Recipe: Chocolate Cupcakes

I had a friend come over for tea this week, and what better way to enjoy tea-time than with chocolate cupcakes! I adapted the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and tweaked it a little. My edits are in italics, but if you want to follow the original recipe, click the link. The cupcakes were perfectly moist, and not too sweet; thank goodness. Because her vanilla frosting recipe was really sweet. So the two balanced each other out.


Now, between you and me, I nearly didn’t put this post up, because I didn’t think the pictures were great. I really had no intention to blog this when I was making them. But they were such a treat, that it would be selfish not to share. Also, it’s been a while since I shared a recipe, hasn’t it?PhotoGrid_1455271863777PhotoGrid_1455271934664

I know the South East Asia travel posts have been on hold. My external hard drive broke (it has all the pictures and videos), and I need to replace the enclosure. What’s annoying is that I can see what the problem is (Hello electrical engineering degree!) but because it is a printed circuit board, I can’t even solder it back on. So I will have to give a couple of thousand of Kenyan Shillings to a stranger, for something that I know how to fix!

Enough chit chat…



  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of soluble/instant coffee (my addition)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) white sugar (can use brown sugar too)- my alteration
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature (substitute: mix 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice with ordinary milk, and let it sit for a few minutes till it starts to curdle)

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 – 5 cups (480-600g) icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream/ cream cheese (optional if the frosting is too thick)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste
  • sprinkles, chopped nuts, chocolate chips and shavings etc (optional)PhotoGrid_1455271814943


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix.
  3. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 way full.Bake in batches for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. (I’ll often thrown them in the fridge to cool quickly if I’m pressed for time)PhotoGrid_1455271839338
  4. Make the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer (or your good old hand, like I did), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. (I had to add a lot of salt and it was still too sweet)
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. Decorate as desired. (I frosted some, dusted some with icing sugar, and left some untouched)PhotoGrid_1455272083588


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