Mar 072011

Have you known anyone who bakes someone’s birthday cake on the very same day?

If you have not, you now do. :)

Because that was what i did last Saturday!

It was a last minute affair. I almost called off the partaaayyy as the boy was feeling under the weather the day before. But as the hours passed by, he was all well again! It’s all psychological isn’t it? If it was school that he would be having the next day, i doubt he could get well this fast! Hahahaa!

Oh yes, do pardon the bad photos. Lighting was horrid as parents came to pick the children late. It was supposed to end at 4pm but the last child left at 5.30pm! So, i couldn’t snap any photos till then, when the sky has already turned dark and threatened to pour. With my very limited knowledge on Photoshop, this is the best i could do.

And, ermmm… the prettier cuppies which i kept at one corner got gobbled down by a smart little boy who ignored the rest and dove straight to the pretty ones on the rack! By the time i arrived on the scene, he was already halfway on the second cuppie! AIYO! Hahaaa!

So yes, pardon the photos!

As there wasn’t much time left on that Saturday morning, a super easy recipe is a must. I do have this particular stellar moist chocolate cake recipe which i’ve been using for years but i thought, why not a different recipe this time?

Yes i know.. i’m doing it again! Always!

…. trying out new recipes on important days… Haha!

I never learn, do i? ^_^

Thankfully this recipe works out fine if not fantabulous. As you probably could tell, the cupcakes are not for faint hearted. It’s wonderfully rich and has got deep chocolate flavour. Definitely for hardcore chocoholics. Best of all, this is a recipe where you could churn everything out under 30 minutes – including baking time!

How cool is that?!?!

Oh, did i mention….. no mixer is required?

Uh huh.. that’s right! There’s no need for mixer. All you need is a large bowl, a whisk and an oven! ;)

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

(adapted from Baking Bites)

(yields 22 cupcakes)

1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch cocoa (i’d use 1/2 cup next time)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup cream (feel free to substitute with milk, buttermilk and even yogurt! moistness varies though)
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in 2-12 cup muffin tins.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed. In the same large bowl, add in eggs, water, cream, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Whisk well till no streaks of flour remain. Add in optional mini chocolate chips, if using.

3. Fill muffin cups evenly with the prepared batter.

4. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs.

5. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the meringue

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1.5 tablespoon cornstarch
6 (150g) large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

Combine the chopped chocolate and cornstarch in a small bowl, and set aside. Place the egg whites in a clean mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Fold in the chocolate.

To finish

Remove cupcakes from oven. Using a large offset spatula, spread meringue mixture on top of cake using as little strokes as possible not to deflate the meringue, and return to oven. Bake until meringue is lightly browned and crisp, 15-20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack immediately.

If you like, you can torch the meringue a little bit more using blow torch for nice finishing.


Helpful kitchen tip!

I believe many who are new to baking have this problem which i used to face when i first started – messy cake batter all over the muffin tins.

But headache no more.

This is what i do.

Use ice cream scoop!

Not only the amount if perfect for each and every muffin / cupcake cups, it’s fuss free too. All you do is….

  1. scoop
  2. tilt
  3. squeeze
  4. release


Messy no more :D

This works for all cake batter.. thin or thick, i’ve tried them all!

  16 Responses to “Easy Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue”

  1. I use a spouted mixing bowl and just pour the cupcake mixture into the cups. OK, now I need to look for something chocolate to eat. Excuse me.

  2. Pardon your photo’s? There’s nothing wrong with them girlfriend! Lovely cupcakes!

  3. your pictures are beautiful regardless! i like the idea of using an icecream scoop but too bad i won’t use it often as i hardly bake cupcakes haha

    chocolate cake looks so delish and you are such a risk taker haha. oh which reminds me i’ve made a 4 layer fruit sponge cake on my mum’s birthday last year haha. only it was pretty no0by ;P

  4. Oh my goodness, your “bad” photos are a gazillion times better than my good photos :) Love the new blog banner! These cakes sound right up my alley, I’m a not so secret chocoholic.

  5. Easy and looks delish… I need easy right now.. but you know what.. I have 0 butter here…. It’s gone every time I make a batch of something for my clients… I wonder if I can skip the butter… ..probably Photos look fab, fab, fab!

  6. Hey, why is everyone saying their photos are lousy when they are all so good? Hmmm…maybe I should really take a good look at my own and ask “why am I (my blog with ugly photos) still existing?”

  7. pickyin : hahaa! hope u got your chocolate fix!

    john : if the sifu says so.. then nothing wrong it is ;)

    grub : 4 layers!! woo hooooooooooo.. u go GIRL! i’ve not attempted any cakes more than 2 layers. hahahaaa!

    shaz : hehehheee.. thanks! as much as i like to take the credit for the banner, i couldn’t. it was done by a lovely friend :)

    elle : no need butter!! cooking oil will do babe ;)

    tigerfish : no no! to me, i think photos with bad lighting generally fall into bad photos category. nothing to do with anything else. just lighting. as long as your photo is bright and clear, it is a good photo. and your photos are definitely in the good photo category :)

  8. I’m so often baking on the day of someone’s birthday I almost can’t imagine doing it any other way. These look so delicious. I love the meringue tops!

  9. Hello, thanks for sharing. I read buttermilk in the middle of the steps. However it is not in the ingredients. Can you pls advise on the portion if it is part of the ingredients. Will try it out once i get this cleared. By the way, how do you get the meringue cooked within 15 mins? Usually it takes a bit longer? Thank you

  10. I love those chocoatey cupcakes :-)) Very moist and chocolatey!

  11. sharlene : thanks dear :)

    hweehwee : ah yes. i substituted buttermilk for cream because i don’t have buttermilk. alternately, you can also use greek yogurt, milk or even evaporated milk. it’s really up to you on how moist and heavy you like your cakes. let’s say i substituted buttermilk for milk. the cupcakes will definitely not be as moist and heavy. instead, it would be a little less moist and lighter! if you are watching your waistline, milk is the way to go. ;)

    Ahh.. the meringue. i have no choice actually because the children were waiting for the cakes already. so must chop chop. surprisingly, it turned out OK. not foamy or anything, as you can see from my second last photo. but to play safe, i would suggest 20-25 minutes for you (i’ve baked this long before as well).

    OH, please use dutch cocoa powder (Valrhona) because it makes A LOT of difference to the cake :)

    angie : thank you.. uh huh, they are exactly that!

  12. sooo good! I love the tips you provided too!

  13. These look tasty! Just curious about returning the cupcakes to the oven to let the meringue on top bake. The cupcakes won’t get overdone since they already finished baking before being frosted? Do you plop them back in the cupcake pans or bake them on a tray?

  14. This is quite similar to a s’mores cupcake I made last year, so I can already tell it’s really delicious! I love that the chocolate is gooey — so mouthwatering!

  15. So I’m making these now! Do you cook the cupcakes with the meringue on top at 350? Seems like it would dry out cooking that long….just making sure I’m not missing something…

  16. anh : thanks dearie… figure that would be helpful to some of us :)

    joanna : good question but i have no problem with the cupcakes being overbake. if anything, they were still lovely and moist! because the cuppies would be already baked, there’s no need for muffin tins anymore.. just plop them back on the tray. hths!

    xiaolu : heheheee.. yes! women and chocolate.. we are quite easy to please huh?

    jen : no no, not at all. at this temperature with the timing, the meringue will be safe. good luck!

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