Chocolate Cupcakes

We all need a go-to chocolate cupcake recipe that we can whip up at a moment’s notice. This simple recipe is fool proof and only requires ingredients that are pantry staples. It freezes well after baking so comes in handy as a treat for the school lunch box. You can also whip up some butter cream topped with your favourite sprinkles, such as hundreds and thousands. Your family and guests will love them.


1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup flavourless vegetable oil (such as canola or soya bean)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup boiling water



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, or 160ºC in a fan-forced oven.
  2. Line 12 muffin trays with your favourite paper cases.
  3. Put the kettle on, bring water to the boil.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the sugars and stir together well.
  5. Slightly beat the egg, oil, milk and vanilla essence together in a separate bowl. Add to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Beat with a mixer until well combined.
  6. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Gently add the boiling water and beat until well combined. The batter will be runny.
  7. Use a lipped measuring cup or a ladle to fill the paper cases until 2/3 to 3/4 full. Do not over fill as the batter will overflow during baking. If there is any batter left, use to fill additional paper cases.
  8. Gently drop the baking tray on the kitchen counter 3-4 times to release the air bubbles in the batter.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  10. Once cool, eat, freeze or decorate as desired.

Butter Icing

  1. Soften 200g of butter (it is very important not to melt the butter). Add 3 cups of sieved icing sugar*, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1+1/2 tsp of vanilla essence and 3tbsp of cold milk. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add desired food colouring if desired.
  3. If the icing is too stiff, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the icing is too runny, add a little more icing sugar.
  4. Spread or pipe onto the cupcakes.

*  To make chocolate butter icing, add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the icing sugar at the beginning. Omit the food colouring


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