Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes – No Eggs, No Dairy, No Sugar (!!)

Sunday was Batt Lady’s birthday and I knew I wanted to do something nice for her since her husband, parents, and friends weren’t able to come visit…on TOP of which, it was opening weekend of our maniacally manic summer festival. So Saturday night I made sure I got out a little early (guiltily leaving the almost birthday girl to finish off the shows for the night) and snuck home with Miss Rice to make some box office/Batt Lady friendly cupcakes. She can’t eat eggs (and I just happened to have recently ordered Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) and she can’t eat processed sugar, so I hopped out to the Red Hook Natural Foods store to buy a large bottle of Agave, along with some other vegan provisions.

There’s definitely a stigma around vegan baking (maybe it’s just cause I’m so into butter and eggs from my childhood baking experiences and Julia’s influence) and on top of that I’m not an enormous fan of the flavor of Agave, but Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero changed my mind (as they almost always do…). These. were. delicious. And though the frosting was a bit runny, it had a great texture and an even better taste!

Go ahead, experiment a little…you won’t be sorry.

Read on for photos and the recipe…

Cupcakes (Chocolate Agave)


(this makes 12 cupcakes, we made a double recipe so that we could have enough for the chefs, the box office crew, and for a big fat cupcake for the birthday girl)

2/3 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup light agave nectar (they suggest dark for the chocolate version, but I only had light)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1  cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp espresso powder or 1 tsp chocolate extract or 1 tsp orange extract (all optional)


  • Line muffin pans with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 325F.
  • Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl; allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. (This almost makes it mimic buttermilk…how cool?!)
  • Beat in agave, oil, vanilla, and almond extract.

  • Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until smooth. (There’s lots of liquid ingredients right? So how will it rise? All of your dry ingredients, excluding salt, are rising agents!)
  • Fill liners until 2/3 – 3/4 full (these do sink a tiny bit after you take then out of the oven.)
  • Bake 20 – 22 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Don’t overpake!
  • These cupcakes need to cool at least an hour before topping or filling, and also to develop the flavor and texture properly. (Sage advice from Isa and Terry. Whouda known?)

Frosting (Thick Chocolate Fudgey)


(once again we double the recipe, and it was perfect for 24 cupcakes and a big mama cupcake)

1/2 cup margarine at room temperature (they suggest Earth Balance)
1/2 cup agave syrup, light or dark (again, I used dark. From these cupcakes and the frosting I went through an entire bottle!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup regular cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup soy milk powder (I found this at the Red Hook Natural Foods store. It was actually called a Vegan Beverage Mix…weird, but it’s essential to the thickening and texture of the frosting!)


  • Beat margarine and agave with an electric mixer at medium speed til smooth. (mm, liquidy).
  • Whisk in vanilla, then slowly fold in cocoa powder. (You can do this with the electric mixer at slow, but you may want to folder it in with the beaters before switching it on. Otherwise you get a little cocoa cloud coming at you!)
  • Slowly beat in soy milk powder. Adjust the texture with agave (if it’s too thick. We didn’t have that problem) or soy milk powder (if it’s too runny. I probably put in another 1/4 cup of soy milk powder to firm it up, even after refrigerating for 10 minutes.)
  • Pop into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up before spreading. Allow it to come to room temperature before spreading on your completely cooled cupcakes.
  • We tried to use a pastry bag and tip with these guys. It was just a little too fudgey/runny for this. I’d recommend just spreading.

We popped them into the fridge to firm up over night before bringing them in and surprising Batt Lady with a big group and big harmonies for her birthday song! Yummmm! Trust me, these convinced multiple non-vegan/anti-vegans that vegan baking may not be so bad…and normally in vegan baking you’re allowed to use sugar!

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  1. […] Vegan/Batt Lady friendly chocolate cupcakes (find the recipe here) […]

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