Vegan Chocolate Valentine Cupcakes.

Posted by in food, recipe, vegan | 31 comments

Gee golly do I love Valentine’s Day.

Is it just me or was it the best as a kid?
Everyone in your class would exchange cartoon valentine cards.
Boxes of conversation hearts were abundant.
Sugar highs started around breakfast and lasted ’til dinner.
And if you were lucky you got ‘asked out’ at recess and then nervously held hands with a little boy while running around the playground playing kickball.

Yeah, those were the days.

One of my favorite treats I remember getting for Valentine’s Day were the bakery-fresh chocolate cupcakes with mounds of fluffy, hot pink icing and sprinkles. Remember those? These cupcakes are my homage to that. Only they’re healthier. And vegan.

Look at how fluffy and gorgeous they turned out! And without eggs, people. Or butter!

I realize not everyone is going to attempt piping a buttercream rose on their cupcakes.
But hey, it was a special occasion so I went all out.
I do have a pretty special guy to celebrate V-day with these days.

I’m not a pastry chef or cake decorator by any stretch, so piping roses is totally doable for other amateur bakers out there. All it takes is some research [via youtube], a slanted frosting tip, frosting bags and a little practice.
These three were my first attempts and they turned out surprisingly well.

These cupcakes are perfect for your vegan or non-vegan sweetheart.
My taste testers couldn’t tell the difference between this and a traditional cupcake.
One even said they tasted like lucky charms! How fabulous is that?

Vegan Chocolate Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
heavily adapted from Chow | makes 10 cupcakes

1 cup soy milk {I used vanilla}
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar {I subbed white}
scant 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

Method | Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
Pour into liners, filling almost all the way full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Chow | more than enough to frost 10 cupcakes

1/2 cup vegan butter {like earth balance}
scant 2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20-40 drops red food coloring

Method | Beat the butter until fluffy in a large bowl so it doesn’t fly out. Add the sugar in batches and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and food coloring, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

Not only did the cupcakes turn out wonderfully, they tasted phenomenal! I don’t know why I’d ever bake a non-vegan cupcake again! The soy milk + vinegar mixture makes a creamy base for the batter, the cocoa powder gives them a rich chocolate flavor, and the oil keeps them unbelievably moist.

And the frosting? A taste of heaven.
It turns out looking beautiful and tasting amazing.
I could’ve licked the whole bowl by myself! Eek.

For a realistic ‘rose’ effect, I pinned some strips of green felt to the bottom of the cupcakes.
Clever, huh? I thought they turned out cute.  : )

Happy early Valentine’s Day, friends! I hope it’s lovely.
Enjoy these as much as me and my taste testers did!

xo. dana.



  1. These are beautiful Dana! You’ve got a lucky man! :-D

  2. Wow Dana, I would say you are definitely a piping master! Thank goodness you documented how pretty they were before devouring:) And I love your classic vintage Pyrex mixing bowl. I have dishes with the same pattern.

  3. Dane…those are beautiful!! You are so talented. Love you, Momma

  4. this is top notch cake decorating, Dana!!

  5. you. are. unbelievable. i can’t believe that you iced those yourself– and that those were your first three tries. we need to get you a baking show on the food network, STAT.

    • Yes, I’d like that STAT! Now, if only we could come up with a clever name for the show. Give me some ideas. GO.

  6. there’s no way i can sub milk with water and, say, cornstarch or something else, is it?
    btw, you rock.

    • You never know ’til you try!
      And thanks for the kind words. I feel so well supported by my blog buddies :D

  7. So cute, Dana!

  8. I’d like to order 4 dozen of these. You cater, right?

    • haha, I wish! Wouldn’t that be a dream job, to own a vegan bakery that delivers!? Sigh…

  9. So pretty! I am totally impressed with your cupcake decorating :) And I love that these are vegan, they look amazing!

  10. These are so beautiful Dana! Your roses are absolutely perfect, perhaps I need to do some practice before Valentine’s Day too :)

  11. I can’t believe this was your first attempt at piping frosting to make roses – they are GORGE!!!

  12. Beautiful decorations!

  13. Dana, these are absolutely gorgeous!!!! And I’m sure just as delicious. Can’t wait to try making them, too.

  14. Um, excuse me – I had no idea I was friends with an incredible cupcake decorator!! Seriously – those look amazing. Like profesional amazing, you pro you. Teach me your ways.

    • haha, you’re too kind. I see a cupcake decorating date in our near future :D

  15. Your pictures are just gorgeous. So impressive! These cupcakes look divine.

  16. NO WAY is that your first attempt? You are GOOD!

  17. Wow these look amazing! You are quite talented. The cupcake recipe is like wacky cake, right? I have always had good luck with that recipe.

  18. please, share the youtube tutorial you used to make the roses, they look amazing!

    • Absolutely! I watched several to learn the trick, but this was the main one. I didn’t do the initial center piece of the icing like she suggested. And I also didn’t use a cupcake nail or whatever it was. I just held the cupcake in my hand and twirled it around. Nothing fancy!

  19. I really want to make these for a friend of mine that is lactose intolerant, they look amazing! One thing I have trouble finding though is the vegan butter, I live in Australia and all the soy spreads I’ve tried to use so far have been horrible disasters especially for buttercream! Any advice?

    Thanks, and once again, AMAZING roses :)


    • Thanks Leah! I’m no expert on the vegan butter situation. The one I know that works best is Earth Balance. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  20. When substituting vinegar for eggs, what proportions do you use? And canola oil for butter? Great recipes that I will try!

    • Jan, thanks for the question. I’ve only dabbled with omitting eggs from baking recipes in a limited number of recipes, so I’m afraid I can’t give you a straight forward answer on this. But, the substitutions in this particular recipe worked our really well so I’d suggest trying to mimic what they did to get a good result. Hope that helps!

  21. These look delicious! What brand and size tip did you use for the frosting?

    • I don’t remember! I’ve since tossed the tip so I don’t know what it was. Sorry I could’nt be more help! I just remember it was flat and fairly long…

  22. This recipe is awesome. I had some ripe chili peppers that we grew in my second grade classroom, so I chopped them up, put them in the batter and I sprinkled red pepper flakes in the frosting. I skipped the food coloring and put tiny red chili pepper on top. The result? Spicy and yummy. As always, thanks for the inspiration Dana!


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