{Recipe} Chocolate Orange Cupcakes


When we had a glut of oranges earlier in winter, I experimented with the delectable chocolate-orange combination in my baking. These kid-sized cupcakes are the product of that experimentation. Decorate with a dusting of sifted icing sugar or a more elaborate frosting (or both!).


Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Quantity – A baker’s dozen (13)

1 1/2 cups wholemeal (wheat) plain flour

1/3 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa

2/3 cup raw sugar

1 tsp baking powder, sifted

1/2 tsp bicarb soda, sifted

5 Tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup + 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, no pulp (3-4 oranges)

1/3 cup water

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp orange zest


1. Pre-heat oven to a moderate temperature – 180C/350F (160C for fan-forced oven). Prepare muffin tray by greasing or lining with patty papers.

2. To a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, and bicarb soda. Mix well to combine the ingredients.

3. To a small mixing bowl, add orange juice, oil, water, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk with a fork.

4. Pour wet ingredients into large mixing bowl, then add white vinegar. Mix well until ingredients are just combined. Do not over stir.

5. Scooping 2 heaped tablespoons of batter into each baking cup (I use silicone baking cups) will yield 13 muffins. If using a 12-cup muffin tray, make larger cupcakes and increase cooking time slightly.

6. Bake for 14-15 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from tray or cups.

8. Allow to cool completely before adding icing sugar or frosting.


Cupcake thief

Cupcake thief!



Potential cupcake thief.


with cacao nibs.

with orange frosting and cacao nibs.

4-year old and 6-year old Tiny Vegans were invited to a party on the weekend, so I baked a batch of chocolate orange cupcakes. I decorated several with a chocolate-orange coconut butter frosting and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Two cupcakes went to the party as substitutes for the birthday cake.

My daughter was invited to a friend’s house, so I sent unfrosted cupcakes – still warm from the oven – with her.


Coconut Butter Frosting

(yields enough frosting for 7 cupcakes; double the recipe if you want frosting for 13 cupcakes)


6 Tbsp coconut butter

hot water

1 1/2 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 tsp orange zest


For chocolate-orange frosting:

1/2 tsp cacao powder or cocoa


1. Add coconut butter to a small mixing bowl. Add enough hot water to form a creamy texture (I add 1/2 tablespoon; As it is winter, my coconut butter is solid). Mix with an electric beater or whisk with a fork (an electric beater does a better job at breaking up the lumps of coconut butter).

2. Add maple syrup and orange juice (and cacao, if using). Whisk with a fork until combined.

3. Add orange zest, and stir frosting until zest is incorporated.

4. Use a knife or small spatula to frost the cupcakes.


(If you have a tub of vegan margarine in your fridge, and would prefer to use that as a base for your frosting, click here for a chocolate frosting recipe.)


with chocolate-orange frosting.

What is your favourite cupcake flavour?

Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family – I hope your family enjoys it too!

Ally  🙂


About Ally
Mamma. Vegan. I blog at Made of Stars.

26 Responses to {Recipe} Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

  1. susykat says:

    I love the orange/choc combo! These look truly delectable 🙂

  2. Poppy says:

    Yummy Ally!! I just love chocolate with orange and I’ve been wondering for a while how to make a frosting from coconut butter that wouldn’t just set solid so this is amazing and much appreciated! 😀 P.s I love that your cupcakes are kind of square too!

    • Ally says:

      Hi Poppy! You are very observant. I used a combination of square and circular silicone baking cups.

      I hope you have fun experimenting with the coconut butter frosting. I love it! It is a good substitute for vegan margarine. The orange juice and zest are the predominant flavours, and you detect only a subtle hint of coconut.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. Sophie33 says:

    MMMMM! Your cupcakes with your different yummy frostings look Amazing!…. Waw! X

  4. These look wonderful Ally! I love orange and chocolate and so does my husband. I’ll have to make these as a treat one of these days. Celeste 🙂

    • Ally says:

      Hi Celeste, I hope you had a fabulous vacation. I agree, orange and chocolate is a wonderful combination. You must have a long list of yummy things to make – I know I do! 🙂

  5. Oh, the orange zest and cacao nibs put it over the top!! LOVE! Beautiful Ally.

  6. Mmmmm! Chocolate and orange is my favourite combination…along with chocolate and mint…and chocolate and strawberry…and chocolate and chocolate! My daughter has made me bookmark these ones so she can bake them soon. Can’t wait!

    • Ally says:

      Haha! I like the way you think. I’ll add chocolate and coconut….chocolate and raspberry, and yes, I agree, definitely chocolate and chocolate!
      I hope you enjoy them. 🙂

  7. Thomas says:

    These look so good and love the zest of the orange and carob. Yes those magpies are cupcake addicts… nice recipes… I bet your family love you cooking as much as I love looking at the photos 🙂

    • Ally says:

      They certainly don’t complain Thomas, haha! Thanks for your kind comment.
      A family of magpies have been spending a lot of time in our garden lately. They follow me around as I take photos of food. We don’t feed them but they never give up hope that we will. They are very tame! I think our neighbours feed them.

      • Thomas says:

        That’s nice 😉 yes magpies are smart and happy birds I live them even when they decide to swoop me when I go for a run 😉

  8. Starr says:

    Chocolate and orange, yummy! I’ve tried using coconut oil for frosting, without success. Coconut butter never occurred to me, I’ll have to give it a try.

    And my favorite cupcake flavour is…. All of them! Why discriminate? 😉

    • Ally says:

      Haha! That is a good point!
      The frosting stayed ‘set’ on the cupcakes. I didn’t have to refrigerate them. But it is winter here. I’m not sure how it would go in summer. Leftovers may have to stay in the fridge. Let me know!

  9. These look delicious (-:

  10. Pingback: Guest Post: Ally from “Made of Stars” on Being a Vegan Mum | Appetite Affliction

  11. narf77 says:

    I love a good vegan chocolate cupcake and these look like they fit the bill 🙂

  12. Pingback: {Vegan MoFo} A gluten-free, vegan lunchbox | Made of Stars

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