When your housemates “can’t believe it’s vegan,” you know you are onto a killer chocolate cupcake that pretty much everyone will eat (sorry gluten free folk…). It’s not too gooey, but the pairing of chocolate with a hint of that orange zest is a divine way to kickstart the dreaded revision period before finals with a high and satisfy sweet cravings everywhere.

I mean, I’m all for healthy vegan baking, but when I want cake it’s not to be healthy and this easy bake ticks all of the required boxes- regardless of whether you add the icing (aka eat it from the bowl) or not.

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cupcakes

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:20 minutes
  • Servings:12
  • Medium


  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold freshly breed coffee (or water)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (2 1/2 inches of fresh ginger)
  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (or vegan butter)
  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/8 cup soy milk (or alternative dairy free milk)
Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 375°F and line cupcake tins with cases.

  • Step 2

    Grate the ginger.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 3

    Zest the oranges (enough for 2 tablespoons) and then squeeze the juice into a bowl.

    #SpoonTip- Don’t own a zester? Use a grater.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 4

    Whisk together the flour, sugar, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 5

    Add the coffee, oil, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, 1/2 tablespoon of orange juice, the ginger, and the zested orange. Stir.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 6

    Add the cider vinegar and quickly stir in.

    #SpoonTip- the mixture will turn lighter, mix until it darkens again.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 7

    Fill cupcake cases to 2/3 fill and bake for 25 minutes.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 8

    Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to cool on a wire rack.

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 9

    Icing if desired:

    Whip the margarine (by mixer or hand) until creamy. Add powdered sugar and the remaining cocoa powder. Whip in the soy milk, then the rest of the vanilla, 1/2 tablespoon of the orange juice. Mix until creamy and decorate.

    #SpoonTip- try grating more orange peel or chocolate on top of the icing

    Photo by Emily Stamp
  • Step 10

    Alternatively double up the mixture  and place into 2 round cake tins, sandwiched with the frosting for a large cake.

    (recipie adapted from thekitchn.com)

    Photo by Emily Stamp