Vegan chocolate cupcakes

Vegan chocolate cupcakes

vegan chocolate cupcake with whipped chocolate ganache frosting

Let’s get one thing out of the way first. These vegan chocolate cupcakes aren’t healthy. I mean, come on, they are cakes and cakes, by definition, aren’t healthy. They may be loaded with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and instead of eggs they use healthy beetroot purée but saying they are healthy would simply be lying!

Two things they definitely are though are chocolatey and indulgent so if chocolatey indulgence is what you are after you’ve come to the right place. If you are on a diet or trying to be good, avert your gaze – it’s for your own good!

These cupcakes were a real labour of love. I took my banana cupcakes recipe as my starting point thinking that it won’t be a big job turning them into chocolate cupcakes.

After all, all I needed to do is replace bananas with beetroot purée, add some chocolate to the mix and maybe up the sugar (to compensate for cacao’s bitterness), right? Boy, I’m glad I didn’t realise how wrong I was at the time or else I would not be here now sharing this recipe with you.

Getting the proportions right took me so many goes that I’ve lost count and the trouble was that while none of my attempts have proved inedible (which is a shame as I couldn’t possibly bring myself to bin them, which can only mean one thing – a larger jeans size 😉 ), but the texture or flavour wasn’t quite on the money until now. I am pretty happy with these and so were all my neighbours who have helped me test them, even though none of them are vegan.

These beauties are intensely chocolatey, moist and just the right amount of sweet. And those of you who go ‘bleugh’ as soon as they hear ‘beetroot’, do not rule them out just yet as they DO NOT TASTE LIKE BEETROOT at all, promise. All that the mighty beetroot does is gives them much desired moist crumb without the need for any eggs.

vegan chocolate cupcakes before and after baking

vegan chocolate cupcake frosted with whipped ganache

serves
12
PREP
30 min
COOKING
20 min
serves
12
PREPARATION
30 min
COOKING
20 min
INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

  • 180 g / 1 ½ cup* white all-purpose flour
  • 100 g / 1 cup cacao (I used raw)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 90 ml / ¼ + 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 70 ml / ¼ cup + 2 tsp of espresso or strong, black coffee
  • 1 cup / 240 ml almond milk
  • ¾ cup beetroot purée**
  • 180 g caster sugar

WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 150 g dark (70%) chocolate
  • 125 ml / ½ cup almond milk
  • chopped pistachios, for decorating (optional)
  • pomegranate seeds, for decorating (optional)
  • 2 tsp cacao powder, for decorating (optional)

METHOD
CUPCAKES

  1. Heat up the oven to 175° C / 347° F.
  2. Sift flour, cacao, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, cream sugar, olive oil and beetroot purée together using an electric mixer.
  4. Add espresso and almond milk to the creamed sugar. Mix well.
  5. Line a large muffin tray with paper liners or grease it well with a little olive oil.
  6. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients very gradually. Stir the two together very slowly and be careful not to overmix. Stir only until there are no more flour pockets in the batter.
  7. Distribute the mixture evenly between 12 cupcakes. Bake on the lower middle shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes – until a skewer comes out fairly clean (not too clean as this is a moist cake). Cool after baking.
  8. Apply whipped chocolate ganache frosting to the cooled cupcakes, using a butter knife or the back of a teaspoon. Dust each cupcake with a touch of cacao, decorate with pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios.

WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  1. To make the ganache, chop the chocolate up into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Warm almond milk in a small pot until it reaches an almost boiling point. Pour hot almond milk over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, DO NOT STIR straight away. Now stir the chocolate gently until it’s combined with almond milk into a smooth and glossy chocolate ganache. Let it completely cool down.
  3. Once ganache has cooled down completely start beating it with an electric whisk just like you would beat coconut cream. After a few minutes, it will turn into a gorgeous butter cream. Be careful not to overwhip as it will turn the chocolate grainy. If that happens, melt the ganache over a double boiler gently, cool down completely and start beating again.

NOTES
*I use metric measurements for baking as they are much more precise. If you must use cups for measuring dry things like flour, please be very careful as incorrect measuring can add as much as 30 g to a cup of flour, for example, and effectively ruin your cake.

**You can easily make your own beetroot purée. Wash 5 medium beetroots then boil them in a pot full of water, covered, for about 75-90 mins (until soft). Peel them, cut into smaller pieces and then puree with a stick blender or in a food processor. Cool down before using in the recipe.

SHARE
NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
291
15%
sugars
21 g
24%
fats
13 g
19%
saturates
4 g
22%
proteins
5 g
11%
carbs
40 g
16%
*per cupcake
How would you rate this recipe?
This is a test string

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

5.0
5 reviews, 30 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Ann:
My Dad is a staunch non-vegan, but of all the pastries in the world, these are his true loves. He repeatedly asks me to make them. In fact, these are seen as the pinnacle of perfection in his chocolate-lovin' world! I love them too and have been using this recipe for years. Thank you so much for this heavenly recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you so much, Ann! I am so happy to hear that and I really appreciate the review - it helps this recipe be found by more people! x Ania
Gayle Keenan:
Thank you. Made them for a COVID friendly birthday cake today. The frosting is a bit runny so I’m going to add more chocolate to see if that helps to firm it up. Delicious though.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Gayle! I'm glad you like the flavour, as for the frosting it may need to be chilled a little - that should firm it right up. Ania
Gayle:
Do you think these would freeze well? Just the cake (not the icing)...
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yes, absolutely, I often do that when I have excess. Hope this helps! Ania
Marie:
Hi Ania,
These cupcakes are so good! Really moist and not too sweet! I baked them with my son who wasn't too sure about the beetroot purée. Finally he had two for desserts! I think that he loves them as well!
It will definitely be my new recipe when I want some cupcakes!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Marie! I'm delighted to hear that these were such a hit, both with you and your initially sceptical son. Ania
Hanna:
Hi, they look so good but my oven has stopped working. So unfair !
    Ania
    Ania:
    Oh no, I feel for you! I hope it's fixed by now and you'll be able to make these soon! x Ania
Charlie:
Could I substitute the beetroot for puree banana or apple puree?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Charlie,
    I haven't tried for these particular muffins, but I am pretty confident they will both work just as well. Hope that helps! Ania
Aga:
It´s me again... My chocolate frosting is the problem... I was beating it for many minutes, but it remained runny. Even after a few hours in the fridge. What could be the reason? How can I bring it to whip to a buttercream?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Aga,
    I'll be honest, I'm not sure why you were having trouble. What makes it whip is high fat content - have you used reduced fat chocolate by any chance? Ania
      Aga:
      No, I didn´t, I used "normal" chocolate. But I used soya milk instead. May this be the reason?
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hmm, it shouldn't make any difference although I have not tried using soy milk myself.
Aga:
How much is 3/4 cup beetroot puree in grams? You gave the metric measurments for all the ingriedients except this one :( Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Aga,
    I have no idea as it's more like a liquid so that's why I don't weigh it. It's 180 ml if that's easier. Hope that helps! Ania
      Aga:
      It does help, any metric measurment is good! ;) Thanks so much!
Meagan:
I'm excited to give these a go on the weekend! Can I sub the coffee for something else? I'm on of the few people who doesn't like the taste of coffee and don't have any in the house! Cheers, Meagan (from MeaganMade) :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Meagan,
    Coffee is there to enhance chocolate flavour (you cannot really taste coffee flavour as such), but if you are out, sub with more almond milk for example. Hope you'll love them :) x Ania
Lizzy:
These cupcakes are incredible! Super super chocolatey with a lovely, rich texture. I subbed coconut oil instead of olive oil, and cashew milk instead of almond milk as I had it on hand. The substitutes worked perfectly!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Lizzy! I had made so many of them before I arrived at the exact proportions that your feedback makes me especially happy - knowing that all hard work has paid off! Awesome to hear that your substitutions worked so well too. x
Ruth:
These look yummy!! How stable is the ganache at room temperature? I'm thinking more to use it as a filling for some meringues and wondering if it would work, or start falling apart. Any ideas? Thanks :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Ruth,
    I would say it is pretty stable. I did store the cupcakes overnight (and they were still perfect the next day), but I put them into the fridge so not sure about room temperature but my guess is that it would be fine.
    Good luck!
    Ania
Liz:
These are gorgeous!! Love how you used beetroot puree instead of eggs! Definitely pinning :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Liz, glad to hear that you like them! x
Thalia @ butter and brioche:
Never baked with beetroot before, definitely something I need to try. These cupcakes look so rich & delicious!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Thalia! Hope you give it a go, beetroot puree is magic and goes so well with chocolate! :)
Nancy Barry:
Oh yes, this I must try! Do you think organic baby food beets would be okay? The ganache sounds and looks amazing, I can think of other recipes to use it for as well. Thank you for this fantastic treat.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Nancy! My absolute pleasure! If said baby food is simply cooked pureed beetroots, I don't see why not - sounds like a great idea! x
Jenni:
These cup cakes look delicious... Could I swap the flour to gluten free do you think?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jenni,
    Thank you! I'm so pleased you like them! I'm not an expert at gluten-free baking but my instinct is telling me that you would need to compensate for the gluten somehow or else they may be falling apart. Worth a try, I would say! Good luck!
    Ania
Catherine:
They look amazing! Thank you for all the lovely recipes!!! Xx😊
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you for your kind words, Catherine! x
DON'T MISS A SINGLE RECIPE
Join our mailing list and we we will let you know when we publish a new recipe. You'll receive our DELIGHTFUL DESSERTS E‑BOOK as a thank you for supporting us.