VEGAN RAINBOW CUPCAKES

These Vegan Rainbow Cupcakes are tender and moist vanilla cupcakes topped with vegan pastel rainbow cream cheese frosting. They are naturally colored and easy to make. Dairy-free, egg-free.

Vanilla cupcakes with pastel rainbow frosting

THESE RAINBOW CUPCAKES ARE

  • vegan
  • dairy-free
  • egg-free
  • light
  • fluffy
  • moist
  • tender
  • topped with pastel rainbow cream cheese frosting
  • easy to make
  • naturally colored

Cupcakes frsoted with pastel rainbow cream cheese frosting

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE PATEL RAINBOW CUPCAKES

You need the following ingredients to make these naturally colored vegan rainbow cupcakes (the exact measurements are in the recipe card below):

  • Unsweetened almond milk – In combination with apple cider vinegar, it creates vegan buttermilk, which improves the texture of cupcakes. The milk is also used to loosen up the frosting a little bit. Use any plant-based milk of your choice, such as oat, soy, or cashew milk. Make sure it has room temperature.
  • Apple cider vinegar – helps to activate the baking soda. You can also use lemon juice.
  • All-purpose flour – keeps the cupcakes light and fluffy because of its fine texture. Sift the flour to avoid lumps in the batter.
  • Cornstarch – improves the texture.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – leaven the cake batter.
  • Sea salt – balances the sweetness.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Sunflower oil – improves the texture and makes the cupcakes moist. You can also use canola oil or any oil neural in flavor.
  • Vegan yogurt – adds moisture to a batter and makes the cupcakes super moist. Use plain unsweetened plant-based yogurt. Make sure the yogurt has room temperature. Apple sauce should work as well instead of vegan yogurt.
  • Vanilla extract – Use good quality pure vanilla extract.
  • Unsalted vegan butter – Use vegan butter that has around 75-80% fat. Let the butter soft at room temperate before making the frosting.
  • Vegan cream cheese – I recommend using Violife cream cheese. Let it soften at room temperature before making the frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – Sift the sugar to avoid lumps in the frosting.
  • Natural dye – green = matcha, blue = blue spirulina, yellow = turmeric, pink = freeze-dried raspberries, purple = blue spirulina + freeze-dried raspberries (or freeze-dried blueberries)

Ingredients for vanilla cupcakes

Equipment you need:

  • Cupcake (muffin) pan
  • 12 cupcake liners
  • Medium size bowl
  • Two large bowls
  • Whisk
  • Sifter
  • Silicon spatula
  • Cooling rack
  • Hand mixer (or stand mixer) – to make the frosting
  • Five small bowls
  • Food plastic wrap
  • Piping bag and piping star tip

Vegan cupcakes with naturally colored frosting

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN RAINBOW CUPCAKES

You will find the instructions and ingredients list in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

1. Step: Preheat the oven and prepare the pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line the muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.

2. Step: Make vegan buttermilk

To unsweetened almond milk, add apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice). Mix and set aside.

3. Step: Combine dry ingredients

In a medium-size bowl, using a whisk, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of sea salt.

Combined dry ingredients

4. Step: Make cupcake batter

To a large bowl, add granulated sugar, sunflower oil, vegan yogurt, and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine. Add vegan buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

How to make vanilla cupcake batter

5. Step: Bake the cupcakes

Divide the batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If it looks wet, bake for about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. If the cupcakes are still warm, the frosting will melt.

Batter in muffin pan before baking

Vanilla cupcakes after baking in muffin pan

6. Step: Make rainbow cream cheese frosting

Add soft vegan butter and cream cheese to a large bowl (alternatively, add them to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) and cream with a hand mixer on high speed until fluffy and lighter in color for about 2-3 minutes. Add in powdered sugar and mix until fully combined. While mixing, add one tablespoon at a time of almond milk and mix until incorporated and fluffy.

Divide the frosting equally between 5 bowls. Tint each with natural dye – whisk in ¼ tsp ground turmeric for yellow, ¾ tsp matcha powder for green, 1/8 tsp blue spirulina powder for blue, 4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder for pink, and 1/8 tsp blue spirulina powder + 3 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder (or 4 tsp freeze-dried blueberry powder) for purple color. Adjust color intensity until you have the desired shades (be careful with turmeric and blue spirulina).

Rainbow Cream Cheese Frosting

7. Step: Assemble the cupcakes

Using a large piece of food plastic wrap, spread each color in a line along the width of the wrap. Carefully wrap the frosting into a large log. Overlap plastic wrap and twist ends to seal.

Frosting spreaded on plastic food wrap

Frosting wrap in plastic wrap

Prepare a piping bag with a star tip. Cut off one end of the frosting warp, and insert the wrap into the prepared piping bag. Pipe rainbow swirls on each cupcake as desired.

Serve immediately or store them in the fridge in an airtight container.

Rainbow cupcake decorated with little stars

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

CAN I MAKE THE CUPCAKES THE DAY BEFORE FROSTING THEM?

Yes, you can make the cupcake sponge the day before. Store them in an airtight container in a cool place and frost them the next day.

HOW TO STORE VEGAN CUPCAKES?

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge.

HOW LONG DO VEGAN RAINBOW CUPCAKES LAST?

Rainbow cupcakes will last for about 4-5 days in the airtight container in the fridge.

CAN YOU FREEZE CUPCAKES?

To freeze unfrosted cupcakes, place than in an airtight container or plastic zip-lock bag, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, let them thaw at room temperature. Then you can frost and decorate the cupcakes.

Vanilla cupcakes with vegan rainbow frosting

IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE, MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING:

 

If you try this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment below, as well as giving a rating so that others may find this recipe. Also, share your photo on Instagram and tag @plantifulbakery.  

Happy baking!

Vanilla cupcakes with pastel rainbow frosting

VEGAN RAINBOW CUPCAKES

Plantiful Bakery
These Vegan Rainbow Cupcakes are tender and moist vanilla cupcakes topped with vegan pastel rainbow cream cheese frosting. They are naturally colored and easy to make. Dairy-free, egg-free.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Czech
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 393 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes:

  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) unsweetened almond milk, room temperature (or any plant-based milk)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 135 g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) sunflower oil (or canola oil)
  • 60 g (¼ cup) plain vegan yogurt, unsweetened, room temperature
  • 1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Rainbow Frosting:

  • 200 g unsalted vegan butter, softened *
  • 140 g vegan cream cheese, softened ** (Violife Creamy Original)
  • 160 g powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk, room temperature (or any plant-based milk)
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp matcha powder
  • 1/8 tsp blue spirulina powder
  • 4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
  • 1/8 tsp blue spirulina powder + 3 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder (or 4 tsp freeze-dried blueberry powder)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line the muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • To unsweetened almond milk, add apple cider vinegar. Mix and set aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl, using a whisk, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of sea salt.
  • To a large bowl, add granulated sugar, sunflower oil, vegan yogurt, and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine. Add almond milk mixture and mix until incorporated. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly into 12 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If it looks wet, bake for about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Add soft vegan butter and cream cheese to a large bowl (alternatively, add them to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) and cream with a hand mixer on high speed until fluffy and lighter in color for about 2-3 minutes. Add in powdered sugar and mix until fully combined. While mixing, add one tablespoon at a time of almond milk and mix until incorporated and fluffy.
  • Divide the frosting equally between 5 bowls. Tint each with natural dye – whisk in ¼ tsp ground turmeric for yellow, ¾ tsp matcha powder for green, 1/8 tsp blue spirulina powder for blue, 4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder for pink, and 1/8 tsp blue spirulina powder + 3 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder (or 4 tsp freeze-dried blueberry powder) for purple color.
  • Using a large piece of food plastic wrap, spread each color in a line along the width of the wrap. Carefully wrap the frosting into a large log. Overlap plastic wrap and twist ends to seal.
  • Prepare a piping bag with a star tip. Cut off one end of the frosting warp, and insert the wrap into the prepared piping bag. Pipe rainbow swirls on each cupcake as desired.
  • Serve immediately or store them in the fridge in an airtight container.

Notes

* Vegan butter: Use vegan butter with 75-80% fat. Let the butter soft at room temperature before making the frosting.
** Vegan cream cheese: I recommend using Violife cream cheese. Let it soften at room temperature before making the frosting.
Make sure vegan yogurt and almond milk are at room temperature.

Storing:

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. You can also freeze the unfrosted cupcakes for up to 3 months.
Please read my blog post above for tips and helpful information.
Keyword all-purpose flour, almond milk, cream cheese, matcha, oven, raspberries, spirulina, turmeric, vanilla extract, vegan butter, vegan yogurt

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1 cupcake / Calories: 393kcal / Total Fat: 25,5g / Saturated Fat: 10,1g / Cholesterol: 0mg / Total Carbohydrate: 39,6g / Fiber: 0,7g / Sugar: 24,6g / Protein: 2,1g / Sodium: 274mg / Iron: 1,0mg

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