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Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with sprinkles

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

These vegan Vanilla Cupcakes are unbelievably delicate and moist with a touch of sweetness for an easy and delicious cupcake that everyone will love.
4.87 from 45 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 287kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn


Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 6 tbsp. vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the vanilla cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups and spray with cooking oil. Set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl combine the non-dairy milk, oil, apple sauce, water, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently whisk together until the batter is evenly hydrated and fairly smooth.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin so that they are ⅔rds of the way full, filling all 12 muffin molds evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. 

To make vanilla buttercream

  • In a stand-up mixer, using your paddle attachment, cream the vegan butter on high for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. Turn mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar with motor running, again scraping down the sides as necessary. Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer back up to high and beat for another 3-5 minutes until thick and creamy. Turn down mixer, add non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and beat until combined. 
  • Once the cupcakes are COMPLETELY cool, pipe buttercream onto the cupcakes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 



Serving and Storing - Serve the cupcakes immediately or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store the cupcakes for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These cupcakes can also be store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to serve, simply pull out and let thaw at room temperature.
Make in Advance – If you want to make this recipe in advance, make the cupcakes and buttercream separately. Store the cupcakes according to the instructions above. Buttercream should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. When ready to use, pull it out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature. Whip it for 2-3 minutes before piping it onto the cupcakes.
Recipe Tips
  1. The most accurate way to measure flour is to spoon it into your measuring cup, leveling it off with the back of a knife.
  2. Do not overmix. Overmixing allows the gluten strands to develop making the cake gummy. Mix until just combined to ensure a light, delicate crumb.
  3. Do not open the oven door while the cupcakes are baking. This causes the structure to fall leaving you with a dent in the middle of your cakes. You can check for doneness after 20 minutes.
  4. Bring your butter to room temperature before making the buttercream. If the butter is too cold, it won’t incorporate into the powdered sugar and your buttercream will be lumpy.
  5. Let the cupcakes sit for at least 20 minutes in the pan before flipping out. If you try and flip it out too early, the cake structure may not have fully set and will fall apart.
  6. Let the cake completely before decorating to prevent the buttercream from melting.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can this recipe be made into a cake? Yes! This recipe will fill one 8 or 9″ cake pan. When making a cake, generously spray the pan with cooking oil. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pan before adding the batter. Bake this vegan cake for about 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes. I have had a lot of luck with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking FlourThat is the only gluten-free flour I’ve tried for these cupcakes but I’m sure other 1:1 ratio flours would work as well.
Why did my cupcakes fall? There are a few reasons your cupcakes might have fallen.
  • You opened the oven door before the cake was set.
  • You over mixed the batter allowing too much air to get in.
  • Your baking powder was expired.
  • Your oven was set too high causing it to rise too rapidly before baking in the middle.


Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg