Three flavors combine for a decadent match made in vegan baking heaven. Sweet, citrusy and with a little zip from the ginger, these cupcakes are a moist and fluffy delight.

For a gluten-free version, you can also try this with a cup-for-cup style gluten-free flour blend. They may be slightly more dense but still delicious! This recipe is inspired by The Kitchn. While I've included the frosting recipe that was paired with these cupcakes, I also suggest making a (somewhat healthier) version using our Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe. When you make it thick enough, it is a perfect frosting, and if you add in orange zest (and maybe top off each cupcake with a piece of crystallized ginger candy) it would be a great frosting for these cupcakes.

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Total time: 50 minutes 

Yields: 16-20 cupcakes

Orange-Ginger Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients (including frosting ingredients starting with vegan margarine):

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup natural cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 2 tb apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder
Cooking directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Form a crater in the middle and pour in the water, oil, vanilla, orange juice, ginger and orange peel. Stir gently to combine, then pour in the vinegar and stir gently to thoroughly mix it in. Avoid over-working the batter.
  2. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill each cup to about 2/3 full, being careful not to overfill. Place the tin on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple minutes in the tin. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  3. As the cupcakes cool, whip up the frosting. In a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, blend the vegan margarine on medium-high until creamy. On medium speed, slowly add the powdered sugar until combined. Add in the vanilla, orange juice and cocoa powder and mix to combine. Keep blending for a couple minutes to make it a really light and fluffy frosting. Place in the fridge to stay cool while the cupcakes finish cooling. (And as mentioned above, you could instead make the chocolate avocado pudding as the frosting, making it on the thick side and adding in a little orange zest as well!) If the frosting is too thick, add one teaspoon of soy or almond milk at a time until the right consistency.
  4. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them up, add a little orange peel for decoration or perhaps a sprinkle of candied ginger pieces, serve and enjoy!

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Orange-Ginger Chocolate Cupcakes
Three flavors combine for a decadent match made in vegan baking heaven.