Vegan Easter Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Is there anything cuter than these vegan Easter cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting? We think not! They're both easy and fun to make and don't require any special decorating tools!
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Vegan Lemon Cupcakes With Yellow Chickpeep Easter Buttercream Frosting Decorations
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What could be more joyful than these lovely lemon vegan Easter cupcakes with Chick Peeps inspired lemon buttercream frosting? Look at their cute, chubby faces! If you ever need a reason to smile on a not-quite-sunny spring day, you’ve only got to make a batch of these little beauties.

How do they get their sweet, bright color? No need to worry. You don’t need any artificial dyes or strange and scary ingredients. It’s turmeric! This anti-inflammatory spice from the ginger family creates the most magical color while also adding to your day’s dose of antioxidants.

Once you get your cupcakes in the oven, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out the frosting. It seems more complicated than it really is. Once you get the frosting made and placed into the piping bag, you’ll have your perfect peeps prepared.

Vegan Buttercream Easter Cupcakes

Ingredient Notes

If you love to bake, chances are high that you already have everything you need! These classic lemon cupcakes are so simple, yet incredibly cute and delicious—using pantry staples to make them look adorable! Here’s what you need:

Soy Milk: Use soy milk for the cupcake batter or any type of dairy-free milk you prefer. Almond milk, cashew milk, and oat milk all work as well.

A glass measuring cup filled with non-dairy milk.

Lemon Zest and Juice: Infuse the cupcakes with bright, citrusy flavor by incorporating both lemon zest and lemon juice. Freshly grated lemon zest and juice are recommended for the best flavor.

A lemon zested on a cutting board.

Granulated and Powdered Sugar: Sweeten the cupcakes with granulated sugar, plus sweeten the frosting with powdered sugar.

Vegan Butter: You’ll use melted butter for the batter, plus more for the buttercream frosting. Buttery sticks seem to work better than vegan butter sold in tubs.

A block of vegan butter on parchment paper.

All-Purpose Flour: Use all-purpose flour as the base for the cupcake batter. If needed, you can try substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour, though we haven’t personally tested it.

Baking Soda: This is what will help our vegan easter cupcakes rise and achieve a light and fluffy texture.

Pure Vanilla Extract: Complements the lemon well!

Vanilla extract bottle next to a small bowl of vanilla extract.

Turmeric: A little bit goes a long way to adding a vibrant yellow color to the frosting. It gives a great natural yellow color but you can also add vegan food coloring if you prefer. By upping the amount of turmeric, you can also achieve the perfect shade of orange frosting to pipe the beak and feet for the chickpeep decorations.

A bag of turmeric powder.

Vegan Chocolate Chips: Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan chocolate chips to create the eyes for the chickpeep decorations!

Hand holding up a bag of Chocolate Emporium semi-sweet chocolate chips.

How to Make These Vegan Easter Cupcakes

For The Vegan Lemon Cupcakes

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the soy milk, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix well and let it rest for 5 minutes to create a vegan buttermilk alternative.

Step 3: In a large bowl, mix the melted vegan butter and sugar until smooth. Then, add the soy milk mixture and stir to combine.

Step 4: In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gently stir until combined.

Step 5: Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake liners. Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Step 6: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Vegan Cupcakes

For The Vegan Lemon Turmeric Frosting

Step 7: In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter with a hand mixer until soft.

An electric hand mixer whipping vegan butter into vegan buttercream.

Step 8: Gradually add the powdered sugar to the butter, blending it with the hand mixer to prevent spilling.

Step 9: Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and turmeric. Continue to whip until the frosting is fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add plant-based milk, one teaspoon at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time.

How to Frost Your Cupcakes

Whether you’re an old pro at piping or a complete and utter newbie, this video is really helpful as a refresher. Even if you don’t have a piping bag or any accessories, you can easily make your own. Check out this video on how to make a piping pouch using a gallon Ziploc bag.

Once you have your frosting ready to go, only a few concentrated circles are needed. Using your widest tip, hold your piping bag perpendicular to the cupcake. Start at the outer edge of the cupcake and, moving clockwise, fill the circumference with a thick layer of frosting. Release the pressure and fill in the center of the circle smoothly.

For the last layer, use the same circular motions on the cupcake, but start from the inner middle of the frosting area. Form a small mound to create the peep “head” and end with a tiny peak, if possible. Your lemon cupcakes with vegan Chick Peeps frosting are almost done!

Vegan Buttercream Easter Cupcakes

How to Serve Up Your Sweet Chick Cupcakes

Because our lemon cupcakes with vegan Chick Peeps frosting are so adorable on their own, it’s hard to imagine that you would want to add anything else. But, if you love to be creative, you can come up with endless variations of this lovely dessert.

Change the Color

Changing the color of the frosting can turn the Chick Peeps into any character you wish. Use red for Elmo or blue for Cookie Monster. Use green for goblins (adding matcha to the buttercream works great for this) or orange for pumpkins. If you’re looking to be silly, you can even use brown for…well, you know! Anything is possible! Check out our guide to vegan food dyes for all the possibilities!

Reform the Flavor

If you’re not a huge fan of lemon, use a flavor you do like. You can make vanilla, chocolate cupcakes, or even mint cupcakes (or frosting). If you’re eliminating the lemon juice in either recipe, make sure to replace it with either water or a plant-based milk for the same amount, as well as adding a little bit of extract in your favorite flavor.

Alter the Accessories

It doesn’t need to be Easter to savor these sweet little cupcakes. You can add other delightful decorations and transform the Chick Peeps into any symbol of celebration. If you place super thin pretzel sticks into the sides of white frosting, you can make snowmen or, with the same color, use chocolate chips to make scary eyes for ghosts. Infinite possibilities await!

Double Decker

Have you ever tried adding frosting to the middle instead of to the top of your cupcake? Although it doesn’t look as cute, it makes them much easier to eat and store. When completely cool, cut the top off of the cupcake and fill with frosting. Add the top and press down gently. You could even add more frosting to the top, if you’re a huge fan.

Serve Them With These Deviled Potatoes!

If you want to go all-out on vegan Easter foods for the perfect Easter brunch, whip up a batch of these vegan deviled eggs made from potatoes! They’re delicious, fun, and easy to make.

How to Store These Vegan Lemon Buttercream Cupcakes

First of all, make sure that your vegan Easter cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting are completely cool before storing. After taking them out of the oven, allow them to rest on a wire rack for at least an hour. If you store them while they’re still warm, the tops will become slightly soggy and sticky.

Whether frosted or unfrosted, your cupcakes will stay fresh for 3-4 days if kept at room temperature in an airtight container. If the weather is very warm and humid, or you find your frosting melting, you can place the container in the fridge.

If you wish to freeze your vegan cupcakes for future use, you must also wrap each individual cupcake in plastic wrap before placing into a sealed container. Luckily, they’ll stay fresh for about 3 months. To defrost, simply take them out of the container, take off the plastic, and let them come to room temperature before serving. (FYI, if your cupcakes are frosted, allow them to freeze uncovered for an hour first before following the steps above. That way, your frosting won’t be smashed when wrapping in plastic.)

This article about storing cupcakes is super helpful!

Vegan Easter cupcakes decorated to look like little yellow chicks.

More Delicious Vegan Cakes to Bake

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Vegan Easter Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Author: Michelle Cehn
5 from 7 votes
These delightful vegan Easter cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting are perfect for celebrating a vegan Easter, a youngster's birthday, or any time! The delicate lemon flavor and bright turmeric-colored vegan buttercream frosting make these cupcakes stand out from the cupcake crowd. Have fun with the frosting and transform it into little chicks, or just dollop it on and sprinkle the top with some lemon zest. Whichever way you serve them up, they’re sure to delight!
Lemon Buttercream Vegan Cupcakes
Prep Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes

Equipment

  • Piping bag and tips or gallon Ziploc bag (for frosting)

Ingredients

CUPCAKES

  • 1 cup soy milk, any type will work
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • cup vegan butter, melted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

FROSTING

  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 teaspoons pure lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric, spice

DECORATIVE CHICKPEEP TOPPINGS

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, for topping
  • 1 tablespoon vegan chocolate chips, melted (for the chick’s eyes)
  • 2 tablespoons of the frosting you just made mixed with extra turmeric to make it orange and use for the chick’s beak and feet

Instructions

Vegan Lemon Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  • In a small bowl, add the soy milk, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix well.
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes. This creates a vegan buttermilk alternative.
  • In a large bowl, add the melted vegan butter and sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Add the soy milk mixture and stir to combine.  
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gently stir with a spoon just until combined.
  • Using a spoon, divide the batter evenly into 12 cupcake tins.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before frosting.

Vegan-Lemon Turmeric Frosting:

  • In a large bowl add the vegan butter and, using a hand mixer, whip until soft.
  • Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time to prevent spilling as you blend it with the butter using the hand mixer.
  • Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and turmeric and whip until you have fluffy frosting. If the frosting is too thick, add a splash of plant-based milk one teaspoon at a time. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.

Notes

This frosting will be softer when warm, and will firm up when refrigerated.

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Course — Dessert
Cuisine — American
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Vegan Easter Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting recipe and photos by Michelle Cehn for World of Vegan. Copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved.

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Recipe Rating




7 comments
  1. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    These are too cute! I love it!

  2. 5 stars
    These are so fun and cute! might try them out with the kids as a fun treat!

  3. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    These have been marked for Easter baking! The kids are crazy about them 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    The most adorable cupcakes I’ve ever seen! Not only do they make me smile, but the flavor is luscious and the frosting is the best. Bring yourself some spring happiness and bake a bunch of these super cute cupcakes!

  5. 5 stars
    These are so cute!! The lemony buttercream frosting is beyond delicious. The turmeric addition adds a bit of healthiness as well! haha!! Never skip a dessert with turmeric!

  6. 5 stars
    The perfect treat for spring! Yum!

  7. 5 stars
    I love these, they’re also delicious made with any cupcake base (I like vanilla cupcake bases too).

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