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Tasty Tuesday - No fuss Chocolate Cupcakes

Prevani Kistan-Naidoo

My son volunteered that he will take chocolate cupcakes for his teacher's birthday tomorrow... baked by his mum the night before while he was soundly asleep. Every mum needs a go-to recipe for these surprise bake days, so here's a great recipe, with not too much sugar in the cupcake, perfect for a bunch of active 8 year olds. It's easy enough to make on a weeknight after the kids go to bed, and it has been a great hit as birthday party treats so far.

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • 188g cake flour
  • 160g sugar
  • 65g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 180g buttermilk
  • 188g warm water
  • 54.5g vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 225g softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 360g powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cream (decrease this if you want a stiffer icing)
  • Gel food colouring. You can use different colours if you have a twin piping bag.


  • Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
  • Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners. The recipe makes 24 cupcakes, so you may need to use two trays or bake in two batches.
  • Beat the eggs to get some air into them. Whisk in the buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla extract. 
  • Add all the dry ingredients to this mix, and whisk until smooth, making sure that everything is well mixed in.
  • Fill each cupcake 2/3 full and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Test by sticking in a toothpick and checking if it comes out clean.
  • Remove from the tray and allow to cool completely.
  • For the icing, beat butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time beating in between.
  • If you are using two colours, separate icing into two batches and add food colouring.
  • Transfer into a piping bag and pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.

These cupcakes are perfect for a kid's party, but they're even better with an espresso as a late night snack for a tired mum.

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