Vegan Holiday Cupcakes

By Sydney York

Looking for an easy dessert to make during the holidays? Check out one of my favorite holiday themed desserts which is vegan and gluten free! These are my all-time favorite chocolate peppermint flavored cupcakes. It’s usually difficult to find vegan or gluten-free desserts that genuinely taste good and are pretty simple to make, so I’m more than happy to share one of my recipes for others!

First you need to find a clean cooking area, one fairly large bowl, and an hour of your time. Next step is to gather all of the ingredients needed! Keep in mind, you may use alternatives to replace some of the ingredients, so you can adjust it to your own preferred customs!


  • 1/2 scant cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 batches flax eggs (2 Tbsp (14 g) flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp (75 ml)) 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance..aka my favorite brand of vegan butter)
  • 1 cup applesauce (or sub roasted beet puree)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp peppermint extract 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if clumpy, sift)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Blend)

You can always use regular flour if you don’t need the cupcakes to be gluten-free. (Same goes with the vegan alternatives). The next list of ingredients include the optional (but recommended) list of toppings for your cupcakes! Can’t have the cupcakes without frosting, am I right?

  • 2 batches coconut whipped cream
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • Crushed candy canes or sprinkles (ensure vegan-friendliness)
  • Fresh mint

Now that everything has been gathered, we can start with the instructions!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with 11 paper liners.
  2. Measure out almond milk in your bowl, and add vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.
  3. Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Add baking soda to the almond milk and vinegar mixture and stir.
  5. Add the sugar, maple syrup, and almond milk mixture to the flax egg and beat to combine. Then add the melted coconut oil, applesauce, salt, peppermint extract, and mix.
  6. Add cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour, and gluten-free flour blend and beat to combine. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect! If too thin, add a little more gluten free flour blend and cocoa powder. Taste and adjust the amount of peppermint extract as needed.
  7. Divide batter evenly between lined muffin tins (should be enough for 11), filling generously 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 29-34 minutes or until puffy. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  9. Let rest in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack. Don’t try to sample early because they need to fully cool or they tend to stick to the wrappers!
  10. For the coconut whip frosting, rinse out your mixing bowl and add two cans hardened, chilled coconut cream. Beat until light and fluffy, then add peppermint extract and organic powdered sugar to taste. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Then scoop into a large freezer bag and set in the refrigerator to chill!
  11. Once cupcakes are completely cooled and you’re ready to serve, cut a corner of the coconut whipped cream bag off, and pipe a generous amount onto each cupcake. 
  12. Lastly add desired toppings, such as crushed peppermint candy and fresh mint leaves.
  13. Keep well-covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though it’s best when fresh. If possible, don’t frost until serving for best results!

I hope you all try this recipe! Vegan or not, anyone can enjoy these cupcakes. Have fun baking!