let them eat cake: vegan chocolate cupcakes

let them eat cake: vegan chocolate cupcakes

The holidays are quickly approaching and as much as we try to fight it, dessert is always a big part of the festivities. Next Thursday, three things are virtually certain: dessert will be served, dessert will be consumed and ultimately regret will follow.

But, I am thrilled to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that! I already worry and fret about so much (many trivial things), that I refuse to let the decision over whether or not to have dessert cause me any further angst. Here are a few tips I use to help me with the dessert “dilemma”:

  • When going to a dinner party or another’s house for a holiday and I know I will want something sweet, I always offer to bring a dessert. If I make it, I you know exactly what’s in it.

  • When I see a recipe in a book or magazine that looks amazing, but is overly decadent, I experiment and swap out the “bad” ingredients for some healthier options.

    My favorite swaps are:

    • unsweetened applesauce can replace the oil

    • 1 TBSP ground flax meal mixed with 3 TBSP water replaces an egg

    • date sugar can replace processed sugar (you can find this at most natural grocery stores or online)

    • oat flour can replace all-purpose flour

    • oat or almond milk can replace cows’ milk


  • I make a plan and stick to it:

    • The day of a party I go for a long walk with my dogs or I spend extra time at the gym (if it’s a doozie of a party, I do both).

    • I try to eat super healthy the day leading up to the party.

    • I make sure to drink lots of water during the day. At the party, I will alternate having a glass of wine with a glass of water. It is amazing how much less alcohol one consumes when doing this.

    • I make plans to meet a friend for a walk or sign up for an exercise class the day after the party. (working out with someone else always holds me accountable).

Here’s my recipe for a dessert that is so good and so decadent, no one will know it’s vegan! It’s proof you can bake a cake and eat it too!


(makes about 10 slices of cake or 12 large cupcakes and enough frosting to generously cover all)

  • 1 1/2 cups oat or almond milk

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee at room temperature (or sub more almond/oat milk)

  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil (can substitute avocado or walnut oil)

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 2 heaping cups oat flour

  • 1 cup date sugar

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

FROSTING (optional)

  • 1 cup vegan butter (softened) I like Miyoko’s Vegan Butter

  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chip (melted and slightly cooled) I like Enjoy Life chips and bars

  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • about 1/4 cup unsweetened oat or almond milk

  • pinch sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat 2 x 8 inch round cake pans or 12 large cup cake tins with vegan butter. Dust with cocoa powder, then shake the excess out and set the pan aside.

  2. In a large bowl (preferably a stand mixer), blend the milk and vinegar and set aside for about 5 minutes (you’re basically making a buttermilk).

  3. Next, add the melted oil, coffee, vanilla extract, and applesauce and beat until foamy. Try not to let the coconut oil harden.

  4. Add the flour, date sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until smooth. It should be creamy and without lumps.

  5. Divide batter evenly between your cake pans or cupcake tins.

    CAKE PANS: bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick that is inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    CUPCAKE TINS: bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick that is inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  6. After baking, set aside to cool completely before you frost!

  7. To prepare the frosting:

    Beat together all frosting ingredients until light and fluffy, adding the powdered sugar in small amounts! If the frosting is too thick, add some oat/almond mil. If it’s too thin, add more cocoa powder.

  8. Once the cake is cooled, frost the top of one cake with scoop of frosting, place the other cake on top and frost the entire cake, sides and all!

  9. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, shaved chocolate or sliced berries.


With love,


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