These Vanilla Blackberry Vegan Cupcakes are beautiful, as they are delicious. I used to think that apple cider vinegar was overrated, and if you’re not baking to impress anyone, sure, you can do without it, but if you’re going for the show-stopper, do not omit it. It makes the cupcakes so much lighter and fluffier, creating the perfect texture. You could substitute apple sauce for the oil, I suppose, but I have yet to try that. The cornstarch gives the cupcakes a golden color, but if you don’t have any in the kitchen, don’t sweat it. I also find the perfect icing is 1 part vegan margarine, 3 parts sugar. These little beauties will make you the queen/king of cupcakes among your friends and family. You don’t have to tell them it’s not your recipe. Let’s make it our little secret.

Vanilla Blackberry Cupcakes [Vegan]


12 cupcakes



For the cupcakes
  • 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (preferably canola)
  • 3 generous tsps vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of baking soda and baking powder
For the icing
  • 1/2 cup blackberries, plus 12 to decorate
  • 3/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • a few drops of blue food colour (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/356ºF. Pour the milk and apple cider vinegar into a small jug or bowl and let it curdle for a few minutes.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the oil, vanilla extract and the curdled milk and combine everything with a spatula/spoon. Remember not to overmix, as they toughens up the batter and ruins the whole batch of cupcakes.
  3. Pour into lined cupcake tins and bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes.
  4. For the icing beat the vegan margarine and confectioner’s sugar with an electric mixer (or a fork if you’re building up muscle or whatever). Puree the blackberries very well and add to the icing, beating again until perfectly, totally, undeniably smooth. It may be easier to blend the blackberries first, but I haven’t tried this. Basically, you want to avoid leaving in any bits, however small, as they will clog up the nozzle of your icing bag. The blackberries will turn the icing dark pink, so you will need some blue food color to make the icing purple.
  5. When the cupcakes have definitely cooled, ice and decorate them with a blackberry on each.