Who doesn't love a chocolate cupcake? I'm posting this recipe, partly because a great chocolate cupcake is a simple pleasure that should be in everyone's repertoire and partly because you'll need it if you want to try my Christmas Pudding truffles which I'll post a recipe for in a few days.
There's a lot of debate about sharing a slice of a whole cake vs having a decadently buttercreamed cupcake all to yourself. I think there's a time and a place for both. A big cake for a big gathering; small cakes maybe for family teatime with the rest popped into lunchboxes or frozen for another day.
They can be eaten fresh from the oven or cooled and topped with icing or extravagant buttercream swirls and adorned with jewel-like sprinkles. Tweak the flavour with orange, mint or caramel essence. Core and pop a gooey filling inside before hiding the surprise with a topper. Or turn them into the old-school classic fairy cake, replete with a buttercream and jam top - cherry jam with vanilla buttercream being my favourite combo.
They take minutes to prepare, just 25 minutes in the oven and then cooled until temptation gets the better of you.
And if you want some amazing sprinkles, try The Shire Bakery who have a fabulous selection to suit all occasions.
So without further ado, here's the recipe
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
2 tbsp whole or semi-skimmed milk
Freestanding mixer or handheld mixer and bowl, plastic spatula, ice cream scoop or large spoon, 12 hole muffin tin, paper cupcake/muffin cases
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan.
Cream together the butter and sugar for two minutes using a handheld or freestanding mixer.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix until combined.
Carefully stir in the milk.
Spoon into 12 cupcake cases - they should be 2/3 full. Depending on the size of the cases you may have a little spare. An ice cream scoop is really useful for measuring out even portions.
Bake for approx 25 minutes until well risen and a cocktail stick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Transfer to a cooling rack until cold then decorate with buttercream and sprinklers.