DIY Food: Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

June 16, 2014

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Sometimes a girl just wants a cute, old-fashioned red velvet cupcake. And this chick delivered… with a healthier, gluten-free, vegan twist of course!

This recipe really came about as I was looking through old film photos. A few years back, I made a big batch of rich, cream cheese-covered red velvet cupcakes to share with my family and friends. I carry such wonderful memories of that day, but couldn’t quite remember feeling my best after eating those cupcakes. I figured I’d try making new memories by revamping the old recipe with a new one. They’re mighty yummy if I do say so myself!

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

Let me elaborate on a few perhaps strange or unfamiliar ingredients I use:

Chia eggs are so versatile in vegan cooking to replace regular eggs and are simply made by soaking chia seeds in a small amount of water so they can create a gel.

Mesquite flour is a gluten-free flour ground down from the bean pods of the Mesquite tree. This flour lends a sweet, nutty, almost cocoa-like flavor to these cupcakes that is to die for. Feel free to sub this out with more buckwheat flour, teff flour or brown rice flour if you’re unable to find it.

Finally, I use arrowroot starch to help the coconut cream icing thicken up a bit more to create a lovely top to my cupcakes. I prefer this to corn starch because most of the corn used is genetically modified and should generally steered clear of. If you don’t have/can’t find arrowroot starch, feel free to leave it out or sub with corn starch.

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog


Makes 1 dozen


– 2 tbs. chia seeds
– ⅓ c. water
– 1 c. mesquite flour
– 1 c. buckwheat flour
– ½ c. almond meal
– ⅔ c. coconut sugar
– 2 tbs. cocoa powder
– 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
– ¾ tsp. sea salt
– ¾ c. melted coconut oil
– 1 c. almond (or other plant-based) milk
– 1 tbs. vanilla extract
– 8-10 drops natural red food coloring (ie: India Tree on or beet juice


– 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 8 hours
– 3 tbs. maple syrup
– 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tbs. arrowroot starch

For the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and water and let sit for 5-10 minutes to create a “chia egg.” Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: the mesquite flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients: the “chia egg,” melted coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well incorporated.

4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners, then spoon your batter in. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before icing.

For the icing:

1. Open your can of chilled coconut milk, being careful not to shake it.

2. Scoop off the top layer of coconut cream and place into a medium-sized bowl or KitchenAid mixer (save the coconut water in the bottom of the can for another recipe!).

3. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract and arrowroot starch to your bowl, then use an electric mixer on a low speed to begin the whipping process.

4. Gradually increase the speed of your mixer until your icing becomes fluffy and all the ingredients are incorporated.

5. Transfer your bowl to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up, then ice your cupcakes and enjoy!

The icing can be made the day before the cupcakes and the remainder stays in the fridge for 2-3 days.

diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog
diy food: vegan red velvet cupcakes - drifter and the gypsy blog

– Arielle (DIY Food Contributor)

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