Easy Peasy Chocolate Cupcakes

I love recipes that involve only a couple of steps. Especially when it comes to baking! This recipe was passed on to me by my mother, who is a terrific baker and would whip up the most extraordinary desserts in minutes! Icing on the cake right!? 🙂

She never really had the patience to spend a lot of time measuring or whipping or sieving and yet anything she made would taste so incredible. The ingredients would just come together so well! (I still dream of her Orange soufflé with those lovely delicious bits of orange rind. – coming up soon).

I, on the other hand, have always focused on the recipe, getting the exact measurements and making sure it looked exactly like it did in the book or photo and still struggle to get the taste right. With this one, I didn’t have to try too hard to get it to taste good. It is definitely a winner! Made a batch on the husband’s birthday as we had just returned from a trip the previous night and being a weekday, I didn’t have the time to bake an elaborate cake…like this 30 layer cake on his 30th – 

30 layer cake

This year, he just had to make do with these mini cupcakes!

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Doesn’t look terribly disappointed now, does he? 🙂

Here is what you need to make these beauties –

* 4 table spoons of good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1  cup all-purpose flour
* 1  cup sugar
* 1  tsp baking soda
* 1 large free range egg
* ¾ cup oil
* ¾ cup yoghurt
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the over to 180C or 350F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. The recipe makes about 24 mini cupcakes.

Mix all the ingredients in one large bowl and the batter is ready.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each two thirds full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back with touched with a knife.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.

Simple icing –

* 1 can of condensed milk
* 4 table spoons of good quality unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine until smooth, decorate your cupcakes and watch them disappear! 🙂

Rainy Day Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream Frosting

Banana-buttercream-frosting

After a VERY long dry spell, it is finally raining! I love rainy days and thunderstorms make me happy. They fill me with a sense of nostalgia and bring back some really precious memories. I am reminded of all the yummy treats my mother would whip up just because it was raining! So to celebrate the rains, I spent the morning reminiscing and baking cupcakes.  Also, what better way to commemorate the season of love (oh the rains make me all fuzzy!) 🙂

Even if you don’t like the rains, try these Rainy Day Cupcakes because they will totally lift you up and brighten your day. Enjoy a cupcake or two with your loved ones, and feel the spirit of the season!

These are really easy to make and all you really need is two large bowls. Took me less than an hour to make and less than ten seconds to wolf down a few.

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Here is what you need

A 12-cup muffin pan, paper liners, 1 bowl, a whisk, a measuring jug that holds at least 1 cup, measuring cups and spoons, a fork and a spoon or spatula.

The recipe below makes 8 cupcakes. 

Ingredients 

For the cakes –

  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup (79 ml – 118 ml) reduced fat (2 %) milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting –

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) soft butter
  • 2 cups (400 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line 8 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to the 4 empty muffin cups (this helps to make sure the muffins bake evenly).

  • Combine flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder and the salt in a large bowl with a whisk. Whisk well.
  • Next, add vegetable oil to a measuring jug that holds at least 1 cup. Add the egg then fill the jug to the 1-cup line with milk (this should be 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of milk). Add vanilla extract and whisk with a fork until combined.
  • Add milk mixture to the bowl with flour and sugar then use a fork to combine. Do not over mix.

cupcakes

  • Spoon the batter into the paper liners. I generally use an ice cream scoop so that all my cup cakes turn out the same size.
  • Bake these for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are no longer wet and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out with crumbs and not batter.
  • Once done, let them cool on a wire rack and work on your frosting.

I decided to make Banana Buttercream frosting and although I have never made it before, it turned out quite well. In fact, it was so good that I think I prefer it to any other kind!

  • With a hand mixer, cream together the banana, butter and vanilla extract.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, until you have a rich and creamy frosting.  I added some blue food coloring but you can choose to not add any.
  • Frost your lovely cakes and prepare to watch them get demolished.

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This one is for all my loved ones out there.
Love, hugs and kisses!

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