Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes + Icing with DIY Food Coloring
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The cupcake recipe comes from Chloe Coscarelli's cookbook Chloe's Vegan Desserts.
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour or spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy, almond, or rice)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • colorful frosting (recipes below)
Vegan Icing Base
  • 1 cup vegan butter, Earth Balance
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy milk (not necessary for the yellow or red coloring)
Red Food Coloring
  • 1 beet, quartered
  • 3 cups water
Yellow Food Coloring
  • ½ cup mango puree
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
Green Food Coloring
  • 2 tsp culinary matcha powder
Purple Food Coloring
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet into the dry, and mix. Be careful not to over mix it.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners with the batter, two-thirds full.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Do the toothpick test: Stick toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out dry and clean or with a few crumbs they are done. Allow the cupcakes to cool at least 30 minutes before icing them.
Vegan Icing Base
  1. Place the vegan butter and soy milk (or liquid coloring) in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Use a hand mixer to cream the "butter" until smooth.
  3. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.
Red Food Coloring
  1. Bring water to a boil, and add the beet.
  2. Cook covered for 30 minutes on medium heat, until the beet is tender.
  3. Remove the lid and the beets. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes on medium-low to reduce the liquid––which will thicken the liquid and concentrate the color.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Stir the cool food coloring into the icing––start with 1 tsp–– until your desired color is reached.
Yellow Food Coloring
  1. Blend the mango puree and turmeric until smooth.
  2. Stir or whisk into the icing base.
Green Food Coloring
  1. Whisk matcha into the icing.
Purple Food Coloring
  1. Thaw blueberries on the counter, stove-top, or microwave.
  2. Strain the blueberries through a sieve.
  3. If the liquid is warm, allow it to cool in the fridge.
  4. Stir the cool food coloring into the icing––start with 1 tsp–– until your desired color is reached.
Recipe by Sweet Potato Soul by Jenné Claiborne at