An easy recipe for dairy free cupcakes, lightly flavoured with vanilla. These happily vegan cupcakes are sweet enough to eat just as they are or top them with lashings of icing and pretty sprinkles!

Jump to Recipe

Dairy Free Fairy Cakes.

I’m sharing my basic recipe for vegan cupcakes today mainly because I wanted an excuse to bake little cakes! It is a tried and tested recipe which I adapt by adding different flavourings and toppings according to my mood.

You can see it in my vegan lemon cupcakes when I was feeling a bit lemony and it makes regular appearances on our table in its chocolatey guise.

My lot are not big fans of lots of icing which is irritating as I really enjoy prettifying my offerings! As a result my cupcakes are often served up naked. This gives me an excuse to buy pretty cupcakes cases. I love these spotty polka dot cases very much indeed! 

Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcake on a glass cake stand.


How to Make Dairy Free Cupcakes

This recipe uses rapeseed oil for the fat content usually obtained from butter. Sunflower oil also works well as both have a gentle buttery flavour. I’d avoid generic ‘vegetable oil’ as it can taste a bit too oily. 

Dairy Free Butter and Spreads for Vegan Baking

If you want to use a dairy free spread for this recipe you will need to melt it and then allow it to cool before adding it. 

As manufacturers have cottoned on to the demand for dairy free spreads and butters, so the choice for those of us who want to bake dairy free cakes has expanded. I have been baking without dairy since May 2017 and can honestly say it has made no difference to my baking whatsoever.

I do seem to get a better result when I use a vegan butter with a higher fat content rather than one with a higher water to fat ratio.

My current vegan butter of choice is Vitalite but try a few to see which suits you best. It’s really down to personal preference rather than buttery performance! 

Vegan Cupcakes.

The Best Plant Milks For Baking

I nearly always use soy milk in my vegan baking. Once again I think my cakes turn out better with higher fat content plant milk but I haven’t scientifically tested it. I eat them too quickly for that! These dairy free cupcakes were made with Alpro soy milk but I have made them with oat milk and almond milk with equal success.

What To Use In Place Of Eggs

There are lots of ways to replace eggs in vegan baking. You can use bananas, ground flax or chia seeds or silken tofu but I like to keep it really simple. I have always managed to get the best rise in my cakes by combining cider vinegar and soya milk to make vegan buttermilk. This, along with baking powder and self raising flour, makes lovely, fluffy little cakes.


Easy Dairy Free Cupcakes.

For more information and suggestions for dairy free baking try ‘The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions‘. (This is an affiliate link, if you buy through it it won’t cost you a penny more but will earn me a small commission)

Dairy Free Cupcakes for Friends and Family

My easy vegan cupcake recipe is the only one you’ll need whether you are baking for friends, family or bake sales:

  • It’s simple enough for children to make.
  • Ingredient quantities can easily be increased if you want to make more. 
  • Make more and freeze for a later date so you are never without a fairy cake!

If you want to ice these dairy free cupcakes, have a look at my recipe for dairy free and vegan vanilla buttercream!

Vegan Buttercream on top of a vegan cupcake.

Feel Inspired To Bake Some More Dairy Free Cakes? Try:

If you make my recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Please leave a comment and a star rating below and share your pictures with me on social media. Tag me @thinlyspread and include the hashtag #thinlyspread so I can see them!

Follow me on Pinterest, Facebook,Twitter and Instagram where I share recipe ideas, links to vegan events and articles and where I natter on about my favourite subject – vegan food

Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcakes

Dairy Free Cupcakes - Easy Vegan Fairy Cakes

An easy recipe for dairy free cupcakes, lightly flavoured with vanilla. These happily vegan cupcakes are sweet enough to eat just as they are or top them with lashings of icing and pretty sprinkles!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baked Goods, Cake
Cuisine: Dairy Free, English, vegan
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: vegan cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 195kcal


  • 200 ml soya milk
  • 20 ml cider vinegar
  • 200 g self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 80 ml rape seed oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Stir the cider vinegar into the soya milk and leave to stand for 10 minutes until curdled.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl.
  • Stir in the caster sugar.
  • Add the vanilla and oil to the milk mixture and whisk together.
  • Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and fold together gently until combined.
  • Pour batter evenly into the 12 cake cases and bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.


Store in an airtight tin. They will keep well for 3- 4 days.
These cakes are suitable for freezing.
Nutritional information is only an approximate guideline. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe?Follow @ThinlySpread or tag #thinlyspread!

Pin For Later

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes.


Pin It on Pinterest