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Member recipe

Amazing chocolate cupcakes

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(45 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 1 - 12 Cakes

this recipe is flawless,and works every time,and are a real hit with my friends and family .....or as a cheeky treat for myself...just one though :)

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  • For the cakes
  • 100g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder (i use cadbury bourneville)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter (essential that it is at room temperature)
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • a 12-hole cupcake tray,lined with paper cases


    1. Preheat the oven to 170C(325F)Gas 3
    2. Out the flour ,cocoa powder,sugar,baking powder,salt and butter in a free standing electric mixer with paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk)and beat on a slow speed until you get a sandy consitency and everything is combined.
    3. Whisk the milk,egg,and vanilla extract together in a jug ,then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture,beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth.Do not over mix.
    4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes,or until the sponge bounces back when touched.A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.Leave the cupcakes to coll slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    5. when the cupcakes are cooled,spread the frosting on with a pallet knife , or sqweeze in with a piping bag and decorate with chocolate vermicelli or silver balls. ( see chocolate frosting ) Vanilla and Cream cheese frosting also works well if your not a chocolate lover

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Comments (69)

Colvin0154's picture

Simple and quick to make. They taste like school dinner chocolate sponge. I made them two days ago now and they are still good to eat. Slightly lacking in flavour - not sure if this is because I never added the salt but I won't be making them again to test that theory out, sorry!

Cinnamonhamster's picture

I was really hopeful about this recipe, and put a lot of faith in them. I needed a quick, tasty cupcake/fairy cake recipe for a school cake rota next day, not much time, and I chose these, because my usual cake recipe is quite risky in cupcakes. I made one batch, baked it for the right amount of time, followed the recipe to the letter. They came out bready, bland and quite disgusting. Fortunately my brother eats pretty much anything, since we had a lot of spares. It didn't really help my baking reputation at school. I wouldn't recommend these at all.

Alice Luther's picture

Lovely cakes! I used this for the cake recipe and experimented with other frostings. This was a super nice cake. Light, fluffy and excellent texture. Mine certainly didn't sink or anything like that so I'm very happy.

As mentioned in a previous comment I rubbed the dry ingredients and butter with my fingers like a crumble because I don't have a mixer.

Made 12 perhaps a little too big cakes but I could always make 14. And it depends what size cases you use.

Overall really enjoyed making these and enjoyed eating one even more!

And I don't care about the typos.. Didn't impact the recipe at all.

My only criticism is not proof reading and not saying to add the other half of the milk mixture. Other than that - gorgeous cakes- and that's what really matters. Thanks very much :)

LadyEdith's picture

Soooooo good my family loved them so much that most of them were gone in a day.

yummiemummie's picture

This a great recipe. If you haven't got a mixer, just rub the ingredients together with your fingers, as you would a crumble mix. It works just as well! x

mila_dil's picture

Although I was skeptical at first the cupcakes turned out much better than I thought. I have to admit my butter was half melted half room temp as I didn't prepare in advance. The mixture looked lumpy to me but that was my own fault for poor mixing skills (old hand mixer). They rose nicely in the oven and after 20 mins looked a bit wet still so I left them in the oven for another 10 mins. What really made them was the rich cocoa taste coupled with the moist texture. A very important tip is to leave them to cool completely before removing from silicon moulds if using. Otherwise they will fall apart even after 10 mins of cooling. Would recommend for a quick and easy recipe.

Rachel Melissa's picture

I am a frequent baker and I followed the recipe to a tee. The cupcakes looked great in the oven, but when I took them out they looked sad, deflated and sunken in the middle! I thought I might still salvage them by covering them with icing but when I tasted one it was like I had eaten a mouthful of flour, these cakes didn't last like chocolate. The recipe, although it looks wet, has too much baking powder or flour in it. I would not recommend you use this recipe. Really disappointed as I was making them for Easter Sunday, and now I'll have to make a whole new batch :(

Marg Newton's picture

worked well thought it was 'too wet' but it worked and produced moist cakes.

Drayhill's picture

Worked brilliantly first time!

nellmn's picture

Don't make these cupcakes if you are fragile, it will rip your heart right now. We thought making these cupcakes would be a nice treat for the church's Christmas carol service. We were wrong. We were certain nothing could taint the birth of Christ however, this recipe proved us wrong. The cupcakes rose and deflated in the oven, just like our reputation in the wider community. Thanks again BBC good food and Happy Christmas everyone.

Petawilson's picture

That's a pretty unchristian comment to make. If they deflated it's more likely to do with your baking skills, there's nothing wrong with the recipe, I just made them and they turned out deliciously.

soozyhislop's picture

It really is a great recipe! I got the same recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

molly_mop557's picture

Made these today for the family, they absolutely loved them!! Deffo will be making again

Rose21's picture

Lovely easy recipe. Really nice rich chocolate flavour. I used waitrose 1% fat milk and 20g less sugar as well as self raising flour instead of plain with no baking powder. They were great, added a yummy chocolate frosting and everybody loved them. I chucked all the ingredients in the bowl and mixed for about a minute with an electric mixer.

Not sure why there are so many negative comments and I'm not sure that the spelling really matters as it is a members recipie, not the BBC's.

rourkey1982's picture

This recipe worked a 'treat'!
Best cakes I've made yet and the wife and boys are both impressed.

Regardless of the punctuation, this is a good recipe. Well done!

priyasamuel's picture

This page is full of typos and terrible punctuation. Makes me sad knowing that this comes from the BBC. What are the standards for English these days.

"Leave the cupcakes to coll slightly"

"Out the flour ,cocoa powder,sugar,baking powder,salt and butter in a free.."

evaselwood's picture

The cupcakes are lovely.
More care in writing the recipe is needed, as well as correction in the method. Not actually a problem to me, but a newbie might actually wonder, what to do, after having been told to pour in half the egg/milk mixture but no mention when to pour in the rest.
Also If you decorate with chocolate frosting, the recipe for it should be there!!

Sarahtylersinger's picture

Georgous!!! If you can get the batter into the oven without eating it all first!! Delish! I had never made choc cupcakes before so didnt know what to expect, but these were really chocolatey and moist. Made for a friends BBQ and everyone loved them! Making them again tonight for a friends birthday :D

etux's picture

This is actually the Hummingbird cafe recipe so frost with their chocolate, vanilla or cream cheese buttercream recipes. American cupcake cases are bigger than standard UK fairy cake cases, so it depends which you use as to how much you get out of the mixture. I use fairy cases and only half fill them (any more and they overflow making a crispy flat top that just breaks off when you try to get them out to eat) so I get around 20 cakes out of this. Really chocolatey and light.

LisaToo's picture

I thought these were lovely. Really light and fluffy, very tasty and very easy to make. Perfect quantity for 12 cupcakes to come up just to the top of the paper (if you manage to divide the batter equally) - don't know what all the negative comments are all about.


Questions (3)

nellmn's picture

Don't make these cupcakes if you are fragile, it will rip your heart right now. We thought making these cupcakes would be a nice treat for the church's Christmas carol service. We were wrong. We were certain nothing could taint the birth of Christ however, this recipe proved us wrong. The cupcakes rose and deflated in the oven, just like our reputation in the wider community. Thanks again BBC good food and Happy Christmas everyone.

nattabox's picture

I tried this recipe for my first attempt at cupcakes and they turned out just lovely. The only thing I would say needs improving or updating is in the method, it doesn't clearly tell you to put in the remaining half of the milk, egg and vanilla mixture, (I am used to River Cottage cook books where the thinking is done for you). Also, where is the recipe and method for the frosting? At one point I thought that half the milk mixture might be for this! I found a separate icing recipe on here. The upshot is that the cupcakes were very easy to make, they were well risen and delicious. Thank you for sharing.

My password's picture

How did I get 16 out of them?

Tips (1)

charly_m's picture

This recipe didn't work that well, i am assuming this is because there is to much sugar in it if you are going to make it i would use less sugar. Mine rose and then flopped down, sorry but this wasn't very good!