Vegan Halloween Cupcakes

Here is the recipe and the pictures to accompany the cupcakes I made last week.

I’m sure most people are familiar with cupcakes (easy, right?) but maybe not so familiar with marzipan. Marzipan is an almond and sugar paste (totally vegan) that you can make into pretty much anything.
I have the best cupcake recipe in the world. The world. I will now share it with you. (Variations of this recipe abound, but this is the one that I found works the best.) It’s fail-proof, and so easy! My mom gave it to me a few years ago, and I have no idea where she got it from.


2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups natural vegan sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup vegetable oil (canola works fine)

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

2 cups cool water

2 teaspoons almond extract (you can use vanilla, but I prefer almond.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Mix the dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl. With a spoon, make three separate indentations in dry mixture; 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large. 3. Pour oil into large indentation, vinegar into medium, and almond extract into small. 4. Add the water and mix (do not overbeat) 5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. You will want to adjust cooking time depending on the baking pan you are using.

This recipe will yield 2 9 layers, 18 cupcakes, or one bundt cake.

A few notes:

The original recipe says it yields 24 cupcakes, but I like to make mine so they bake up into mounds. Also, you might be tempted to use more cocoa powder (I always am) but it really is the perfect amount. I’ve cut this recipe in 1/2 before and it’s worked fine. Oh, and it works better without using whole wheat flour, I’ve found.

The frosting is a recipe I’ve used since beginning baking in middle school, though it’s now veganized and I’m made a few changes.
1/2 cup Earth Balance Margarine, melted 4 cups powdered sugar 1-2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract splash Silk Soy Cream
Melt the Earth Balance. In a large bowl, add powdered sugar slowly to melted EB. With beaters, beat until smooth.Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of Silk Soy Cream until mixed in, followed by vanilla or almond extract.

If too liquidy, add more sugar. If not enough, and a small of amount of Silk Soy Cream until desired consistency.

This frosting, while most definitely is not healthy at all, is delicious, and malleable. You can add unsweetened cocoa powder, any flavor extract (I’ve used rum, lemon, and jasmine extracts. All have turned out well.) Also, the Silk Soy Cream works way better than any soy, rice, or nut milks–it’s creamier, and the frosting is very white.

To make different colors, just separate out small portions and add whatever combination of colors you want.
(Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of the frosting)

Okay, now time for the marzipan. It costs like $4.19 at any grocery store.

This time, I divided mine in half–I wanted half for the pumpkins and half for whatever else I decided to do.

Add your food coloring. I used the gel kind this time, and it worked so much better than the drops!

Knead it until it’s a uniform color. I try to do it through saran wrap, which works okay, but eventually every time just say F— It, and use my hands. The dye usually comes right off.

Now, take a little bit off and roll into a ball. Make sure you keep what you’re not using covered. If it gets dried out, it doesn’t work so well. Make a tiny indentation at the top. Now, using a toothpick, or a skewer, or something small and point, make small lines from the top down to the bottom. I find dipping it in a tiny bit of oil helps with the smoothness of this part.

Once you’re finished with this, you’re almost done!

Take a little bit of green dye and work it in. Make little stems to stick in the top. This time I also made little vines to decorate.

You can get creative and make anything you want–I made tombstones and a ghost this year!

It’s super fun, pretty easy (though slightly time intensive) and worth it when you share your cupcakes with everyone! (Especially those people who think vegan treats can’t taste good!)

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About Janessa

I'm a travelin' vegan gal, event planner & writer who loves eating, drinking, hiking, biking, reading, writing, loving, scheming, learning, laughing, champagne-ing and gerunds.
  • VeggieGirl

    Such CUTE, festive cupcakes!!

    Happy Halloween!! :0)

  • Cilicia

    Wow, very impressive looking-and th4ey look mighty tasty, too.

  • Abby

    Yes yes yes nessy…I copied and stole your recipes and pics. You never know when you need a vegan cupcake recipe on hand. And the visuals are nice. Especially for those challenged with all things ‘kitchen’ like myself.

  • Marceline

    This is freaking BEAST. I have my friend’s bday/Halloween party and I’m vegan and I LOVE cupcakes and baking. One of my dreams is to open up a cupcake shop. I can’t WAIT to make these. They look scrumptious. Thank you so much for posting these recipes, I really appreciate it.

    • Janessa

      Awesome! Marceline, I can’t wait to hear how they turned out!

  • Thea

    Thank you, you’re a lifesaver.
    This weekend I’m going to a halloweenparty and I’m almost the only that eats meat(in small amounts).
    This won’t just help me to make some delicious cakes, I will also impress my (bitter) vegan friend.
    Thank you 😀

    • Thea, glad you can use this! I’m going to make these again myself, in just a few minutes!

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