Vegan funfetti cupcakes

At last, it's what you've all been waiting for: healthier funfetti cupcakes minus sprinkles! Just kidding--I know you haven't been waiting. Also, these have sprinkles. But not too much.

For some time, I've been wanting to create a wholesome, all-natural version of funfetti cupcakes. It took awhile to actually get down to it, because I don't actually really like funfetti cupcakes. But, my lovely friend Hannah does, and it's a birthday tradition for her to have them. Her sweet girls make her the real deal, tempting with glorious color bursts. This year I wanted to try my hand at a lighter version...the kind you could even eat for breakfast if you scraped off the frosting. 

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It may seem too embarrassing to admit, but some nights I found myself waking up, brain wrinkled with a torrent of unlikely sprinkles replacements. Would it be very finely grated and chopped beets, and carrots? Little dots of injected purple cabbage juice? Um, no. At least to the cabbage juice. 

When I really got down to the business of funfetti play, I couldn't bring myself to exclude sprinkles altogether, although I am sure somebody has/will with delectable success. But on this occasion I couldn't help but conclude, aren't the sprinkles the fun in the fetti? 

This is not to say a compromise didn't emerge. One did. With it being the holiday season, I'm going to call it Christmas magic, though it was actually obvious and convenient. For this batch of funfetti cupcakes--which, truly, could be muffins-- I used just 1/4 cup of sprinkles ( a little more for decoration), and enhanced the look and flavor with chopped cranberries and raspberries. Orange juice works as well as non-dairy milk of choice; in fact, I think I prefer it. In any case, it's worth the experimentation. Trial by error yumminess. 

Happy New Year!

Vegan Healthy Funfetti (Muffin) Cupcakes

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond) or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba (chickpea liquid) or 1 beaten egg, if not vegan
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped raspberries
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles plus additional for decoration
  • vegan frosting of choice (I like making one with powdered sugar, tofu, and melted dark chocolate)


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix together flour, maple syrup or sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in non-dairy milk or orange juice, coconut oil, applesauce, aquafaba or egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries, raspberries and sprinkles. Spoon into baking cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.