Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

These Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes could quite possibly be the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever made. They are so light and fluffy with the most delicious chocolate and hazelnut flavours that you will find yourself craving another! 

The idea for these Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes came when my friend Katie showed me she’d bought some hazelnut milk. When I see hazelnuts I instantly think of Nutella, but the dairy free milk brought me back to a vegan train of thought. I decided to adapt my Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes to make them taste as close to Nutella as I could but still keeping them vegan.

As I have mentioned before, I used to naively think that all cakes needed eggs to actually taste nice. Oh how wrong I was. These cupcakes are as light and fluffy as any I have eaten using eggs and I would definitely make these even if there is no need for vegan cake. 

To help enhance the hazelnut flavour in the cupcakes and the frosting, I have used a sweet chocolate and hazelnut natural flavouring. The brand I use is by Foodie Flavours and it lasts a long time because you don’t use much of it at a time. I have provided approximate quantities below in the recipe but it is quite hard to judge as the drops can come out quite quickly! I would always recommend to add fewer drops, then taste it and you can always add more. The great thing about this recipe is you can taste the cake batter without worrying about raw eggs because there aren’t any eggs!

I used standard plain flour in these which helps make the most deliciously moist cupcake. You absolutely can make these gluten free by using gluten free flour and ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum. The xanthan gum helps act as a binding agent to stop the cupcakes crumbling. The only thing worth mentioning is that if you do make these gluten free, then they really do need to be eaten the day you bake them or the next day. 

I took these cupcake into work because I think Katie may have never spoken to me again if I didn’t let her try one…or two. These cupcakes went down amazingly. The praise I got for these was so lovely. Many people were saying it was the best cupcake I have ever made. I think this is because even though they are vegan, they are so chocolatey and fudgy that they taste so decadent and utterly delicious. 

The roasted hazelnuts really add to the flavour so I would definitely recommend adding these. They’re simple to do and roasting them does enhance their flavour and make them extra tasty. They also add a lovely crunch to the cupcakes. 

Whether you’re vegan or not, you really should try these Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes. 

Makes 10 cupcakes 

For the cupcakes
170ml hazelnut milk
75g non dairy margarine
1½ tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp coffee granules
140g plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
90g caster sugar 
2 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Approximately 10 drops of hazelnut & chocolate flavouring

For the frosting
75g non dairy margarine
200g icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hazelnut milk 
Approximately 15 drops of hazelnut & chocolate flavouring
2 tbsp roasted hazelnuts to decorate 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC fan assisted. Line a cupcake tin with 10 cases 
  2. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine, coffee and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl before adding the milk and margarine mix. Stir well until the batter is smooth 

  1. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean 

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 
  2. Scatter the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and add to the oven to allow to roast for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool before crushing 
  3. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, make the frosting
  4. Add the margarine and icing sugar to the mixer and beat until combined
  5. Add the hazelnut milk and hazelnut and chocolate flavouring and beat until smooth and fluffy. Test and add more flavouring if you want a stronger flavour

  1. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe onto each cupcake
  2. Sprinkle with the crushed hazelnuts 

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