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cupcakes sitting on a pink and white spotty tea towel.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

These Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s delight. Quickly and easily made from store cupboard ingredients, they are dark, rich and fudgy. They're also gluten-free!
Course Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Morning Tea, Snack
Cuisine International
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 10 Cupcakes
Calories 331kcal
Author Alexandra


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups (225 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
  • ¼ cup (30 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa See Note 2 and 3
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar See Note 4
  • cup (75 ml) grapeseed oil See Note 5
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water

For the frosting:

  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegan margarine (I used Nuttelex) See Note 1
  • ¼ cup (30 g) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa See Note 2 and 3
  • 2 ¼ cup (270 g) icing/confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoon boiling water See Note 1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C (350 F).
  • Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine vanilla, vinegar, oil and water.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and, using a whisk, mix together until completely combined.
    Pour the batter into the prepared baking muffin tin.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, and allow the cupcakes to sit in the tin for 5 minutes.
  • After this time, place on a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • Combine cocoa and icing sugar. Add the margarine and vanilla.
    Pour 1 tablespoon of boiling water onto the margarine and mix well. You may not need all the water so add one tablespoon at a time, until you get a smooth spreading consistency.
  • Spread or pipe the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes.


  1. The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons so you may have to adjust your measurements accordingly.
  2. I use Plaistowe Dutch Processes Cocoa, available in supermarkets. It gives a lovely rich, chocolatey colour and deep flavour.
  3. It is best to sift your cocoa as it may have formed clumps.
  4. If you do not require this recipe to be gluten-free, you can use regular flour.
  5. I have used white wine vinegar in this recipe, but you could also use apple cider vinegar.
  6. Use a neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil.
  7. Please note, the nutritional information is based on this recipe making 10 cupcakes, and one being enjoyed as a serving.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg