Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with sprinkles on white plate

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes [+VIDEO]

These vegan vanilla cupcakes are bound to be your new favorite! They are easy to make and require just a few basic ingredients to put together a delicious dessert that your entire family will love! They are perfect for special occasions or just because. There are so many ways you can enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • unsweetened almond milk – I always tend to have unsweetened almond milk on hand but if you don’t, feel free to substitute with your favorite unsweetened plant milk like soy or oat.
  • white vinegar – you can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to make your vegan buttermilk mixture. Either is fine!
  • all- purpose flour – Though I haven’t tried it personally, you should be able to make this recipe gluten-free by substituting with a gluten-free all purpose 1:1 flour option.
  •  organic cane sugar
  • baking powder, baking soda – these rising agents will help you to create perfectly fluffy and bouncy cupcakes!
  • vegan butter – no vegan butter? Feel free to also substitute with vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil instead.
  • vanilla extract – this will give your cupcakes the vanilla flavor you’re looking for, but if you want to spice things up a bit, try an alternative like almond extract for something new.
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • vegan sprinkles – while these are totally optional, they add some decoration to your treats! No sprinkles? You can also opt for fresh fruit slices or coconut flakes instead.
  •  organic powdered sugar
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes on white plate with sprinkles

How to Make Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes:

To make these Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes you’ll want to start by gathering all of your ingredients. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe only to realize that you don’t have everything you need. Once everything has been gathered, you’ll want to start by creating your vegan buttermilk. You can do this easily by  combining plant milk with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and setting it aside. You’ll notice that the milk will start to curdle which means that the buttermilk is forming, so don’t fret. This is a good sign!

Next, add all of your dry ingredients to a bowl. This includes your all-purpose flour, organic cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk these ingredients together until everything has been incorporated. To the same bowl add your melted vegan butter, vanilla extract, vegan buttermilk mixture, and unsweetened applesauce. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until your batter is mostly smooth. It’s okay if it’s still a little bit lumpy but try to work the majority of the lumps out. Careful not to over mix!

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes on white plate with sprinkles

Grab your cupcake pan and disperse the batter evenly among a standard sized muffin pan. Feel free to use baking cups or spray your pan generously with a neutral cooking oil or vegan butter if you opt not to. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake your vegan vanilla cupcakes for about 21 minutes.

It’s important to know that whenever baking, the baking time may vary slightly from oven to oven. Everyone’s oven is different, so I would start checking on your cupcakes after about 18 minutes. If you gently press down on the cupcakes and the top bounces back up (without leaving an indention), this indicates that your cupcakes are ready. If when you press down on the cupcakes and there is an indention, you’ll know that the cupcakes need to continue baking for a few minutes more. 

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes on white plate with sprinkles

While your Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes are baking in the oven feel free to go ahead and begin making your frosting. To do this, add your softened vegan butter to a mixing bowl along with the organic powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and one tablespoon of plant milk. Use a hand mixer to combine the ingredients until a frosting has formed. If you have the time, sifting the powdered sugar will help eliminate a lot of the lumps in the mixture, which means less mixing time. So remember to do this if you can!

Once your cupcakes are finished remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.  Once your cupcakes have cooled, frost your vegan vanilla cupcakes however you’d like and garnish with sprinkles if desired. Prepare to enjoy your new favorite cupcakes!

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes on white plate with sprinkles

Tips for Making the Best Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • Don’t over mix your batter. Over mixing your batter will certainly alter the texture of the cupcakes. Mixing the batter too much will create more dense, less fluffy results. As mentioned previously, it’s okay if there are a few lumps in the batter, as long as the larger ones have been removed. You can also opt to sift your dry ingredients to mitigate the possibility of a lumpy batter.
  • Use a cookie scoop to evenly disperse the batter. Doing this makes the process much easier and less messy!
  • Don’t over bake! As mentioned previously it’s important to keep an eye on your cupcakes while baking. While my oven produced perfect results at 21 minutes, your oven might be slightly different and may require a few minutes more or a few minutes less. After about 18 minutes, begin checking on the progress of your cupcakes by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean or gently press down on them to see if they bounce back up.
  • Use a sifter. While this is completely optional and it is possible to make great cupcakes without, using a sifter will help save a bit of time. You can sift your dry ingredients for the cupcake batter to mitigate against any lumps that may be produced, and you can also opt to shift your powdered sugar for the frosting to produce a truly smooth frosting mixture.
  • Allow your cupcakes the time to cool before frosting. As exciting as it may be to bake your own cupcakes, it’s a rookie move to apply the frosting too early. If your cupcakes are still warm after coming out of the oven and you apply the frosting, there’s a good chance that the frosting will melt and slide right off the top! Trust me, I’ve had this happen before and it was a mess! If you’re in a rush, you could transfer the cupcakes to the freezer to hurry the cooling process, but don’t leave them in there for too long or else of course they will freeze. 
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes on white plate with sprinkles

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes FAQ:

Can these be made gluten-free?

While I haven’t tried it personally I would imagine that you could use a gluten-free one to one baking substitute in place of the all-purpose flour.

What kind of plant milk works best? 

I generally only keep unsweetened almond milk on hand so I can’t attest to other varieties that are out there, but most any plant milk should work (soy, oat…etc). however I would opt against using coconut milk as it may alter the taste of the cupcakes.

What kind of vinegar works best to make the vegan buttermilk mixture? 

I typically use apple cider vinegar but when I was testing this recipe I didn’t have any so I used white vinegar. it worked just as well and produce fabulous results! so I’d  recommend using whatever you have on hand.

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes on white plate with sprinkles

Can these Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes be frozen?

Absolutely! being that my son is vegan, I typically make a batch of these and freeze them for birthday parties whenever we need.  these vegan vanilla cupcakes Can be frozen with the frosting! simply  transfer them from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before you need them and they’ll taste and look fantastic!

How do I store these cupcakes?

You can store these cupcakes in the fridge for up to one week or on the counter for 4 to 5 days. 

What’s the best way to soften vegan butter without melting it?

I found a great trick online where someone filled a glass with boiling hot water and let it sit for a minute or two, poured the water out, then placed the glass over top of the stick of butter (covering it) for 2-3 minutes. Afterwards they were left with perfectly softened butter!

I know you’ll love these Easy Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes! They can be made in one bowl and require simple ingredients to produce the most delicious, classic treat. Give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes in the comments below!

More Cupcakes Recipes You’ll Love:

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Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes Pinterest

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes [+VIDEO]

This recipe features a simple vanilla cupcake with a homemade vanilla frosting topped with sprinkles for the perfect finishing touch! The most delicious treat for any special occasion!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Cupcakes, Vanilla
Prep Time 23 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes




  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar to create vegan buttermilk. Set aside.
    ⅔ cups unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk them together.
    1¾ cups all- purpose flour, ¾ cups organic cane sugar, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
  • Add the melted vegan butter, vegan buttermilk mixture, vanilla extract and unsweetened applesauce to the same bowl. Whisk to combine until batter is mostly smooth.
    ½ cup vegan butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Disperse the batter evenly among a standard sized muffin pan lined with baking cups (if not using baking cups, spray the pan generously with neutral cooking oil or vegan butter).
  • Transfer to the oven and bake for 21 minutes.
  • While the cupcakes are baking, place all of the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and use a hand mixer or standing mixer to combine. Set aside.
    ½ cup vegan butter, 2 cups organic powdered sugar, ¾ tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • Once the cupcakes are finished baking, set them aside and allow to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, apply the frosting overtop of each cupcake and garnish with sprinkles (optional) enjoy!
    vegan sprinkles


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