Fail-safe cupcakes in any flavour

I love baking and trying new recipes. I also love those use-things-from-the-cupboard-and-fridge-and-see-what-happens dishes where they always seem to come together and taste amazing.

Over the past week, I have been playing around with cupcake recipes. There’s something about the smell of baking (or the smell I imagine emanates from my oven when I have a cold and can’t smell a thing) that soothes me when I am unwell. I found this ( chocolate cupcake recipe and adapted it slightly to create the tastiest spongiest, fluffiest cupcakes I have ever made. Let’s be clear. I have tried making cakes and loaves before. There was always something slightly too dense about my cakes in the past though and I don’t know if it is the quantities of fat to eggs that was different, or the method I used but it just seemed to click.


I have made three batches in the past 2 weeks. One of them was incredibly fluffy and soft with a slightly crispy top and was slathered with a generous helping of Betty Crocker frosting. Now now, I know I cheated a little but here is a little disclaimer. I have made my own icings and frostings in the past. I simply wanted to taste what a commercially produced frosting tasted like so that I could compare the textures and flavours.

Here is the recipe I used (from the link above)


  • 4oz (125g) butter
  • 4oz (125g) caster sugar
  • 3oz (100g) self raising flour
  • 1oz (25g) cocoa
  • 2 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Buttercream Topping/ Frosting:

  • 5oz (125g) unsalted butter
  • 10oz (250g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa mixed with a little hot water or, 100g (4oz) melted chocolate


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160° C fan , 180°C , 350°F/ gas mark 4.
  • Put 12 muffin cases into a muffin/ bun tray
  • Cream together the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer (this should only take approx 3 minutes using an electric hand mixer)
  • Gradually add the eggs, about a tablespoon at a time and beat after each addition
  • Mix in the vanilla extract. Using a large metal sieve sift the flour/ cocoa into the bowl
  • Gently fold the flour/ cocoa into the mixture until thoroughly mixed
  • Add the milk and mix gently
  • Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and slightly raised
  • To check they are cooked insert a skewer into the centre of one of the cakes – it should come out clean. If the mixture is stuck to the skewer return the cakes to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the tins to cool for approx 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Chocolate Butter Cream/ Frosting

  • Place butter  in a large mixing bowl, and beat using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until soft
  • Gradually sift in the icing sugar mixing well after each addition (the more you beat the lighter and fluffier the frosting will be)
  • Beat in the chocolate (add milk if necessary to give a softer consistency to allow for piping)

The Cake Recipe Team Comments:

  • If not using the chocolate butter cream/ chocolate frosting straight away it can be stored for up to a week if stored in the fridge. Once removed from the fridge it should be left for at least an hour to obtain room temperature

There was one occasion when I used a handful of chocolate chips to the recipe and left out the 25g of Cocoa powder and I had lovely vanilla choc chic cupcakes! I mixed everything by hand so I melted the butter into a soft paste by placing in the microwave for 20 seconds.


I’m literally dribbling at the thought of all of the combinations of flavours of cake which could be made, simply by substituting a few flavours here and there.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of this simple recipe thanks to the lovely people at the Cake Recipe.


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