St Patrick’s Day Vegan Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

These St Patrick’s Day Vegan Cupcakes are perfect for celebrating and they are so easy to make in one bowl with simple, plant-based, egg-free and gluten-free ingredients. Topped with luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting, they are delicious and light.

I love making fun cakes and bakes, without them appearing too much like a “gimmick” or compromising on flavour and substance. These cupcakes are the best of both worlds as they are so light, fluffy and delicious but also celebrate St Patrick’s Day in the best way: with a gorgeous green zebra marble cupcake. They are naturally vegan, egg-free and dairy-free and easily gluten-free thanks to a simple list of ingredients that you’ll already have at home. Simple is best, and these are vanilla flavoured and have the best cream cheese buttercream topped with sprinkles, meaning anyone and everyone can make these to impress friends and family.

A St Patrick's Day Vegan Cupcake on a plate
St Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

Why will I love these cupcakes?

These cupcakes are so fun:

  • Light, fluffy, moist and tender
  • Sweet vanilla-flavoured
  • Made with one batter, split to make a green half
  • Have a wow-factor green marble inside
  • Easy to make
  • Such a showstopper bake
  • Naturally green with matcha powder or green food gel
  • Naturally egg-free, dairy-free and plant-based
  • Easily gluten-free and nut-free
  • Topped with luscious cream cheese buttercream
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • More wholesome and lower sugar than other bakes
  • Quick to make and bake
  • Amazing all year round and can be coloured with other colours

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?

You can see the ingredients with weights in the recipe card and you can see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” below.

For the cupcakes:

  • Plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar: mix these together to form a buttermilk which binds this egg-free batter. Also, any dairy-free milk is great like soya, oat, coconut (from the carton) or almond.
  • Light olive oil: this adds moisture and makes the cupcakes tender and delicious. You can use other liquid oils like avocado, walnut or another nut (or sunflower, too).
  • Coconut or caster sugar: to make these really delicious. For the best colour contrast, use white caster sugar but for a more caramel-like colour use coconut sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: for the flavour.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: keep these really light and soft with plain white flour or make them gluten-free with your preferred 1:1 GF baking flour blend (make sure it has xanthan gum inside, or add ½ tsp of your own.
  • Baking powder: for rise.
  • Salt: for flavour.
  • Natural green food gel or matcha powder: I love using matcha green tea powder as the colour is vibrant, as is spirulina powder but it is much darker. You can also use green food gel, look for a natural one where possible. I prefer food gel over food colouring as the watery ones are too wet and may interfere with the wetness of the overall batter.

As for the buttercream:

  • Vegan butter: allow this to soften at room temperature before beating it, to create the best and fluffiest buttercream. This is the block-style of butter, too.
  • Vegan cream cheese: this adds a natural tang and makes sure the buttercream isn’t too sweet.
  • Icing sugar: for the frosting to make it sweet and thick.
  • Vanilla extract and plant-based milk: as above.
  • Sprinkles: I used a mix of vegan, gluten-free St Patrick’s sprinkles but any ones will do, just make sure they are plant-based where needed.

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

These are easily gluten-free as long as you use your preferred 1:1 baking blend of GF flour with xanthan gum (or add ½ tsp of your own). To keep these nut-free, check that your milk, butter and cream cheese to not contain nuts.

How do I make these?

These are ready in a few steps:

  • Mix the plant-based milk and vinegar: and leave to curdle.
  • Whisk together all of the wet ingredients: in a mixer like this one.
  • Add in the dry ingredients: and whisk again.
  • Divide the mix into two equal parts: and colour one green.
  • Alternate between spoons of vanilla and green batter: into cupcake cases.
  • Gently swirl though with a toothpick: to mix the batters.
  • Bake for 19 minutes: or until well-risen and smelling amazing.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack: until fully cool.
  • Beat the buttercream ingredients together: until soft and fluffy.
  • Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes: and add some sprinkles.

How long will they last?

These cupcakes will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the fridge overnight, or you can freeze unfrosted cakes for 1 month, wrapped well. Allow to defrost before decorating with frosting.

Half eaten St Patrick's Day Vegan Cupcake
St Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

What else can I make?

If you are looking for more St Patrick’s Day recipes or green bakes:

A St Patrick's Day Vegan Cupcake on a plate

St Patrick's Day Vegan Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

Yield: 9
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

These St Patrick's Day Vegan Cupcakes are perfect for celebrating and they are so easy to make in one bowl with simple, plant-based, egg-free and gluten-free ingredients. Topped with luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting, they are delicious and light.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 240ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 80ml light olive oil
  • 100g coconut or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 280g plain or GF plain flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Natural green food gel, or 1 tsp matcha

For the Buttercream:

  • 70g vegan butter, softened
  • 50g vegan cream cheese
  • 300g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp plant-based milk

To Decorate:

  • Green sprinkles, and/or crushed pistachios


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC and line a muffin tray with 9 cases.
  2. Stir together the plant-based milk and vinegar and leave to one side to curdle.
  3. Into the bowl of a stand mixer (or bowl), add the milk mix, olive oil, sugar and vanilla and whisk on a low speed to combine.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the salt and mix again on a medium speed until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter into two bowls. To one bowl, add a small amount of green food colouring and whisk with a hand whisk until fully combined, adding more green colouring as needed.
  6. Add one spoon of vanilla batter to each cupcake, followed by a spoon of the green batter, and continue to alternate between vanilla and green until they are ¾ full. Use a toothpick to swirl the batters together.
  7. Place in the middle of the oven for 19-21 minutes, until well-risen, turning golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. Immediately remove from the tins and cool fully on a wire rack.
  9. For the buttercream: add the vegan butter to the Salter Bakes Freestanding Mixer and beat until smooth before adding in the cream cheese and beating again. Gradually add in the icing sugar and vanilla and beat over a medium-high speed until really creamy, adding the milk as needed. Beat for a further minute to make the frosting really light. Place into a piping bag with a star-shaped (or other) nozzle).
  10. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and decorate with the sprinkles and pistachios.
  11. Enjoy straight away or keep in a sealed container for 2-3 days (in the fridge overnight) or freeze unfrosted cupcakes for 1 month and allow to defrost before decorating.

Shop the recipe

Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of these St Patrick’s Day Vegan Cupcakes 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 @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With St Paddy’s cupcake love x

p.s. this recipe was first made with Salter and their kitchen bakeware but this blog post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

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