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Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Dairy and egg free chocolate orange cupcakes with chocolate orange buttercream
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Cupcake, vegan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 431kcal
Author thebakingexplorer


For the cupcakes

  • 150 g Caster sugar also known as superfine sugar
  • 225 g Self raising flour
  • 25 g Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 75 ml Vegetable oil
  • 230 ml Plant based milk I used unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp Cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp Orange extract

For the buttercream

  • 150 g Plant based butter block softened, I used Flora Plant
  • 50 g Vegan shortening softened, I used Crisp n Dry, replace with the same amount of dairy free butter if you don't want to use it
  • 350 g Icing sugar
  • 50 g Cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 1-2 tbsp Plant milk I used unsweetened almond milk

For decoration

  • 115 g Vegan dark chocolate I used Callebaut
  • 1 tsp Orange extract
  • Orange zest


  • If you are making the chocolate orange segments, melt the chocolate and stir in the orange extract. Then carefully pour the chocolate into your mould. Leave to set
  • Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4, and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases
  • In a mixing bowl, or a large jug, whisk together the vegetable oil, milk, orange extract and vinegar
  • In another mixing bowl, stir together the caster sugar, self raising flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and pour in the milk mixture, whisk them together gently with a hand whisk until smooth
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases. I find it easier to put the mixture into a jug or piping bag to do this as it's quite a wet batter
  • Bake them for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack
  • Make the buttercream by first mixing together the dairy free spread and vegan shortening until combined and smooth. Then add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, plant milk and orange extract, and mix until smooth. You can do this by hand or for best results use an electric mixer. If the buttercream is too stift, you can add more plant milk
  • Spread or pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes, and decorate with the chocoate orange segments and orange zest
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days


  • I used almond milk for the cupcakes, but you can use any plant milk that you prefer.
  • I've found that the best dairy free butter for vegan buttercream is Flora Plant. Stork Baking Block is also very good. Using a block dairy free butter is much better for the buttercream. A margarine or spread style dairy free butter will make the buttercream too loose. I also like to add some vegan shortening, but this is optional.
  • You can use a different type of oil besides vegetable oil. I'd recommend one that doesn't have a strong flavour, canola and sunflower oil would both work well.
  • For the best flavour, make sure to use a good quality orange extract and not an essence. I like to use the brand Nielsen Massey.
  • You do need to add the vinegar to this recipe to get a good rise - it reacts with the baking powder to create air bubbles. Cider vinegar is the best vinegar to use, but white vinegar would be a suitable replacement. Balsamic or malt vinegar (the kind you put on your chips) will not work. And don't worry - you can't taste the vinegar in the cupcake!
  • Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
  • For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.


Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg