Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes

The first time I saw this recipe was on Junior Masterchef last year. The young cooks were challenged to create Donna Hay’s chocolate layer cake. The cake looked so fudgey and scrumptious I stashed the recipe away for a rainy day. That day came along a few weeks ago but instead of making the layer cake I turned the glorious chocolate batter into chocolate cupcakes. The recipe is quite simple making it a good go-to recipe. It uses cocoa for the flavouring so it’s best to use the good quality stuff.

The ingredients

Just a few kitchen staples are used to make this chocolate delight.

Step one

The recipe says to melt the butter together with the water and cocoa in a saucepan. I took the lazy route and melted the butter in the microwave then mixed it together with the hot water and cocoa. Add this mixture to the flour, bicarbonate and sugar and whisk it all together.

Step two

Add the buttermilk, egg and vanilla and gently whisk them into the batter.

Cake batter

It’s quite a runny batter.

Ready for baking

Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and fill them about 2/3 of the way. Bake the cupcakes at 160C fan-forced for 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Naked chocolate cupcakes

Mmm… chocolate cake.

Cooling off

Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

The icing’s on the cakes

Ice the cupcakes with your favourite chocolate icing. I would share my recipe but I made it up. It’s a combination of buttercream and ganache. Enjoy!

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes


5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate cupcakes
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 125g (1/2 cup) butter, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (35g) cocoa
  • 2 cups (300g) plain AP flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 cups (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (125ml) buttermilk (or the same amount of milk with a little lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C(320F) fan-forced.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave in short bursts then place it, the hot water and the cocoa in a small bowl and mix them together.
  3. In a large bowl, place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sugar and pour over the chocolatey mixture. Whisk it all together then add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk them through.
  4. Fill the cupcake pans ⅔ of the way with the batter. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  5. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Ice with your favourite chocolate icing.

Are you a chocoholic?.. Check out Chocolate Lessons


  • Stacey

    Reply Reply February 27, 2013

    OMG I just made these for my sons first birthday, they are fantastic!!
    So simple to make. Lovely & moist.
    I also used cute Robert Gordon carnival cases but I overfilled some & it turned into a choc molten mess – but still tasty!
    I am about to decorate them choc icing & coloured sprinkles!
    Thanks for the post 🙂

    • Claire

      Reply Reply February 27, 2013

      Yay Stacey I’m so glad you liked them! Happy 1st Birthday to your little boy!

  • Khadija Muzaffar

    Reply Reply December 2, 2012

    OMG wow. I’m 17 and I’m from Pakistan, which is all the way in Asia, and I’m in love with those cupcakes of yours! Btw how exactly did you make the icing? We used just ganache, instead of buttermilk and ganache, but I’d like to know how that brilliant glossy icing is made 🙂
    And I LOVEEE the cupcake liners. I’m gonna have to look hard for them, or maybe I’ll order them online =P

    • Claire

      Reply Reply December 3, 2012

      Thanks so much and how wonderful that you’re making them all the way over in Pakistan! My icing is just a combination of icing sugar and water. You can also use one egg white, beat it until frothy and then beat in 1 cup of icing sugar and a little lemon juice. It will set nice and hard and glossy.

  • Amrita

    Reply Reply March 20, 2012

    I love your cupcake cases! Where on earth did you get them from? I think I’ll make some of those at home.

    P.S.:- I know I’m ignoring to mention the chocolate-ness of the cupcakes but I’m drooling here. You just can’t see that’s all. Also, Donna Hay rocks at fudgy cakes. I once made her one-bowl chocolate dessert cake for my friends and I have a sneaky suspicion that all the men present at the party fell in love with me that day ;-D and the women were too busy eating to notice.

  • Rikki

    Reply Reply March 15, 2012

    These are so beautiful! I love the blue sprinkles and cups with the chocolate.

    • Claire

      Reply Reply March 15, 2012

      Thanks Rikki!The sprinkles went rather well with the cupcake cases didn’t they?

  • Piano Grand

    Reply Reply July 28, 2011

    With such very cute Chocolate cupcakes, I’m very sure that my kids will have fun munching them. I can’t wait trying it as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Melanie Jumbo

    Reply Reply July 17, 2011

    This is so chocolate-y! My kids saw this recipe and they ask me to bake this as soon as possible. LOL. They are very excited to put the cupcake on their mouth.

  • Inspired2cook

    Reply Reply July 8, 2011

    Super cute cupcakes…and chocolate is my favorite!

  • celia

    Reply Reply July 7, 2011

    So cute! I love those Robert Gordon wrappers as well! Looks like a lovely chocolatey treat, Claire..

  • OOh I love the ribbony texture of the icing and the sprinkles. And aren’t those cupcake liners the cutest? 🙂

    • Claire

      Reply Reply July 7, 2011

      I have so many of them in my pantry. I think friands will be next.

  • Sarah Austin

    Reply Reply July 6, 2011

    Yum! I want one now x

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