If you're celebrating a birthday or a special occasion, this is the perfect recipe for you. There are thousands of vegan cupcake recipes on the internet and The Beet found what we believe is the best one. This cupcake is made with a vegan buttercream frosting that looks and tastes like the real thing. It's thick and creamy and pairs perfectly with any food--seriously. When I make this frosting I keep it in the fridge for the entire week and dip in different foods like pretzels, fruits, and cakes, and banana bread. During quarantine, I had a piece of banana bread with a generous smear of this buttercream frosting for breakfast every morning for a week straight. You can enjoy this topping any way you wish! The cake part is soft and sweet, the perfect dessert to make for your friend's birthday or a way to tell someone you're thinking of them.

Recipe Developer: @thebananadiaries

Why we love it: This vegan cupcake recipe is the best one hands down. If you love cupcakes and the creamy frosting, you will be happy you made these. Store the frosting in the fridge for up to 5 days and enjoy whenever you feel like having a sweet and delicious topping to your favorite foods.

Make it for: Dessert or a special treat for someone you love! Add sprinkles to the top for confetti fun. Watch the step-by-step video on how to make these cupcakes below.

Prep Time: 10

Cook Time: 30

Total Time: 40 minutes

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Yields 14 cupcakes


  • 2 cups cake flour or sifted gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (if doing gluten-free, add in 1 tsp arrowroot powder)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free yogurt or vegan sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Vegan Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened (I recommend Miyoko’s or Forager Project)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2–3 tbsp dairy-free milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Plant-based sprinkles, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12 cup-cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Add in the dairy-free milk mixture, coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, dairy-free yogurt, and vanilla extract. Stir until there are no more clumps of dry ingredients left, being careful not to over mix the batter.
  4. Use a large cookie scoop or a spoon to fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 of the way full. Place the cupcake tin into the oven and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Another way to test this is the tops of the cupcakes should be lightly golden and the cupcake should spring back at a light touch.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely before making the vegan buttercream frosting.
  6. When ready to frost, creamy the vegan butter until thick and fluffy, then sift in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, while beating the frosting. Add in 1-2 tbsp of dairy-free milk to help the buttercream become more moveable rather than thick. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  7. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a frosting tip, and frost each cupcake. Alternatively, you can smear the frosting on with a butter knife. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired and enjoy!
    Store any uneaten cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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