Love and Olive Oil

Ssshhh… Don’t Tell Anyone They’re Vegan Cupcakes

also known as… So Addicting You’d Think They Were Crack Cupcakes, Lick The Beaters All You Want Because There is No Egg in Them Cupcakes, and The Best Darned Cupcakes You’ve Ever Eaten… cupcakes.

Need I say more?

Yes, actually. I do. When I first made these (I’ve made them 3 times since!), but the first time, the recipe was off. My cupcakes were secretly training to be donuts.

Wanna-be Doughnut Cupcakes

So, what does one do with sunken, wannabe-donut cupcakes?

Fill them with chocolate, of course!

Fill 'em with chips Sickeningly Sweet Almond Cupcakes

Once frosted, you couldn’t even tell of the mishap. They were heavenly, but sticky and sickeningly sweet. After two bites, we decided that something could, indeed, be too sweet. I attributed it to the 2 tablespoons of almond extract in the batter and the 1 tablespoon of it in the frosting (I didn’t go overboard, did I?). As much as I love almond, the almond extract really amplifies the sugar content. Hence, sickeningly sweet.

Despite the sweetness, the cupcakes still disappeared rather quickly. :) I knew I had to give them a second chance.

I increased the flour, decreased the almond extract and baking powder, added almond paste, popped them in the oven… and viola! Perfect cupcakes! I don’t think there exists a more perfect cupcake.

Vegan Almond Cupcakes

I topped it with a variation on the frosting (again with a bit less almond extract), which is practically fudge. Slathered on the delicious and perfectly cooked cupcakes, topped with some sliced almond and a cherry (always a cherry), I present you, the world’s perfect cupcakes… (and they’re vegan! what? yes, it’s true! you know what that means? eat all the raw batter you want with no worries about nasty bacterias and raw eggs! it’s a dream come true!)

Vegan Almond Cupcakes
Heavenly Vegan Almond Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Print ThisMakes 14 cupcakes (or 12 and plenty of tasties).

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 ½ cups plain soymilk
2 1/8 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan)
½ cup canola oil
1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup soymilk
3 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line 14 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Lightly spray liners and top of pan with cooking spray. This will prevent the tops of the cupcakes from sticking to the pan when they rise. Set aside.

Combined apple cider vinegar and soymilk in small bowl. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).

In a food processor, chop almonds until finely ground. Add almond paste and oil and pulse until well incorporated. Mix in almond and vanilla extracts and pulse once to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the curdled soymilk and almond mixtures to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth (try not to overmix it).

Fill each muffin cup with ¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting:
With electric mixer, beat margarine until fluffy. Add cocoa powder and soymilk and beat until combined. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and continue to beat until all the sugar is incorporated. Add extracts. Beat on high speed for another 3-5 minutes, or until fluffy. Spread generously on cupcakes (there will be plenty leftover – store in the fridge and eat with a spoon!). Sprinkle with leftover sliced almonds (or sprinkles) and top with a maraschino cherry. Store at room temperature in an airtight container (though these cupcakes are notorious for disappearing at an alarming rate, so storage probably won’t be an issue).

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  1. How do you make almond paste? Does it have egg in it?

  2. I am so excited to try this recipe, but I need to ask you a question first. Why do you have a capital A in front of some of your ingredients . I do not want to make any mistakes with this recipe.


  3. Ola. I was perusing your many cupcake recipes, when I suddenly realized that all of the recipes were vegan (well, at least the cake-aspect of them). I have to admit that I was a bit confused, since you have non-vegan/vegetarian recipes on the site as well—but nonethless, every one of your cupcake recipes do not use eggs. It fascinates me, because I’ve always perceived egg as the key to a fluffy and dense-less cake. The less egg I use, the more mealy and dense my cakes. It seems like you’ve compensated for the lack of egg with almond paste here, and in your more recent recipes, almond meal. Am I correct? How does this work? Are these cupcakes really as good as or better than traditional cakes? I can’t wait to try them, but would like to know your thoughts on the chemistry of the vegan cupcake versus the egg cake, and whether you can, in fact, substitute egg when none of the alternative ingredients are around. Also, what made you start (and continue) your vegan cupcake quest? It looks like you have become really good at the creativity/decorating aspect of it. If you hvaen’t already, consider jumping on that cupcake shop train! They’re popping up all over the country. Ok…please write back! Would love to hear your answers!

    • Melanie –
      I started doing vegan cupcakes because I was, for a time, living dairy free. However I soon realized that I much preferred the taste an texture of vegan cupcakes to egg-based recipes, and so even now that I can eat dairy again, I still make by cakes using the vegan version. I find the crumb to be much lighter and moister, though it can be slightly crumbly and messier to eat, I don’t mind. :)

  4. Very tempted to make these for a vegan friend who’s coming over for dinner this week, however, I hate having ingredients that I’ll never use again :(

  5. Looks yum! Nice pics too.

    Though, I have to say, foodborne illness from eggs doesn’t seem to me to be a huge issue. Mishandled raw poultry, yes. Eggs? Maybe not.

    As a habitual raw dough/batter eater I have yet to get the ickys, nor have I encountered a friend/acquaintance who has had this problem due to raw/undercooked eggs (and I always ask given a chance!)

    Raw batter and dough is so yum it’s worth the risk. That is, if it exists in a reasonable capacity! ;-)

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  7. These sound amazing, but of course, I’m one of the thousands who have a soy allergy – when people try to sneak vegan desserts on me, I end up very sick! Let’s see… almond extract, almonds, almond paste… almond milk!! Luckily, I keep that around at all times. Can’t wait to try them. :)

  8. I made these last night, and they were absolutely delish! i had left the batter for several hours, and i think that’s the reason my “cupcake tops” rose a lot higher. the flavor was great, and the texture was moist and light–shared this batch with my friends, and they loved them!

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  12. What time should I pick up these cupcakes tomorrow? ;-) The sound delish!

  13. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but when someone says “perfect cupcakes”, I have to give them a try!

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