~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Friday, February 10, 2012

Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes... with an egg-free/dairy-free option.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes...A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law asked if I had a really good chocolate cupcake recipe I could give her. My nephew's birthday was coming up, and because he loves chocolate.... well, chocolate cupcakes it would be. I emailed her this recipe...
The recipe actually comes together rather quickly...not a fussy recipe at all. Actually, kids can help too, if they want. It's mostly a matter of mixing some very basic ingredients... the dry ingredients gets mixed with the wet ingredients, and then it's simply poured in all sorts of tins...
When making these cupcakes for children, the recipe I posted will work great...but if you want an adult version, opt to use coffee for the water needed in the recipe as it will intensify the chocolate flavor. And if you love the combination of orange and chocolate, you can easily add some orange extract/peel to the cupcake batter... you could even add it to the frosting as well if you like.
I didn't post a frosting, as I wanted to focus on the cupcake itself. I made a simple ganache icing.... just by heating up a bit of cream and pouring it over some chopped chocolate( I usually don't measure this). Originally, I had wanted to decorate the cupcakes with some melted white chocolate.... like this....but eventually made my own designs:). But you can find a chocolate ganache glaze recipe there, if interested...or just make your own.
The chocolate cupcake with the ganache almost tastes like a Hostess cupcake (but better:)...well, at least I think so....even though I can't exactly remember how a Hostess cupcake tastes like, as I haven't had them in years. But it's got to be better homemade, no?:)
I know this recipe isn't new...it's actually a variation off of the well-known Hershey's chocolate cake(found on the back of the cocoa box). This version I'm posting is more of an adaptation of Ina Garten's cake recipe...with a few minor changes of mine. I ended up omitting the coffee, lowered the sugar and salt amount a bit, used a light olive oil, and made them into cupcakes rather than a cake. Baking time will differ for the cake...usually double the amount that of the cupcakes.
I find this recipe makes wonderfully moist, fluffy, and chocolatey cupcakes.... actually it's a winner of a recipe! You really don't miss the butter. So I thought I should post the recipe as I made it... just to have it here for future reference, because I think from now on, this is the recipe I'll be using...
Now, to find a good vanilla cupcake recipe... that's moist, fluffy, tasty, and just as easy:).

~Even though I prefer the egg/buttermilk version, I have included an egg-free/dairy-free option for making moist chocolate cupcakes below... budget friendly, too. The recipe makes a WONDERFUL option for those who have egg or dairy allergies.... or even if you don't have any allergies, but want to make some chocolate cupcakes and haven't any egg or milk on hand....sort of reminds me of the Depression era when folks would bake a cake with the simplest of ingredients. The frosting(not dairy-free) was just a quick stir of some melted chocolate with a bit of sour cream:)...nothing fancy.~

By the way, both sets of cupcakes freeze extremely well, so you could make them ahead and just frost the cupcakes the day you plan on serving them. Hope you enjoy...

Note: Cupcakes are best filled halfway or no more than 2/3 full. If filled more than 2/3 full you will get about 24 cupcakes, but the cupcake batter can overflow a bit as it rises, causing a "mushroom cap" ... especially so at high altitude.
I chose to decrease the amount of sugar in both recipes, but feel free to use the whole amount the original recipe asks for...

Tip: Use 6 Earl Grey tea bags steeped in the water called for in the recipe... for Earl Grey chocolate cupcakes/Cake

You will need: adapted from Ina Garten.
Makes about 24-28 cupcakes filled to about 1/2 or 2/3 full....

24-28 cupcake liners

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar(or use 2 cups as per original)
3/4 cup good cocoa powder(I used Hershey's DARK)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup extra light olive oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Frosting or ganache glaze...sprinkles, etc..

1. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt....use a whisk to do this as it helps to sift the ingredients evenly.

3. In another bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.

4. With a mixer, on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients(step 3) to the dry ingredients(step 2). until combined.

5. With mixer on low, stir in the boiling water just until combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl so that everything is combined... but don't over mix. (the batter will be a bit thin, don't worry, this is right).

6. Fill liners 1/2 - 2/3 full with batter. ( It is easier to put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and then pour the batter into the liners.)

7. Bake cupcakes for approximately 20-24 minutes....or until toothpick comes out clean. Check at 20 minutes... just to be sure... as it depends on your oven and how much you've filled your cupcake liners. Try not to overbake, as the cupcakes can get to be too dry....and don't under-bake as the cupcakes can fall in the middle.

8. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting....or freeze cupcakes unfrosted and defrost later.

Dairy/Egg-Free Version: adapted from Cuisine-at-Home's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, but can be found HERE as well.

You will need: ~Makes 12 cupcakes or 1 (8inch) round cake~

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (you could use 1 cup, if you like)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup extra light olive oil
1 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tsps instant coffee granules, optional
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps orange peel, optional
orange extract/oil, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 F with rack in the center.

2. Line cupcake pans with 12 cupcake liners... or grease 1(8 inch) round cake pan with oil and line with parchment paper.

3. Whisk dry cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

4. Combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee granules, and vanilla in a large measuring cup....it is at this point you can also add some extra flavoring in the form orange extract/peel....I ended up add 2 tsps grated orange peel and 1/4 tsp orange oil

5. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

6. Divide batter between the 12 cupcakes( filling them 2/3 full)... or 1(8 inch) cake pans , then bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (18 minutes for cupcakes....35- 40 min for cake).

7. Cool cupcakes/cake for 15 minutes on a rack.


Mihaela said...

Hi Ellie, your cupcakes look so chocolaty :) First version is similar with the chocolate cake I make, but thank you for posting the egg free/diary free version. Seems like everybody has chocolate fever (including me!) Happy Valentine's Day!

Speranta said...

Ellie,multa munca,dar rezultatele sunt pe masura...

Excelent e tot ce pot spune!!!!

O saptamana placuta iti doresc!

Ellie said...

Mihaela, I think the type of cocoa I use just makes a darker looking and more chocolatey cupcake... I find the Hershey's DARK cocoa a great option as it is a blend of dutch processed and natural cocoa. I think it is nice to have a back up recipe for an egg-free/dairy-free chocolate cupcake...this way you can make them anytime:).
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Speranta, Multumesc mult...apreciez cuvintele tale de incurajare!
Iti doresc si tie o saptamana binecuvantata!

Anonymous said...

Made these as 3 8inch cakes instead yesterday. MMMMMMMMMM best, most moist chocolate cake I have ever made! THANKS!!!!!

Ellie said...

Anon, Thanks so much for sharing your feedback... really appreciate it! Thrilled that you enjoyed the cake... we think it's tasty and easy:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ellie, I have a question about the Dairy/Egg Free cupcakes. Is it more healthier then the non-dairy one? Is the non-dairy one high in calories, because when I checked Ina Garten's recipe, it was over 800 calories per serving. But since you lowered the sugar, I thought the calories would go down too. So anyway, please reply my question fast! My birhtday is less than 2 days away, so please reply!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ellie, I have a question about the calories of both of the cupcakes. Is the non-dairy one lower in calories then the dairy one? Please reply!!!!

Ellie said...

Anon, Well, I'm thinking the non-dairy version of the cupcakes will probably have less calories... it doesn't have any buttermilk or eggs( as does the Ina Garten version).
But the dairy version does taste better:)... it might haves a few extra calories, but probably not too much... but this is all based on a non-frosted cupcake. Most of the calories on any cupcake usually comes from the frosting.

As for Ina Garten's cake recipe coming in at such high calories... well, it's probably due to most of the calories coming from the frosting( it's a butter frosting). So, opt to use less frosting or make one without too much butter...

I sure hope you have a nice birthday:),... regardless of which cupcake you make! And I hope this helps:)...

Saki said...

HELLO! I would like to ask if I could substitute the light olive oil( in the egg-free recipe) for other types of oil; such as canola oil?

Thank you!

Ellie said...

Saki, Yes, you most definitely can substitute the olive oil with any other oil... such as canola, vegetable oil, etc. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes:)!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ellie, instead of light olive oil, can I use unseetened apple sauce to make it healthier and can I also use apple sauce to subsitute the eggs?

Please reply


Ellie said...

Anon, You know, I haven't tried substituting apple sauce in these 2 particular recipes... But, I've often substituted apple sauce for the oil in many recipes. So I'm thinking it should work here as well.
But substituting both the oil and eggs(in the first recipe) would probably change the outcome quite a bit. Maybe you can do a ground flaxseed substitution for the eggs. Or better yet, make the dairy-free version ...substituting the oil with applesauce. The result will be different... but the calories would be much lower.

It's worth a try... Would love to hear how it went for you if you try the recipe. Hope it will be a success:).

Anonymous said...

I made this today but it wasn't chocolatey enough, is it okay to add chocolate into the batter, if so how much?

Ellie said...

Anon. Hmm, not chocolatey enough... well, you can try adding coffee instead of the water. Coffee will bring out the chocolate flavor, but I suppose you could add some chocolate, though the cupcake won't be as light and fluffy. I wouldn't know how much to add, you might try using 2-3 oz of chocolate. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Olá! Sou do Brasil (or Brazil) e estava mesmo a procura dessa receita.
O interessante é que, como foi bem difícil encontrar vai ser praticamente inédita por aqui na região onde eu moro.
Espero que consiga traduzir meu comentário pois estou muito grata por compartilhar essa receita.

Ellie said...

Anon, Ola:)! Obrigado pelo seu comentário sou muito agradecido que posso estar a serviço. Estou contente você gostou da receita!

Here is the Google translation of your comment:).

"Hello! I'm from Brazil (or Brazil) and was really looking for this recipe. Interestingly, it was very hard to find will be practically unknown here in the region where I live. I hope you can translate my review because I am very grateful for sharing this recipe."

Thank you for your feedback I'm very grateful that I could be of help. SO glad you enjoyed the recipe!