The Best Chocolate Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 70g (or ⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
  • 70g (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon, packed) light brown sugar
  • 30ml (or 2 tablespoons) sunflower oil
  • ½ large egg*
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) hot water**
  • ¼ teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 65ml (or ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon) buttermilk***
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g (or ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 40g (or ⅓ cup + ½ teaspoon) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ⅜ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • big pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line a 6-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together sugars, oil and the egg (so ½ large egg).
  3. In a glass, combine hot water and coffee powder and stir until the coffee has dissolved. Add the buttermilk and the vanilla extract and stir until combined.
  4. Add the 'really wet' ingredients (the buttermilk mixture) to the sugar mixture. Whisk until combined.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk until the batter comes together.
  6. Divide the batter evenly over the 6 muffin cups (filling them three quarters full). Gently rap the pan on the counter once to remove any air bubbles, then bake in the middle of the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool to room temperature. Once cool, the cupcakes can be frosted.
  8. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to two months. Allow frozen cupcakes to thaw overnight in the fridge before use.
  9. Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
* crack one large egg in a small bowl. Using a fork, whisk the egg until the white and yolk are well mixed, then only use half of for this recipe (28g or 1½ tablespoons).
** instead of using hot water and instant coffee powder, you can use 60ml (¼ cup) of coffee.
*** instead of buttermilk, you can use regular milk or make your own buttermilk by combining 60ml (¼ cup) milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at