July 20, 2014

Vegan Salted Caramel Cupcakes Recipe

Caramel is always the answer to everything. Feeling sad? Caramel. Feeling peckish? Caramel. Your boyfriend broke up with you? Caramel. Have a funny looking rash? Well you should probably see a doctor about this one. But in all seriousness, these cupcakes are delicious, creamy, not-too-sweet, salty, decadent, scrumptious with a big hit of vegan amazingnessdeliciousnessohmygoshness. You will die with pleasure. Ok... I am done with the sales pitch. I am always on the lookout for healthier and better alternatives to non-vegan food... especially ones that taste better than the non-vegan alternative. This caramel is perfect. It is creamy and rich and tastes exactly like the caramel my Nanna would make using brown sugar and condensed milk. The dates, maple syrup and margarine create the same consistency and induce this amazing taste that completely mirrors my childhood memories. Now, my Nanna is what I would class as a "caramel snob". She loves caramel and practically lives for caramel... I am surprised that my Mum's middle name isn't Caramel. Now, as a lovely vegan Nanna she no longer makes the pot of condensed-milk based caramel. I am glad about this as she would stand there at the stove looking like Gollum's evil twin, stirring the caramel and babying it like her first born. I still remember saying "Nanna, can I please try some of your caramel?" and my hair would blow in the swift movement of her body as she would spin around and screech "Noooo!" like the caramel god of caramel land had taken over her body. But back to the point... she is a caramel snob and she loves our vegan recipe, so I suppose that is a good sign. Anyway, I would love for you to try these. I guarantee that you will love them! Oh and don't forget to sprinkle the cakey deliciouness with salt to add a whole new level... the level of I-can't-believe-its-vegan. Enjoy!

makes 10

   1 cup plain flour
   2 teaspoons baking powder
   pinch salt
   1/2 cup white sugar
   1/3 cup plain flavoured oil
   1/4 cup cocoa
   1 cup plant milk (such as Soy Milky Lite)
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

Caramel 'Frosting':
   20 dried dates
   4 tablespoons maple syrup
   2 tablespoons vegan margarine (at room temp.)

salt to sprinkle

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a cupcake tray with 10 patty pans. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: add all 'cupcake' ingredients to a bowl and beat until smooth without lumps. 
  3. Divide the mixture between the patty pans and bake for 20 minutes or so until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of one of the cupcakes.
  4. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  5. In the meantime, make the caramel frosting. Add all 'frosting' ingredients to a processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste, and be amazed at the caramelly deliciousness. Set aside.
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, divide the frosting on to the tops of the cupcakes.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately!
  8. Enjoy the little cakey delciousness :) 

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline. 

The caramel-fanatic (AKA my Nanna) above.


  1. Yum Yum yummmm! these look Amazing!��

  2. oh ich liebe die Kombi aus süß und salzig- habe zuletzt auch ein EIs mit gesalzenem Karamell probiert. EIne Traum-Kombi

    Tolle Idee!

    1. Translated "oh I love the combination of sweet and salty, have recently also tried a EIs with salted caramel. A dream combination

      Great idea!"

      Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy our recipe :) I love salty caramel!!

  3. I got up at 6am to make these for my boys' school lunches. Of course I had to taste test one myself, just to be sure they were edible ;) We'll call that breakfast dessert... I was blown away - these are moist and delicious, the 'frosting' is insanely good, and I just had to sneak another one for lunch dessert! (Because why can't every meal have a dessert?) They are sooooooo good! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it is awesome :)

    1. Hehe yay! I am so glad that it wasn't a disappointment... especially due to you waking up especially to make them! I am really happy that you love them and I hope your boys loved them too! Thanks for telling us :)

  4. Hi, did you use medjool dates or just regular dates from the dried fruit aisle?

  5. I made them last night! OMG!!! So yummy they were to die for!! The caramel frosting was sooooo spot on my partner and I were both tempted to skip dinner and lick all the delicious beautiful frosting and the cupcakes were still in the oven!!! Yummy will def make again!!
    I was wondering if u placed the frosting in the fridge before piping? Mine was a little runny but still could pipe the frosting but it wasn't perfect as the frosting start to melt. Also what size star nozzle did you use?? Xo

    1. Yay!! I am so glad. It truly is amazing. Not sure about why it would be so thin... I never put mine in the fridge. Maybe add more dates next time, less maple or more margarine? I just use a basic nozzle... whichever one I have on hand. The caramel is so thick so it doesn't really matter :)

  6. Hi Madison, I made these for my boyfriends 30th birthday and they were a HUGE hit - all gobbled up! Thank you :)

  7. Hi Madison! I made these about a month ago and they were to die for. I was looking at your orange and poppy seed cake recipe and wondering if I made these ingredients to the same tune and made a salted caramel cake if it would work? :-)

    ps. I made your san choy bow again last night and there was a pretty scary Mexican standoff between my bf and sister over the last lettuce cup! :-o

    1. Hello there! I am not sure how it would go using the recipe to make a big batch. You could always try and please let me know how you go :) Heheh I am so glad that you both enjoyed our lettuce cups!

  8. My partner just told me that these are at the top of his list of dairy free desserts that I've ever made! High praise, I can tell you :)

    I put icing sugar in to bulk up the icing because I don't eat margarine or butter. Worked pretty well, but still not quite the icing of my childhood dreams of course. Oh and I made them as doughnut shapes, cooked for about 10 mins. Sensational!!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!

  9. can you use a blender for the icing instead of a food processor?

    1. You could try? It is quite thick so it depends if your blender can handle thick products. It may be hard to get out?