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!
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 try
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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:
- 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
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