Chocolate Football Cupcakes (vegan, dairy-free, whole grain)

These moist chocolate football cupcakes have a simple chocolate fudge frosting, naturally dyed green coconut grass and a chocolate peanut butter football truffle on top! Can be made 100% whole wheat or with all-purpose flour.

Football season has arrived! Whether or not you enjoy watching football, I think we can all agree that tailgating food is fun. I’m excited to be teaming up with Silk today to bring you these chocolate football cupcakes. The challenge was to create a dairy-free and meat-free dish for #MeatlessMondayNight. Most of what I bake happens to be dairy-free due to me using coconut oil rather than butter a majority of the time, so I thought I’d take it one step further and try making some vegan cupcakes. If you’re like me and have been disappointed by vegan baked goods in the past, don’t go running yet! Hear me out.

Fudgy and Moist Chocolate Football Cupcakes for #MeatlessMondayNight {vegan, dairy-free, and 100% whole wheat (all-purpose flour can also be used)}

I’ve tried several vegan chocolate cupcake recipes and was never impressed – probably because I didn’t have the right recipe! These cupcakes, though? They’ve replaced my favorites. You won’t miss the eggs at all. The recipe is similar to wacky cake, which uses a little vinegar (that you absolutely can’t taste!) in place of the eggs. To replace the dairy milk, I used Silk’s unsweetened almond milk. While that milk has a delicious almond flavor, you can’t taste it in the cupcakes. It’s all chocolaty goodness!

I used almond milk in the chocolate fudge frosting, too. I thought for sure you’d be able to taste a hint of almonds in there, but you can’t. The frosting reminds me of canned frosting – but this one is really so much better. It’s got the same consistency, too. I didn’t try it but I’m pretty sure it can even be piped! It’s firm enough and it holds it’s shape well at room temperature. And the best part is that it requires just a few simple and pronounceable ingredients!

Fudgy and Moist Chocolate Football Cupcakes for #MeatlessMondayNight {vegan, dairy-free, 100% whole wheat (all-purpose flour can also be used)}

For the green grass, I used this recipe: how to naturally dye shredded coconut green. I had previously tried using homemade green food coloring I made by simmering spinach for 20 minutes. That stuff didn’t work at all! Kale worked perfectly. When you eat the coconut plain, you can detect a very slight vegetable taste. Put it on these cupcakes and you can’t tell at all! If it sounds like too much of a hassle to make your own food coloring, here’s how you can use regular food coloring to dye coconut green.

I used the chocolate peanut butter football truffles I posted the other day on top. You can lay them flat or use a toothpick to prop them up! Once assembled, I’d keep them at room temperature. The cupcakes are dense when refrigerated but at room temperature, they’re perfectly fudgy and moist. If you want to refrigerate them, give them an hour or two to come to room temperature before serving! And do yourself a favor and eat one of these cupcakes straight out of the oven when they’re truly almost too good to handle.

Fudgy and Moist Chocolate Football Cupcakes for #MeatlessMondayNight {vegan, dairy-free, and 100% whole grain (all-purpose flour can also be used)}

Even if you’re not vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free, adopting a more plant-based diet just one day a week can be beneficial for both you and the planet. So why not start by sidelining meat during Monday Night Football games this season? I hope you’ll join me in taking the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge to help spark real change!

Be sure to check out Silk’s Sideline Meat website for more great meat- and dairy-free recipe ideas and to enter their giveaway! If you don’t already know where you can buy Silk in your area, here’s a handy store locator.

Moist and Fudgy Chocolate Football Cupcakes for #MeatlessMondayNight {vegan, dairy-free, 100% whole grain (all-purpose flour can also be used)}

Chocolate Football Cupcakes (vegan, dairy-free, 100% whole grain)

Rated 5.0 by 4 readers
Chocolate Football Cupcakes (vegan, dairy-free, whole grain)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 cupcakes


    For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) Silk unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) melted coconut oil or another oil of choice1
  • 2/3 cup (133 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder2
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour for a non-whole grain version
  • 1/2 cup (58 grams) cocoa powder (I prefer the dark taste of Dutch-process cocoa powder)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the frosting (this yields 1 cup of frosting):

  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips3
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) Silk unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) coconut oil (or butter for a non-vegan / dairy-free version)1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy4
  • pinch of salt
  • For decorating:

  • 16 chocolate peanut butter football truffles
  • 1/2 cup naturally dyed shredded coconut


    For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line two muffin pans with a total of 16 cupcake liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir in the melted coconut oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and espresso powder.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this to the wet mixture and stir just until combined.
  4. Fill the liners slightly more than half-way full and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with some moist crumbs (not raw batter). Let cool for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the frosting:

  6. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together the chocolate chips, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until melted and then gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until completely smooth. Let the pan cool for about 15 minutes (or until cool enough to place in the refrigerator) and then place the pan in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes, stirring after every 5 minutes, or until firm enough to spread on the cupcakes. Spread 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of each cupcake.
  7. For decorating:

  8. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of coconut grass over the frosting. Stick a toothpick in the football truffle and place on the cupcake. Can be kept at room temperature for about 4-6 hours. Then place in the refrigerator. Let come to room temperature (about 1-2 hours) before serving.


  1. I prefer refined coconut oil, which doesn't have any coconut taste. If you use unrefined coconut oil, there may be some coconut flavor in these cupcakes and the frosting.
  2. This just enhances the chocolate flavor. You can't taste any coffee in the cupcakes.
  3. Use dairy-free / vegan chocolate chips, if necessary.
  4. Use certified vegan powdered sugar, if necessary.

Recipe by  |

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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56 comments on “Chocolate Football Cupcakes (vegan, dairy-free, whole grain)” — Add one!

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  • Samantha Damm says
    November 29, 2017 @ 4:56 am

    I would love to make this gluten free but not sure how much or flour or what type to use?

    • Erin replies to Samantha Damm
      November 30, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

      I haven’t tried it in this recipe so I’m not sure, but I think Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF Baking Flour would work well! Just use the same amount.

  • Laura Dembowski says
    June 15, 2016 @ 9:35 pm

    These are so cute. Silk is a staple in my house. I use it in all my baking, even when a recipe calls for buttermilk. I love it!

  • Jessica (Savory Experiments) says
    October 26, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

    These are really too cute! I’ve pinned them as a Superbowl idea as well. We usually host and have a few friends with dietary restrictions, so these would be perfect.

  • Colleen (Souffle Bombay) says
    October 26, 2015 @ 3:57 pm

    Mmmm, the cake part looks incredibly moist, just the way I want a cupcake or cake to be!!

  • Nancy | The Bitter Side of Sweet says
    October 24, 2015 @ 10:05 pm

    These look fantastic! I love all the elements of these cupcakes. I just bought some whole wheat flour to try and start using it in recipes. I love how you used it in these cupcakes!

    • Erin replies to Nancy | The Bitter Side of Sweet
      October 29, 2015 @ 9:30 am

      Ooooh! This is totally a great recipe to start with. Even if you don’t want any of the football stuff. The cupcakes are SO delicious on their own. :)

  • Steph @ Steph in Thyme
    October 24, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

    So adorable and creative! I love it!!

  • Kim Beaulieu says
    October 24, 2015 @ 7:35 am

    How stinking cute are these cupcakes. I love tailgating so this is right up my alley. Nothing better than football food.

    • Erin replies to Kim Beaulieu
      October 29, 2015 @ 9:29 am

      Agreed! It’s the best part in my opinion. ;)

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    October 23, 2015 @ 6:11 pm

    I want to bite into those cupcakes right now! I love that frosting! OK, so the little footballs were totally cute on their own but I am just over the moon in love with them on the “grass” and cupcake!

  • Justine | Cooking and Beer says
    October 23, 2015 @ 6:00 pm

    OMG these are SOOOO cute, Erin! I am such a terrible baker and when I see little creations like this I just swoon! Pinning this, and maybe I’ll just attempt it. ;) Although I highly doubt they will come out as cute as yours!

    • Erin replies to Justine | Cooking and Beer
      October 29, 2015 @ 9:28 am

      Thanks, Justine! I’m the worst at cute stuff like this. I swear… if I can do it, so can you! :)

  • Nutmeg Nanny says
    October 23, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

    These cupcakes are adorable! I LOVE how perfectly they work with your little peanut butter footballs. Also I would have never thought to make my own green food coloring – genius!

    • Erin replies to Nutmeg Nanny
      October 23, 2015 @ 4:22 pm

      Thanks so much! It adds an extra step but it was worth it in my opinion. :)

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    October 23, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

    I can’t get over the cuteness factor of these cupcakes. Not to mention how delicious they look. I’d love to see them all lined up on a football party buffet table. They’d be such a great hit!

    • Erin replies to Renee – Kudos Kitchen
      October 23, 2015 @ 4:21 pm

      I’d love to see that, too! Now someone just needs to invite me to their football party. :)

  • vivaraiss
    October 23, 2015 @ 5:48 am

    how did the cupcake rise without baking powderrr :P ??

  • Sabrina Modelle says
    October 23, 2015 @ 4:24 am

    Oh my goodness. Could these be cuter? I love the idea of dying coconut with kale. Super cool!

    • Erin replies to Sabrina Modelle
      October 23, 2015 @ 4:20 pm

      Thanks, Sabrina! I was so happy when I found that idea. :)

  • Maryanne @ the little epicurean says
    October 23, 2015 @ 3:37 am

    These are so cute!!! Whoa, I can’t believe they’re vegan. Definitely trying out this recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen says
    October 23, 2015 @ 3:36 am

    Well, I happen to LOVE football season and I’m guessing these cupcakes, too. And yeah, that frosting looks amazing! Love the naturally colored coconut…I totally need to try that.

  • Cookin Canuck says
    October 23, 2015 @ 12:30 am

    These are brilliant! And I love that you are always able to put on a healthy spin on the most decadent looking desserts.

  • Angie
    October 22, 2015 @ 10:13 pm

    These are the most precious cupcakes! So adorable!!!!!

    • Erin replies to Angie
      October 23, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

      Thank you, Angie!

  • Lana | Never Enough Thyme says
    October 22, 2015 @ 7:06 pm

    Oh…these look delicious! They would be the perfect little sweet treat for either a tailgate or TV football party!

  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
    October 22, 2015 @ 6:30 pm

    These look absolutely fabulous!! Love that milk!

  • Martha @ A Family Feast says
    October 22, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

    These are adorable Erin! I’ve got to make these for our weekend football party!

  • Paula - bell'alimento says
    October 22, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

    Erin, those are just the cutest. What a great way to kickoff a tailgating party ; )

  • Chandra@The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen says
    October 22, 2015 @ 2:20 am

    Oh I love seeing those cute footballs on your cupcakes! I love the deep dark moist chocolate!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    October 21, 2015 @ 11:29 pm

    These are so stinkin’ adorable!! Love those little footballs and that coconut grass. They look super good!

  • The Food Hunter says
    October 21, 2015 @ 10:58 pm

    what a great football treat

  • Sarah @ Bourgeois Essence
    October 21, 2015 @ 10:25 pm

    Your cupcakes look so moist and delicious!! I love anything with chocolate. The fact that it is a combo of chocolate and coconut makes it even better :) I’ll have to try your frosting recipe with almond milk. I am usually a bit afraid to use it because of the strong almond taste and use therefore soy milk. I will give it a try very SOON hahaha

    • Erin replies to Sarah @ Bourgeois Essence
      October 21, 2015 @ 10:48 pm

      I hope you will! The almond milk is really great in the cupcakes and frosting. You can’t taste it at all! But I actually like the taste of almond milk so I’m going to try another non-chocolate version. :)

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
    October 21, 2015 @ 5:49 pm

    Ok, I may actually have to try to make something vegan, because these just look rich, fudgy, moist and delicious!! plus I love the little footballs on top!

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says
    October 21, 2015 @ 4:17 pm

    I have been really lucky with vegan based goods, but I would never have guessed these were vegan! Baseball season is still kind of crazy over here, so I don’t think football season has settled in yet, lol.

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says
    October 21, 2015 @ 1:32 pm

    I seriously would have NEVER guessed these delicious cupcakes were vegan! They look SO moist and rich! Plus the adorable factor? OUT OF CONTROL! Pinned!


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