Vegan Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes


‘Tis the season for lights and song and all the little indulgences and confectionary delicacies that conspire to transform these tenebrous days of winter into a celebration. These vegan cupcakes are a festive, and kind, addition to any holiday spread.

I wanted to create something really special for my fellow teachers at school this year for the holidays, and to launch a 7-day New Year’s Vegan Challenge. With my own brand of creative activism, which I call Truth and a Cupcake, I’m spreading the messages of compassion and kindness that veganism offers. The delicious cupcakes themselves are sweet ambassadors for veganism. And with unique cupcake wrappers bearing facts and quotes, they’re perfect little sound “bites” for a good cause.

Some of the cupcake wrapper messages:

Our compassion is growing: According to a 2015 Gallup poll,

a third of Americans already believe that nonhuman

animals should have the same rights as humans

— a 7% increase in seven years!


Famous vegans and vegetarians: James Cromwell,

Ellen Degeneres, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellen Page, Moby,

Mayim Bialik, Morrisey, Stevie Wonder, Joan Jett,

Peter Dinklage, James Cameron, Alicia Silverstone,

Coretta Scott King, Brian Greene, Srinivasa Ramanujan,

Leonardo DaVinci, Nikola Tesla, Venus Williams,

Martina Navratilova, Joe Nameth

An animal’s eyes have the power

to speak a great language.

Martin Buber

Vegan is not about being perfect.

It is about doing the least harm

and the most good.


Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes


Prep time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

Cooling time: 60 minutes


Yields: approximately 24 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:



  • 2 cups plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbs raw sugar
  • ½  tsp baking soda
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp salt
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 4 oz mint dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ¼ cup espresso
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Mix thoroughly the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips in one bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the wet into the dry and mix again. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Test with a toothpick; cupcakes are done when it comes out clean. Set aside to cool for a few minutes and then in the fridge to cool thoroughly for 30 minute to an hour. Meanwhile, make the frosting.


For the frosting:



  • 1 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 ½  cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup candy cane sugar
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • red gel food coloring (optional)



Make sure the vegan butter is room temperature. Mix the vanilla into the butter. I use a fork, but a food processor is certainly faster. Slowly incorporate the sugar. You can make candy cane sugar by blitzing candy canes in a blender of food processor. You can make it more powdery of more crunchy depending on what you want (I like the little crunches in the smooth frosting, plus it adds little specks of red and green, if you use multi-colored candy canes) by adjusting how long you blitz it.


Assembling the cupcakes:


Make sure the cupcakes are completely cool so the frosting doesn’t melt off. You can spread the frosting on as is or, for extra flair- and it is for a celebration, so why not!- use a piping bag. Add some red gel food coloring in vertical stripes on the inside of the bag and then add the frosting. Pipe onto the cupcakes.


Share and spread good cheer and compassion!



About Author

Martha Readyoff

Martha is a poet, writer, and Montessori teacher living in Connecticut. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for many years. When she became a teacher 17 years ago she incorporated a regular mindfulness practice into her classroom to help children learn to become more aware of their emotions and the ways their minds work. She has taken classes at Omega Institute to enrich her students' and her own meditation. A fervent animal rights supporter, she is vegan for the animals, for health, for the planet, for everything!

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