This recipe is not really about the cupcakes. Well, it IS about the cupcakes, but really it is about the chocolate cake recipe. Living where I do, I can’t just go out and buy a boxed cake mix when I want to make a cake. And so far, this is the best easy chocolate cake recipe I have found.
I got it out of the MAF cookbook (a collection of recipes that other MAF ladies put together a few years back) but I am sure it is out on the internet somewhere as well. It makes a great cake for decorating, and even if you want to carve it to make a shaped cake, it holds together very well. AND it makes great cupcakes! I have tried other chocolate cake recipes and ended up with weirdly sunken in cupcakes. This one (even at altitude!) makes nicely round-topped cupcakes. Yummy AND nice-looking! It’s called Wacky Cake. Why? Because there are no eggs in it! Wacky but tasty!
So, when it came time to make something for Dan’s birthday, this was the recipe I turned to. For a nice treat I added some peanut butter frosting on top. And, I might add, it was hands-down the BEST peanut butter frosting recipe I have ever tried! Light and fluffy, not too sweet and just the right touch for these chocolatey cupcakes. Oh, and to make the nice round swirls I just put the frosting in a plastic bag and snipped off a corner since all the icing tips I have were too small for what I wanted. Perfect round frosting swirls on top of each cupcake!
I think Dan agrees, don’t you?! 🙂
And now on to the recipe…
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
5 T oil
1 cup water
Sift together flour, salt, cocoa, baking soda and sugar. (My favorite method for “sifting” is to whisk the dry ingredients together. Works like a charm!) Add vinegar, vanilla, and oil. Mix in water and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes. Double the recipe for a 9×13 cake pan.
To make cupcakes, line 1 cupcake pan (to make 12 cupcakes) with liners and evenly divide batter between them. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Double the recipe for 24 cupcakes.
And for the peanut butter frosting. I got the recipe from one of the food blogs I read here, but will re-type it for you:
Peanut Butter Frosting
Enough to frost 12 cupcakes (actually I GENEROUSLY frosted 12 cupcakes and still had some leftover. It’s light enough that it is okay to put such a large amount of frosting on each cupcake! I think if you used less frosting per cupcake that this recipe would actually give you enough to frost 24 cupcakes.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanutbutter
5 T butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
Put the first 5 ingredients into a mixer and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping the bowl down as needed. It won’t look like frosting at this point, but then add the whipping cream (I use the boxed UHT stuff because that’s all we can get here) and beat on high speed until it is light and smooth. The transformation is amazing – from thick creamy peanut butter paste to light whipped frosting. Yum!
So, even if you don’t make the peanut butter frosting (although I highly recommend it!) you should try out the chocolate wacky cake recipe the next time you need to make a chocolate cake. 🙂