Vegan ‘Red’ Velvet Cupcakes

Although I had tried a few of those lurid, overly-sweet red velvet cupcakes which have become abundant in the last few years, I only tried my first proper red velvet cake recently – and actually fell in love.  With its eye-catching red and cream colour contrast, velvety soft texture and subtle chocolatey flavour – beautifully balanced out by the tang of cream cheese frosting, this one definitely had both style and substance.

I decided to have a go at making a vegan version in honour of three colleagues who celebrated their birthdays this week (happy Valentines, anyone?).  I based my recipe on this one by Sarah and the results were very well received by vegans and non vegans alike 🙂

Ingredients for cupcakes (makes approximately 12):

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soya milk (or other milk alternative)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 3 tsp red food colouring (I used natural, hence more ‘natural’ result)


Ingredients for buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup vegan margarine or butter
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to Gas 4/ 350F/180C/160Fan.
  2. Line a cupcake tray with cases.
  3. Whisk the milk and vinegar in a jug then set aside for a minute to curdle.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and bicarb into a mixing bowl.
  5. Measure the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and food colouring into another bowl and beat to mix.
  6. Add the water to the milk and pour both into the sugar mixture. Mix well.
  7. Add the flour and continue to mix gently until fully incorporated (take care not to overbeat as you may knock too much of the air out and the cake will be less fluffy).
  8. Pour the cake mix into the cases (about two thirds of the way up) and bake until a toothpick or knife comes out clean – aroud 15 mins.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Mix the buttercream ingredients.  Again, don’t overbeat as this may make it too runny – add more sugar if you want it thicker/sweeter.
  11. Top the cupcakes with the buttercream and share the love 🙂





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