Vanilla vegan cupcakes topped with a lavender-hued buttercream icing naturally coloured with fresh blackberries, and topped with dried culinary lavender.
This Vegan Lavender Cupcakes recipe makes fluffy vanilla cupcakes with a perfect crumb, and a sweet lavender coloured buttercream icing that is all natural, without food dyes.
Ingredients in your Vegan Lavender Cupcakes
• All purpose flour
• Vegan sugar such as Wholesome Organic Golden Sugar. This sugar is unrefined and decolourized, so it uses no chemicals or animal by-products.
• Baking soda (not baking powder!) and salt
• Plant milk of your choice. I use Earth’s Own Unsweetened Original Almond Milk as it has a ton of nutrients and only 35 calories per 1 cup!
• Canola oil (though you can use light olive oil or vegetable oil)
• White vinegar. This is to produce a frothy buttermilk-like batter
• Vanilla extract. I use PC Organics Pure Vanilla Extract.
Ingredients in your Lavender Buttercream Icing
• Powdered Confectioners Sugar. I use Wholesome Powdered Confectioners Sugar. It’s organic and fair trade and always 100% vegan!
• Room temperature vegan butter. I use the block style butter rather than the spread, as the block kind typically has more fat in it and will produce a better buttercream. Be sure to keep your vegan butter out of the fridge for a couple hours before using it!
• Vanilla extract
• Plant milk of choice
• Juice of fresh blackberries as natural food colouring.
• Top with dried culinary lavender for decorating and taste (ensure your are using edible culinary grade lavender, not just any type of lavender!)
Blackberries as Natural Food Colouring
Using fruit as a food dye if a great way to achieve beautiful colours, without using artificial food colourings.
These Vegan Lavender Cupcakes actually use the juice of fresh blackberries to get a lovely subtle purple hue. The colour is a subtle and natural looking light purple, rather than a bright saturated purple that artificial food colourings produce. You also have the peace of mind knowing that your cupcakes are made with wholesome ingredients.
While artificial food dyes have gone through safety tests and don’t pose significant risk to health, they’re still not made of the most nutritious stuff. Fruits and vegetables are great natural alternatives that can add colour to baking.
To make this lavender hued buttercream icing, you will simply squeeze fresh blackberries to make a natural purple hued dye. Squeeze some blackberries over a bowl with a sieve on top. This will catch the fruit pieces in the sieve and leave the juice of the berries in your bowl.
Or in a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, twist, and squeeze out the juice into the food to dye. Add more to reach the colour you want. Keep in mind that a buttercream icing is a balance between the dry icing sugar and the liquids you add. Your buttercream icing should be thick, so you want to refrain from adding too much fruit juice or you will have a runny icing.
Vegan Lavender Cupcakes
- mixer optional
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup almond milk or plant milk of choice
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
Lavender Buttercream Icing
- 3 3/4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
- 3 Tbsp vegan butter room temperature
- 4 Tbsp blackberry juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp plant milk only if required to thin icing
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.
- Sift the all purpose flour into a large bowl and add the sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Then add the almond milk, vanilla extract, oil and white vinegar. Mix with a and whisk until just mixed. You want to get rid of any big lumps, but keep the tiny lumps. Do not overmix!
- Pour cupcake batter evenly into the 12 cupcake liners, making sure that all the batter is used up. (You can use a jug with a spout for easing pouring, or a ladle with a spout).
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Check the cupcakes at 25 minutes. If a toothpick inserted into the centre does not come out clean, place back in oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool thoroughly (approximately 50 minutes or more) before frosting.
Lavender Buttercream Icing
- Squeeze some blackberries over a bowl with a sieve on top to catch the fruit pieces, while leaving only the juice of the berries in your bowl.
- Add the powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of the fresh blackberry juice.
- Beginning on low speed, mix with an electric mixer, slowly increasing speed.
- Add more blackberry juice to get the desired colour. Do not add too much juice, as this will water down your icing. If your icing is too thick you can add a Tbsp or so of almond milk. If your frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. The consistency must be thick enough that it doesn’t slide off the cupcakes, but thin enough to be spreadable.
- When your cupcakes are completely cool, add frosting to the top of one of the layers.
- Sprinkle dried culinary lavender on top of your cupcakes. Top each cupcake with one fresh blackberry (optional).
Looking for more dessert recipes? Try my Lavender & Vanilla Buttercream Cake recipe!