If you're looking for a delicious vegan treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than these incredibly moist Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes with Vegan Irish Cream Frosting! The natural sweetness of figs combined with rich chocolate makes for a flavor combination that will tantalize your taste buds.
And not only are these cupcakes vegan-friendly – but they are also surprisingly easy to make! I’m here to help guide you every step of the way as we bake together a decadent batch of vegan cupcake perfection.
This recipe is in partnership with Valley Fig Growers.
I'm excited to partner with Valley Fig Growers to bring you these vegan chocolate cupcakes featuring Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs. The pairing of figs and chocolate is a divine combination!
Homemade fig whiskey jam is mixed with chocolatey cupcake batter to make these rich and decadent cupcakes topped with homemade Vegan Irish Cream Frosting. These cupcakes are perfect for any celebration!
I loved incorporating Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs into this vegan cupcake recipe; these figs are moist, delicious, and good for you. The color and sweetness of California Dried Mission Figs complement the chocolate perfectly.
For more delicious and elegant desserts with fruit, try my Vegan Plum Cake, Poached Pears in Red Wine, and Vegan Linzer Cookies.
Benefits of figs
The California Dried Mission Figs add moisture and contribute to the texture of the cupcakes. They are also a great source of health-promoting dietary fiber, adding a healthy twist to these indulgent cupcakes.
Figs contain many essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium and are rich in antioxidants and complex carbohydrates.
Here are the ingredients to make these delicious vegan chocolate fig cupcakes. The fig whiskey jam and vegan Irish Cream frosting ingredients are not pictured.
- California Dried Mission Figs add moisture and contribute to the delicious taste and moist texture of the cupcakes. You can get them directly from Valley Fig Growers or your local natural grocery store.
- Fig Whiskey Jam - soak dried black Mission figs in water and whiskey, then cook them with lemon juice and brown sugar. Cool them and then puree them in a food processor to make the fig whiskey jam.
- Organic Cane Sugar - this is vegan.
- Water with Coffee Extract - you may use strong coffee instead.
- Mini vegan chocolate chips for extra chocolate!
- Cake flour - this gives a tender and fluffy texture to these cupcakes.
- Dutch process cocoa - either unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa or unsweetened natural cacao powder will work, or a mixture. Do not use hot chocolate mix. I used unsweetened organic cacao powder to make the frosting - this is optional.
- All-purpose flour - I use organic plain flour. I have not used other flour in this recipe, such as oat flour or spelt flour; it would change the texture of the cupcakes. Do not use almond flour or coconut flour. For best results, use all-purpose flour.
- Oil - I use grapeseed oil or avocado oil in this recipe.
- Icing sugar (not pictured) - also called confectioner's sugar - is needed for the vegan Irish Cream buttercream icing.
- Vegan sprinkles - these are optional but they make these cupcakes even more fun! I read the label to ensure the product vegan (no shellac or carmine) and has no artificial colors or dyes.
Here is the equipment you will need to make the fig whiskey jam:
- Small saucepan
- Citrus juicer
- Food processor
- Small bowl
This is the equipment you need to make the vegan chocolate fig cupcakes:
- Large bowl and small mixing bowl
- Two 12-well muffin tins or 24-well muffin tin - If you use only one muffin tin and fill the batter to the top instead of ⅔ full, your cupcakes will likely spread at the top, making them look more like muffins. They'll still taste incredible!
- Fifteen muffin/cupcake liners - I prefer environmentally responsible unbleached liners that don't stick to the cupcakes.
Here is the equipment you need to make vegan Irish cream frosting:
- Stand mixer to make the frosting.
- Wire rack to cool the cupcakes.
- Pastry bag and 1M tip for decorating the cupcakes, or use a butter knife or icing spatula. This decorating kit is handy, and it includes the 1M tip. You can experiment with other tips as well.
Overview of Instructions
It just takes a few steps and preplanning to make these moist and delicious cupcakes!
- Make the Vegan Irish Cream ahead of time or buy it at the grocery store.
- Make the Fig Whiskey Jam ahead of time.
- Bake the vegan chocolate fig cupcakes. If you don't frost them the same day, store them overnight in a covered container after cooling completely.
- Make the vegan Irish Cream Frosting while the cupcakes are cooling, or make the frosting the next day. You can even make the Irish Cream frosting in advance and refrigerate it until needed. I make the frosting the next day.
How to make Fig Whiskey Jam
I typically start this the night before baking day. You can start soaking the dried figs the night before and make the Fig Whiskey Jam in the morning before making the cupcakes.
- Soak the figs overnight in boiling water and Irish whiskey. Let them cool before covering them in an airtight container, and place them in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, you will make the jam. Start by cooking the mixture of water, whiskey, and figs on the stovetop with light brown sugar, lemon juice, and a little salt. Then gently simmer for approximately eight to ten minutes, until the figs are soft, being careful not to have a rolling boil, or too much liquid will boil away.
- Check for softness by pressing your spatula into the figs now and then. They should start yielding to pressure. Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool.
- Add the mixture to a food processor and puree for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth. If your mixture is too thick, you can add a teaspoon of water at a time until it's less thick, but I haven't had to do this. Place the jam in a glass container. Once the jam has cooled, place it in the fridge for up to ten days.
- You will need half a cup of jam to make the cupcakes. You can use the rest of the jam in the frosting or reserve it for another use. Suggestions on how to use the fig jam are below.
How to make these vegan chocolate fig cupcakes
Preheat the oven and place 15 liners in the muffin tin or tins.
If you don't have two tins or a large muffin tin with 24 wells, you can use one muffin tin only. However, the batter will rise to the top and mound, making the cupcakes look like muffins. They'll still taste great! You will likely need to bake for a few extra minutes.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine, making a well in the center.
Whisk together the wet ingredients in a bowl with the Whiskey Fig Jam.
Add the wet ingredients into the middle of the dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula until smooth.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners and fill to about ⅔ full. I used another pan that is not pictured. I filled the empty muffin tins with a small amount of water.
Bake the cupcakes for 22 to 25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake to avoid dry cupcakes. Cupcakes should spring back when you gently press the centers.
- Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting them. Wait at least two hours.
- Make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting while the cupcakes are cooling, or make it the next day.
Make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- It is not essential to have the butter at room temperature first because beating it will warm it up quickly. The vegan butter can be slightly chilled. Cut each stick of vegan butter into eight slices and place in the mixing bowl of the stand mixer. I used soy-free Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks.
- Sift the confectioner's sugar and cacao powder in a large bowl.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the vegan butter at medium to high speed for two minutes until creamy. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the sifted confectioner's sugar and the optional sifted cocoa powder. Start by mixing it on low speed at first, then beat it on high speed until mixed.
- Add Vegan Irish cream and vanilla extract, beat briefly to combine.
- It is optional to the remaining Whiskey Fig Jam to the icing. Make sure the remaining Whiskey Fig Jam is at room temperature if you plan on adding it to the frosting at the end.
How to frost the cupcakes
- This decorating kit is handy, and it includes the 1M tip. You can experiment with other tips as well! You can frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or an icing spatula if you don't wish to get fancy.
- You can practice your frosting skills on a plate before you try it on your cupcake!
- If you like the swirled frosting, here's what to do: transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M tip. It's easiest to do this by placing the empty piping bag with the tip in a tall plastic or stainless steel drinking glass. Fold the edges over the rim of the glass, and spoon the frosting in, stopping a few inches short of the top of the bag. Twist the top of the bag and press your hand into the pastry bag, getting the air out of the frosting as it's pushed down toward the 1M tip.
- Place a dollop of frosting in the center of the top of the cupcake, then start frosting at the edge of the cupcake, circling your way to the center and lifting the piping tip slightly.
- Light brown sugar - you can use dark brown sugar instead when you make the fig whiskey jam.
- Coffee extract mixed with 1 cup water - you can use one tablespoon of instant coffee or one strong cup of fresh coffee, cooled.
- Vegan mini chocolate chips - you can use regular-sized vegan chocolate chips or chop up an equivalent amount of quality vegan dark chocolate.
- Cake flour - you can make your own by measuring a half cup of all-purpose flour, removing a tablespoon, and replacing it with cornstarch. You can use only all-purpose flour in this recipe, but the crumb will not be as fine. You can also use pastry flour. Do not use self-rising flour in this recipe.
- Make the Fig Whiskey Jam a day or two before, along with the Vegan Irish Cream. This will make the day of baking and decorating go smoother.
- Let your cupcakes cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before you frost them.
- I recommend frosting the cupcakes the same day you bake them or the day after you bake. Storage tips are below.
You can make the frosting ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer.
- Store leftover frosting in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for 2 months. Let thaw, come to room temperature, and stir before using it again.
- You can keep these cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container for up to four days. After that, you can freeze them. I recommend freezing them if they aren't eaten within a few days. Do not refrigerate them to avoid drying them out.
- Cupcakes can be frozen for up to 2 months in a single layer in an airtight container. Once the cupcakes are frozen, cover each in plastic wrap and place it back in the airtight container.
- To thaw, take them out of the fridge for at least 30 to 60 minutes before eating them to let the frosting warm to room temperature.
How to use the remaining Fig Whiskey Jam
- You can add it to the frosting; it's delicious! Add it with the Vegan Irish Cream for an unexpected and fun twist to the frosting. The little bits of fig resemble bits of chocolate or chocolate jimmies.
- Serve the jam with crackers and a vegan cheese plate; make an easy dinner with salad and bread, or stir the jam into a vinaigrette for your salad. Or you can toss it with roasted Brussels sprouts.
- Add it to your next cake batter, muffin batter, or banana bread before you bake.
- Use it as a topping for pancakes and French toast instead of syrup. Mix it with vegan cream cheese for a crepe filling. Add the jam to overnight oats.
- Fold it into vegan yogurt, make a parfait, or spread it on toast or English muffins.
- Add the Fig Whiskey Jam to puff pastry squares, add vegan cream cheese and chopped nuts, and bake. Substitute the Fig Whiskey Jam for cranberry jam in my Vegan Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites.
You can freeze these cupcakes frosted or unfrosted for up to one month. If they are frosted, partially freeze them until they get firm in the freezer, then wrap them with plastic wrap or foil and place them in an airtight container. The better wrapped they are, the better they will keep in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them, take the cupcakes out of the freezer, unwrap them, and let them sit at room temperature for an hour.
Yes! You can make the cupcakes ahead of time and store them at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple of days. Let them cool completely before storing them in the container to avoid condensation. If you need to store them longer than that, freeze them.
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Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes
For the Fig Whiskey Jam
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
- 2 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes
- 1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cake flour
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- ½ cup organic Dutch process cocoa powder or natural-process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup water or room temperature coffee, see below
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract or 1 cup coffee instead of water
- ½ cup Fig Whiskey Jam
- ½ cup vegan semisweet mini chocolate chips
For the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- 1 cup vegan buttery sticks 2 sticks
- 4 cups organic confectioner's sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder sifted, optional
- 3 tablespoons Vegan Irish Cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup Fig Whiskey Jam optional (remaining portion of jam) and recommended
- Vegan chocolate sprinkles optional
- Vegan heart sprinkles optional
- Vegan nonpareil rainbow sprinkles optional
To make the Fig Whiskey Jam
- Place the Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Mission Figs in a small glass bowl. Cover with the boiling water and add whiskey. Let cool. Cover and place in fridge overnight.
- The next day, pour the mixture into a small saucepan with high sides. Add light brown sugar, lemon, and salt. Mix and bring to a boil over medium heat, reducing heat to low to medium.
- Simmer at low to medium heat (not a rolling boil) for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently press edge of spatula into figs to check for softness.
- Let cool and puree in food processor for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth. Place in glass container. Store in fridge for up to 10 days. You will need ½ cup for the cupcake recipe; reserve the rest for another use or add it to the frosting.
To make the Vegan Chocolate Fig Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place 15 cupcake liners in the muffin tin.
- Sift the flours, cane sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Make a well in the center.
- Whisk together the water, oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and coffee extracts, and Whiskey Fig Jam in a bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients in the middle of the dry ingredients and gently mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips., being careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, fill to about ⅔ full, and bake for 22-25 minutes. Fill any empty wells with a couple tablespoons of water. Cupcakes should spring back when you gently press the centers.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting. Make sure they are completely cool before frosting (two hours).
To make the Vegan Irish Cream Frosting
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium to high speed for two minutes until creamy and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Add sifted confectioner's sugar and optional sifted cocoa powder gradually, beating until combined.
- Add Vegan Irish cream and vanilla and beat until just mixed in, for approximately 30 seconds. If the frosting is too thick, add more vegan Irish cream. If it is too thin, add more icing sugar. Taste the frosting; if it is too sweet, add a pinch of salt.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a 1M tip and frost. Place a dollop in the center, then start at the edge of the cooled cupcake, circling your way to the center, lifting the tip at the middle when you are done. Top with vegan chocolate sprinkles.
- Enjoy your cupcakes the same day, or keep them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. See notes for details on storage.
- It is optional to the remaining Whiskey Fig Jam to the icing. Make sure the remaining Whiskey Fig Jam is at room temperature if you plan on adding it to the frosting at the end.
- Store leftover frosting in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for 2 months. Let thaw and come to room temperature, and stir before using it again.
- Cupcakes can be frozen up to 1 month in a single layer in an airtight container. Once cupcakes are frozen, cover each cupcake in plastic wrap and place back in the airtight container. Thaw on counter before serving.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.
Looks so delicious, I'll give it a try!
Thank you so much, Suchita, I hope you enjoy them!
Thank you very much, Brian! I am so happy that you enjoyed these cupcakes!
These are some of the best cupcakes I’ve tried. They are such a nice treat to share with friends too, since they look and taste like chocolate cupcakes, but the fig twist makes them special and tasty. They quickly became the center of our conversation when we shared them with our family!
Thank you very much, Marisol. I'm so glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed this special treat!
These were wonderful! Love the high quality ingredient list!
Thank you, Meryl for the five star review! I'm glad that you enjoy the high-quality ingredients, it's one of my top priorities. I hope to see you again soon!
Love figs coated in chocolate so I reckon you'd have a hard time keeping me away from these beauties. As for fig whiskey jam, there is only one word for it - wow!
Thank you, Choclette! I'm so glad to hear that you're a fan of figs with chocolate. The fig whiskey jam is tasty on toast and sandwiches, too!
That fig whiskey jam sounds incredible! I’m definitely making these this fall!
Hi Lauren! Thank you for your review! I'm so glad you are interested in making my fig whiskey jam. I hope you enjoy it!
These vegan fig cupcakes were so delicious! The fig whiskey jam was such a winner!
I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed these vegan fig cupcakes and whiskey jam, Kayla!
Figs and chocolate are the perfect combination. This is such a delicious indulgent treat! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Lucy. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I found this recipe, and it looked so delicious. It came out so perfectly. I can't believe it's vegan!
Hi Keri, thanks for the feedback! We're so happy that this recipe turned out so well for you!
Oh my goodness, these vegan chocolate fig cupcakes were amazing! Fig is my absolute favorite and I've never had them in a cupcake before. This will be my new go to dessert to bring to any party!
Thank you, Anaiah, I am so happy to hear that you loved these cupcakes - they are perfect for a party!
These were amazing, such grown-up flavours. The dates and figs made a lovely almost fudgy cupcake and the flavours were really delicious. Thank you for these Chocolate Fig Cupcakes, I'll be making them again.
Thank you for the kind words and feedback, Julia, we're happy to hear these chocolate fig cupcakes were a hit!
This might be my favorite new recipe. Absolutely delicious! I love figs, but haven't ever tried fig and chocolate together. It was really amazing.
Lisa, thank you so much for your review of our recipe. We're so glad that you found it to be delicious and loved the fig and chocolate combination!
These fig cupcakes are the bestttt! So sweet, easy to make and they were an absolute hit!
Thanks for the kind words, Andrea! We're so glad to hear you enjoyed these cupcakes!
The coffee extract gives them such a nice extra kick. What a fantastic and delicious recipe!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jacqui! I used coffee extract to give it that extra boost of flavor! Thanks so much for your feedback!
I am obsessed with this recipe!! I’ve made it over & over!! My husband loves the Irish Cream Frosting! 🧁
Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much for your review. I'm glad to hear that you and your husband enjoy this recipe!
The most perfect fig cupcake recipe! These were outstanding!
Katie, thank you so much for your review! I really appreciate it!
Oh my GAWD these are amazing!!! I never thought to add figs to cupcakes, but it's a total winner 🙂
Michelle, thank you so much for your review! I'm glad to hear our recipe is a winner!
That Fig Whiskey Jam was amazing! I think I would just add that to toast and everything else if I'm not making this cupcake!
Thank you, Nancy, for the feedback on our Fig Whiskey Jam, I'm so glad to hear that it was a hit!
Makes me wish I could find figs. I love love love that cute little 2-tiered cupcake plate.
Thank you so much, Deborah! We're able to get dried figs locally at Natural Grocers - they can be ordered straight from Valley Fig Growers as well. Their dried figs are of amazing quality - I've got them linked in the ingredient section in the recipe card and the blog post!