Vegan Butterscotch Cupcakes
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These sweet cupcakes are a deliciously indulgent way to enjoy a favorite childhood flavor without a drop of dairy!
Serves: 12 butterscotch cupcakes
Brown Sugar Cupcakes
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (can sub tapioca starch)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Original or Soy Free), softened at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup original or unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Original or Soy Free), softened at room temperature
  • 3¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup canned, full fat coconut milk (see note below)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla flavoring or extract
Butterscotch Sauce
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread (Original or Soy Free)
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar (if using dark, it will come out more like my pictures)
  • ¾ cup canned, full fat coconut milk (see note below)
  • 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
To make the Brown Sugar Cupcakes
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line 12 muffin wells with cupcake liners.
  2. Add the flour, starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the buttery sticks and brown sugar to a mixing bowl, and beat with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes, or until creamed.
  4. Add ½ cup of the milk beverage, vanilla, vinegar, and about half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Beat on low to combine. Add the remaining milk beverage and flour mixture, and beat on low to combine, scraping down the sides as needed.
  5. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake, comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
To make the Vanilla Buttercream
  1. While the cupcakes cool, place the buttery sticks in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy.
  2. Sift in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, beating on low to incorporate each addition. Add the vanilla, and slowly beat in the coconut milk until it reaches the creamy consistency you desire.
To make the Butterscotch Sauce
  1. Melt the buttery spread in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the brown sugar and coconut milk, and let the mixture bubble for 5 minutes (4 minutes at higher altitude), without stirring.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt. Let cool to room temperature.
To Decorate the Cupcakes
  1. Optional: If you're craving a butterscotch infusion, use a skinny piping tip or a condiment bottle to inject a little butterscotch sauce - insert the tip about 1 inch into the top of the cupcake and squeeze a little in.
  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes by piping it on in swirls or simply slathering it on thick.
  3. Drizzle with the butterscotch sauce.
Coconut Milk - This is full-fat, regular coconut milk, which comes in cans or little aseptic packages, NOT milk beverage (in the big cartons). If you need to use light coconut milk or coconut milk beverage in the frosting, just add 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired consistency is reached. Light coconut milk may work in the butterscotch sauce, but we haven't tested it.

High Altitude Adjustments - Above 4000 feet, reduce the baking powder to ¼ teaspoon and optionally reduce the brown sugar to ⅔ cup. To keep them from ending up too greasy, I recommend also cutting the buttery sticks by 1 to 2 tablespoons (they have little markers on them!), and consequently increase the milk beverage by 1 to 2 tablespoons. You may need to increase the baking time to 23 to 25 minutes.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at