Vegan Treats for Two: Happy Applesauce-Coconut Cupcakes

Oh, these little cakes. When they are baking, they make the house smell like joy. That's why I call them "happy" cupcakes. I love to eat them, but I love to smell them even more. Maybe it's just me and you'll be unimpressed with them if you make them, but these are like catnip to me. Not that I roll around on the floor looking deranged and rubbing them all over my body like cats do with catnip. That would be odd. They just have an *effect* on my brain.

They don't look like much. They are not flashy. They don't have anything gooey in them or on them. But I love them. They are a little applesaucy, a little coconutty, and a little almondy. No one flavor overpowers the others. Instead, they kind of merge to create a yummy flavor all of its own.

No cinnamon? No! Cinnamon ruins the flavor. I tried it. The attention-hogging cinnamon tried to make these cupcakes all about herself. That flashy madam.

Happy Applesauce-Coconut Cupcakes for Two

25 g white sugar
10 g light brown sugar
15 g vegetable oil or melted coconut oil at room temperature
20 g applesauce
20 g vegan milk (plus more later)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp white vinegar
30 g all purpose flour
10 g finely shredded unsweetened coconut*
1/16 tsp salt
1/16 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder

1. These baking directions are for the Cuisinart TOB-60. You'll probably need to experiment with your toaster oven settings to get the best results. More on that here: How to Bake Perfect Cupcakes in a Toaster Oven. Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees F (160 degrees C) and spray two cupcake liners with cooking spray. Place the liners in a small muffin tin. For the Cuisinart TOB-60, preheat the oven on the WARM function so that only the bottom heating elements are activated.

2. In a small bowl or coffee cup combine the sugars, oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and vinegar and whisk vigorously for at least 30 seconds.

3. Sift in the flour and add the coconut, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

4. Stir gently until everything is incorporated. Try not to over mix the batter.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake on the WARM setting for 12 minutes, then switch to the BAKE setting and bake for an extra eight minutes or until they're golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. If you're using a different toaster oven you may be able to use the BAKE setting from the start.


. I only ever use Edward & Sons shredded coconut because is super finely shredded. I don't know how they would turn out with a thicker shredded coconut.

. Depending on your oven, these may or may not get nice and toasty on top. The top is the best part! So, if they're not browning up just broil them at 400 degrees F for a minute and that should do it. Keep an eye on them while you're broiling them!


. Check out my blog post about baking cupcakes in a toaster oven. It explains why I use the WARM setting for the first 12 minutes of the bake and why I don't use the BAKE setting from the start. The short story: by using the WARM setting and activating only the bottom heating elements for the first 12 minutes, the cupcakes get a chance to rise properly without the heat from top heating elements beating down on them. But there is more detailed info on that post, along with side-by-side photos of cupcakes to compare the different baking settings.

. All the ingredients are weighed, even the liquids, and I'm using the metric system. Grams are more convenient than ounces or cups when it comes to baking tiny batches of things. I use a digital scale which has a handy "tare" button that lets me reset the weight after I add each ingredient.Screw you, unreliable cups and tablespoons! Except for baking soda and salt and all those tiny pinches of things. For those I use my tiny 1/8 tsp from my set of Wilton measuring spoons. How do you measure 1/16 tsp of salt and baking soda? I eyeball it using half of an 1/8 tsp.

. I bake everything in a Cuisinart TOB-60 toaster oven. You may need to experiment with your toaster oven to get the best result.

Maybe you've already seen these on my YouTube channel. If not, here is the video. It's supposed to be slow and relaxing, but if you find it slow and annoying you can adjust the speed! :)

OK, I'll leave you with that then. Can't see it? Here's the link to the video on YouTube.


  1. You are too hilarious! I'm picturing how loopy cats get when playing with catnip :). That is the best thing ever.

    1. Hehe, cats are so wonderfully kooky! We used to have a cat visitor who loved to rub himself silly on a catnip-scented scratcher. He used to rub his head up and down that thing over and over again with a blissful look on his face. Kook! :)

  2. Yes! Loving all these unfrosted cupcakes! Nice way to get a sweet treat without going sugar crazy! (PS I went to a dessert buffet last night, so I'm all sugared out).

    1. Exactly! Sometimes unfrosted hits the spot. I love these with a cup of hot coffee and frosting would only get in the way. A dessert buffet sounds awesome! But yeah, I imagine the sugar hungover must be rough! :)

  3. I'm always team unfrosted. Even though I'm anti-coconut, these sound AWESOME with the applesauce.

    1. Now you're making me rethink the title of this recipe. I should have called it Applesawesome Coconut Cupcakes! :P

  4. Dang, it's time to dust off my metric scale! Oh cinnamon, you spice drawer diva ;)

    1. I don't think I'll ever go back to the imperial system. Unless I do, because I am fickle! But grams are so much more convenient and accurate for measuring tiny amounts of ingredients for these little recipes. Team Metric! :)

  5. These sound so good, and are perfect for something I have coming up! Of course I will not use coconut oil in them. But I can definitely enjoy shredded coconut without any issues. :D

    1. No coconut oil! Down with coconut oil! :D

      I'm glad you can have shredded coconut because that thing is tasty. I hope you love these as much as I do if you make them! Mr. Wing-It says they're "good", but he uses his high pitched voice that means "they're good but I don't see why you're so gaga over them." The cheek.

  6. i just love these cupcakes and they are so light and fluffy. Cant wait to try.

  7. I love your blog.. have made these goodies today and God how delicious they tasted.


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