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Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

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Vegan chocolate cupcake and chocolate icing recipe
Vegan chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing
Image ©Doris Lin 2012, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Various sources call it "wacky cake" or "dump cake" but I just know it as my favorite vegan chocolate cake recipe. It's so easy, and you can find all of the ingredients at a regular supermarket if you don't already have them on hand.

I've made these cupcakes for so many parties and potlucks, and you'd never guess that there was anything unusual about the recipe. You certainly don't miss the eggs or the butter.

You could also just pour this batter into a greased and floured 9x9 cake pan and bake it for 30-35 minutes at 350F. I've even doubled and tripled the recipe to make much larger cakes, including the layers of a friend's 3-tier wedding cake. Baking times will change if you change the size and shape of the pan, so experiment a little before you bake a friend's wedding cake.

A lot of store-bought frostings are vegan, but they're often full of nasty artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and other unpleasant things you'd probably rather not put in your body or your mouth. This is a super-simple chocolate icing holds its shape but also stays shiny, even the next day, and if you choose a non-hydrogenated margarine, has no scary ingredients.

If you're still eating eggs, you can learn morea about eggs here. If you think cage-free eggs are cruelty-free, learn why they are not by clicking here.

Cake ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cupes of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (corn, soy, canola or any neutral-tasting oil is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold water

Chocolate icing ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of margarine, cut into one-tablespoon pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F and put a paper cupcake liner in each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. If your cocoa look lumpy, pass it through a sifter (Buy direct) first. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Make three indentations in your dry ingredients, and pour the oil, vinegar, and vanilla into those three indentations, but don't mix it yet. Add the water by pouring it over the three indentations, and stir until well combined. Compared to other batters, the batter might seem watery, but this is how it's suppposed to be. You didn't make a mistake!

Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way. The cake will rise and get flufy as it bakes, so don't worry if it looks like the cupcake liners aren't full enough.

Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes. Cool completely before adding icing.

Chocolate Icing:

In a small saucepan, bring the cocoa, sugar and soymilk to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it boil for about one minute. Remove it from the heat and let it sit for about a minute, then add the margarine and the vanilla. Stir until the margaraine is completely melted. To help it cool faster, transfer the icing to a small bowl, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Makes one dozen cupcakes.

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