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.
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!
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.
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.
Chocolate Football Cupcakes (vegan, dairy-free, 100% whole grain)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 16 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
- 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
- 16 chocolate peanut butter football truffles
- 1/2 cup naturally dyed shredded coconut
For the cupcakes:
For the frosting (this yields 1 cup of frosting):
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line two muffin pans with a total of 16 cupcake liners.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
For the cupcakes:
For the frosting:
- 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.
- This just enhances the chocolate flavor. You can't taste any coffee in the cupcakes.
- Use dairy-free / vegan chocolate chips, if necessary.
- Use certified vegan powdered sugar, if necessary.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.
56 comments on “Chocolate Football Cupcakes (vegan, dairy-free, whole grain)” — Add one!
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I would love to make this gluten free but not sure how much or flour or what type to use?
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.
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!
Thanks! And same here. It’s such great stuff. :)
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.
I hope you and your friends will enjoy them! :)
Mmmm, the cake part looks incredibly moist, just the way I want a cupcake or cake to be!!
Same here! Dry cupcakes aren’t allowed over here. ;)
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!
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. :)
So adorable and creative! I love it!!
Thank you! :)
How stinking cute are these cupcakes. I love tailgating so this is right up my alley. Nothing better than football food.
Agreed! It’s the best part in my opinion. ;)
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!
Thanks so much, Angie! :)
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!
Thanks, Justine! I’m the worst at cute stuff like this. I swear… if I can do it, so can you! :)
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!
Thanks so much! It adds an extra step but it was worth it in my opinion. :)
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!
I’d love to see that, too! Now someone just needs to invite me to their football party. :)
how did the cupcake rise without baking powderrr :P ??
With baking soda. :)
Oh my goodness. Could these be cuter? I love the idea of dying coconut with kale. Super cool!
Thanks, Sabrina! I was so happy when I found that idea. :)
These are so cute!!! Whoa, I can’t believe they’re vegan. Definitely trying out this recipe. Thanks for sharing :)
I hope you will and that you’ll enjoy them as much as we did! :)
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.
You do! It’s so perfectly green and it really doesn’t taste kale-y once on the cupcakes. :)
These are brilliant! And I love that you are always able to put on a healthy spin on the most decadent looking desserts.
Aww, thanks! I really try. :)
These are the most precious cupcakes! So adorable!!!!!
Thank you, Angie!
Oh…these look delicious! They would be the perfect little sweet treat for either a tailgate or TV football party!
Agreed! Even with the football decoration they’re delicious. :)
These look absolutely fabulous!! Love that milk!
Same here! So delicious. And thank you. :)
These are adorable Erin! I’ve got to make these for our weekend football party!
Thanks, Martha! I hope you will get a chance to try them out. :)
Erin, those are just the cutest. What a great way to kickoff a tailgating party ; )
Oh I love seeing those cute footballs on your cupcakes! I love the deep dark moist chocolate!
Thank you! And yes… they’re so moist! :)
These are so stinkin’ adorable!! Love those little footballs and that coconut grass. They look super good!
Thanks, Kimberly! They really area. :)
what a great football treat
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
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. :)
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!
Thanks, Erin! These cupcakes are so worth making, even if you’re not vegan. :)
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.
Well, it will soon! And then you’ll be prepared. :D
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!
Thanks, Taylor! And thanks for pinning. :)