Exploring vegan, vegetarian and sustainable cooking

Simple vegan vanilla cupcake recipe

This recipe for basic vegan cupcakes uses ingredients that are standard in most vegan pantries. The technique is also about as simple as it gets—no mixer or fancy tools required.


Makes 12 cupcakes.


  • 1 Tbsp ground flax (flax meal)
  • 3 Tbsp warm water

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups (8.5 oz / 240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (7 oz / 200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp tapioca flour (tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used oat milk but soy milk, almond milk or cashew milk should all work)
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla bean


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place 12 cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
  3. In a small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the flax and water with a fork. Set aside to thicken slightly.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  5. In a 2- or 4-cup measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the flax mixture.
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until smooth. Batter will be runny.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between cupcake liners.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, the tops of cupcakes are firm to the touch and very slightly browned.
  9. Decorate as desired.

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