Vanishing Vanilla Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Moist, fluffy, and made with ingredients you're guaranteed to have on hand, these deliciously festive cupcakes are so fun to make, and come out perfect every time!



Basic Cupcake Batter:


¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup white sugar

¼ cup light or dark brown sugar

¼ cup applesauce

¾ cup non-dairy milk


1 cup + 2 tbsp white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Batter Additions:

2 teaspoons vanilla

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tbsp mini vegan chocolate chips (optional)


Vanilla Batter Additions:

1 tbsp vanilla

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons white flour

Orange (or a mix of yellow and red) food dye


½ cup (1 stick) vegan butter, room temerature and cut into chunks

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

2-3 teaspoons vanilla

Salt to taste

Halloween food dye of choice



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard 12-cup muffin tray with cupcake wrappers. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to cream together oil and sugars. Whisk in remaining wet ingredients, making sure everything is thoroughly incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, then add half to the wet ingredients bowl. Use a wooden stirring spoon to mix the batter before adding in the second half of dry mixture.


Once a slightly runny batter has formed, divide it equally into 2 separate bowls, designate one “chocolate” and the other “vanilla.” 


To the chocolate batter, mix in vanilla, cocoa powder, and mini chocolate chips. To the vanilla batter, mix in vanilla, flour, and food coloring.


Then, using a spoon or mini ice cream scoop, fill each liner a tad more than ¼ way full of chocolate batter, and tap the tray against a hard surface to release any air. Next, cover the chocolate layer by filling each liner with the (orange) vanilla batter until they are each ⅗ full. Tap all air out once more. Liners should be no more than ⅗ full. (Cupcakes will rise a lot!)

Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they have risen, and a toothpick inserted halfway into the center of one comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool completely in tray, or transfer to cooling racks after 15 minutes.

In the meantime, let’s make our frosting. In an electric mixer with whisk attachment, whip butter for about 20 seconds until it is slightly creamed and has lightened in color.


Next, add remaining ingredients (minus food coloring) and set mixer on low until the frosting has barely started to come together.


Then, beat on high speed for 30 seconds before adding food dye and whipping for another minute, scraping down sides of the bowl when necessary. Turn off mixer when all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, and frosting is light, fluffy, and thick.

Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before piping (or spreading) onto completely cooled cupcakes; add sprinkles if desired. 

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 4 days.


I'd recommend cupcake liners rather than cooking spray as this makes cupcakes easier to remove from tray.


Feel free to turn this recipe into completely chocolate/completely vanilla cupcakes by simply doubling the chocolate/vanilla additions, and mixing them into the entire batter!

In place of olive oil, use canola/vegetable oil.

I always use unsweetened applesauce, but sweetened works fine.

If necessary, pop cupcakes in the fridge to speed up the cooling process!

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