Love and Olive Oil

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Yesterday was Taylor’s birthday. And at 8:00 at night I decided he needed birthday cupcakes.

Cut to tonight, a mere 24 hours later… there are 2, count them 2, cupcakes left. Out of a batch of a dozen. While I would like to blame the kitchen elves for this, or the kitty, I know that we, just the two of us, are solely responsible for the extinction of this batch of oh-so-rich chocolate cupcakes.

That should tell you something about the amount of deliciousness we’re talking about here.

I knew I had made something good when Taylor marched into the office at 8:15 am this morning, with a cupcake in hand, saying, “It’s my birthday. I can have a cupcake at 8 in the morning if I darn well please!”. Me, well, I waited until at least 10 to have my morning cupcake. :)

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting Closeup

Rich and chocolaty, with a smooth and not too sweet frosting speckled with vanilla, topped with a few sprinkles… yes these cupcakes beat a birthday cake any day, hands down.

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Makes 11-12 cupcakes.
Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Bean Frosting:
1/4 cup margarine (or butter), softened
1/4 cup tofutti (or regular) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together the soymilk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the soy milk mixture and beat till foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no lumps remain (or very few remain).

Pour into liners, filling each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

For frosting, cream together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Add confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing each addition until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla, and beat until fluffy and smooth. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use, then pipe/spread onto fully cooled cupcakes. Add sprinkles and don’t blink or they’ll all be gone.

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  1. Absolutely delicious. Really soft crumb with a chewy crispy top. Maybe next time I’ll decrease the oil by 1 T. I reduced the almond to 1/4 teaspoon and it adds oomph to the the chocolate. I think I’ve found my go to recipe. Thanks Lindsay!

  2. I made these and my liners came out really oily, have you tried these with maybe  1/4 cup oil? I’m waiting to taste!!

  3. These are in the oven as I’m typing- they look delicious!! I’m making them for my 3 y.o.’s birthday party tomorrow- doing the dairy version of the frosting and just not frosting a few cupcakes for the dairy free guests. SO excited to find a yummy cupcake recipe that is dairy and egg free (to accommodate several allergies on my guest list). Thanks for the recipe- I’ll report back after the party.

  4. How freezable are vegan cupcakes? I want to make a few for my wedding but need my sanity- so am hoping to make them ahead and freeze for 3 weeks.

  5. This is my new favourite chocolate cake recipe. The almond essence adds great flavour to it, accentuating the dark chocolate. Winner!

  6. Hey Lindsay!
    I’ve already made 2 batches of these and they’re AMAZING! thank you so much for posting this recipe and I LOVE your website—its awesome!

    I’m making them this wkend for my son’s 1st birthday—what’s the best way for a novice to ice these??? Can I go somewhere like Williams Sonoma or another cooking store and get one of those bags with the cap???


  7. Butter and cream cheese are easily substituted for Tofutti cream cheese and margarine, thereby making all recipes dairy free! :) Mmmm…

  8. Hi Lindsay, just perusing your site and glad to see all the vegetarian stuff! Great photos, too. But.. I must ask, why are things with butter and cream cheese, for example, under the dairy free category? Is frosting considered optional ? :)

  9. These were great, my mum made them for me and i loved them.

  10. found you on technorati whilst browsing for cupcakes, this recipe looks great! I’m new to this cupcake baking business so I wondered if you could tell me – do you think any sponge based cake can be make into cupcakes? Do I just need to alter the baker time but follow a recipe as normal? (sorry i really am new at this!) x x x

  11. I love this recipe. Can I use any other oil other than canola oil?

  12. Great photos and tasty looking recipe!

  13. Beautiful cupcakes. These will be one of the first things I make once I get out of these dorms for Thanksgiving break.

    And I did a quick post with a link to this blog over at my own blog, Ahimsa (

  14. This is about one of the first recipies I’ve made that is so right on how many it actually make. lol I just love that! Mine are in the oven as we speak thanks! Can’t wait these look awesome!

  15. These look so delicious!

  16. I made the frosting and put it on some red velvet cupcakes that I made from scratch. It tastes AMAZING. I made 2 batches, one with vanilla bean, and one with the extract. The vanilla bean batch was 10x better. It’s a bit pricey, but totally worth it.

  17. I have never wanted to make cupcakes so bad as I do right now. I just stumbled upon your site, literally and I’m so glad I found you!

  18. I’ve been wanting to try to make vanilla bean frosting for a while. Having the beans in it just seems like such a nice touch. Glad the cupcakes were such a success. They look great!

  19. Vanilla bean frosting looks so good,
    I just bought some cupcakes today,
    But I’m sure yours tastes better than the ones I had!

  20. These look fabulous… and dangerous! I’d surely each the whole batch in one sitting!!

    By the way, your site looks great!

  21. I was just notified that I had forgotten to add the sugar when I retyped this recipe. Whoops. There is supposed to be 3/4 cup of sugar in the recipe. Hopefully no one has made them yet or I sincerely apologize!!! It’s fixed now, but my apologies to anyone who ended up with some nasty un-sweet cupcakes.

  22. Holy Mother…those look fantastic. I am a big fan of cupcakes, especially chocolate ones.

  23. These are to die for!! I love how you can see the yummy vanilla bean speckles. And Happy Birthday to Taylor.

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