Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

A classic vanilla cupcake recipe that is completely vegan, dairy-free and egg-free. Topped with a creamy vegan vanilla buttercream frosting, this is the only cupcake recipe you will need for birthdays and special occasions.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Author Sally


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the buttercream:

  • ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • food colouring optional
  • sprinkles optional


  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tin with 12 patty cases.
  • In a small bowl combine white vinegar and dairy-free milk. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and set aside.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat canola oil, sugar and vanilla until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients, alternating with the milk until cupcake batter comes together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Spoon mixture into patty cases ensuring they are only ¾ full before placing them in the oven for 18 minutes or until lightly springy to touch. Let cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the buttercream. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free spread for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Add in 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in vanilla and dairy-free milk. If frosting is too thin, add in an extra ½-1 cup of icing sugar until it reaches the right consistency. Add pinch of salt to taste if frosting is too sweet.
  • Tint the buttercream with a few drops of food colouring, I used 3 drops of Americolour Violet gel colouring. Place buttercream into a piping bag, I used a 2D tip, and pipe buttercream on cooled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles.


Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, and up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Dairy-free milk. I have used oat milk, almond milk, vanilla almond milk, and soy milk in this recipe and all produce a perfect cupcake.
Most sprinkles are not actually vegan. If you are making this for someone who is, please check your labels and make sure you are using a vegan friendly brand.
Americolor gel food colourings do not use any animal products so are fine for vegans, but again ensure you check the labels as some brands may not be suitable.
I use Nuttelex Buttery to replace butter in most of my recipes as it is vegan and gives a 'buttery' flavour without being greasy. As this is an Australian product, the closest US alternative I believe is Earth Balance. Otherwise any dairy-free spread will work.
Want chocolate frosting? Try my vegan chocolate buttercream instead.
Not from Australia? Check out my US Conversion Guide