Vegan Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

These Vegan Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes are rich, chocolatey and packed with chocolate fudge sauce – and they come with a DIY hack to make your own heart-shaped cupcakes. They are also fully vegan, gluten-free and nut-free, too.

Love is well and truly in the air where these cupcakes are involved. They are rich, chocolatey and loaded with fudge sauce and they just melt in your mouth thanks to the fluffy whipped cream frosting. Make these for loved ones, for friends or for yourself and you will not be disappointed! They are loaded with chocolate, wholesome ingredients and come together in just one bowl.

A heart-shaped cupcake with pink frosting and raspberries
Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes

Why will I love these Valentine’s cupcakes?

These are the best cupcakes:

  • Chocolatey, rich and moreish
  • Fudgy, decadent and indulgent
  • Healthier, wholesome and lower sugar
  • Made with vegan, gluten-free and nut-free ingredients
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Minimal prep and baking time
  • Fun to decorate
  • Great as an edible gift
  • Topped with fluffy whipped cream
  • Filled with a gooey chocolate fudge sauce middle

If you already love the sound of these cupcakes, then skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

Here’s what we need for the cupcakes:

  • Plant-based milk: any dairy-free milk is great here like oat, almond or coconut (from the carton).
  • Apple cider vinegar: this reacts with the milk to create a buttermilk and bind the batter.
  • Mashed banana or applesauce: for natural sweetness and binding abilities, it is great to use banana or applesauce.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: I love baking with Cocos organic yoghurt as it’s thick, creamy and so smooth. This adds fat and moisture to these delicious cupcakes and please make sure your yoghurt is thick and creamy, like Greek-style yoghurts.
  • Coconut sugar: to make these cupcakes slightly sweet we use a small amount of sugar. I like to use coconut sugar as it has a mild caramel colour and richness.
  • Light olive oil: for a silky-smooth batter, I like light olive oil as it has a mild flavour. You can also use sunflower oil or melted and cooled coconut oil.
  • Self-raising flour: this makes the cupcakes light and fluffy. If making these gluten-free, use your preferred 1:1 GF baking flour blend that you’d usually use.
  • Chocolate protein powder: this adds so much chocolatey goodness as well as a rich, fudgy texture. I love the deluxe chocolate hazelnut from Macromike (my code AMB-AMY saves you 10% on everything).
  • Cocoa powder: for the rich chocolatey flavour. I use cocoa powder rather than cacao powder as it is more acidic and reacts better to create a fluffier cupcake.
  • Raising agents and salt: baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are always best when fresh and within date, so always check before baking.
  • Chocolate chips: for more chocolate goodness. Either use vegan chocolate chips or a chopped up bar of chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate but dairy-free milk is also good.

And for the filling and frosting:

  • Chocolate fudge sauce: this chocolate coconut fudge sauce from Natures Charm is so indulgent and silky smooth, it is perfect for filling these cupcakes. You could also use vegan chocolate spread, too.
  • Oat whipping cream: I love this from Natures Charm which is so delicious and whips up beautifully. They also have the best coconut whipping cream, too.
  • Pink food gel or powder: this is purely for colouring and you can find vegan food gel on Baking Time Club. Gel is better than liquid as it is far more concentrated and so it doesn’t thin out the frosting. you can also use freeze-dried berry powder for colour and flavour – 1 or 2 tbsp will do it.
  • Raspberries: these are perfect on top of the rich chocolate cupcakes to add some fruitiness. You can also use strawberries or blueberries.
  • Sweets and sprinkles: I love the “love-heart” sweets to go on top of these cute little cupcakes and the Valentine’s sprinkles from Baking Time Club.

How do I make the heart-shapes?

I am so amazed by this little hack:

  • Line the cupcake or muffin tin with cases
  • Ball up a piece of aluminium foil to the size of 1 penny
  • Place the ball of foil between the case and the tin at one side
  • Pinch together the inside of the case around the ball to make the top point of the heart and two domes
  • Lightly pinch opposite the ball of foil to make the pointed bottom
  • When you pour the batter into the cases, spread it into the two rounds of the heart
  • Bake as normal and then remove the foil
  • Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect, the heart-shaped frosting on top really brings them to life

How do I make them?

Once you’ve shaped the cases:

  • Whisk together all the wet ingredients: till smooth.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and whisk again to a thick, smooth batter.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips: be careful to not over-mix.
  • Scoop the batter into the cases: and spread into the corners.
  • Bake for 18 minutes until risen: and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool fully on a wire rack: immediately after taking out of the oven.
  • Whip up the cream: and colour as desired.
  • Core the middle of the cupcakes and fill with fudge sauce: to the top.
  • Use a star-shaped nozzle pipe a heart: on top of the cupcakes.
  • Decorate with raspberries, sweets and sprinkles: as desired.
One Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcake with a fork
Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes

How long will they last?

These will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the fridge or for 1 month (without the frosting) in the freezer. Allow to defrost before frosting.

Can I use other frostings please?

Yes, if you want to choose another frosting, how about:

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes these are easily gluten-free if you use your favourite gluten-free flour blend. These are naturally nut-free, please check that your milk, yoghurt and chocolate do not contain nuts.

One half of a Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcake
Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes

What else can I make?

If you love these Vegan Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes and you are looking for more cakes and bakes, how about my:

A few Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes on a metal wire rack

Vegan Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

These Chocolate Fudge Heart Cupcakes are rich, chocolatey and packed with chocolate fudge sauce – and they come with a DIY hack to make your own heart-shaped cupcakes. They are also fully vegan, gluten-free and nut-free, too.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 180ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 150g ripe mashed banana (or applesauce)
  • 100g thick coconut yoghurt
  • 75g coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 150g self-raising flour (or GF)
  • 45g chocolate protein powder
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g dark chocolate chips

For the Filling and Frosting:

  • 12 tsp Natures Charm Coconut Chocolate Fudge Sauce, plus extra
  • 1 tin Oat Whipping Cream, chilled overnight
  • 1-2 drops pink food gel
  • 12 raspberries
  • Love heart sweets and sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC.
  2. To make the heart shaped cases: place a muffin liner in each of a 12-hole large cupcake tin. Ball up a piece of tinfoil and place it into each hole, between the tin and the case and pinch the liner to make a point for the tinfoil to nestle into. Repeat to make 12 heart-shaped cases.
  3. For the cupcakes: whisk together the milk, vinegar, banana, yoghurt, sugar and oil till smooth. Sift in the flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and add the salt. Whisk to a thick, smooth batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cases. Use a small spoon to spread the batter into the rounds of the hearts.
  5. To bake: place in the middle of the oven to 18 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out basically clean (some crumbs of cake are OK). Remove from the tins immediately and cool fully on a wire rack.
  6. To prepare the frosting: scoop the entire contents of the Oat Whipping Cream into a bowl and whisk/beat using a handheld electric or freestanding mixer for 2 minutes, till really light and fluffy and add the pink food gel (just a little). Beat for 1 more minute.
  7. For the filling: core the middle of the cupcakes and spoon in the chocolate fudge sauce.
  8. To frost: place the whipped cream into a large piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle and pipe on a heart-shape, following the tops of the cupcakes.
  9. To decorate: add some raspberries, love heart sweets, sprinkles and more fudge sauce, if desired.
  10. To store: eat straight away or keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can freeze the unfrosted and unfilled cupcakes for 1 month and allow to defrost fully before decorating.

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I look forward to hearing what you think of these Vegan so please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make these, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With heart-shaped cupcakes of love x

p.s. this recipe was first made with Natures Charm but this post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

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