Go Dairy Free

Go Dairy Free Cookbook - Dairy-Free Recipes, Guide and More

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

Chocolate-Orange Halloween Cupcakes

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Dairy Free Desserts with 12 Comments

Several years ago, I featured Sakura’s Chocolate Orange Halloween Cupcakes. Sakura was a vegan food blogger, but she has since moved onto new things and closed the virtual doors on her blog. However, her Halloween cupcakes recipe lives on, and it seemed like a perfect blast-from-the-past treat to feature once again.

Vegan Chocolate Orange Halloween Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Swirl Frosting

Not only are chocolate and orange a perfect flavor match, but they also suit the colors of the Halloween motif quite nicely (especially with a drop or two of natural orange food coloring for a little hue boost – see my note below). This recipe uses the magic of orange not only in the vegan Halloween cupcakes themselves, but also in the unique frosting. The topping is a swirl of orange and chocolates frostings side by side, almost like soft-serve ice cream, only richer and dairy-free!

If you are concerned that I have sprung this recipe on you a bit too late for your party planning, have no fear. This is the ultimate last minute recipe, using everyday pantry items, and oh yes, it is perfect for your nut-free, egg-free, and soy-free guests too!

Natural Orange Food Coloring Note: Sakura opted to go with a faint orange color in the vegan frosting of her Halloween cupcakes. Using the optional orange zest will also add a little festive orange. For a slightly punchier orange hue, you can use carrot juice instead of orange juice. The flavor will be slightly different, but still sweet and tasty. For a professional touch, forgo the artificial food dyes for natural food coloring brands like India Tree.

Chocolate-Orange Vegan Halloween Cupcakes
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe and photo by Sakura, and originally shared with us from her vegan baking blog.
Serves: 12 cupcakes

  • ¾ Cup Non-Dairy Milk (rice, soy, coconut, almond, etc. – your choice)
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ Cup Granulated White Sugar
  • ⅓ Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ⅓ Cup Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
  • ⅛ Cup + ¼ Cup Dairy-Free Margarine, divided (try select Earth Balance varieties for soy-free)
  • ½ Cup + 1 Cup Powdered Sugar, divided
  • ½ Tablespoon Orange Juice
  • Orange Zest, optional
  • ¼ Cup Cocoa Powder
  • Non-Dairy Milk, as needed (rice, soy, coconut, almond, etc. – your choice)

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ºF and line cupcake pan.
  2. Whisk the non-dairy milk, orange juice and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside for a few minutes to get good and curdled.
  3. Beat together the non-dairy milk mixture, oil, sugar, and orange zest. Sift in the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda and mix until no large lumps remain.
  4. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 22-26 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the two frostings.
  7. For the light / orange frosting, beat ⅛ cup margarine until fluffy. Add ½ cup sifted powdered sugar and beat again. Add ½ T orange juice and a little bit orange zest continue beating until fluffy.
  8. For the dark/chocolate frosting, beat ¼ cup margarine until fluffy. Add ¼ cup sifted (unsweetened) cocoa powder and beat again. Add about 1 cup sifted powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time) and beat again. Add non-dairy milk if necessary.
  9. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, put both frositngs in a piping bag, and frost nice swirls of frosting on the cupcakes.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. RickiOctober 14, 2012 at 2:23 pmReply

    These sound totally fabulous–and I LOVE that two-toned frosting! Such a great idea. And YUM.

  2. Brooke BernardOctober 14, 2012 at 5:46 pmReply

    I so love that you shared with readers how to add natural, fake food dye-free color to these! Who cares if the cupcake is vegan if you top it with petroleum, after all?! Looks like a fabulous recipe! Thank you!

  3. Chocolate-Orange Vegan Cupcakes - All Things CupcakeOctober 14, 2012 at 6:55 pmReply

    [...] to go dairy-free for your Halloween cupcakes?  These sound very tasty.  I have always loved the chocolate-orange combination, and orange and black just [...]

  4. Shirley @ gfeOctober 14, 2012 at 7:30 pmReply

    There needs to be a gluten-free version of these! Just sayin’. ;-)


    • Alisa FlemingOctober 14, 2012 at 7:46 pmReplyAuthor

      I know! I thought about adding a gf suggestion, but since they don’t have eggs, I didn’t want to go out on a limb! GF always takes more testing when egg-free.

      • LindaOctober 14, 2012 at 9:04 pmReply

        Would love to know your “almost-vegan” gf version using eggs! Thank you!!

    • SabrinaOctober 14, 2012 at 8:41 pmReply

      I second the GF option too! :) I’m going to play with it and see IF it will turn out.

  5. Sara SawochkaOctober 15, 2012 at 5:54 amReply

    Thank you so much for the delicious recipe. I can’t wait to try it!

  6. Black Bean Savory Cupcakes” with Whipped Sweet Potato Frosting RecipeOctober 17, 2012 at 10:29 amReply

    [...] in the week, many of you ooh-ed and aaah-ed about this enticing Chocolate-Orange Halloween Cupcake Recipe. Those are amazing, but Halloween isn’t just about sweets. No, really, it isn’t! You [...]

  7. JoanneOctober 18, 2012 at 4:17 amReply

    Chocolate and orange is one flavor combo I’ve never really explored. But what better time than NOW…and with these cupcakes!

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 18, 2012 at 7:25 amReplyAuthor

      Wow, I thought you had explored EVERY flavor combo Joanne!!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Rate this recipe: