Making Vegan Cupcakes for the Non-Vegan

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Last year, due to dietary restrictions for our newborn, and a wife breastfeeding said newborn, our house went dairy free (OK, really just my wife and baby, but you know how that works…).  I’ll admit that as a person that loves milk (and cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, etc.), I was worried.  While it was true that I could still eat those things, I knew a lot of our go to meals had some sort of dairy product involved, usually cheese, but at the very least, butter.

My biggest concern was baking.  I love to bake, because I love brownies (and cookies, cakes, pies, etc.), and I thought it would be impossible to find a good substitute for milk and butter in those recipes I loved to make.  However, through trial and error, I was able to recreate most of my favorite desserts.  Admittedly I still used eggs, but I was only worried about dairy at the time.

Recently, my wife found out that the vegan buttery spread we use, Earth Balance, was running a holiday bake-off contest, and she said I should submit an entry.  (Apparently she really likes my baking!) So I went to the contest rules and was all set, only one problem; the recipe had to be 100% vegan. That meant no eggs. At first I was a little disheartened, but then I finally decided, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?

So after several attempts and tweaks, I came up with a 100% vegan holiday cupcake recipe that I’m quite proud of. Even non-vegans will enjoy this sweet treat. Here it is below:

Related:  Cooking From the Pantry - Easy Meal Ideas with Gluten Free and Vegan Options

Apple-Cranberry Cupcakes with Apple Butter Buttercream Frosting




1 and ½ Cups Flour

¾ Cup Sugar

1 and ½ teaspoons Baking Powder

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt

1 and ½ teaspoons Real Vanilla Extract

1 and ½ teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

¾ Cup Cashew Milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1/3 Cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread (or similar non-dairy butter spread) (Melted)

1 Cup Apples (I used Red Delicious) – Peeled and Diced

¾ Cup Dried Cranberries


½ Cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread (or similar non-dairy butter spread)

2 Tablespoons Apple Butter

1 and ¾ Cups Confectioners Sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line dark non-stick cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners

Combine all ingredients except fruit into mixing bowl; beat on low for two minutes or until thoroughly blended

Add fruit slowly until evenly mixed

Spoon into cupcake liners until about ¾ full

Bake for 21-24 minutes or until cupcake tester comes out clean

Cool on wire rack until room temperature before frosting


Combine Apple Butter and Buttery Spread in mixing bowl; beat on low for two minutes or until thoroughly blended

Add confectioners sugar a little at a time until blended smooth

If piping, place in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or until stiff peaks form when tested

Frost cupcakes as desired


So go ahead and try something a little different this holiday season. You won’t be disappointed.

Also, If you like my recipe, please go here to vote.  Much appreciated!

What are some of your favorite vegan baked goods?

Related:  6 Gluten Free Christmas Cookie Recipes

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