Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil | Cupcake Project

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil

Vegan chocolate cupcakes can easily rival any non-vegan counterpart. These vegan chocolate cupcakes are light and bouncy like Hostess cupcakes – but leagues better. The best part of the vegan chocolate cupcakes was how well they domed. As my friend NZ Cupcake Queen (author of The Cupcake Project – not to be confused with this blog, Cupcake Project) says:

Feeling that a vegan chocolate cupcake (delectable or not) was uninteresting, I decided to make it a chocolate basil cupcake. Basil tastes strikingly similar to mint – so much so that my tasters said they would have confused these cupcakes for chocolate mint cupcakes if I didn’t tell them otherwise (or if they weren’t topped with basil leaves). However, the basil was different enough from mint for me to like it – I’m not a fan of mint.

I used basil grown in our own home garden, and I’m proud to enter this cupcake into this month’s Grow Your Own roundup hosted by Amy of Playing House.

I love how the event logo looks just like the basil leaves on my cupcakes!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil Recipe

I found the recipe for vegan chocolate cupcakes on Kylie’s blog, The Baking Bird. She got the recipe from the cookbook La Dolce Vegan!. Below is a reprinting of the recipe adapted to cupcakes with the addition of basil.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil

Yield: Makes about 20 cupcakes

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil


  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C fresh basil leaves, packed firmly
  • 1/2 cup soft or silken tofu
  • 1 C soy milk
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C oil
  • 1/2 C water


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a food processor, chop basil finely.
  3. Add the tofu, soy milk, vinegar, vanilla, and oil to the food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Pour contents of the food processor into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the water.
  6. Stir together until fully combined.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched.


The Frosting

I frosted the vegan chocolate cupcakes with vegan chocolate ganache.


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10 Responses to Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil

  1. Amy I. July 27, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    What an interesting combo, they look beautiful! I love the contrast of the brown with the green garnish… very unexpected on a cupcake. Thanks for participating in Grow Your Own!

  2. Tessa July 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    I saw basil ice cream the other day and was really excited about the idea! I’ve been thinking about what other desserts it could be added to, and I’m going to have to try the chocolate-basil combination. Your cupcakes look beautiful!

  3. wheeler's crew July 28, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    I agree with Amy. These cupcakes are beautiful. I bet they’d be great with sweet basil ice cream. I can’t wait to make them.

  4. Jennifer July 30, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    Beautiful! I will say Ive not used basil in baking sweets, let alone cupcakes. I am so intrigued now!!

  5. diva July 30, 2009 at 5:05 am #

    these cupcakes are beautiful. i’m intrigued. i really wanna taste em to compare em to chocolate mint ones..

  6. randomly designed July 30, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    This looks delicious – thank you for the recipe! I just have one question – is there anything we can replace teh Tofu with? My stomach doesn’t agree with tofu…

  7. Andrea July 31, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    Very innovative use of your homegrown basil! I will have to give this a try sometime. Thanks for sharing your post with Grow Your Own!

  8. Aparna July 31, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    I’m always happy to see bakes that can be done without eggs and still turn out so good.
    I’ll definitely be making them.

  9. vincent September 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm #


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

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  10. Anonymous March 23, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Just made these, and they really did dome *beautifully* and my house smells heavenly. Great recipe!

  11. Her Hcg June 8, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    I have never eat this flavor,I think the making of Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil is really very hard..

  12. molly October 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Just made these and am so happy i did! They look beautiful and you are right about that ‘hmmm. maybe its mint’ taste. I made a quick little chocolate soy milk and powdered sugar drizzle and they were good to go!

  13. aerandiera October 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Wonderful recipe! I just made them and they are easy to make, fluffy and the touch and delicious to try!

  14. Eren Arruna Cervantes October 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I just tried this recipe with mint and it worked wonderfully!

  15. boncha November 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Just made these with no revisions to the recipe and they have great flavor. You can really taste the basil. I can imagine substituting mint and having them be amazing as well.

    I couldn’t get over the texture of these, moist perfect cupcakes. I didn’t expect it from a vegan recipe!!

    I also made the frosting but I am going to put such a small amount on. These can definitely hold there own!

  16. Sarah May 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ve just made a batch of these, with a few revisions, and everyone has loved them! You can’t taste the tofu and the cupcake has such a wonderful chocolately dense texture-it really is almost a brownie! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  17. Tamara April 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm #


    Made the cupcakes… and they rose and sank too airy and stuck to the muffin papers… very disappointed. Thinking it has to do with elevation?


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