Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

These vegan chocolate orange cupcakes are light, fluffy, fudgey and oh so delicious!  A chocolate orange sponge topped with smooth and soft chocolate orange buttercream. What more could you want in a cupcake? Chocolate and orange are just a perfect flavour match. These cupcakes are basically the equivalent of a vegan Terry’s chocolate orange.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

They are super easy to bake. They only take about 10 minutes to prepare and there’s no creaming and beating involved! The batter hardly needs any mixing so you don’t need any food or hand mixers for this recipe, just a bowl and a spatula. Once you’ve tried this recipe, you won’t go back to your standard chocolate cupcake again!

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Now, I’ve only recently started baking vegan cakes and cupcakes so I’m no expert. However, it’s pretty obvious that if you remove the eggs and the butter that go into cupcakes, you need to replace them with other ingredients. This I found to be a little bit tricky at first but I think I’ve got the hang of it now! After a bit of experimenting I think I’ve come up with a delicious vegan chocolate orange cupcake recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

These cupcakes are so good that you can’t even tell they’re vegan!! So many people that have tried these don’t believe they’re vegan. They’re moist, indulgent and their flavour is intense – everything we’re told vegan food is not!

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Getting the right combination of ingredients took a few attempts but I got there. The combination of orange zest, orange extract, cocoa powder and melted chocolate makes these cupcakes extra flavourful and so tasty! Adding both cocoa powder and melted chocolate creates a much deeper chocolate flavour and makes the cupcakes so fudgey. And the addition of the vanilla complements the chocolate orange flavour perfectly.

The ingredients needed to make these Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Dairy-free milk – I use oat milk as it’s my personal favourite but you can use any that you like. I haven’t tried these cupcakes using any other dairy-free milk but it shouldn’t affect the bake too much.

Butter alternative – I like to use flora for these cupcakes. It melts really well and mixes great with the melted chocolate. I find the sponge also comes out nicer when using Flora rather than margarine.

Vegetable oil – One thing I don’t want my cupcakes to be is dry, so to avoid this I’ve added some vegetable oil. The cupcakes come out super moist. You can use sunflower oil or coconut oil if you prefer.

Cocoa powder and melted chocolate – These are chocolate cupcakes after all. I tried to make them using only cocoa powder but the chocolate taste wasn’t as intense and indulgent as I’d liked. So I added melted chocolate to the mixture and ended up with a really fudgy and deep chocolate flavour. Make sure to check that your cocoa powder and chocolate are vegan.

Instant coffee – I love adding instant coffee to my bakes. When you mix the coffee with boiling water and add it to the mixture you get such a moist sponge! And you can’t taste the coffee one bit.

Orange zest and orange extract –The combination of the zest and extract makes the orange flavour much more intense. You can’t even notice that the cupcakes have zest in them.

Cider vinegar – I know adding vinegar to cupcakes may sound weird but without the eggs, which acts as a rising agent you need a substitute. Mixing the vinegar and oat milk forms a vegan ‘buttermilk’, which acts as a rising agent.

All the other ingredients needed are your standard baking ingredients – flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

The buttercream

I love this buttercream because it comes together so easily in about 3-4 minutes and tastes just like regular, delicious buttercream!

For the buttercream I use Flora as my butter alternative. I find the buttercream comes out really creamy and delicious using Flora. But you can use any dairy-free/vegan butter or margarine that you like.

With the icing sugar that you use, I would suggest you read the ingredients as not all icing sugars are vegan friendly. I use Tate and Lyle icing sugar as it is vegan.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Making vegan chocolate orange cupcakes

DO NOT OVER MIX THE BATTER – One of the key things I have learnt with baking vegan goods is not to over mix the batter. You don’t need a hand or food mixer for this recipe – a bowl and spatula will be suffice. This mixture doesn’t need much mixing so stir the ingredients together as little as possible. Over mixing will lead to flat cupcakes and they could taste quite rubbery.

The batter will be quite liquid – The mix for these cupcakes is quite liquid compared to other cakes and cupcake mixtures. The only problem with this is that it might get a bit messy when you are portioning it but once they are baked they will taste amazing.

Get the cupcakes into the oven as quickly as possible – These cupcakes have no egg in them, which act as a rising agent. The baking powder is one of the rising agents in these cupcakes and baking powder activates as soon as it comes into contact with a liquid. Make sure you preheat the oven before you start preparing the mixture so that the oven is hot when you put the cupcakes in.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Want vegan chocolate cupcakes instead or other variations?

You can obviously use this recipe for a delicious vegan chocolate cupcake. Don’t add the orange zest or orange extract and you’ll end up with decadent vegan chocolate cupcakes.

You could also make vegan mint chocolate cupcakes by adding 1 tsp of peppermint extract to the cupcake mixture and 1 tsp to the buttercream.

There are plenty of flavour variations that would go great with these cupcakes, for example strawberry or raspberry would also be a great combination with chocolate. Why not experiment!

Can these cupcakes be made into a full-sized cake?

Yup!

Obviously the baking time will be different though. This will depend on the size of the cake tins that you’re using and also whether you’re using one tin or two. Just keep an eye out while they’re in the oven. They’ll be ready once the skewer comes out clean.

How long do these cupcakes keep?

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Equipment needed

  • Small bowl
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Spatula
  • Cupcake cases
  • 12-hole muffin tin
  • Cooling rack
  • Piping bag
  • Piping nozzle

Tips for making vegan chocolate orange cupcakes

  • Do not over mix the batter. The cupcake mixture doesn’t require much mixing so use a spatula instead of a hand or food mixer. Over mixing will lead to flat and rubbery cupcakes.
  • Get the cupcakes into a preheated oven as quickly as possible so that the rise properly.
  • Check the ingredients of the cocoa powder and icing sugar that you use as not all are vegan. I use Tate and Lyle icing sugar and Dr Oetker fine dark cocoa powder.
  • If you don’t want chocolate orange cupcakes, then don’t add the orange zest and orange extract. You’ll end up with very delicious and fudgy vegan chocolate cupcakes.
  • You can also make other variations of these cupcakes by adding other flavourings, such as 1 tsp of peppermint extract for vegan mint chocolate cupcakes.
  • Use whatever shaped nozzle you have or use a palette knife to spread the buttercream on the cupcakes.
  • Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Step by Step Instructions: Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 190C/ 170C Fan/ 375F/ Gas 5. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

Cupcake liners

Step 2

In a small bowl, mix the oat milk and the cider vinegar to make the vegan buttercream. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow to thicken.

Vegan 'buttermilk'

Step 3

In a microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate and butter. Melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, mixing between bursts. Stir together until smooth.

Chocolate mixture
Chocolate mixture

Step 4

Mix the coffee and boiling water together and add to the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix together until combined.

Coffee mixture
Coffee mixture

Step 5

In a separate bowl sift in all of the dry ingredients and mix together.

Dry ingredients
Dry ingredients
Dry ingredients
Dry ingredients
Dry ingredients

Step 6

Gradually add the dry mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix together with a spatula.

Wet and dry ingredients

Step 7

Add in the vegan buttermilk, the oil, orange and vanilla extract and the orange zest. Mix together to form a runny but smooth mixture (the mixture will be quite liquid).

Cupcake batter
Cupcake batter
Cupcake batter
Cupcake batter

Step 8

Divide the mixture evenly into the 14 cupcake cases.

Cupcake batte

Step 9

Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes. Check to see if they are baked by sticking a metal skewer into the centre of the cupcake – it should come out clean.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Step 10

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before piping the buttercream.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

For the buttercream

Step 1

Using a hand or food mixer beat the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

Buttercream

Step 2

Add in the cocoa powder, orange extract and oat milk and mix together.

Buttercream

Step 3

Fit a piping bag with your desired nozzle and spoon the buttercream into the piping bag.

Assembly

Step 1

Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag or a nozzle, spread the buttercream using a palette knife.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

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Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes


Description

These vegan chocolate orange cupcakes are light, fluffy, fudgey and oh so delicious!  A chocolate orange sponge topped with smooth and soft chocolate orange buttercream.


Ingredients

Scale

For the cupcakes

  • 150ml oat milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 100g vegan chocolate (I use Bournville)
  • 100g vegan butter (I use Flora)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 75ml boiling water
  • 150g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • Zest 1 orange
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream

  • 175g vegan butter (I use Flora)
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tbsp oat milk

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/ 170C Fan/ 375F/ Gas 5. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the oat milk and the cider vinegar to make the vegan buttercream. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow to thicken.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate and butter. Melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts, mixing between bursts. Stir together until smooth.
  4. Mix the coffee and boiling water together and add to the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix together until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl sift in all of the dry ingredients and mix together.
  6. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix together with a spatula.
  7. Add in the vegan buttermilk, the oil, orange and vanilla extract and the orange zest. Mix together to form a runny but smooth mixture (the mixture will be quite liquid).
  8. Divide the mixture evenly into the 14 cupcake cases.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes. Check to see if they are baked by sticking a metal skewer into the centre of the cupcake – it should come out clean.
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before piping the buttercream.

For the buttercream

  1. Using a hand or food mixer beat the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder, orange extract and oat milk and mix together.
  3. Fit a piping bag with your desired nozzle and spoon the buttercream into the piping bag.

Assembly

  1. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag or a nozzle, spread the buttercream using a palette knife.

Notes

  • Do not over mix the batter. The cupcake mixture doesn’t require much mixing so use a spatula instead of a hand or food mixer. Over mixing will lead to flat and rubbery cupcakes.
  • Bake the cupcakes as quickly as possible. Get the cupcakes into a preheated oven as quickly as possible so that they rise properly.
  • Make sure your cocoa powder and icing sugar are vegan. Check the ingredients of the cocoa powder and icing sugar that you use as not all are vegan. I use Tate and Lyle icing sugar and Dr Oetker fine dark cocoa powder.
  • Vegan chocolate cupcakes alternative. If you don’t want chocolate orange cupcakes, then don’t add the orange zest and orange extract. You’ll end up with very delicious and fudgy vegan chocolate cupcakes.
  • Other flavour alternatives. You can also make other variations of these cupcakes by adding other flavourings, such as 1 tsp of peppermint extract for vegan mint chocolate cupcakes.
  • Piping the buttercream. Use whatever shaped nozzle you have or use a palette knife to spread the buttercream on the cupcakes.
  • Storing the cupcakes. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 383kcal
  • Sugar: 39.4g
  • Sodium: 54.9mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.4g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 9.8mg

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