Vegan Iced Tea Cupcakes with Lemon-Iced Tea Frosting


In search of the perfect gift for her father’s summer birthday, Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan and blogger at Bittersweet, baked up these creatively seasonal cupcakes. Though they may not cool you off on those hot summer days, the sweet tea flavor enhanced with lemon is certain to perk you up Plus, these personal-sized cakes will fit nicely into any picnic spread or fill that necessary spot for a post-barbecue dessert. Best of all, the ingredients are all quite easy to find in any grocery store, and the recipe is naturally vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), nut-free, and optionally soy-free.

Mixed into both the cake and the frosting, the instant tea powder brought me right back to my childhood, thinking how grown up it was to be drinking this fancy iced tea concoction. These cupcakes are decided less “grown up,” but way too much fun to pass up.

Piled high with mounds of fluffy frosting, I made sure to be generous with the piping bag to satisfy [my father’s]well-established sweet tooth. As if that weren’t enough, a light sprinkling of coarse white sugar adds a slight crunch, and is a nod to that sugar-saturated brew my dad is so fond of. Finally, that touch of lemon is a nod to the lemon flavored tea that was a common choice back in the days of buying a mix. Although my dad isn’t exactly the biggest fan of cakes in general, this is one that I hope will strike a chord.

Vegan Iced Tea Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Frosting Recipe

Vegan Iced Tea Cupcakes with Lemon-Iced Tea Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 servings
  • 1 Cup Plain Soymilk*
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ⅓ Cup Canola Oil
  • 1¼ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Cup Instant Unsweetened Iced Tea Mix
  • ⅔ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
Lemon-Iced Tea Frosting
  • ½ Cup Margarine, at Room Temperature*
  • 3 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • ½ Cup Instant Unsweetened Iced Tea Mix
  • ½ Teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Whisk together the soymilk, lemon juice, and oil in a large bowl, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, iced tea mix, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt so that all of the dry ingredients are well distributed. Add the dry goods into the wet, and stir just enough to incorporate everything and get out most of the lumps. Distribute the batter equally between your prepared tins, and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make the frosting, simply place the margarine, confectioner’s sugar, tea mix, and lemon zest in the bowl of your stand mixer, and start it on low speed. Slowly add in the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time, increasing the speed once the sugar is mostly incorporated. Whip on high for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Apply to cooled cupcakes, and top with coarse sugar or pearl sugar if desired.
* For soy-free, use almond, rice, hemp, or (light) coconut milk in place of the soymilk, and use Earth Balance Soy-Free or a dairy-free, soy-free palm shortening in place of the margarine in the frosting.

About Author

Hannah is the author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan a la Mode. She works as a food stylist and recipe creator for several international publications, and is currently pursuing a career in food photography. Hannah blogs many of her crafts, photos, and food creations at Bittersweet.