Very Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes

Okkkk yes yes I have a delicious vegan cupcake recipe that will knock your socks off and make you totally forget about your old bff’s butter and buttermilk…

but first…

Do any of you happen to recognize this little culinary queen in the pic below?

If you’re a little confused its probably because you’re used to seeing her in HD on the Food Network and not pixelated on my iPhone but yes ladies and gents that is Giada!!

I went to my first ever book signing at Williams-Sonoma last Monday for Giada’s new cookbook, Weeknights with Giada! And just to reiterate – this was my first book signing…meaning I didn’t realize people show up to these things like 12 hours in advance to get in line?? Giada’s signing started at 1 pm so naturally I thought “Perfect! That means lunch at noon, maybe have a couple cocktails.. then a leisure walk over to Williams and Sonoma…”

I was so wrong. Leisure lunch = 2 hours standing in line. Oops. It was like standing in line for Backstreet Boys tickets in the 90s.

But it all worked out! It was a gorgeous day and some Williams-Sonoma employees walked around handing out free samples of some of the dishes from her cookbook. And by the way they were all super yummy!

Ok so here’s the next picture. Get ready to laugh…Please notice the totally confident “Please hire me for a job, Giada” look on my face..

hahah NOT.

I totally blanked when I met her! You have about .02 seconds to hand her your book and not say something dumb so naturally I don’t say anything and throw my mom this ‘holy sh** its Giada’ look, grab my signed books and run away!

O wait, I totally take that back, I said “I like your bracelet”. Verbatim. That is the best I could come up with face to face with a Food Network Star!

But she spelled my name right and gave me a smile so it couldn’t have been that awful.. right??

All in all it was so fun to meet her! She is GORGEOUS. However gorgeous you may think she is on TV multiply that by like 100 in person. I seriously don’t know where all of that pasta goes.

Ok so here’s something I’m totally confident in! These Very Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes kick butt. And don’t stick to your butt :)

I just bought Chloe Cascarelli’s new vegan cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen and have been eating my way through every recipe! There’s this avocado pesto pasta that just changed my life (I’m posting it soon!). I messed around with a couple of her recipes to come up with these simple Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes and then I also added a Strawberry Frosting variation for those of you that want a bit more flavor! Sometimes I swear the best desserts are those that are just simple. I don’t always want a double fudge peanut butter brownie dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles…I just want a simple vanilla cake with a simple vanilla frosting :) Yum!

Enjoy guys!

( *Strawberry Frosting variation pictured above)


Nutrition Information:
Per Mini cupcake (w/vanilla frosting); Calories: 85, Fat: 2.3
Per Standard Cupcake (w/vanilla frosting); Calories 291, Fat 6.8
Recipe adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen and


  1. That’s so awesome that you got to meet Giada. I probably would have been speechless as well. I mean, she’s a huge Food Network star. That’s a bit intimidating. Plus, you don’t want to seem like one of those gooshy, weird fans. These cupcakes look and sound awesome.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Hahah well I didn’t seem like one of those gooshy fans… just one of those super awkward ones! It was so much though! And I’ve got a signed copy of her cookbook, so not bad right?

  2. Haha I’ve never been to a book signing, but it sounds like a crazy process! My parents got one of Jose Garces’ cookbooks signed for me for my birthday this year and I was so giddy about just that I can’t imagine how embarrassing I’d be if I actually MET him to sign it! Your cupcakes look fantastic by the way. I need to try it with that strawberry frosting!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      haha it was so much crazier than I had expected! The line was HUGE. It kinda made it more fun though with all of the hype :) You’re so lucky too with your jose garces book!

  3. How cool! I think I’d have been super shy, myself. The cupcakes look fantastic, though!

  4. I’ve never been to a book signing, but she’s one I’d love to meet, for sure!
    And these cupcakes looks scrumptious!

  5. Giada was in the area and I SO wanted to go see her but I couldn’t get off of work!

    I did have a little over, “I like your bracelet.”

    I probably wouldn’t have said a thing!

    Also, I now want flags for all of my cupcakes.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Ok so here’s a secret… please don’t judge…I made everybody give me back my little flags after they ate them! They were too cute! Thanks for noticing :) I wanted to save them for next time! hahah, ok and I cleaned them off so they’re not totally gross from the frosting…

  6. So fun! I’ve never been to a book signing either, but sounds great! those cupcakes look phenomenal! YUM!

  7. How awesome that you got to meet Giada!!! And these cupcakes look incredible!

  8. So cool you got to meet Giada! You do have a very hireable expression. ;)

    Love these cupcakes; I could devour one right now! Or 10…

  9. I am sure it was worth the wait to get a little bit of face time with Giada. I have yet to go to any cookbook signing, sounds like a fund endeavor! In looking at the cupcake recipe, I do have to agree with you. A baked good with a singular flavor sometimes stands out more than the others with mixed flavors. It is sometimes hard to come back to since we are so busy with melding flavors these days. I also like that you did vanilla instead of chocolate. They do look delicious!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Me too! I liked going with all vanilla, it was so much more a just simple and clean cupcake. The cookbook signing was a lot of fun! I recommend doing it at least once, especially if its one of your favorite authors!

  10. I know what you mean! I just recently got to meet Joy the Baker at her book signing in Chicago and had NO IDEA what to say to her! I actually stood there like a silent dumba** until she was kind enough to ask ME a question! Ack!

    We should probably eat a few cupcakes to save us from our own humiliating silence…right?? ;-)

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Aw I wish I would’ve known she was in town!! I would’ve gone to her over Giada for sure! That’s so fun! And hahaha I”m really happy you were equally as awkward as I was :) thats too funny! Thank God for cupcakes, right?

  11. I have seen Giada before in person too and she is breath taking. Did you see her stand up. She is so little; it still blows my mind.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      I know! She is soooo tiny! And absolutely gorgeous, she got all of the good Italian genes..

  12. These look so simple and so tasty! I love vanilla cupcakes-and am so interested in vegan ones! I totally cannot blame you for keeping those flags (I would too). And Giada! Ah! So exciting! It’s so cute how you got all tongue tied :P I had a situation like this when I was 16 with Ian from Survivor (who I was crushin’ on), and since I have no shame I just asked him, “Do you like younger women” with a smile. He was the one who was flustered :P teeehehehee

    • Whipped Baking says:

      HAHAHHAHA omg I LOVE that you said that! I just laughed out loud at my computer! That might have come off a little weird if I asked that to Giada too…..

  13. Mmm, sometimes vanilla is the only flavour which will satisfy – love traditionalism :D
    And these cupcakes too!

    Choc Chip Uru

  14. Hehe, you’re too cute! I, umm, don’t know who she is. But, before you judge me, it’s probably a cultural thing since she’s not big over here. But none the less, I’d have either gone totally hyper and jumped on her for a cuddle but most likely I’d have been too star stuck to have said anything and would have made a weird excited noise, lol.

    The vegan cupcakes look awesome and those flags are sooooo cute. Made me laugh when you said you asked for them back. I’ve recently picked myself up some cute mixed card embellishments for card making and a glue gun and a gazillion cocktail/tooth picks, so intend on making some too.

    Also, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment. It’s great to meet new friends like yourself with the same interests. I’m subscribed. :)

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Thanks for the sweet thoughts Lisa! Hahah I love that you’re making your own little flags! I won’t judge if you ask for all of yours back too :) So nice to meet you Lisa! Looking forward to sharing more yummy recipes together :)

  15. I’m sure she was happy to have someone comment on her bracelet rather than on her food–it was something different to say! I have Giada’s pasta cookbook and love it. Is the new cookbook worth it, do you think?

    And those cupcakes–totally gorgeous. I’m a sucker for a good vanilla cupcake.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Her new cookbook looks fantastic! I haven’t tried anything out though yet, I’ll let you know after I cook a few things from it! I’ve got about 15 different recipes already flagged to try!

  16. Too adorable! I love a vegan vanilla cupcake.
    And I would totally have been that way in front of Giada too! I once stood in line to meet Anthony Bourdain (and have him sign his book for me) and when I was told by the publicist I could ask him a question, nothing would come to my mind! I freaked out! I ended up just asking if I could have a picture with him, took the photo, and ran off squeeling about my autographed book!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      I’m so jealous you met Anthony!! I am obsessed with his show!! And his books! Haha well at least you got a picture?? And a signed book! Totally worth a couple awkward minutes :)

  17. Ohhh I’m so jealous!!! I absolutely LOVE Giada and would love to meet her one day! :) These cupcakes look amazing as well! :)

  18. What fun meeting Giada! I’d probably have said the same thing :) And I would have never guessed these were vegan cupcakes….they look yummy!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Hahah neither could my family! I put them out on Easter and no one had any idea they were vegan until I told them :)

  19. that is so cool you got to meet Giada! and those cupcakes look great, i’m loving the vanilla with strawberry frosting, so simple yet delicious! and i love that adorable flag in the middle, so cute!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Thanks :) Strawberry frosting is one of my favorites, especially fresh strawberry frosting!

  20. I just found your site through another blog and subscribed to your feed. Can’t wait to see what else you’re making! By the way, I love Giada and can’t believe you got to meet her :-)

    • Whipped Baking says:

      So happy you found me! It was a lot of fun meeting Giada :) Even if it was for an awkward 5 seconds! Look forward to sharing more yummy recipes with you!

  21. So cool you gotta meet Giada , I absolutely love her , have made most of her recipes , that strawberry frosting looks delish !!!

  22. Question… My son’s long time girlfriend is vegan and I want to make her some cupcakes. I searched and found your beautiful deserts. Would it work using Vanilla Soy Milk? And I can’t seem to find nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. Please help this clueless mother.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Hi Jenni – That’s so sweet that you are going to make her vegan cupcakes!

      Yes – Vanilla Soymilk will work just fine, it will only give it a bit more vanilla flavor

      And my favorite non hydrogenated vegetable shortening is Earth Balance, you can find it at most grocery stores now (a lot more have been stocking vegan ingredients) and health food stores. If not, you can order it online (it lasts forever!), here’s the link to the Earth Balance website

      I”m not sure where you live – but by me I can find it at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, sometimes Jewel and sometimes Dominicks :)

      let me know if you need any more help!

  23. These cupcakes look yummy, but 2 tbsp of vanilla extract seems like a lot…

  24. This cupcake recipe is so tasty. I’ve been experimenting with different vegan cupcakes for my granddaughters birthday party and these are by far the best tasting. I added almond flavoring, used Earth Balance instead of shortening and chopped cherries to the frosting. Yummy! Thank you for ending my quest for a really good vanilla cupcake recipe.

  25. Great recipe! Unfortunately, I don’t have plain soy milk. However, will organic vanilla soy milk do? :]

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Absolutely! Your cupcakes may just be a bit sweeter than the original recipe, shouldn’t make too big of a difference :)

  26. Have just put a batch of these in the oven. I used rice bran oil and lite soy milk and lo-gi sugar. I’m planning on using these at my daughter’s birthday party (catering for all the kids with food issues) – the kids are going to do the decorating themselves!

  27. Hello! Thanks for posting this recipe, I just happened to stumble on this site and love it. I also LOVE Giada and went to my first ever book signing and just like you didn’t expect to stand in line for over an hour but was totally fine waiting cause I just love her plus I was able to talk with her and takes picture with her. She is flawless and absolutely beautiful!!!

  28. What can I use in placement of the nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening?

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Are you trying to keep them vegan? If yes than you can sub in any vegan butter or vegan margarine. If it doesn’t matter than feel free to sub in regular butter too!

  29. THANK YOU! My little girl has milk and egg allergies and I’ve been searching for a good vegan cupcake recipe. This is the best I have found!


  30. I am trying this recipe tomorrow for my daughter who is allergic to dairy and eggs, so she basically needs vegan cupcakes. Anyway, when I went to the store today, 2 days before Thanksgiving, I could NOT find non-hydrogenated veggie shortening, just the regular All-Veggie Shortening. I know the main difference is the fat content, but I am not particularly concerned about this as my daughter and her friends will only eat one each, maybe two over a couple of days. Will regular Crisco Veg. Shortening make a difference in the way its made/tastes?? (For the future, i WILL use the non-hydrogenated, but I just couldn’t find it it today!)

    Thanks for this recipe!! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Hi Amy! I hope I’m not too late getting back to you! You can definitely sub in regular crisco, it shouldn’t affect the taste at all, should be just as delicious :) You’ll have to let me know how your daughter likes these! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  31. I tried this recipe this evening and it turned out flawlessly. It makes a very light and fluffy vanilla cupcake. I got 11 cupcakes from my muffin tin and there was just enough icing (frosting) to give each cupcake a decent topping. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Thanks Richie! I’m so happy you loved these too! Glad they worked out so well for you :) These are my favorite vegan vanilla cupcakes!

  32. So I don’t have any canola oil. What could I use to replace it?

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Hi Michelle! Do you not have any oil? Vegetable oil would work great too. Otherwise you can try melting 1/2 cup of vegan butter. Does that help?

  33. These look great! We would like to use this cupcake recipe to make an actual birthday cake. Do you know what size pan we should use, and do we need to make any other modifications?
    Also – can I sub coconut oil for shortening?

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Normally 24 cupcakes would yield 2 8-inch cakes (to make a layer cake) or 1 9×13 inch cake. So you could double my cupcake recipe to make the layer cake or 9×13 OR just make one recipe (14 cupcakes) for a single layer (8 or 9 inch cake). Adjust the bake time to 30 minutes, but watch closely, it might take slightly more or less time. I’ve never used coconut oil instead of the shortening, but I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work? You’ll have to let me know how it goes! Good luck Jess!! :)

      • Thank you!! Our birthday cake turned out to be delicious! I used whole wheat flour (not my husband’s favorite, but everyone else was pleased with the healthy switch), vanilla soy milk, and coconut oil for the frosting. I think the coconut oil might be a little less successful on a warm summer day, but for a cake in February, it was just delicious! Thank you for your help!

  34. Hi there! I love sweet cake :) I just made these little cuties and they are awesome. I tweaked them a little for my son who is turning one tomorrow. We haven’t tried soy with him yet but have done yogurt so I totally un-veganed them :/ I substituted the soy with regular milk. I was mainly looking for a cake recipe without eggs. But I’m sure they are just as good with the soy, what about almond milk?! I also tried a frosting suggestion of cream cheese and yogurt I flavored it with a bit of hot milk and vanilla beans and a touch of extract. My question is, can you freeze these cakes once they’ve been cooked? Thank you for such a simple and so so so yummy recipe

  35. These cupcakes were delicious. My fiancé is a meat eater and he said they were the best cupcakes he has ever tasted!

  36. Just gave these a try for a party I’m throwing tomorrow – they are DELICIOUS! I used almond milk instead of soy, and couldn’t get hold of any cider vinegar, but they came out lovely nonetheless. They don’t hold together as well as egg-bound cakes, but that’s to be expected, and they’re beautifully airy and light. Great recipe!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Thanks Annika! I’m so happy you enjoyed these!! I love how light and fluffy these are :)

  37. Olivia says:

    So, I’m 15 and I’m a vegan, and I’m always looking for really good recipes of my favorites. And I have to say: these cupcakes are AMAZING!!! I made them with vanilla and cream cheese frosting, and put sliced strawberries on top. They were a HUGE hit with the community center ladies I brought them for. Ohhhh Sooooo YUMMMMY!!!!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Ooo those sound delicious Olivia! I love how you made a cream cheese frosting with these, sound amazing!! So glad these were a hit!

  38. these are so good! I made them over the weekend for my sister’s 30th birthday. I adapted them a little bit… I used 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk and 1/4 cup Moscato wine, since my sister loves Moscato! Everyone loved them! I linked to your post, and you can see my version here:

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Love the addition of wine! Such a fun idea, adorable for your sister’s birthday Chelsie!

  39. Danielle says:

    I just did a test run of these in preparation for my best friend’s baby shower. OMG amazing. Thank you!!

  40. Justibee says:

    I have to say that these are my new favourite cupcakes!!! I’ve never really given vanilla cupcakes a chance but I was looking for a vegan recipe that was simple enough, because I had a vegan guest coming to join our game night and wanted to make a menu that could be enjoyed by everyone. These were the only cupcakes I made for the evening and I kept it vanilla. I can’t mention enough how delicious they were. My game group were having seconds…thirds!! Not to mention, I appreciated the simplicity of throwing them together and a simple clean up!!! I am definitely going to use that frosting again!!!! Thank you so much!!!!

    • Whipped Baking says:

      You are so welcome!!! SO happy you all enjoyed these! This is my favorite vegan vanilla cupcake recipe :)

  41. Rebecca says:

    Great recipe for the cupcakes as well as the frosting. My younger sis is vegan and she’s getting married on a budget, she asked me to make her wedding cake. I was going with the popular ombré colored cake but needed a vanilla cake that could be adapted to my needs, this recipe won! One batch makes a 9 inch round later, I used almond milk and coconut oil (in place of soy milk and canola because I had neither on hand) it came out fluffy and moist and everything a good cake should be. I will send a pic of the final product when I make her actual wedding cake if you like.

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Please do!! I would love to see it Rebecca! I haven’t made it into a cake, so excited that it worked so well in a 9 inch pan!

  42. This was my first attempt at vegan baking! They came out perfect!!! Taking them in for my son’s last day of school tomorrow. :)

  43. Made the cupcakes today with organic vanilla soymilk… frosting. D e l i c i o u s !!! My non-vegan son and his girlfriend loved them !

  44. KendallMc says:

    I made these for our daughter’s birthday a couple of months ago and got so many compliments from party guests. These were definitely the most delicious vegan cupcakes I have ever made. Now our son’s birthday is coming up and he wants a cake. Have you ever made this recipe as a cake? If so, are any modifications required?

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Aw I’m so happy these were a hit at your daughter’s birthday party! I haven’t made this recipe into a cake, but if you double the recipe you should be able to make 2 round 9 inch layers or one big 9X13. Just make sure you line the bottom of the pans with parchment so the delicate cake doesn’t break.

  45. Hi. I just made the cupcakes. They taste great! However, they collapsed in the middle. What did I do wrong?

  46. I was looking for a vegan recipe for my nephew and I stumbled upon your website. I tried the Very Vanilla Cupakes, and it was “MARVELLOUS”
    I’m sending much kudos to you and Chloe

    • Whipped Baking says:

      Aw thanks Rhonda! This really is my favorite vegan vanilla cupcake, so happy you and your nephew enjoyed!!

  47. I made these cupcakes last weekend for my son’s first birthday. I posted about it here

  48. Stephanie says:

    Delicious! I made these for my son’s 11th birthday party with all of his friends…everyone loved them & I love that they’re vegan!! Thanks a million for this!!


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