Red Velvet Cupcakes are a cupcake lover’s dream. Light, fluffy, pillowy cupcakes with a delicate chocolate flavour, a delightfully red hue, and a tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. I am proud to introduce my recipe for Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and am happy to report that they deliver everything you could ever want when it comes to a cupcake. Moist? Check! Fluffy? Check! Insanely delicious and not too sweet? Check! A perfectly paired frosting? Check!
The secret to these perfect red velvet cupcakes is the addition of vegan yogurt. I use Yoso Unsweetened Cultured Coconut. I’ve tried many brands and this is the winner on all fronts. The yogurt adds moisture and richness to the cake and provides a delicate acidic tang that awakens the palate and makes those chocolate flavours pop. I also add vegan buttermilk which is created by adding apple cider vinegar to plant milk, resulting in an even richer, creamier batter.
After we mix all the wet ingredients together, we sift in the cocoa powder, flour, and leavening agents and mix until just combined. I use only 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder so the colour of the batter doesn’t darken and the red really shines through. I enhance the chocolate flavour by adding chocolate extract. Chocolate extract can sometimes be a little tricky to find, so if you can’t get your hands on it, just add more vanilla extract. I usually purchase mine at a local health food store, or you can purchase the brand I use from Amazon.
I made both mini- and standard-sized versions of this cupcake so I could test the baking times for both. The mini cupcakes are great for parties as they’re bite sized and easy to eat, while the larger cupcakes make a perfect individual dessert. You should get about 12-14 standard-sized cupcakes and about 4 dozen mini cupcakes.
The icing recipe for these cupcakes is super simple and comes together in just a couple minutes. All you need is vegan margarine, vegan cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Toss everything into a bowl and whip into a velvety smooth icing that tastes startlingly like cream cheese. No one would ever know the difference.
And all that’s left to do is frost those cupcakes and dig in! I chose to use an open star tip to pipe rosettes onto the cupcakes, but you can be however creative you’d like with the decorating. I also opted to top the cupcakes with white sprinkles and a little dusting of edible gold.
I really hope you’ll give these cupcakes a try. They’re the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, or for any day, really. Drop me a line in the comments to let me know what you think! Happy baking!
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup vegan yogurt
- 2 tbsp red food colouring
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp chocolate extract (or more vanilla)
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup vegan margarine
- ⅓ cup vegan cream cheese
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- Prepare a cupcake pan with liners and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle.
- To a large mixing bowl add the sugar, canola oil, yogurt, food colouring, vanilla extract, and chocolate extract, along with the curdled almond milk. Use a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake pan, filling each cupcake about ⅔ of the way.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool fully on a wire rack.
- Cream together the margarine and the vegan cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add the icing sugar in 1 cup increments and mix on high speed until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture looks crumbly.
- Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt and mix on high speed until light and fluffy. If the icing seems too thick or dry, add a tiny amount of almond milk, but keep in mind this icing firms up in the refrigerator.
- Place the bowl of icing in the refrigerator to cool for at least 15 minutes, then transfer to a piping bag and decorate cupcakes.
Ensure the cupcakes are fully cooled before frosting. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Can stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours, after which the icing will begin to get very soft.
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