Vegan Brownie Cupcakes

Gluten free and vegan brownie cupcakes are for the serious chocolate lover. You’ll love the easy homemade chocolate frosting piled on top.

One of the top questions we are asked on Instagram is “Do you have any vegan recipes?” I do not follow a vegan diet, but I know those who do want desserts too! Most of our creations are for a traditional diet, but we hope to continue to add vegan, dairy free and gluten free recipes as we learn how to bake with these types of ingredients.

These vegan brownie cupcakes are 1000% top notch delicious. Even if you do not follow a vegan diet, you’ll love them!

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

Why you’ll love these cupcakes:

  • 100% homemade
  • Vegan and gluten free
  • Double chocolate frosted cupcakes
  • Dense and brownie-like texture

What makes these cupcakes vegan?

  • This recipe calls for milk, but use any non-dairy milk you’d like.
  • For the butter, I used Country Crock plant butter. Any of the varieties of this butter will work.
  • As a replacement for the egg, I used aquafaba.

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the liquid that chickpeas are packed in during canning. So to get the aquafaba, open a can of chickpeas and drain the liquid into a cup. That’s aquafaba. It does the same work as an egg: it binds, it creates volume and lifts the baked good. Easy and quick!

How to Make Vegan Brownie Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line a muffin baking pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  • In a small bowl or cup, add the milk and apple cider vinegar together and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, add the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt. Mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut oil, vanilla extract and sugars together until grainy and combined.
  • In a large bowl, whip the chickpea brine (aquafaba) until frothy (about 3 minutes). Do you really have to do this? Yes. It will help the cupcakes be lighter in texture.
  • Add the dry mixture, milk mixture, coffee (if using) and sugar mixture to the fluffy aquafaba. Mix until batter is combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners halfway and bake 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
half of a frosted chocolate cupcake

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

With plant butters readily available in stores, it is easy to make a traditional buttercream using plant based butter. It may melt more quickly than regular buttercream, so if the air temperature is warm, you’ll want to keep it cold.

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter for two minutes on medium speed with a mixer. This will make the butter nice and creamy.
  • Slowly add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar vanilla and milk. Beat for 3-4 minutes until fully combined and fluffy.
  • Adjust the frosting consistency if needed (more powdered sugar if too thin or add a little milk if too thick).

Then simply frost the cupcakes! You can pile it high using a decorating bag and a frosting tip, or you can just use a knife to swoop the frosting on.

closeup of a fork in a cupcake
closeup of a fork in a cupcake

Vegan Brownie Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
Gluten free and vegan brownie cupcakes are for the serious chocolate lover. You'll love the easy homemade chocolate frosting piled on top.
Servings 12
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cupcakes:

  • ½ cup milk non-dairy
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup coconut oil or other light oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chickpea brine aquafaba
  • 2 ounces brewed coffee optional, this gives a richer flavor

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I like country crock sticks at room temperature)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons milk non-dairy

Instructions
 

Make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line a muffin baking pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  • In a small bowl or cup, add the milk and apple cider vinegar together and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, add the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt. Mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut oil, vanilla extract and sugars together until grainy and combined.
  • In a large bowl, whip the chickpea brine (aquafaba) until frothy (3 minutes). Add the dry mixture, milk mixture, coffee (if using) and sugar mixture to the fluffy aquafaba. Mix until batter is combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners halfway and bake 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely on a cooking rack while you are preparing the frosting.

Make the frosting:

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter for two minutes on medium speed with a mixer. This will make the butter nice and creamy.
  • Slowly add in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar vanilla and milk. Beat for 3-4 minutes until fully combined and fluffy.
  • Adjust the frosting consistency if needed (more powdered sugar if too thin or add a little milk if too thick).
  • Frost the cupcakes with a knife or with a frosting tip in a decorating bag.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 12 cupcakes, with 1 serving being 1 frosted cupcake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 353
Keyword dairy free, gluten free cake, vegan cake

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About Julie Clark

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