super closeup of chocolate buttercream frosting

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword best vegan chocolate cupcakes, dairy-free chocolate cupcakes, vegan chocolate cupcakes, vegan chocolate cupcakes recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 14 cupcakes
Calories 137 kcal
Author Brandi Doming


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (144g) regular all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (144g) coconut sugar (regular is fine too)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (240g) unsweetened almond milk
  • 88 grams dairy-free dark chocolate chips (69 or 70%) VERY important to weigh for accurate results
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (90g) pure maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons (36g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried espresso-OPTIONAL (I love the Illy brand)


  • I always recommend a scale for accuracy when baking for best accurate results, following my gram weights listed. You never need cups, just the scale and bowl. Make sure to zero out before adding each ingredient.

  • I use this scale.


  1. Please be sure to follow my exact order of steps and method here, as this will ensure the best, richest and moist cupcakes. I strongly recommend parchment paper liners or the Reynold's Staybrite liners, because they never stick. Regular paper may stick.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line 2 muffin pans with 14 liners. This is important to divide the batter into 14, 15 at the most, as the
    cupcakes rise considerably. If you do not have 2 muffin pans, make sure
    to reserve some batter to fill the extra 2 or 3

  3. To a medium bowl, add the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk
    very well to ensure there are no lumps. Sift, if needed.

  4. To a large bowl, add the almond milk and chocolate chips. Place in the
    microwave for 30-45 seconds until the milk is really warm. Whisk the
    liquid until the chocolate is FULLY melted and smooth. Whisk in the
    syrup, cocoa powder and espresso powder (if using) until fully smooth.

  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquids while gently whisking.
    Once it’s fully mixed and smooth, divide the batter into 14 cupcake
    liners. DO NOT be tempted to add all of the batter into 12. These rise A
    LOT while baking, so you do not want to fill the liners more than about
    1/2 full. Super important. The amount that will go into each liner will
    be a very scant 1/4 cup, but keep it divided between 14-15 and you will
    be fine.

  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes OR until a toothpick comes out clean. Each batch of mine was perfect at 18 minutes. Be very careful to not over-bake these, so they don't get dry. The toothpick should be clean, that is how you will know they are done. Don't judge them by the bounce back test, as the tops will be super delicate still, but firm up perfectly as they cool.

  7. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. I used the Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Recipe Notes

HOW TO FREEZE: These freeze beautifully and are fantastic again once thawed. This is how I stored them. I wrapped each individual cupcake in a single baggie and then placed each of the wrapped cupcakes into a large ziplock bag. To thaw, simply place them out on the counter to come back to room temperature a few hours before wanting to eat or serve them.

GLUTEN-FREE: Here is the gluten-free version of this recipe!

Nutrition Facts
The Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 137 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.5g5%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 164mg7%
Potassium 95mg3%
Carbohydrates 26.5g9%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 14.5g16%
Protein 2g4%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.