Friday, October 16, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

If Gary didn’t have to eat dairy-free, I probably wouldn’t be as conscious of other people’s intolerances. When he first started getting stomach problems, he cut out different things from his diet to try to find the culprit.

The first thing he tried cutting out was wheat and gluten. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! He next tried cutting out dairy, and he felt like he was a new person. I knew about lactose intolerance, but I didn’t know there were actual milk allergies. He’s eating wheat again, but has completely cut out milk from his diet.

His new revelation has opened my eyes about other people’s dietary restrictions. I look at labels more carefully and make sure there aren’t any allergen triggers. It has made things a little harder in the kitchen, but it’s becoming second nature to me.

Since I’ve started cooking dairy free, I’ve taken into consideration of the treats I bring to work. I have a coworker who is lactose intolerant, who’s birthday just past. I wanted to make cupcakes for her, because she’s a sweetheart and is usually forgotten about when anybody brings treats in. Many times, I’ve brought in treats and she says, “I can’t have that”, and I quickly respond, “Yes, you can! It’s vegan/dairy free.”

After making this recipe, I ended up eating a spoonful of leftover frosting straight up. It was definitely a bad idea to do that, but it was good! I let Gary eat one before I brought it to work and he approved! This is going to sound stupid, but I was really grossed by the frosting and the way it looked on top of the cupcake. Someone suggested adding sprinkles to it to make it look better. I think it helped somewhat. ;)

vegan chocolate cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with “Buttercream” Frosting
adapted from: Go Dairy Free

printable recipe

for the cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 TBSP vegetable oil (scant 1/3 cup)
1 TBSP white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cold water or chocolate milk alternative (I used water)

for the frosting:
1 cup dairy free margarine (or 1/2 margarine & 1/2 shortening, or all shortening)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (omit for vanilla frosting)
2 – 4 TBSP plain milk alternative or water

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour through salt.

Make 3 small wells in the flour mixture. Place oil in the first well, vinegar in the second, and vanilla extract in third. I used the bottom of my measuring cup to make the wells.

Pour water or milk all over and stir well to combine.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter into each cup. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 cupcakes. I doubled this recipe and got 24.

In a large bowl, cream the margarine. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add sugar and cocoa, one cup at a time, beating at low speed until combined. Turn the mixer to medium or high and whip the frosting for about 2 minutes. Mix in milk to thin out to desired consistency.

Allow cupcakes to cool. Place frosting in a thick ziploc bag. Snip of the corner of the bag, pipe frosting from the outside in.

Add decorations as desired.


  1. They were vegan?!?! I had no idea! They tasted identical to "normal" cupcakes!

  2. I am lactose intollerant as well and this actually sounds good!  My family has been kind about making things that I can have. 
    Have you seen the lactose free ice cream in the store?  Or the Lactaid stuff around? 
    Whole Foods has lactose free butter, yogurt, cream cheese, and milk.  It is a little more expensive, but in my opinion it is worth it!
    Thank you for making things that are lactose free! 
    OHHHH, I was going to tell you that some of the "tubs" of icing at the store...I believe Pilsbury is the one, are lactose free!  I was especially impressed that the cream cheese icing didn't have milk in it!
    Happy baking!


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