These are the ultimate fluffy, moist and delectable Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting you’ll ever sink your teeth into! They are only 8 ingredients, oil-free and so light and tender, nobody would ever know they don’t have any eggs, butter or are dairy-free. They are topped with the most perfect Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and they will wow all your guests at birthday parties and events!
VEGAN VANILLA CUPCAKES
I’m so thrilled to finally be sharing these Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes recipe with you! As I shared on social media, I took my original vanilla cupcakes recipe that contained oil and made them oil-free! That recipe is 6 years old and I’ve been wanting to make an oil-free version for many years and what can I say, these are even lighter and fluffier! My family loved them even more. Don’t worry, nobody will ever know there is no butter or oil in these! My husband even called them “bakery-worthy”! Prefer chocolate, check out my Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes or Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes, if you need gluten-free.
While the buttercream is not oil-free, the cupcakes are, and I’ve offered my oil-free buttercream frosting as well, if you prefer. You can learn all about my oil-free tips and tricks at How to Cook and Bake Without Oil.
So, what is the secret? Coconut milk! Full-fat, that is. It gave them rich moisture, incredible fluff, delectable flavor and leaves zero coconut taste at all. This is because the sweetness and vanilla completely takes over.
This is obviously a more traditional vanilla cupcake recipe, as it has white flour and white sugar. I rarely write those types of recipes anymore. However, each time I post gluten-free desserts, people always ask about using “regular flour and regular sugar”, but still want to avoid oil, so I finally got you all covered as well. If you are gluten-free, then I have these best ever Vegan Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes on the planet. I say that with 100% confidence because they are my all-time favorite cupcake. Ever. All the reviews agree too, so if you need gluten-free, make those. I also have this Vegan Gluten-free Vanilla Cake as well if you do not want to use coconut milk!
This recipe is super simple, easy to make and straight-forward.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN VANILLA CUPCAKES
First, you will need to gather these 8 ingredients (+salt):
- regular white all-purpose flour
- granulated white sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- full-fat coconut milk
- vanilla extract
- maple syrup
- apple cider vinegar
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a muffin pan with 12 parchment paper muffin liners.
Step 2: To a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and use a large whisk to whisk very well.
Step 3: To a separate bowl, add all of the full-fat coconut milk from the can (all the cream and water) and whisk well so that it is smooth. The fat tends to separate from the water, so this is important before adding to the cake batter.
Step 4: To a medium bowl, add the 1 cup of coconut milk, syrup, vanilla and vinegar. Stir until smooth. Slowly pour the liquids over the dry ingredients as you whisk the mixture gently until the batter is smooth and no longer lumpy. Be careful not to over-mix. Also, be careful not to eat too much of the batter! You can taste a bit to see just how dangerously yummy it is and that there is no coconut taste.
Step 5: Divide the batter using a 1/4 measuring cup or ice cream scoop into the 12 liners. The batter will only fill about 1/2 way up, so don’t be tempted to use less liners. The cupcakes will rise a lot.
Step 6: Bake for 15 minutes or until the toothpick is clean. See how gorgeous they rise! Beautiful and golden. Cool completely before decorating. Decorate as desired.
VEGAN VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
You are welcome to use store-bought vanilla frosting or make one of my recipes. I have 3 vanilla buttercream frosting recipes and one of them is oil-free, so if you prefer that, I got you covered.
The best one is this frosting I created for my Wedding Cake and Wedding Cupcakes that I used here for these vanilla cupcakes. They have a combo of shortening and vegan butter for the best texture and white color.
- Best Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (which I used for the cupcakes in this post)
- All Vegan Butter Frosting (no shortening)
- Funfetti Cake Buttercream Frosting (no oil or vegan butter, uses cashew and coconut butter)
OTHER VEGAN VANILLA RECIPES
- Best Vegan Vanilla Pancakes
- Vegan Vanilla Cake Waffles
- Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake Ice Cream
- Vegan Gluten-free Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake
*This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy here.
Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes EVER!
- 1 1/2 cups (192g) regular all-purpose white flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (108g) granulated white sugar (I used pure cane sugar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (240g) FULL-FAT coconut milk, room temp! (SEE DIRECTIONS & NOTE)
- 2 tablespoons (40g) pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (15g) vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- I always recommend a scale for
accuracy when baking, following my gram weights listed. You never need
cups, just the scale and bowl.
- I use this scale.
VEGAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING OPTIONS
- As you can see, this doesn't have a lot of sugar, where most recipes call for 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I find that wayyy too much. These are just sweet enough to allow for frosting on top, but the cupcakes themselves have a wonderful vanilla, mild sweetness.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a muffin pan with 12 parchment paper muffin liners. These help prevent sticking.
- To a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and use a large whisk to whisk very well.
- Important: To a separate bowl, scrape all of the full-fat coconut milk out of the can (all the cream and water) and whisk well so that it is a completely smooth. The fat tends to separate from the water and is often very lumpy. Therefore, it's crucial that it is mixed BEFORE adding to the cake batter, so you get the correct fat amount and the cupcakes turn out correctly. If you use too much water and not enough of the fat, you will end up with dense cupcakes.
- To a medium bowl, add the 1 cup (240g) of coconut milk, syrup, vanilla and vinegar. Stir until smooth. Slowly pour the liquids over the dry ingredients as you whisk the mixture gently until the batter is smooth and no longer lumpy. You want it smooth but be careful about over-mixing or it can make the cupcakes chewy. The batter will be on the thicker side, not stiff, but definitely not runny, more like scoopable. So, don't be tempted to add more milk, as these cupcakes turn out beautifully moist and adding extra liquid will make them too wet/dense.
- Divide the batter using a 1/4 measuring cup or ice cream scoop into the 12 liners. The batter will only fill about 1/2 way up, so don't be tempted to use less liners and overfill them. The cupcakes will rise A LOT, so divide into 12! Pick up the pan and jiggle it a bit side to side to allow the cupcake batter to naturally flatten out on the tops.
- Bake for 15 minutes OR UNTIL the toothpick is clean. A few DRY crumbs are ok. They should rise fluffy, golden and perfect. 15 minutes was perfection for both of my trials. Cool completely before frosting or the frosting will melt. (a good hour or so) Decorate as desired. I used the buttercream from my Wedding Cupcakes but refer to post for other options, if desired. Cover the remaining cupcakes in a cake dome and store at room temperature.
- COCONUT MILK: This recipe requires the full-fat coconut milk in order to work properly with the fluffy moist texture. It CANNOT be subbed. Other milks will yield a drier and very chewy texture. I highly recommend the Thai Kitchen brand. DO NOT use the Polar brand, it is all stabilizers and additives and will ruin the texture. It is so creamy and always yields great results. And do not worry, there is absolutely ZERO coconut taste in it! The rich sweetness and vanilla flavor is front and center and my family went crazy over them.
- Recipe adapted from my Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes to make these oil-free.
- Nutrition does not include frosting.