Being allergic to dairy can often hinder my dessert options, so I decided to make one of my all time favorite desserts completely dairy-free. With substitutions for milk and butter, these dairy-free chocolate cupcakes have creamy icing that anyone can enjoy. 

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:18 mins
  • Total Time:38 mins
  • Servings:30
  • Hard


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Crisco
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup Lactaid or coconut milk
cream, cheese, chocolate, cream cheese
Allison Curley
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350° F and line a cupcake pan with liners.

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  • Step 2

    Cream Crisco, water, and sugar together until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.

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    Allison Curley
  • Step 3

    Add eggs, one at a time, to the bowl.

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  • Step 4

    Stir in vanilla and Lactaid (or other dairy-free milk alternative).

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  • Step 5

    Slowly add the dry ingredients until the batter is blended together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt.

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    Allison Curley
  • Step 6

    Once batter is fully combined, use an ice cream scoop or large tablespoon to carefully add the batter to each cupcake tray.

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    Allison Curley
  • Step 7

    Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes, and let cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.

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#SpoonTip: For future dairy-free substitutions, 1 cup of Crisco + 2 tablespoons of water is equal to 1 cup of butter. The amounts in this recipe are adjusted to 3 tablespoons of Crisco and 1 teaspoon of water to substitute for butter.

#SpoonTip: Lactaid is the best milk option for this recipe, as it bears the closest resemblance to real milk. Coconut milk also works, but will make the cupcakes have a coconut flavor. Almond milk is a bit too watery to work well here. 

Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:30
  • Medium


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Lactaid or coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips optional
cheese, butter, cream
Allison Curley
  • Step 1

    Cream the butter flavored Crisco, water, vanilla, and Lactaid milk together.

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  • Step 2

    Slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully combined and creamy.

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    Allison Curley
  • Step 3

    Add the frosting to a piping bag and top each cupcake, or spread on top using a knife. Decorate with dairy-free chocolate chips or sprinkles if desired.

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    Allison Curley

Having food restrictions does not mean that you have to eat boring or bland foods. Substitutions in baking can be tricky, but they allow us to eat our favorite foods again if we have restrictions. Enjoy these rich, chocolatey cupcakes without any risks of eating dairy thanks to the wonders of Crisco.