These chocolate cupcakes have been in my family for years and years – my family calls it “dad’s favorite crazy chocolate cake,” don’t ask me why! All I know is, it’s my dads favorite chocolate cake recipe. My Nani (his mother) used to make it for him all the time when he was a kid. Now I make it for him on his birthdays, and whenever I get the chance.
As a kid and into my young adult years, I never realized it was a vegan cake recipe. I didn’t put two and two together until my 20th birthday. I made it for myself and my boyfriend since we share a birthday, and like my dad, it’s my favorite chocolate cake recipe as well.
I remember the night of our birthday like it was yesterday. I was filled with excitement because we had invited a bunch of our friends to go bowling and celebrate with us. I wanted to bring something that everyone could eat, so I made this cake recipe. It was very last-minute, but since this cake is so easy and quick to make, I thankfully made it to my own party on time!
This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe, and since it’s vegan, you can share it with almost everyone! Just whip up a vegan frosting, and you’re good to go.
I made these cupcakes a long time ago, so I can’t quite remember the occasion. There may have been nothing going on that day. Back home, when I had a big kitchen and a decent oven, I baked for fun almost every day. I was also craving to learn anything I could, being a self-taught baker. We lived right near downtown, and my boyfriend worked at a soup shop called Destination Soups. If I didn’t have clients, I would usually bring my goodies there for all the employees to enjoy.
At my new apartment in Portland, I have a very small and old oven. Sometimes it’s hard for me to bake certain things because they don’t come out the way I’d like them to. Usually they taste fine, but they don’t look as appealing. I try my best!
Vegan frosting can be a bit finicky at times. I’ve only ever used earth balance vegan buttery sticks – if you use other vegan butter sticks, use them! It really just comes down to the taste and texture, and what your preference. I usually make vegan frosting the same way I make regular butter cream, I just use vegan butter sticks and almond milk instead. You will have to play around with the flavors, adding more vanilla and lavender to your desired taste.
There are two ways you can incorporate the lavender flavor into the frosting – you could also do both ways. One way is just using a lavender essential oil for flavor. Another way would be to buy lavender buds, steep them in almost boiling almond milk, let it cool and steep for an hour or two, and then add it to the frosting.
Lavender is tricky because you don’t want to over-do it, or else it will mimic a soapy flavor and you do not want that. You can buy culinary lavender buds through amazon, that’s what I did. You can order lavender essential oil, or go to your local health food store and find it there, just make sure it’s safe for consumption.
I really recommend giving this recipe a try, and if you want, you can use a different frosting flavor. It’s all about preference, some people hate lavender! You can also make this recipe into an 8×8 square cake.
Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes (vegan)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Total: approx 35 minutes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Author: The Pearly Baker
Vegan chocolate cupcakes with a lavender frosting. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make more cupcakes, or a layer cake.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (whichever kind you prefer)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
2 vegan buttery sticks, soft
3-4 teaspoons of almond milk (or lavender milk)
2-3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
a pinch of salt
about half a bag of powdered sugar
purple food coloring
This recipe is super simple, all you’ll need is one bowl. Preheat your oven to 350, and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.
First, add all your dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk until everything is mixed together.
Add the water, and stir until it’s almost combined. Add the oil and vinegar and stir until smooth.
Scoop the cupcake batter in the pan, a little more than halfway full. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
For the lavender “butter’cream frosting, in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment:
Add your vegan butter, vanilla, salt, and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until combined.
Slowly add in the rest of the bag of powdered sugar, along with the lavender or regular almond milk, until it reaches your desired consistency. Add in a few drops of purple food coloring, (this is also where you would add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil if using). Once everything is added, you may need to add more milk if it’s too dry. If it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar. Run your mixer on high speed for a minute or two to really combine the ingredients, and to fluff up the frosting.
If you decide to make the lavender milk, you’ll only need a little bit, depending on how many cupcakes you’re making.
Take one cup of almond milk, and bring it to a simmer in a sauce pan. Add about 3/4 cup of culinary lavender buds and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off, and let the buds steep in the milk for an hour or two.
Once it’s done steeping, with a strainer, pour the milk into a Pyrex glass, making sure no lavender buds get through. At this point, the milk should be cool enough to use in your frosting! Add it in the way you would add the regular almond milk.