Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes
These Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are perfect for any occasion. Soft fluffy cupcakes get topped off with a dairy-free whipped cream cheese and coconut cream frosting for a *healthyish* treat!
Rich and comforting red velvet cupcakes
The air is cold, there’s snow on the ground, it’s dark out at 4 pm…it’s comfort food season!
Really though, anyone else craving more sweets and carbs during winter months? I know I definitely do! Everything from Peanut Butter Cookies to Gingerbread Cake, there’s nothing better than enjoying some sweet treats during the holiday season!
So this winter season, I’m embracing it. That’s right. We’re going full-on yummy sweet treats, but we’ll keep them slightly on the healthier side.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- These vegan red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are made healthier with ingredients like spelt flour, coconut oil, and a frosting that is significantly lower in fat and sugar than a typical frosting!
- These cupcakes are light and fluffy. Even if you’re not vegan you won’t be able to tell these have no eggs or dairy in them!
- This recipe is easy to make and comes together in a flash! The cupcakes can be mixed up in a bowl, so you don’t need a mixer to make the cupcake batter.
Is red food colouring vegan?
It’s important to check and make sure to use a vegan-friendly red food colouring, since some food colourings contain animal bi-products, and some red colouring comes from a shellac bug.
For this recipe, I like to use beetroot powder, which is 100% natural and gives a beautiful red hue to the cupcakes.
You can also leave out the red colouring entirely, since it is only for show and won’t affect the actual taste of the cupcakes.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- The secret to making red velvet cupcakes, well, red, is to use enough red colouring in them. The cupcakes will darken as they bake, so you will likely want to add more red colouring than you think you may need. You can also of course just leave out the red colouring entirely if you want, the cupcakes will taste the same. If you do so, you can even add in an extra couple tablespoons of cocoa powder to make these more of a chocolate cupcake.
- Regular red food colouring technically is NOT vegan, so if you are strictly vegan make sure to use a vegan certified red food colouring.
- The frosting starts with a can of full-fat coconut milk. It is a MUST that you use full-fat, and not light coconut milk, otherwise, it will not whip up into whipped cream. You can also just purchase pre-made coconut whipped cream, or vegan whipped topping and skip making it on your own.
More cupcake recipes to tryPrint
Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 20 eminutes
- Cook Time: 17 minutes
- Total Time: 37 minutes
- Yield: 8–10 cupcakes 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
These Red Velvet Cupcakes are vegan and make the perfect treat!
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup Spelt flour (or regular flour, or gluten-free flour blend)
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp beetroot powder or vegan red food colouring
Cream cheese frosting:
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight(or 2 cups store-bought coconut whipped cream)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp organic sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Mix the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes to turn to “buttermilk.”
- Next, add the coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth. If using vegan food colouring, add it now.
- Spoon the batter into your pan, filling 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge and scoop out just the cream on top (the cream and liquid should have separated in the fridge) (*skip this step if using store-bought coconut whipped cream)
- Add the vanilla extract and cane sugar and whip on high until smooth and the whipped cream forms soft peaks
- Add the cream cheese and continue to whip, just until combined.
- Use a piping bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
- Serve immediately.
If you really want the red colour of the cupcakes to pop, make sure to use enough red food colouring in them.
Some red food colourings are not vegan. So if you are strictly vegan, make sure to buy vegan red food colouring.
Use full-fat coconut milk to make the frosting. Light coconut milk WILL NOT whip up into a coconut whip cream. You can alternatively buy pre-made coconut whipped cream from your favourite grocery store.
Only fill the cupcake molds 2/3rds of the way full. The cupcakes will rise quite a bit.
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 13g
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 22g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 2g
Keywords: vegan cupcake recipe, vegan Christmas dessert, red velvet recipe
If you tried these Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!
Thank you for this wonderful recipe dear , i definitely prepare this at home.
Happy you enjoyed the recipe!
Hey JESS, I also love this recipe, You really shared a secret of red velvet cupcake. I have a question whether it is mandatory to add salt, can I skip.
Hi Giselle! You can skip out on salt however the salt doesn’t make the cupcakes salty. Salt is often added to baked goods (especially ones with chocolate) as it enhances the flavour of the chocolate and makes it more balanced.
Thank you for a healthy and yummy recipe!
My cupcakes turned out brown and not red.. I followed the recipe so I’m not sure why. But it is super tasty 🙏🏼
Hi Roni, depending on the beet powder or food colouring you use it can really alter the colour. You just need to add some more next time 🙂
Hi! I’ve tried these twice and keep getting quite a gooey cupcake and no rise. I’m not sure exactly what is going wrong but was wondering if you had any advice? Both times I’m just like welp still eating it because it’s absolutely delicious lolol.
Hi Marisa! I’m sorry you’re having that issue! What type of flour are you using? These definitely shouldn’t be gooey. Also check and make sure your baking powder isn’t stale, this can prevent it from working properly to give the cupcakes some rise!
Thanks so much for the response!! King Arthur flour and will definitely try new baking powder!
Hi! Thank you for the recipe! Can i substitute the sugar with rice syrup? If yes how much? And I was wondering ifI could make the cupcakes (with the creme) and then put them in the fridge until the next day?
Hi Ariana, I wouldn’t recommend it because it will change the ratio of dry to wet ingredients.
Baked this cake for my birthday and it was an absolute hit! So moist and tasty. Thank you for doing what you do
Thanks Ronak! Happy you enjoyed 🙂
These were moist and delicious. My only “complaint” is the color was more brown than red. I used the recommended amount of beetroot powder and cocoa powder. Any advice for next time?
Hi Amy, glad you enjoyed the recipe! The colour of anything red velvet can be a bit tricky, and will depend on the brand of beet root powder (or red food colouring) and cocoa powder you use. Some brands of cocoa powder are much darker than others, (and some brands of red colour are much more vibrant than others, as well as beet powder) so you may need to make some adjustments here to get a more red colour!
Wondering if I can make a cake with this recipe and if so what adjustments I’d need to make measurements wise?
Hi Becky, I haven’t personally tested this out as a cake but I believe you may want to double the recipe to have enough batter to make it into a cake. You will also need to adjust the cooking time!
I am going to make these for my daughter’s birthday and wondering if I use sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk. Thank you! Can’t wait.
Hi Andrea, it’s made with unsweetened coconut milk!
Thank you so much. We were also planning on subbing Oak Milk instead of Almond Milk. Do you think that would work ok? I’m not a big baker and we are so excited to make these today.
I made this recipe last night and the cupcakes turned out really delicious! I only failed in making the frosting, it was really runny. I’m followed the recipe as is but I may have done something wrong somehow. Anyway, I can always make the frosting again but really happy with the taste of the cupcake. Thanks for this recipe!
Hi there! the issue with the icing can be due to 2 things: the brand of vegan cream cheese used, or the brand of coconut cream used. For the coconut cream, you want to make sure just to be using the thick cream on the top of the can!
I have been searching everywhere for the right vegan red velvet recipe to try for my baby shower and I have decided to give your recipe a try this week. Could you possibly provide the brand name of the beetroot powder you used? After doing some searching on Amazon, there are so many brands with conflicting reviews. It’s hard to take the plunge and would love a recommendation. I do not care so much about having a. bright red cake, subtle works for me but I wouldn’t want the cake to taste to beety! The most recent one I was looking at is “Suncore Foods – 100% Organic Red Beet Natural Supercolor Powder”. THANK YOU!
Hi Angelina, the one I use is from sunfood. If you want to make the cupcakes really bright red, I would make sure to reduce the amount of cocoa powder slightly and add a bit more beetroot powder or natural food colouring!
Awesome that’s the one I ordered. Baking these tomorrow! Thank you so much for your reply!
Ooooh my gosh, I am not a vegan but wanted to try to bake a healthier alternative (since cakes are so delicious but so fattening!) and these… are hands down, the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.
Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, I’ve had so many compliments on the flavour from friends and family, I even sold some at bake sales and they were the most popular cakes there!
I will try to tag you on Instagram.
Admittedly, my frosting didn’t set so I had to use store bought, but still great!
(I also only get 8 cupcakes from the recipe, and when I tried again with less mixture in each, they were too small to be called cupcakes lol) but even so, it’s fine I just double all the ingredients to get more out of them.
Hi Alex, thank you so much for the review! I’m SO glad to hear how much you enjoyed the recipe!
You’re very welcome, but I most certainly feel you deserve all of the praise! Fantastic creation. Thank you again, so very much.
I also only got 8 cupcakes 😕 Anyhow, can the frosting be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge?
Hi Leanne, I’m going to retest the recipe and add the type of pan i’m using. In this case I’d recommend doubling the recipe for more cupcakes to suit your needs. I haven’t tried prepping the frosting ahead of time though I think it should be fine to do!
Hi I’m baking these right now, batter taste delicious too! The recipes says this makes 16 cupcakes but I only got 8. lol. I triple checked ingredients to make sure I didn’t leave out anything & I haven’t. So I’m wondering, are these mini cupcakes?
Hi Jodi, they are not mini cupcakes. How much did you fill your cupcake moulds? Usually filling them 2/3-3/4 of the way is fine as they will rise. If you are filling them all the way you may end up with less cupcakes. Also if you’re cupcake pan is for a larger size of cupcake you may end up with less as well!
Thank you for the reply Jess! I’m going to try them again w/yr advice. 🙂
Oh my God. I just made them. They are sooo good. Really fluffy. The frosting is heaven.
They didn’t turn out very red though… But the taste is amazing. Will do them again for sure ❤️
Hi Katja, thank you for the review! Glad you enjoyed the recipe! If you want to make them superrrrr red you may need to use a little extra food colouring, though this is just for looks the taste will be the same!
This recipe was delicious! But sadly the centers of the cupcakes all sunk in. Would you know why that happened? I guess just more icing:)
Hi Carolyn! Here are a few reasons why this could have happened:
Overbeating the batter, if you’re oven cooks hotter than a usual oven, if your baking powder/soda is old, overfilling your cupcake liners. Any of these could cause your cupcakes to sink in the middle!
Healthier and delicious! I made it for my husband’s bday and will make it again on Valentines! Totally recommend!! 5 stars for sure!!
Thanks for your review Thamara! I’m glad to hear you loved the recipe-these are perfect for valentines day!
Your cupcakes look delish! Instead of beetroot powder, can roasted beets be used instead? If so, what measurements do you suggest for using roasted beets?
Hi A.J, I wouldn’t recommend using roasted beets since they have a lot of moisture in them I can’t guarantee that this won’t alter the texture of the cupcake. If anything you can use some vegetarian red food colouring!
Can’t go wrong with red velvet ?
Totally agree Henriett!
Hello! I am eager to make these! My girlfriend loooves red velvet so this will be an exciting surprise! Question: can I just use regular wheat flour for these? Not sure if there’s a difference, texture-wise, spelt vs. wheat. Thanks!
Hi Ashley, you absolutely can! 🙂
Hi! I often find it very hard to find good both gluten free and vegan recipes, so it is lovely to see that you include these options in most recipes as well. I’m especially dying to try this one out. I have one question though, when you use gluten-free flour, do you ever change the process anyhow? I sometimes feel like especially cakes and cupcakes with gluten-free flour don’t rise as well or become more dense than they should.
Hi Alexandrine! I use bob’s red mill 1-1 gluten-free baking flour which you can use just as you would regular flour without having to make adjustments! definitely would recommend it 🙂
Daiya is such a wonderful company–I adore their plant-based alternatives, especially their vegan cream cheese and frozen vegan pizzas! You had me scratch my head a little at first with the picture of macaroni and cheese because I totally thought you would incorporate that in your vegan red velvet cupcakes, haha! But the cream cheese = magnificent product to use for the frosting! Red velvet cupcakes can usually be screwed up if you use too much food coloring and not enough cocoa, but I love the flavor in general. I’m even more delighted to see that these are gluten free and healthier than the average cupcake (aka the vegan Sprinkles cupcake that’s 425 calories and is loaded with fat and sugar–but it’s worth it since it’s absolutely delicious!)!
Totally agree on Cassie! Seriously, having their boxed mac and cheese…lifesaver for those more “fast food” cravings while still keeping it healthy! For the cupcakes I find using not too much cocoa and just a bit of food colouring makes them come out best! 🙂
These cupcakes look so delicious! I love red velvet!
Thank you so much Natalie!
These look so beautiful and delicious, Jess!?
So perfect for the Christmas time!
Lots of love,
Thank you so much Bianca! One of my favourite types of cupcakes 🙂
These are seriously the most beautiful cupcakes ever! I haven’t had red velvet cake in forever because it is so hard to find a dairy-free version so I love that these can be made with vegan cream cheese and beetroot powder. Brilliant! Bring on the comfort foods and sweets. 🙂
Aw thank you so much Sarah I appreciate it! And yes! These are so great to make at home and super quick to put together the batter because you don’t even need to use a mixer, just a bowl!
The frosting on these cupcakes is absolutely dreamy, Jess!! I also love those silver sprinkles, so pretty! 🙂
Thanks Sarah! The little silver balls are my favourite kind of sprinkle!