Chocolate Cupcakes


280g caster sugar

80g salted butter

1 TBSP baking powder

200g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

200ml whole milk

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract


80g salted butter

250g icing sugar

2 TBSP milk

1tsp vanilla extract

A drop of colour


Preheat oven to 160C.

Use ‘K’ whip on a stand mixer or hand held beaters

Cream butter and sugar and eggs together until no longer grainy, light and fluffy.  Mix the rest of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and then combine with buttercream on slow speed.  Mix together in another bowl (or better still, a jug) the milk and vanilla and slowly pour wet into dry, mixing all the time, until thoroughly combined.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, making sure there are no clumps of dry ingredients at the bottom and beat again for a few more seconds until totally smooth and combined.  You should have a thick wet mixture resembling melting ice cream or very thick paint.

Use a classic metal round ice cream scoop (must have the spring handle and semi circular scraper inside) to dispense mixture evenly amongst the cases.  If you are using standard cupcake cases, often referred to as muffin cases (7cm at the top opening of case/tin, and 4 ½ cm base) then you will be able to fill 20, or even up to 24 if you are lucky, with this mixture.  Scrape the excess off the scoop on the inside of the bowl so that you get a perfect level scoop’s worth in each case.  Don’t worry that they look like they are not very well filled – they will rise up to the edge of the case in a nice, gentle dome ready to be iced.

I wanted to create a mixture that would fill to the lip of the case when baked, so that you could pipe frosting on top of the cake and to the edge of the case if you wanted to, but have the edge of the cupcake not overflowing with frosting.  This way you can transport the cakes in a box without the frosting getting in a mess and rubbing against other cakes, while still ensuring that there was plenty of frosting on each cake!

For the frosting; simply beat the butter until soft and add a couple of large spoonfuls of icing sugar at a time until all combined.  When all the sugar is combined, beat the frosting for a few minutes with a TBSP of milk until it starts to become pale and fluffy, then add the vanilla and the rest of the milk if necessary.  It looks like a terrifying ratio, but I promise it works – I have unapologetically stolen it from the Hummingbird bakery, who often beat their frosting on high for a good ten minutes to get it to the fabulously light consistency that makes these magical little cakes legendary.  Hold back on the sprinkles – less is more in my book, and try to use colours that are not offensively barbie-esque.  Dark chocolate and pastel pink or dusty blue are always a winner – and I defy you not to get a smile from even the most ardent cupcake hater.


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