After years of mastering various no-bake recipes and insisting to everyone around me (including my husband) that no, I do not enjoy baking… I finally caved and crafted a baking recipe. /face palm/

You see, it’s Mother’s Day and the majority of my clan is out of town. My husband took our two oldest sons to California for a wedding (it’s about a 14-hour roundtrip drive), and the toddler and I decided to skip the long car ride in lieu of staying home and getting some work done.

Inevitably, by the end of the weekend and spending the majority of Mother’s Day without my tribe, I started to miss them. (Shh – don’t tell.) I asked myself, “What would a grown man and two school-aged boys appreciate when they got back home after a super long drive?”

That’s easy. Cupcakes.

So, I’m not going to lie. We’re not a totally vegan family anymore. We’ve been eating seafood for over a year now, and we recently started experimenting with farmer’s market eggs for the past few weeks. But by and large, we’re still mostly plant-based… so when possible, I always try to make our meals and recipes vegan-friendly when I can.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s a fantastic base – meaning, you can take this recipe and customize it as you see fit! Wanna add chocolate? You got it. Pureed strawberries for a “strawberries-and-cream” vibe? Easy peasy.

So that’s exactly what I did. I know our boys loooove (I mean LOVE) chocolate… so I used most of the vanilla frosting on all but 2 cupcakes, added some cocoa powder to the stand mixer, whipped it together once more, and voila. Chocolate frosting for the boys’ cupcakes!

If you’ve got a stand mixer, I highly recommend using it. The stand mixer we’ve got was a hand-me-down from my in-laws (it’s missing the pasta attachment, but other than that, it’s in perfect working condition). I was never one of those people who had fancy kitchen baking gear – again, I’m not a baker! – but I was so thankful for this little piece of equipment when it came time to mix the batter and the frosting. It made everything 10x easier and zero clumps!

Vegan Classic Vanilla Cupcakes (with Homemade Frosting)

Total Time: 20 minutes prep, 20-25 minutes baking
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. melted Earth Balance butter (measure after melted)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c. white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 c. white flour
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. melted Earth Balance butter (cold from fridge)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1-2 tsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Fill your muffin tin with cupcake liners, and lightly spray the liners with nonstick cooking spray. (I like Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Spray.)
  3. To begin your cupcake batter, melt the butter, measure it in melted form to reach 1/2 cup, and then let cool to room temperature.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract, almond extract, sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
  5. In a separate bowl, add the baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and flour. Stir to combine.
  6. Add wet to dry and mix until combined.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3rds of the way full, and then bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center).
  8. Remove and allow to completely cool.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by beating cold butter with 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the extract and more powdered sugar (more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting and less for a lighter frosting). Beat until smooth, slowly adding almond milk as needed to get to the right consistency.
  10. Frost the cupcakes, and enjoy!