Vegan Brownie Cupcakes

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(from 4 reviews)
Vegan Brownie Cupcakes

I had mentioned about vegan brownie cupcakes in my previous post and here I'm with the recipe. Actually 2 weeks back it was my son's turn to provide snacks for his classmates in preschool and I was wondering what to bake from the humungous collection of eggless recipes I have now. Since I'm hosting this event, I decided to bake something using flax seed meal. I wanted to bake something simple, which appeals children and that can be easily packed.

I had borrowed "The Joy of Vegan Baking" book from the library and this brownie recipe (the author has actually adapted the recipe from Sinfully Vegan) caught my eye. Do you know the reason? It does not have any added fat like butter/oil etc. Applesauce is replaced for fat in the recipe. I'm aware of the fact that unsweetened applesauce recipe can be used as an egg substitute as well as a fat substitute, but I have tried neither. So I was determined to try this recipe because I will be baking something healthy and who doesn't like brownies, leave alone preschoolers.

If you have baked brownies before you would know that it takes a long time to cool and then you have to cut it. I wanted to bake 35 brownies and the recipe mentioned that it would yield 8-9 brownies, so I would have to bake 4-5 batches, take into account the cooling time, packing etc, which would consume a considerable amount of time. Then only I remembered what I had read a long time back in a magazine.

One of the readers had mentioned that she baked brownies in a muffin tin and they came out very well. I decided to try it and I'm so glad that I tried it because it's such a wonderful/neat idea. I think I'll be baking brownies only in a muffin tin henceforth. Moreover the serving size is also increased to 12 from 8, using a muffin pan instead of a regular baking dish. So I had to bake only 3 batches.


Vegan Brownie Cupcakes Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins23 Mins + Cooling Mins12 Cupcakes
Vegan Brownie Cupcakes
4.5 from 4 reviews
A very simple recipe to bake healthy vegan brownies. But let me assure that it tastes like the regular brownies which are loaded with fat.
  • 1 And 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar Or Sweetener (I Used Regular Sugar)
  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (I Used Nature's Promise Organic Applesauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Flax Seed Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract (I Used Trader Joes Pure Vanilla Flavor Alcohol Free)
  • 1 And 1/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa (I Used Hershey's)
  • 1 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (But I Used The Regular Nestle Ones)
  • 1 Cup Optional Chopped Walnuts (I Omitted)
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C for 15 minutes.
  2. Coat an 8x8 inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. If you choose to bake brownie cupcakes, line a 12 muffin tin with muffin liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray itself.
  3. In a medium size bowl, stir together sugar, applesauce and 2 tablespoons water.
  4. Either mix flax seed meal with 1/2 cup water in a small cup or blend it in a blender.
  5. Add the flax seed mixture and vanilla to the applesauce mixture and combine well.
  6. In another small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  7. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture.
  8. Stir just to combine, do not overmix.
  9. Pour into prepare pan. If using a muffin tin, fill each mould 3/4ths full. The given measurement is perfect for 12 muffins, so divide the batter accordingly, which is around 3-4 tablespoons of batter in each cup.
  10. The time given in the original recipe for baking in a brownie pan is 40 minutes for chewy brownies and 45-47 minutes for cake like brownies. But since I used a muffin tin to bake brownies, mine was done exactly at 23 minutes.
  11. Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, leave it in the tin for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack for the brownie cupcakes to cool completely.
  1. As for the taste, it was AWESOME. You can never guess that these are healthy brownies. They were so moist. I was not able to get the feedback from the children, but one of the teachers told me that it tasted very good and the children really enjoyed it.
My Notes:
  1. While buying applesauce, check thoroughly the ingredients list. Some brands have very large amount of high fructose corn syrup, which increases the sugar content to 25gms per serving. I think unsweetened applesauce is available only in organic brands. The Nature's Promise brand is made only with organic apples and water. It does not have any additional sweeteners, so 1/2 cup serving has only 9gms sugar which is actually from the apples.
  2. I used muffin liners to line the tin, which made the clean up also very easy. Another advantage of using muffin tins is, they cool in no time.
  3. These brownie cupcakes taste better the next day of baking.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 313
Total Fat 11.9g18%
Saturated Fat 3.7g19%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 64mg3%
Potassium 300mg9%
Total Carb 50.4g17%
Dietary Fiber 3.9g15%
Sugars 34.1g
Protein 6.3g
Vitamin A 1% - Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 6% - Iron 13%
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  1. renu

    I can’t tell you how wonderful, tasty, damn good looking my cupcakes came out. Till date I could only bake a cheesecake, this was my very first time baking something else. Thank you so much!

    You’re welcome Renu. I am so happy for you that your baking experiment has turned out great.

  2. Natasha

    Theses vegan brownie cupcakes are amazing!

  3. Katy

    Hi Madhu
    I am new to this site and really enjoy it. I was looking for eggless and vegan recipes as we are fasting here before Easter (in Greece). I have not seen flax seed powder here. Would you recommend I used tofu and if so how much ?
    Your recipes look fantastic and definetely healthy,
    Thank you and keep up the good work.

    Hi Katy, sorry I couldn’t get back to you immediately. Reg. tofu, it is a good substitute but I’m not sure how it would work in this particular recipe because it’s already dense with the applesauce. If using silken tofu you would have to use 1/2 cup of blended tofu in place of two eggs. I’m guessing the cupcake would be very moist and heavy. You could also try 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt whisked with 4 tablespoons of water instead.

  4. uns

    i made these muffins exactly the way u specified here on my dad’s birthday n wow they were amazing and every1 loved it……
    thanx a million

    You’re welcome. Thanks for trying the recipe and for the feedback.

  5. abc

    Can this be baked in a round 9 inch baking pan?
    Thank you for all wonderful eggless,vegan and healthy, tasty recipes.

    You can bake it in a 9 inch cake pan, but it’s going to take some time to cool before you can cut it. Also the baking time will be around 35-40 minutes.

  6. Deepa

    Hi Madhu! I am going to bake 3 dozen of this for an MLK bake sale this Saturday! However, my son’s allergic to apples, and I have to avoid applecause. WHat do you recommend I replace applesauce with, in this recipe? Other fruits to avoid (because they’re in the same family) are: peach, plum, pear, prune, apricot, nectarine. –Deepa

    How about dates soaked in hot water and then ground into a smooth paste? Even bananas should be fine, if you like the chocolate/banana combination. You can also go with beet puree. Check out Jugalbandi’s vegan beet and chocolate cake posted last week.

  7. Aparna

    Thank you for celebrating with me.
    I love chocolate brownies and do bake them in cupcake liners too, when I need to pack them.
    Applesauce is a good substitute for fat, especially on cakes.

  8. Russ

    Madhu, I cannot find in your step-by step where you add the chocolate chips.

    Oops, I missed it. Thanks for notifying me. You can add it with the flour/dry ingredients. Will update it in the recipe.

  9. sunshinemom

    Oh! The cupcakes look awesome. Lucky kids:)

  10. sowmya

    gorgeous..thats the first thing which came to my mind when I saw the picture..nice recipe..

  11. Priya

    Cupcakes looks delicious madhu…drooling over the cupcakes…eyecatching brownies..

  12. DK

    Girl – I am thinking that u might be in for a record at the amount you are baking! Even someone like Dorie Greenspan would be hardpressed to bake like you and all DG’s fans will know what I am talking about 😉

    Good ones Madhu – as always 🙂

  13. Bhawana

    cup cakes looking mouthwatering :). soon m going to try ur one of the baking recipe :).

  14. Roma

    Great idea of baking brownies for kids. Easy to bake, pack and eat. I am sure your son’s friends loved it. Nice to see that it uses apple sauce instead of fat.

  15. jayasree

    Very delicious,healthy brownies. Liked the idea of baking them in muffin pan.

  16. Mansi

    Baking brownies in muffin pans is indeed a great idea! they look lovely:) I baked Mocha Pistachio brownies too this weekend, wish I’d read your muffin-idea before 😉

  17. Uma

    Wow, the cup cakes look wonderful Madhu! Delicious.

  18. Sweatha

    Gorgeous.Love the cup cake ideas.Flax seedsare very good in brownies.With applesauce as well,sure they must have tasted heavenly

  19. anudivya

    Whoa! Nice work girl.. I know applesauce is a substitute for butter etc, but I don’t have any at the moment, do u think there is a subtitute for the substitute?
    I know, crazy right?

  20. Vaishali

    These look fabulous, Madhuram. A must try.

  21. Bharti

    Looks so delicious and moist Madhu.

  22. ranji

    long time!!!absolutely gorgeous madhu…brownies that too eggfree and butter free..fantastic..would love to have one of those 🙂

  23. DivyA Vikram

    I have applesauce made at home.May be I should try this.And it is a perfect idea to make these in muffin pans.

  24. Happy Cook

    WOw those brownies looks super delicious.
    I would have few of them. And no guilts after that.

  25. Lakshmi Venkatesh

    Looks awesome. Eggless & butterless. Using apple sauce. sooo nice. healthy cupcakes.