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Fudgey and delicious vegan chocolate orange cupcakes with a chocolate orange sponge, frosting and more!

Vegan chocolate orange cupcakes!

So.. I decided it was time to pull out the big guns when it came to my vegan baking. I wanted to do the bake, that you ALL will want, whether you are vegan or not. I wanted to do the flavour of my dreams, in vegan form… chocolate orange. 

I will say from the beginning that these do literally taste like a fudgey delicious vegan version of my normal chocolate orange sort of bakes, but yeah they are also vegan. They are naturally different where you can’t use Terry’s chocolate orange, but that’s obvious. 

Vegan chocolate

However, one amazing new invention is the Galaxy vegan vars, AND THEY DO A CHOCOLATE ORANGE ONE. It is INCREDIBLE. And it literally tastes like Terry’s chocolate orange! I genuinely think these Galaxy vegan bars are the best vegan chocolate I have ever tasted!

I decided to base this recipe on my vegan chocolate cake because I adore the recipe so much. It does form up well with my vegan vanilla cupcakes as well though for help on proportions – but otherwise its chocolate themed through and through. 

Vegan baking experimenting

Now, I am no expert on vegan baking by any means as I am not vegan myself – however… I understand the science behind it. As you are (obviously) leaving out the butter and eggs that you would normally use in a cake sponge, you have to be careful with what you replace it with.

One of the reasons it took me so long to get into vegan baking was experimenting and finding recipes that I actually liked – as many I have tried in the past have tasted of nothing, or have been rubbery balls of gross. Experimentation was key, and I got there! 

Stick the the recipe!

I find that one of the keys of baking vegan is to stick to the recommendations – and DO NOT OVER MIX. Something like this really does not need much mixing. You don’t need an electric mixer for the sponge, and you just need to stir it together and you are done. 

The mix is naturally a lot more liquid than a normal cake mix, so it can be a little messy when you are portioning it – but otherwise, it’s easy – split between the 12 cases, and bake! Decorate and enjoy. 

Vegan replacements

I use almond milk as it’s one of my favourite non-dairy milks – but you can use pretty much any – I however haven’t tested those myself. I use stork block for the buttercream icing as it’s naturally vegan and it’s my favourite non-dairy butter – and I use Tate & lyle Icing sugar which is also vegan friendly. 

Cocoa powder wise, you have to be careful – but dairy free ones do exist. At the time of writing, I use one that I buy from Makro – but all you need to do is check on the ingredients. Cocoa powder, or cacao powder work – I just prefer using Cocoa powder. Some are a ‘may contain milk’ so it’s really down to you to check, especially if you have allergies. 


I make these with a mix of fresh orange sometimes, or orange extract – but you do what you fancy. The best orange extract I can recommend is the Nielsen Massey orange extract! You can obviously use this recipe for a delicious vegan chocolate cupcake, sans orange, but I am chocolate orange obsessed and all so… leave it out if you wish! 

I hope you love these bad boys – I’m sure you will! If you have any recipe related questions, then leave them below in the comments. Otherwise, HAPPY VEGAN CHOCOLATE ORANGE CUPCAKE BAKING! x

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes!

Fudgey and delicious vegan chocolate orange cupcakes with a chocolate orange sponge, frosting and more!
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Category: Vegan
Type: Cupcakes
Keyword: Chocolate orange, Vegan
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Decorating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 Cupcakes
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 175 g self raising flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 250 ml almond/soya/dairy free milk
  • 1-2 tsp orange extract (Or zest of 1 orange)
  • 75 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar


  • 150 g vegan butter (I use stork block)
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp orange extract


  • Orange zest
  • Galaxy chocolate orange (or other)
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate drizzle



  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan, and get 12 cupcake cases ready!
  • In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate, baking powder and sugar.
  • Pour in your milk, orange extract, oil and vinegar, and mix until smooth. 
  • Try not to over mix, but make sure the lumps are gone. 
  • Split between the 12 cases (it will be quite runny), but stick with the 12 cases!
  • Bake in the oven for about 20-22 minutes, or until baked through. 
  • Leave to cool fully!


  • Beat your dairy free butter until smooth (it won't take long at all due to it being dairy free)
  • Add in your icing sugar, cocoa powder and orange extract and beat again until fluffy and buttercream like! 


  • Pipe onto your cupcakes how you please, I used a 2D closed star piping tip!
  • Drizzle on some melted chocolate, some orange zest, some sprinkles and some chocolate orange segments and enjoy!


  • You can substitute the oil for extra virgin olive oil - I just prefer vegetable oil for baking!
  • The buttercream will still be quite slack due to it being dairy free, so it doesn't hold perfectly - don't add any extra liquid!
  • These will last 2-3 days once made, at room temperature. 
  • I don't use the Galaxy chocolate orange in the frosting as it reacts different compared to normal chocolate and solidifies very quickly. I recommend just the drizzle if you fancy it, and the pieces on top!
  • Remember to double check all ingredients you use are vegan friendly. 
  • I use stork block for the butter, and Tate and lyle icing sugar. I also use this cocoa powder!


Find my other Recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission.


  1. Rachel on October 27, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Jane, these look amazing. I want to make a cake version (for my vegan friend’s birthday). Can this be done? Also my second question, is there a way of doing vegan drips (as I’d like it to be a drip cake)? Thank you!

  2. Lyn on October 13, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    Thank you Jane for another great recipe. Made these a couple of days ago. The taste was fantastic and they smelt amazing, would never have known they were vegan. Took some to a friend who immediately asked me to make a batch of them for an afternoon tea she’s holding.

  3. Anna on October 1, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Just made this cake as a trial run for a birthday cake into two less thick 6 inch cakes – the cake practically fell apart 😭 It looks really tasty but a nightmare to move, did I do something wrong? Also how is best to soften the buttercream if it is too stiff?

  4. olivia on September 18, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    can i use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?

    • Jane's Patisserie on September 26, 2023 at 8:41 am

      Olive oil can leave a taste so we suggest a flavourless oil such as vegetable or sunflower x

  5. Sarah pattinson on August 22, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Hi just wondering how to change also to gluten free would it just be gluten free flour and gluten free baking powder? Thank you

  6. Saarah on May 20, 2023 at 7:26 pm

    Can you make this into a loaf cake using the same recipe?

  7. Shiv on April 15, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Can I substitute the white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar? I need these to be halal so I can’t use white wine vinegar

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 17, 2023 at 1:58 pm

      Hiya! Yes, this should be fine, enjoy! x

  8. Chloe on January 26, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    hi, i’m wanting to make this into a vegan chocolate orange loaf, and your vegan vanilla cake into a loaf cake too, would i alter either recipes and how long would you bake for? just using a 2lb loaf tin, obviously they all vary in size but i bought mine from wilkos
    many thanks!

  9. Katy on May 26, 2022 at 7:50 am

    Hi Jane, could you use regular cocoa powder instead of vegan, I only need them to be eggless due to an allergy.

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 6, 2022 at 11:51 am

      Yes absolutely! Enjoy! x

  10. Rosy Banwait on April 15, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane. Can I use this using normal milk? I just need it to be egg free. Many thanks

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 16, 2022 at 9:38 am

      Yes you can! Always best to use full-fat regular milk though!

  11. Pam Butler on October 17, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Jane. Have glances though the comments but can’t see the answer – can this be divided into two cake tins for a sandwich cake?

    • Kay on November 27, 2021 at 11:04 am

      Did you try this hun did it work ok?

  12. Lulu on October 10, 2021 at 2:35 am

    5 stars
    Made these in the air fryer (12 mins 320) and forgot the oil and white vinegar…and they were still great. Imagine if I’d added the correct ingredients!!

  13. Amelia on September 24, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    5 stars
    Came out superb. Best vegan chocolate recipe! And so therapeutic to make and decorate. Thank you.

    • Victoria on November 8, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      5 stars
      I made these this weekend for my son’s first birthday as he’s allergic to dairy, soya and egg and they were delicious! Everyone loved them! I used oat milk and also needed to add a splash of oat milk to the icing. Will definitely be making these again! Thank you 😊

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 9, 2021 at 10:12 am

      They sound delicious! Enjoy! x

  14. Flyting Fox on July 12, 2021 at 11:23 am

    In the oven waiting to see how they turn out. I used lemon juice as I didn’t realise I don’t have vinegar! I hope they turn out ok! I saw your answer to another question saying it has to be white vinegar. Oops!

  15. Lara M on May 16, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    5 stars
    Just wow. Went down really well. Thanks!! Will definitely make again. And honestly could not tell were vegan!

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 17, 2021 at 11:55 am

      Ahh yaya, this makes me so happy!xx

  16. Nardia Charles on April 4, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    5 stars
    These were the best and fluffiest chocolate cupcakes I have ever made! I honestly couldn’t tell they were vegan. I made easter cupcakes with this recipe and omg. Amazing. My go to cupcake recipe from now on! Thanks Jane 🙂

  17. Elizabeth Watson on March 27, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Hi, this an amazing recipe thank you. Although amaxingly moist I did find it quite crumbly, is there something i didnt quite do right that made it crumbly? I did use sunflower oil. Xx

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 27, 2021 at 2:52 pm

      It is a bit more crumbly – but it maybe just needed a smidge more baking time! x

  18. Emma Townend on March 8, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    Can I make these gluten free as well by just changing to gluten free flour?

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 12, 2021 at 8:38 am

      I haven’t tested these gluten free sorry!

  19. Sam on February 13, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Hey Jane, does the stork block need to be room temperature or cold when making the buttercream? Thanks!

    • Jane's Patisserie on February 13, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      I just use it fridge cold as its softer than normal butter!

  20. Sara on February 7, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    5 stars
    Ive made many vegan cakes and non have turned out so light and evenly cooked. We had almost 2-3 servings each it was was hat light. Turned out absolutely fantastic but made some changes: 200g regular flour, 3 tsps baking powder, a few vegan orange chocolate chips (broken from 2 blocks of chocolate) , VALOR cocoa powder which is already sweetened so reduced brown sugar to 100g. . Mixed with a hand whisk, an I think that’s the trick as I just folded the batter oh so gently just a few times. Usually go at it much more and I think isnthe key to previous Dense cakes. Anyways topped it with a better cream made from spreadable 130g of vegan butter and some icing sugar (to taste) and juice of a small orange. Spread that on the top and grated two more blocks of orange chocolate.on the top. Amazing.

  21. Demi on February 3, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Can I use caster instead of brown sugar?

  22. Demi on February 2, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    Can you use castar instead of brown sugar?

  23. Rochelle on December 8, 2020 at 10:38 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe!!! I have quite a few vegan friends and they all absolutely loved it.

    All of Janes recipes are incredible and they’re my holy grail

  24. Chloe on December 8, 2020 at 2:21 am

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved this recipe! I made these for some vegan friends and they were absolutely delicious! Although I forgot to add the oil, they were still absolutely perfect😍xxx

  25. Kim on October 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Would using coconut oil instead of vegetable be a mistake?

    • Jane's Patisserie on October 21, 2020 at 11:29 am

      I haven’t tried it with this recipe I am afraid so I am unsure!

  26. Nina on October 18, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    4 stars
    Made these on the weekend for my sister’s birthday, they were delicious. I used oat milk and also managed to get hold of the vegan galaxy chocolate orange.

  27. jennie watts on September 6, 2020 at 6:55 am

    Thank you for a vegan recipe that isn’t yuk!!! These are really easy to do and taste great, I don’t think a non-vegan could tell the difference. I used pea /oat milk in mine and added a bit to the buttercream as it was a little dry. Also used Flora Buttery in the cakes and buttercream as it has a more palatable flavour. A definite winner and a good base for other flavours!

  28. Audrey Baird on July 29, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Hi! Would I be able to use juice from an orange instead of orange extract in the icing?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 29, 2020 at 7:07 pm

      You can, but the flavour won’t be as strong and can make the icing too runny x

  29. Jill on July 19, 2020 at 11:48 am

    5 stars
    Wow, these tasted amazing, first time making something vegan, it’s the best chocolate cupcake recipe I’ve tasted, sticking to this one, my family loved these, thankyou for sharing your wonderful recipes xx

  30. Emma on July 15, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Jane,
    Would this work with chopped up vegan galaxy in the cake batter, like in the regular galaxy cupcake recipe?

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm

      So far I have found baking with the vegan galaxy chocolate can sometimes have a weird texture – it’s very very good at melting, but almost too good! You could maybe freeze it for an hour or so before baking and then it should be okay! x

  31. Lyndsey on June 17, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane!

    These cupcakes…oh my god! My fiancé is a firefighter with 1 guy on his watch a vegan, so I made these for them and none of them could believe they were vegan! The sponge is SO fudgey and soft!

    Quick question: because I love the consistency of this sponge, could I just take the cocoa powder out and swap the orange to vanilla for it to be a vanilla sponge? Would that work ok do you think?

    Thank you!

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 17, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Hey! Ahhh yay!! Have a look at my vegan vanilla cupcakes for a vanilla version! xx

  32. Becky on June 13, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Jane
    I’m hoping to make a chocolate orange cake for my friend but have never made anything vegan before!! Could this recipe be increased for a cake? Or would it be best to use your vegan chocolate cake recipe and change the dark chocolate for the galaxy orange chocolate?
    Thank you

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 13, 2020 at 9:50 pm

      Hey! I would follow the vegan chocolate cake – the only thing is when I have melted the galaxy chocolate orange it can sometimes go a little odd when put into buttercream – it’s why in this recipe I only use it for decoration! x

  33. Heleena on May 13, 2020 at 10:54 am

    5 stars
    Made these for my in-laws and they were a huge success! Unfortunately due to my nut allergy I couldn’t have any cupcakes with Galaxy pieces on top but the were still delicious nonetheless! So moist and soft and tasted exactly like Terry’s Chocolate Orange, I did add a splash of soya milk to the icing though just as mine was a bit dry!

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 13, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Ahh yay!! xx

    • Kay on March 2, 2021 at 12:46 am

      Hiya if I just want to make this eggless can I use normal milk?
      Also the vinegar must be white wine?

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 3, 2021 at 9:06 pm

      Yes but it must be full-fat/whole milk, and it needs to be a white vinegar so a different on I often use is apple cider!

  34. Judles on May 6, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    5 stars
    I’d love to try these, they look scrummy! Just wondering where you managed to find the Galaxy chocolate orange? Thanks x

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 7, 2020 at 9:41 am

      It was Tesco, in the free-from section!

  35. Anita on March 24, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    5 stars
    These came out perfect! I’m a rubbish sweet baker as I’m egg free vegetarian but this recipe will be my go-to from now on!

    • Jane's Patisserie on March 25, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      Awh yay! I’m so glad you liked it!!

  36. Neola Palmer on March 9, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Hi Jane,

    If I wanted to make only 6 cupcakes, do I just half the recipe?


  37. Marie on March 7, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe without the orange. I used oat milk (skinny). Thought they tasted fantastic. Great recipe!

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