The easiest cupcake recipe ever

It’s true that I own an embarrassing amount of cookbooks. It’s a compulsion that lures me into every second hand bookstore I pass. There are cookbooks for baking with yeast, Danish sandwich making and Pritikin diets. Most are curiosities, mostly unused. But amid the novelties are essentials and the Sally Wise cookbooks are ones I refer to over and over again. Possibly because her food is a perfect fit for me and how I cook. Family food. Flavour over fancy. No smears, no complicated reductions, just page after page of family winners. Her gluten free book should be a first port of call for those of you needing help in that area. Her slow cooker book is fantastic and her preserves books are the only ones you will need (should that be your thing).

So I was keen to get her new book, ‘Sweet’. It’s perfect for those of us heading towards a spring season of cake stalls and fete days.

Our school fundraiser was last weekend and I’d pledged 24 cupcakes. Thinking I’d be making my life easier, I went to buy a packet mix. Looking on the back I saw I’d need to add my own eggs, oil and milk. Soooo…. ummmmm…. what exactly is in the packet then? Just flour, sugar-like substances and a stack of preservatives, thickeners and colourings. I popped it back, pretty sure I could do better.

So straight to Sally and she came to my rescue. This cake mix is SO incredibly easy and the cakes were really good.


A tiny teddy never goes astray.

Sally Wise’s Chocolate Cupcakes (from Sweet!) My comments are in italics.

Makes 10 (although I made a triple batch and ended up with about 3 dozen).

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup milk
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
90 g butter, melted

Heat oven to 160C. Line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for two minutes until thick & creamy. (YES, TRULY, THIS IS ALL YOU DO!!!!)

Fill cases to 2/3 full and bake for 12-15 minutes or so until the middle of the cake is springy (IN MY CRAP OVEN, THE COOKING TIME WAS ACTUALLY JUST OVER 20 MINS)

Cool completely, then ice.

180g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp softened butter
boiling water.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl, mix in the butter and enough boiling water to make a smooth consistency.

I dipped my iced cakes in sprinkles and topped with a tiny teddy. I noticed during my time of the cupcake stall that lollies and really colourful toppings were MUCH more popular than the more measly, spartan looking ones.


36 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I will have to try this one. The colours are the real winner here!

  2. 2

    Jody Sadecki said,

    Thanks Wendy for waking me up! Why do we always think that packet = easy? This obviously proves that’s not always the (patty) case! Haha! Can’t wait to try these!!!

  3. 3

    Steph L said,

    I have multiple cook books and never use any. Easiest cupcake ever – somebody else makes them! 🙂 Do the gluten free goods taste any good? I am sick of GF stuff tasting like crap (or my kids won’t eat). Thanks Steph Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 18:50:51 +0000 To:

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      To be honest, I haven’t worked with gf flours etc much. But I know Sally wise has a gf child which is why she did the book so the recipes would be tried and true.

    • 5

      Adrianne Gentleman said,

      Hi Steph, I regulary make the chickpea and choc chip cookies in wendys blog, they are really yummy I change the flour and baking powder to a mix of selfraising GF flour, and armond meal, and add some cinnamon, kids are always asking for more. hope this helps, GF food does not need to be tasteless, or fattening. you just need to be willing to experiment.

  4. 6

    Ruth said,

    This post came just at the right time as I was about to send my hubby out for supermarket-bought cupcakes for my daughter to take to preschool tomorrow for her birthday. This was yummier, healthier and easier (I love not having to think ahead to take the butter out to soften!). My even crappier oven than yours took 25 mins but other than that, great! Thank you!

  5. 8

    Eva said,

    I made these with my 2 yr old yesterday, easy peasy recipe. I made them with gluten free flour too and put 3/4 cup sugar. They would have turned out great if I had cooked for 15 min rather than 20! I thought I was the only one with a crap oven : )

    Thanks for all the great recipes, I love your blog!

  6. 9

    Mel said,

    Thanks for the heads up on the book and recipe. I agree the cooking time is wrong or the oven temp is – mine took 25 minutes to cook in those paper eskimo type cases.

  7. 10

    Hayley said,

    I have now made these 3 times, since this post! Family just love them. I use wholemeal flour and they were still delish!! Thanks for such a great, simple recipe 🙂

  8. 13

    Cheryl said,

    I made these yesterday..what a win!! Kids and hubby loved them, I even did the sprinkles. Mine also took 25 mins to cook. I love the idea of topping them with nutella too. I’ll make them again next week for that first week back at school smoother!

  9. 14

    Gen said,

    These were really easy and tasted great. Mine took about 25 min too. I was naughty and iced them with the new Phillidelphia Choc frosting. Am planning to make them again for my son’s birthday party this weekend.

  10. 15

    Emma said,

    I’ve just made these, they are amazing! The easiest cupcakes to make – just as easy as a packet mix, and SO much tastier! And I love that you know what’s gone into them, and all the ingredients are always on hand 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. 16

    becky mcclure said,

    im back here….again….just saying! 🙂

  12. 18

    Lee said,

    Thanks Wendy, these cupcakes were by far the most popular item at our preschool cake stall fundraiser on the weekend. You made me look like a super cool cat!

  13. 19

    Lisa said,

    I wish I had thought to look up what Wendy would do last night (at 9.30pm) as I decided to make cupcakes for my sons 1st birthday, for the older kids to decorate today. Instead I looked in the Donna Hay Kids mag for a quick fix and found a recipe for choc cupcakes with 250g butter! Yes they were yummy but no, we didn’t need that much in there! Can’t remember how much sugar but again way more than this recipe. That’s the reason I rarely make cupcakes (plus Im not too good at the decorating part) so thank you for giving me an alternative that’s a little less sinful 🙂

    On another note – was hilarious watching grown men and women salivate over the chicken nuggets and savoury muffins I made that both smuggled zucchini and carrots in them 🙂

  14. 21

    Lisa said,

    Thank you for another outstanding recipe Wendy! Finally found a reason to make these yesterday with my almost 4 year old son for our Poppy’s birthday. Made 12 normal size and 12 mini ones and had so much fun decorating with sprinkles, colourful choc chips, mini marshmallows and tiny teddies. Will be keeping this recipe in mind for all future cupcake endeavours as they were absolutely divine!

  15. 22

    Lulu said,

    Perfect timing for sharing this recipe! – sooo easy, all the ingredients on hand and the batch just out of the oven smell wonderful. Miss 4 has a playdate this afternoon, I’m not sure which of us will enjoy the decorating the most. Thank you : )

  16. 23

    Leah Steele said,

    Made these today for the cake stall at school. Brilliant! Sold out in minutes! Taste great!

  17. 24

    Mel said,

    They look yummy.
    Are they mini muffins? or normal muffin size. Not sure the muffin tin size to use?

  18. 26

    Cheryl said,

    Could you please convert butter and sugar to cups and teaspoons? Can’t wait to try these.

  19. 27

    Kellie said,

    My daughter and I just finished baking a batch of these…
    They are so so yummy and so super easy to make:) Think it’s the best cupcake we have ever made! We will definitely be making these again:)

  20. 28

    joannemthomas said,

    Hi Wendy – making some school holiday cupcakes! Do you if I can make these vanilla cupcakes? I assume leave out the cocoa and add vanilla extract, but wasn’t sure?

    • 29

      wendyblume said,

      Yes – think it would work, but haven’t tried. Let me know how you go!

      • 30

        Pip said,

        I wanted to do the same but put in 1/3 C floor instead of the 1/3C cocoa incase the batter was too wet, but it made the cupcakes taste a boy floury, so next time I’ll just omit the cocoa and see if that works

      • 31

        Jo said,

        Sorry, it’s a year late (birthday cake season, so I’m looking it up again!). I increased the flour by 1/3 cup and added a teaspoon of vanilla. Perfect! Just bought a Thermomix, so was looking to see if anyone has converted this. I’m sure I can work it out!

        Awesome recipe, thanks Wendy!

  21. 32

    Sarah Pearce said,

    Do you know what I could replace the sugar with to make these sugar free?

    • 33

      wendyblume said,

      Nope. These are a sugar item Sarah! You can try coconut sugar, but it’s just as bad for you really. Fete day isn’t when I worry too much about healthy eating 🙂

  22. 34

    Jessica hermosilla said,

    I put the whole batch in a pan and made a cake for my sons bday. Was awesome as well. Thanks a ton.

  23. 35

    Pip said,

    PS GREAT recipe. Know I will use it time and time again, especially for bake sales/school fairs etc

  24. 36

    Jessica Hermosilla said,

    I love love love this recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

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