Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

The hardest part about my mom going vegan is, without a doubt, the absence of all of our favorite desserts. She is an extraordinary baker, so not getting to see cookies and brownies galore in our kitchen just feels strange! She was given the book Chloe’s Vegan Dessertsand for Merry Grace’s birthday we had the opportunity to give her Cupcake Wars winning recipe a try! There are many steps, and it does take a good deal of time, but they are worth the effort!

For the Cupcakes:

1.5 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup canola oil

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Zest of 1 orange


  1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
  2. In another bowl, combine orange juice, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and zest.
  3. Gently combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients.
  4. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 of the way full.
  5. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 16 to 20 minutes.
  6. *Note* when I made these, I was only able to get 16 cups!


For the Buttercream:

1 cup vegetable shortening

1.5 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp orange juice


  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, blend together until smooth.
  2. Fill a piping bag (or a ziplock bag, with one corner snipped off!) with buttercream.
  3. After holing out a nickel-sized center from each cupcake, pipe buttercream in.


For the Ganache:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free)

1/4 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well

2 Tbsp canola oil


  1. Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in the microwave.
  2. Stir in oil.
  3. Gently frost cupcakes with ganache.


For the Candied Orange Slices:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thing slices of one orange.
  2. In a small pot, boil 1/2 cup of water with orange peels for five minutes.
  3. Drain the water and repeat the process two more times.
  4. Bring 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil with the peels and boil until the liquid has boiled away.
  5. Lay out on parchment paper to dry for about 10 minutes.
  6. Roll in sugar.


Finally, top the cupcakes with the orange peels! These are delightful, both at room temperature and kept in the fridge.


Thank you, Chloe, for showing us the light at the egg-less baking tunnel!



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