Vegan Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Delicious fluffy dark chocolate cupcakes with a homemade blackberry coulis filling and eggless Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Topped with spooky chocolate skulls, these vegan chocolate cupcakes are perfect for Halloween.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
4.56 from 18 votes

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halloween skull chocolate cupcakes with blackberry filling.

If you enjoyed last weeks vegan Devil’s food chocolate cake recipe I think you’re going to love these spooky vegan Halloween cupcakes. These vegan chocolate cupcakes are made using Dutch processed cocoa powder for a deep chocolate flavour and dark colour (fitting if you’re planning on making these for spooky season!). The dark chocolate flavour contrasts so well against the tart blackberry filling.

vegan halloween cupcakes with chocolate skulls.

These vegan Halloween cupcakes are:

  • Intensely chocolatey 
  • Tender and moist
  • Easy to make
  • Eggless and dairy free
  • Perfect for spooky season
 

chocolate skull cupcakes.

Ingredients notes

  • Plain flour
  • Dutch processed cocoa powder: This is cocoa powder that has been alkalised and is not to be confused with regular cocoa powder or raw cacao powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder is made with cocoa beans that have been washed in alkaline solution of potassium carbonate. Sallys Baking Addiction has written an entire post about their differences if you’d like to learn more about the science behind it. Raw cacao powder or regular cocoa powder will yield different results in this recipe.
  • Baking soda: This is the leavening agent for these vegan cupcakes. Usually, baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to activate it. Which is where the muscovado sugar and vegan buttermilk come in.
  • Sea salt: As always!
  • Coffee: Coffee intensifies that chocolate flavour even more, I pretty much always use it when baking with chocolate.
  • Soya milk: Mixed together with apple cider vinegar, this creates your vegan buttermilk substitute. 
  • Caster sugar and muscovado sugar: The muscovado sugar brings acidity to this recipe which reacts with the baking soda. 
  • Apple puree: Or unsweetened apple sauce
  • Olive oil: I love using olive oil in vegan chocolate cupcakes but you can also use an alternative neutral tasting oil such as rapeseed or sunflower.
  • Blackberries: You can go with fresh or frozen, depending on what’s available to you. A great way to pick up on what’s left of them this season!
  • Vanilla extract: This acts as a flavour enhancer and sweetness enhancer.
 

You’ll also need vegan block butter, aquafaba for the vegan Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.

ingredients for vegan Halloween cupcakes.

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Step 1: Make the chocolate skulls for decoration

If you’re topping the cupcakes with chocolate skulls, prep these first. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (bain-marie). Pour the chocolate into the skull moulds and refrigerate until set – you may need to repeat this process several times depending on the number of skull moulds you have to hand.

Step 2: Make the chocolate cupcakes

To make the vegan “buttermilk” add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Add the coffee, apple puree, olive oil and vanilla extract to the vegan buttermilk mixture, stir and set aside. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, caster sugar and muscovado sugar to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined – do not over-mix. Distribute the batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for 22-25 minutes. Check are done by piercing them with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean.

Step 3: Make the blackberry coulis

Add the blackberries, caster sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring often until the mixture is thick. Cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge until ready to use. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the coulis for making the frosting.

Use a cupcake corer (or apple corer) to cut out centres in the cooled cupcakes, reserve the pieces that you remove. 

 

vegan chocolate cupcakes with centres removed for filling.

Fill each cupcake with blackberry coulis and place the reserved cuts back on top of each one (if you weren’t already tempted to eat them as is that is!)

Step 4: Frost the cupcakes

Make a batch of vegan Swiss meringue buttercream. Next split the buttercream into 2 parts. Add 2 tbsp of the cooled blackberry coulis to one half and blend until combined. Add the 4 tbsp of cocoa powder to the other half and blend until combined as well. You can also go fully with one flavour or the other depending on your preference.

Transfer both buttercreams to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle. Alternate between blackberry and chocolate buttercream when filling the bag to give a swirl effect. Pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake, top with chocolate skulls and fresh blackberries.

vegan chocolate cupcakes with blackberry buttercream.

Variations

  • Vegan chocolate cupcakes: Keep these cupcakes plain and simple by skipping the blackberry coulis. You can fill them with some vegan chocolate ganache to make triple chocolate cupcakes!
  • Chocolate raspberry cupcakes: Swap out the blackberries for raspberries or other berries of your choice. 
 

vegan halloween chocolate cupcakes.

Storage instructions 

These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. If you’re keeping them for more than a couple of days, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan buttercream which stiffens up when chilled.

Recommended equipment

 

spooky skull cupcakes.

Related recipes

More vegan cupcakes

 

More vegan chocolate bakes

halloween skull chocolate cupcakes with blackberry filling.

Vegan Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes

4.56 from 18 votes
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Delicious fluffy dark chocolate cupcakes with a homemade blackberry coulis filling and eggless Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Topped with spooky chocolate skulls, these vegan chocolate cupcakes are perfect for Halloween.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 1 hr 22 mins
Servings 12

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes

  • 1 cup soya milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water
  • cup apple puree
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup caster sugar (superfine)
  • ¼ cup light muscovado sugar

Filling

  • 350 g blackberries
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Frosting

Garnish

  • 300 g dark chocolate
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries

INSTRUCTIONS

Ahead of time

  • If you're topping the cupcakes with chocolate skulls, prep these first. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (bain-marie). Pour the chocolate into the skull moulds and refrigerate until set - you may need to repeat this process several times depending on the number of skull moulds you have to hand.

Cupcakes

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  • To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Add the coffee, apple puree, olive oil and vanilla extract to the vegan buttermilk mixture, stir and set aside. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, caster sugar and muscovado sugar to a separate bowl and whisk to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined - do not over-mix.
  • Distribute the batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for 22-25 minutes. Check are done by piercing them with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further for 30-40 minutes.

Blackberry coulis

  • Add the blackberries, caster sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring often until the mixture is thick. Cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge until ready to use. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the coulis for making the frosting.
  • Use a cupcake corer (or apple corer) to cut out centres in the cooled cupcakes, reserve the pieces that you remove. Fill each cupcake with blackberry coulis and place the reserved cuts back on top of each one.

Frosting

  • Make a batch of vegan Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Split the buttercream into 2 parts. Add 2 tbsp of the cooled black berry coulis to one half and blend until combined. Add the 4 tbsp of cocoa powder to the other half and blend until combined as well.
  • Transfer the buttercreams to a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle. Alternate between blackberry and chocolate buttercream when filling the bag to give a swirl effect.
  • Pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake, top with chocolate skulls and fresh blackberries.

RECIPE NOTES

*Nutritional information is based on filled cupcakes without frosting.

 

Storage instructions 

These cupcakes are best served at room temperature. If you're keeping them for more than a couple of days, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to bring them to room temperature before serving. Especially if you’re topping them with vegan buttercream which stiffens up when chilled.

NUTRITION

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 5mg
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4 thoughts on "Vegan Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes"

    1. Hi Christine,

      Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa powder and Green&Blacks are Dutched. If in doubt, you can check the ingredients to see if they contain alkalising agents such as potassium carbonates.

  1. Can’t wait to have a go at making these… although any ideas on what I could sub the oil for? I know it might change it a little bit but I just hate cooking with oil!

    1. Hi Penelope,

      Excited for you to give them a go! The oil is needed in this recipe, otherwise the cupcakes will be super dry.