Vegan Lemon-Vanilla Cupcakes

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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use avocado oil as it’s bland and nutritious)

1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract or natural lemon flavor*


1/2 cup vegan butter (Miyako is a good choice)

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

11/2 – 2 tablespoons lemon (or to taste)

1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.**

Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the non-dairy milk, brown sugar (or coconut sugar), oil, lemon extract and vanilla in another medium bowl and gently fold into the dry ingredients until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.

Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and bounce back when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 – 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For the frosting – beat the vegan butter or margarine on medium-high in a large bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl then add 1 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and blend. Add more lemon juice and milk as needed so that the frosting is the thickness and tartness you want and is smooth. Frost and decorate the cupcakes as desired.


* I suggest lemon extract for the cake batter as the flavor carries well. You can substitute lemon juice if you prefer.

** This recipe makes 12 cupcakes if you have larger cupcake tins, or 18 cupcakes if you have medium cupcake tins. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.