By: Tasneem Amos

My sister was always considered the “baker” and I the “cook” growing up. Ever since she moved to China, I was pretty much left without my baking side kick and had a choice of either learning or spending. I chose learning of cause; we’re all about being cost effective.

I’ve tried different cupcake recipes but this by far was the most moist and easiest recipe to follow. Once again, a very basic recipe so it really allows you to have fun with it.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

• ½ cup of buttermilk

• 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

• 1/3 cup of vegetable oil

• 2 large eggs

• ¾ cup of cake flour

• ½ cup of cocoa

• ½ teaspoon of baking soda

• ¾ teaspoon of baking powder

• ¼ teaspoon salt

• ½ cup of white granulated sugar

• ½ cup of packed light brown sugar

• Chocolate of your choice

** make sure your buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature

Icing

• 4 cups of icing sugar

• 2 sticks of butter = 1 cup

• 1-2 tablespoons of milk

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Things you will need

• Three mixing bowls; one for the dry ingredients, another for the wet and one for the icing

• A whisk or wooden spoon

• Ice cream scoop of table spoon

• Muffin tray

• Cupcake liners

• Piping bag – disposable piping bags come with some icing sugar packages or you can kick it old school and spoon your icing.

Method (Cupcakes)

1. Preheat your oven between 175 – 180 degrees Celsius

2. Line your muffin tray and leave aside

3. In one bowl thoroughly mix your flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and leave aside

4. In the other bowl, mix your eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla.

5. Add half of your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and add half of your buttermilk. Whisk gently to combine.

6. Add the remainder of your wet ingredients and the remaining buttermilk to the mixture and combine.

7. Do not over mix as this will cause air bubbles and will result in you losing the moisture element (I learnt this the wrong way)

8. Scoop your mixture into your lined muffin tray. Remember to fill each liner just half way.

9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until you insert a knife or tooth pick in the centre and it comes out clean

10. Leave to cool

Method (Icing)

1. In a bowl, mix your icing sugar and butter

2. Add in your vanilla

3. Add in your milk, a tablespoon at a time as you might not need two

4. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and add to your piping bag

5. Set aside in the fridge until your cup cakes are cooled

Once cooled, ice as desired, grate your chocolate and sprinkle over.

Substitutes that can be used

• Vanilla essence instead if pure extract

• Canola or coconut oil instead of vegetable oil

• Margarine instead of butter for the icing.

• Caramel treats instead of buttercream icing or even whipped fresh cream

• You can top with nuts, sprinkles or even cherries… it really is up to you.

Remember, baking too is an art, go head and have fun with it and become the Picasso of your kitchen.

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