can see (other than the reader who used a fork to mix the batter, haha) I have been making these for over 5 years for parties and guests, non-vegans included, and they are always a hit and others always ask for the recipe. They are light and fluffy, very moist and not at all like "dough, dense/gummy", so not sure what went wrong on your end! Did you make them as cupcakes or a cake, sub an ingredient? Baking is a science and there are many factors that can affect the result, so I'd like to help!
      • JD
        They definitely looked done and the toothpick came out clean but I will give another shot and cook them a little longer. Do they get golden at the edges? I’ve never had a Vegan8 recipe disappoint so I will try again!
          Hi JD! Yes, they should have a golden color. I've never, ever had them turn out gummy. Did you change any ingredient? Only thing I can think is we both measured differently, which can happen easily and ratios have to be right with baking. This recipe is several years old before I started weighing everything, so I don't have the grams. (Need to make it again and get the grams to add :) However, I would actually recommend my latest vanilla cake/cupcakes recipe anyways. It is a white vegan vanilla cake and it is the best one I've ever made or eaten and I like it even better than these, by far. You can check out all the reviews on the post and literally every person that has made them has said they are the best they've had ever, so I would actually recommend those over these now! They are incredibly light, soft, fluffy and tender, but you must weigh the ingredients and follow the exact recipe and instructions, the results are worth it, I promise!
  36. This was delicious. I made earlier in the summer. I swear it was coconut oil though.. did the recipe change? If so, can you repost the original? I don't want to change it! Thanks
      Hi Amanda! You can use coconut oil, so long as it’s melted in liquid form when measuring! It’s the same recipe, I just changed to grape seed since that was my original recipe and it’s less confusing on the oil. Some people can make the mistake when using coconut oil when it’s hard and can be trickier to work with. So head you loved it! Would you mind giving it the star rating-they are so helpful, thank you!

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