Chocolate Cupcakes

I swear, these chocolate cupcakes are the easiest thing in the whole world. You mix it all in one bowl.  It takes less than 15 minutes, and then you pop them in the oven.  Easy-peasy.

Like many a child of the 80s, I grew up with cupcakes and cakes made from boxed cake mixes.  Once I started baking and realized that making cakes from scratch required very little extra work, and resulted in a vastly superior flavour, I was kind-of confused as to why anyone thought that those boxed cake mixes were a good idea. To me, they always end up tasting like stale vegetable oil and sugar, even more so now that I have the comparison of my own, super-delicious cupcakes.

I get it, I get it; our moms were sold on the supposed convenience – you don’t have to buy all of those ingredients, you don’t have to find the measuring spoons, you just throw a couple of things into a bowl and badda-boom, badda-bing – cupcakes!

Except that those cupcakes are gross.  And all of these ingredients keep well (except for the eggs and buttermilk).  And you’re an adult, so learn do bake, why don’tcha? It’s like, super-easy.  Your great-grandma probably did it in a wood-fired oven while pregnant and suffering from cholera or something. ((No, she didn’t; people with cholera have no time for baking.

And sugar was like, a luxury. As was cocao. And probably vanilla, too. ))

Wondering what to do with the extra buttermilk? Why not try making Buttermilk Pancakes?


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Note: buy the brand-name cocoa; it’s one of those products where it makes a noticeable difference)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  3. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  4. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  5. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
  6. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  7. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. You can use the cooling time to whip up a batch of home-made buttercream icing!