Recipe: Light Eggless (or Vegan) Vanilla Cupcakes with Decadent Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


A friend once asked me what I would take with me if I were faced with the acopolypse. I answered,

1. My Mom, because to me she is the epitome of all the goodness and strength in the world
2. My iPad with its accessories, because I couldn’t live without books, movies and some pre-loaded games
3. Some sugar

The last one intrigued him the most. “Why sugar?” Simply because if my world were coming to an end, I’d like a little sweetness to end it with.

The first time I fell in love with cupcakes, it was BEFORE I’d actually eaten one. They just looked beautiful with the colorful frosting holding the promise of bliss, tempered only with a light cake. Needless to say, I had to bake them. But of course, as is ALWAYS the struggle for me, it was hard to find vegetarian recipes that would make the cake light.I scourged the internet for recipes and found a lot of interesting facts about baking vegan/eggless cakes. Facts like eggless or vegan chocolate cakes actually became popular during the war when milk goods were expensive, and vinegar, despite its popular use as a sour and strong addition to salads, is used as a leavening agent in cakes instead of eggs (and it works like a charm!)

But the most fruitful discovery after days and hours of searching was, Chef Chloe ( Chloe’s all of 23 and her vegan cupcake was the first vegan winner of Cupcake Wars! I used her recipe (with very minor tweaks) as the base for all my cupcakes. Upon stumbling (really, check of StumbleUpon’s food inventory!) through some recipes for buttercream frosting, I found a great decadent buttercream frosting recipe from Savory Sweet Life ( that I tweaked for my own cupcakes.

As much as I love sugar, I do believe that sugar tastes best when used in moderation. I like how, for example, using lesser sugar than the recipe called for, really brought out the taste of the cocoa powder and made the buttercream frosting extremely rich in flavor without being too sweet. For the cupcakes, too, I used a little less sugar than the original recipe called for, ensuring that the vanilla wasn’t overridden by sweetness.


For the cupcake (makes 6)
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (Chef Chloe recommended soy or rice milk or water, if you want to make this cake vegan)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (If you do not have any, you can use regular vinegar. I’d all a little more sugar and if required, essence, to compensate though)

For the buttercream frosting (makes 3 cups)
1 cup or 1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened, but not melted
3 cups sifted confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla or 1tsp vanilla + 1tsp almond essence
4 tbsp heavy whipping cream


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Farenheit) and line a cup-cake tin
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar in a bowl
3. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, vinegar, oil and essence
4. Gently fold in the wet mixture into the dry mixture
5. Whisk the mixture and pour into the cupcake liners, 2/3rd of the way
6. Place it in oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean

1. Gently cream the butter with a beater
2. Add the sifted sugar and cocoa and beat on a low speed till mixed
3. On a medium speed, add the salt, essences and whipping cream
4. Beat on a high speed till stiff peaks form

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and store in the fridge.

The result of this baking was far better than anything I had imagined. The cupcakes are extremely moist, light and fluffy (and they stay that way 2 days later too!) and the buttercream frosting has been a great hit at both parties I’ve served these cupcakes at. Rest assured, I will keep experimenting with this recipe with hopefully equally good results for strawberry cupcakes, peach and vanilla cupcakes, and since the Santa Rosa plums from the farmer’s market are simply to die for, maybe some chocolate-plum cupcakes 🙂

Hope you enjoy baking these as much as I enjoyed eating them 🙂


One thought on “Recipe: Light Eggless (or Vegan) Vanilla Cupcakes with Decadent Chocolate Buttercream Frosting”

  1. Oh no, I’m sad! Heavy whipping cream in the frosting? Chloe is vegan, did she mention a brand of vegan whipping cream? I have her cook book and she suggests soy (which i can’t eat), rice or almond milk in most frostings. I’m looking for a good vanilla vegan "Buttercream" and would love to know what you used in the frosting!! (: Thanks!

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