Vegan Clementine Cupcakes

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dairy free, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Recipe photo

No dairy, no eggs, but these vegan cupcakes have plenty of flavor, and superb texture: they're moist and tender, and can easily be served without their frosting, if you're in a hurry. And when time's no object? The orange icing adds a tasty final touch. Bonus: if you have any Chinese friends, treat them to these cupcakes during their New Year's celebration; clementines (mandarins) are a sign of abundance and good fortune.

Vegan Clementine Cupcakes

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
dairy free, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Published: 02/26/2012



  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons Cake Enhancer, optional, for moist texture
  • 1 cup peeled, diced seedless clementines or tangerines
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup orange juice or tangerine juice


  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, enough to make a soft, spreadable frosting

Tips from our bakers

  • Is it a cupcake, or a muffin? This particular recipe is right in between. With frosting, it's clearly a cupcake. Without, it's a delicious breakfast muffin. Add a little zip by topping muffins with coarse white sparkling sugar before baking, if desired.


1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease and flour the wells of a muffin pan; or line the pan with paper liners, and grease the liners.

2) To make the cupcakes: Whisk together all the dry ingredients, then stir in the chopped clementines or tangerines.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla or Fiori, vegetable oil, and orange juice.

4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; don't over-mix, stir just until everything is moistened.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each nearly full. A level (to slightly heaped) muffin scoop of batter for each cupcake works well here.

6) Sprinkle the tops with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired. If you plan on icing the cakes, skip the sparkling sugar.

7) Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes, until they've domed nicely. They won't brown; that's OK. to test for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes in the middle of the pan; if it comes out free of moist crumbs, the cupcakes are done.

8) Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and after 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.

9) To make the frosting: Whisk all of the ingredients together, adding 3 tablespoons orange juice to start. Dribble in more, a bit at a time, until the frosting is as soft as you like it. Drizzle and spread the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 106g Servings Per Batch: 12 frosted cupcakes Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302 Calories from Fat: 56 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0g Sodium: 236mg Total Carbohydrate: 60g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 41g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/19/2015
  • Sharon from Vancouver, WA
  • I made these this morning with Mandarin oranges. To say they are outstanding is an understatement. These were light as a feather and perfect for a Sunday morning with a cup of tea. I did make these as mini-muffins so I reduced the cooking time to about 10 minutes in my convection oven. I MIGHT reduce the sugar a little next time I make them but that would be the only alteration I'd make.
  • star rating 01/10/2015
  • Miriam from KAF Community
  • I make these with plain jane oranges and don't worry about the skins on the sections. It does take a few minutes to chop them up fine enough that I'd like them in my muffin/cupcake and the juice gets all over, but besides being great for folks who don't do eggs/milk, this is a nice recipe for the way I bake before work - before bed I mix up the dry ingredient (that sit on the counter) & wet ingredients (which sit covered in the fridge) then do final prep while the oven heats in the morning. These are really moist with all the orange in there. Non-vegans have never complained (or known without someone telling them), and they're consistently devoured. Sometimes I throw in some orange zest/extra Fiori, if I want them extra orangey.
  • star rating 01/05/2015
  • fortheloveoffood from KAF Community
  • Delicious! It took more time to juice the tangerines and clementines I used than to mix and bake them! Worth the effort. As mentioned by one reviewer, the icing recipe makes quite a bit more than required, so, I only used about 1 cup of confectioners sugar and less than a tablespoon of juice. Perfect.
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Evgeniya from Russia, Moscow
  • star rating 10/31/2014
  • Ana from Guatemala
  • star rating 03/07/2014
  • Marianne from Brooklyn, NY
  • I made this to share at work. They were all gone by 10 am. Everyone loved them. Although it takes time to section the clementines, it is so worth it. Moist, flavorful, full of citrus, these cupcakes are a delicious winter treat.
  • star rating 02/16/2014
  • corion3 from KAF Community
  • Wonderful recipe! Definitely will be making again and will be adding cranberries for a delicious cranberry orange muffin:). Bye, bye boxed mix!!!!
  • star rating 02/09/2014
  • Kim from Waterbury, vt
  • I saw this recipe come in via email from KAF and ten minutes later was making them. I didn't have oj so substituted oj powder from KAF as well as some orange oil, and used newmans lemonade with stevia as the liquid. Turned out light, fluffy and delicious. Such a bright treat in the dead of winter.
  • star rating 05/25/2013
  • Jeannette from Nazareth, Pa
  • The first time I made these there were great, but took forever because I peeled and sectioned mandarin oranges so there was no skin. I only needed 1/4 of the icing too. This time, I used sectioned mandarins. I added dried cranberries to one batch, dried blueberries to another. No icing needed! Made them as mini-muffins! Next time, mini chocolate chips. We love orange and chocolate!
  • star rating 08/13/2012
  • adamsjc3 from KAF Community
  • I was absolutely stunned by how well this turned out! I've never made a vegan cake, and didn't expect much but am looking for something without eggs for my son's first birthday cake as he has never had eggs before and I didn't want to risk an allergic reaction. It is delicious, the only thing I would say is to make sure that the clementines are very finely chopped, maybe even take the time to remove all the skin and only use pulp, if you have the time.
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