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


Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes


  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 125g (1/2 cup) butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (35g) cocoa
  • 2 cups (300g) plain AP flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 cups (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 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 2/3 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

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