Cupcakes, Food, Recipes

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m usually rather heavy-handed with the butter and milk in my baking, so when I was asked by a client to bake some dairy-free cupcakes for an upcoming hens party, I must admit I was a little nervous.

After a lot of research on dairy alternatives and testing some recipes in the kitchen, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only are these cupcakes as good as any buttery dessert, they are possibly the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever eaten!


The large amount of cocoa powder in these cupcakes ensures they are dark, rich and chocolately, while the vege oil works amazingly well at keeping these cupcakes moist.


Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

These dairy-free cupcakes are dark, rich and oh so chocolately!
4.50 from 14 votes
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Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24
Author: Swah


Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup soy/almond/rice or oat milk
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup flavourless vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract/essence

Dairy-Free Chocolate Buttercream

  • 200 g Nuttelex or another non-dairy butter substitute softened
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract/essence
  • 1/2 cup soy/almond/rice or oat milk


Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  • Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the non-dairy milk, vinegar, coffee, oil and vanilla extract in another bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined.
  • With the mixer on low, carefully add in the dry ingredients. Mix until combined (the batter will be very thin).
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full with mixture and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Buttercream

  • Place the softened Nuttelex in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Gradually add in most of the sugar and cocoa, then the dairy-free milk, salt and vanilla (adding gradually prevents the icing from going grainy).
  • Beat for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the remaining sugar until it is thick enough to ice the cupcakes (you may not need all the sugar).

I had an overwhelmingly positive response from all the girls at the hens party, as well as my friends who were lucky enough to receive the leftovers. You would never guess they were “missing” anything!

You can also easily make these cupcakes vegan, by substituting the 2 eggs for Egg Replacer, found at most supermarkets.


I love a good baking challenge, and have been slowly challenging myself to create dairy/gluten-free recipes as well as vegan and healthier options. I’ve made a delicious Choc Raspberry Vegan Mousse, Homemade Nutella and Cashew and Coconut Protein Balls – all dairy and gluten free!


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  • Reply milkteaxx June 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    your cupcakes are stunning as per usual! yummo!

    • Reply Swah June 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks honey! x

  • Reply Cassie | Journey From Within June 13, 2014 at 8:58 am

    OMG, they look so amazing!!
    Must learn how to pipe :( I fail miserably!!
    perhaps it’s lack of patience!

    • Reply Swah June 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you Cassie! I think piping is equal parts practice and patience :)

  • Reply vegeTARAian June 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Yes, yes, YES!!

    • Reply Swah July 7, 2014 at 11:30 am

      I knew you’d love these Tara!

  • Reply Aliesha December 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I just wondering in the cupcakes u say 1 tbsp vanilla is that vanilla essence? Do I need to out coffee in?

    • Reply Swah December 7, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Ah! Thank you, let me amend that now. I use vanilla extract as I think it has a slightly better flavour, but you can definitely use vanilla essence.

  • Reply Aliesha December 18, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Hi i was wondering what brewed coffee you use? I have a coffee machine

  • Reply Sara March 5, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I love this recipe! I’ve used it so many times and it always turns out great. I definitely recommend these even if you are not dairy-free. My friends tried them and they didn’t even know that they had no dairy, they loved it!

    • Reply Swah March 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      It’s one of my favs too, glad it’s a winner for you too! No one ever notices that it’s dairy free :)

  • Reply Hannah November 22, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    These sound great! My son has a dairy allergy and would LOVE these, but hates anything with a coffee taste. Could I just add in an extra cup of soy milk? Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply Swah November 23, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Hi Hannah, yes you definitely can add an extra cup of soy milk to replace the coffee, but I would recommend trying a soy chocolate drink instead for extra flavour!

  • Reply Dawn June 28, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Has anyone tried this recipe as a cake? I have made the cupcakes several times and LOVE them. My son’s birthday is coming up and would like to make a cake version. Any tips?….

    • Reply Swah July 2, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Hi Dawn, I have made these cupcakes as a cake before and it worked a treat! I divided the batter between 2 20cm round cake pans and baked for 35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Then I iced between the layers and on top with the buttercream.

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