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Vegan Ginger Lime Cupcakes

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These vegan ginger lime cupcakes are a tasty combo of spicy ginger and tangy lime. You can whip up a batch in under an hour, making them great for a quick dessert or afternoon snack. The recipe swaps out eggs and dairy for plant-based ingredients, so you get all the flavor of a classic ginger cake, but in a vegan-friendly package. These ginger cupcakes are perfect for any time you want something sweet with a slightly complex flavor. 

Vegan ginger lime cupcakes

These vegan ginger lime cupcakes are a great way to use simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The mix of ginger and lime in these cupcakes is really nice. The ginger gives that warm, spicy flavor you expect from a good ginger cake, while the lime adds a fresh, zesty kick. It’s not your usual cupcake flavor, which makes it fun to serve to friends or bring to a party.

The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to put together. The batter mixes up quickly, and while the cupcakes bake, your kitchen smells amazing. The frosting is simple too – just a few ingredients whipped together, and you’re done.

These cupcakes stay moist for a few days, so they’re great for making ahead. I love to bake them on a Sunday for quick desserts or snacks during the week. They’re sweet enough to feel like a treat, but not so rich that you feel guilty eating one (or two).

Recipe Highlights

Vegan ginger lime cupcakes
  • These cupcakes are completely vegan, using plant-based ingredients like oat milk and vegan butter. This makes them a great option for those avoiding dairy or eggs, or anyone looking to try more plant-based desserts.
  • The combination of fresh and ground ginger gives these cupcakes a complex flavor. You get the warmth from the ground ginger and a bit of spicy kick from the fresh stuff. The lime balances it all out with a fresh, citrusy note.
  • This recipe is pretty forgiving and easy to customize. You can adjust the amount of ginger if you want it more or less spicy, or play around with the spices to suit your taste. The frosting is also easy to tweak – add more lime zest if you want it zestier, or use a different plant-based milk if you’re not a fan of coconut.
  • These fluffy cupcakes keep well, making them perfect for baking ahead. You can make them a day or two before you need them, and they’ll still be moist and delicious. Just store them in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

Ingredients needed: 

The full list of measurements for each ingredient is in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

  • Molasses – This gives the cupcakes a deep, rich flavor. Make sure to use regular molasses, not blackstrap molasses, which can be too strong. You could also use maple syrup if you prefer. 
  • Light brown sugar – This adds sweetness and moisture to the cupcakes. It also gives them a slight caramel flavor that works well with the ginger.
  • Neutral oil – Any mild-flavored oil works here. I usually use canola or vegetable oil, but you could use melted coconut oil too if you like that flavor.
  • Oat milk – This is my go-to for vegan baking, but feel free to use any non-dairy milk you have on hand.
  • Lime juice and zest – Fresh is best here. The juice goes in the batter, and the zest adds a nice punch to the frosting. If you have key limes available in your area, use those to create vegan key lime cupcakes!
  • Allpurpose flour – Just regular flour works great. If you want to make these gluten-free, you could try a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend, but I haven’t tested it myself.
  • Warm Spices – Ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg give these cupcakes their warm, spicy flavor. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.
  • Fresh ginger – This adds a spicy kick that you don’t get from ground ginger alone. Don’t skip it if you can help it!
  • Vegan butter – We’ll be using dairy-free butter for the vegan frosting. Make sure it’s slightly softened so it mixes well.
  • Coconut cream – This should be very cold for the best frosting texture. If you can’t find coconut cream, you can use the solid part from a can of full-fat coconut milk.

How to Make Vegan Ginger Lime Cupcakes

How to make vegan ginger lime cupcakes

Prep the oven and pan – Preheat to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Mix the wet ingredients – Warm the molasses and whisk with brown sugar and oil. Add oat milk and lime juice to the molasses mixture.

Add the spices – Stir in fresh ginger, ground spices, and salt.

Finish the batter – Mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth.

Bake the cupcakes – Fill the muffin cups with cupcake batter and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Make the frosting – Beat the frosting ingredients, including vegan butter, coconut cream, and lime zest. Gradually add powdered sugar.

Decorate – Once cool, frost the cupcakes and top with candied ginger or lime peel if desired.

Storage and serving

Storage: These cupcakes are best eaten fresh, but they’ll keep well for a few days if you need to make them ahead. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just remember to take them out about an hour before you want to eat them – they taste better at room temperature.

Freezing: If you’re planning to freeze some, it’s best to do it before you add the frosting. Wrap the unfrosted cupcakes individually in plastic wrap, then pop them in a freezer bag. They’ll keep for about a month. When you’re ready to eat them, just thaw them on the counter for a couple of hours, then frost them.

Serving: I like to serve these as a dessert after dinner, but they’re also the perfect treat with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. If you’re feeling fancy, you can sprinkle some chopped candied ginger on top of the frosting for extra zing and a bit of crunch.

Recipe FAQs and Tips

Vegan ginger lime cupcakes
  • Don’t overmix the batter once you add the flour. A few lumps are okay – overmixing can make the cupcakes tough.
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you start. This helps everything mix together smoothly.
  • If you want more ginger kick, try grating a bit of fresh ginger into the frosting too.
  • The frosting might seem soft at first, but it’ll firm up in the fridge. If it’s too soft to pipe, just pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Can I make these gluten-free?

You could try a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, but I haven’t tested it myself. You might need to adjust the liquid a bit.

What if I don’t have oat milk?

Any plant-based milk will work. Almond or soy milk are good options.

Can I make this into a cake instead of cupcakes?

Sure! You’ll need to adjust the baking time though. A 9-inch cake will probably take about 35-40 minutes to bake.

Is there a way to make these less sweet?

You could try reducing the sugar in the cupcakes by a quarter cup. For the frosting, just add powdered sugar until it’s as sweet as you like.

These ginger lime cupcakes are a fun twist on your usual vanilla or chocolate cupcakes. They’re great for when you want something a little different, but still easy to make. The ginger gives them a nice warmth, and the lime keeps them from being too heavy. Give them a try next time you’re in the mood for a delicious vegan treat!

Looking for more dessert recipes?

Vegan Ginger Lime Cupcakes

Vegan ginger lime cupcakes
These tangy and sweet ginger lime cupcakes are perfect for summer, birthdays or any occasion.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Assembling time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serving Size 12

Ingredients

  • molasses not blackstrap, warmed
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • ¾ cup oat milk room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger minced

Frosting

  • ½ cup vegan butter or margarine softened
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut cream very cold
  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • candied ginger or lime peel to decorate

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line muffin pan.
  • Peel and mince the fresh ginger.
  • Warm the molasses until just hot. Combine in a large bowl with the brown sugar and oil. Whisk until blended and smooth.
  • Add the oat milk and lime juice. Whisk until smooth.
  • Stir in the minced ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Add in the flour and baking powder and stir until smooth.
  • Scoop batter into prepared pan, leaving at least 1/4” of space at the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the vegan frosting

  • In a large bowl, combine vegan butter, coconut cream, and lime zest. With and hand mixer or stand mixer, beat on medium low speed until smooth.
  • Add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 – 1/3 at a time, beating slowly after each addition. Once all the sugar is added, beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Frosting can be stored in the fridge and should be brought to room temperature before using.
  • Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe or spread frosting on each one and decorate as desired with candied ginger or lime peel.

Notes

Cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.
Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 207mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg

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