Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes which were meant to be a cake

But we know what I am like – a cake just has to be turned into cupcakes – I just cannot help myself!  I saw this recipe on the reverse side of a piece of paper for Kedgeree which I was supposed to make for Pete.  Oops!  Well, I never had any salmon or smoked trout on hand so couldn’t make the kedgeree anyway plus I have all these baking cases which need to be used and icing nozzles and piping bags and and and…  You know how it is, right?

Dairy free chocolate cupbakes

This recipe was printed in the 24 March 2013 edition of The Sunday Times, I think, as we only kept the one page insert and it doesn’t make any reference to the newspaper at all on either side of the page.

The cake was titled – Wacky one-pan eggless chocolate cake, you know one of those recipes where everything is mixed in one bowl – my kinda recipe.

No matter where the recipe came from, its fabulous – quick, easy and results in a lovely light, moist and spongy cupcake.  I made my normal butter icing and if you replace the milk with water, it is still technically dairy free as butter is classed as a fat.

dairy free chocolate cupbake 2

Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes


1½ cups cake flour
¾ cup caster sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder sifted
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt – I would take this up to at least ½ tsp
5 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup water
Fresh berries to serve – I never used berries
Icing sugar for dusting – I made icing, recipe below
Whipped cream to serve – I iced the cupcakes instead


300g icing sugar
50g butter at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla essence
±2 tbsp milk (water)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Spray a 20cm cake pan with non stick cooking spray.  If you are making cupcakes, use a 2.5 litre jug.
  3. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and salt in this pan (jug) and mix.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, make one large indentation in the mixture and two smaller ones.
  5. Pour the oil into the large hole and the vinegar and vanilla into the smaller holes.
  6. Gradually add the water mixing until just combined.  Don’t over mix.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  Cool in the pan before turning out onto a rack.  Top with berries, dust with icing sugar and serve with the cream.
  8. Alternatively if you are making cupcakes, pour the mixture between 10 muffin sized prepared baking cases and baked for 15 minutes.  They dome beautifully.
  9. Combine the icing ingredients for 3 minutes and ice cupcakes once completely cooled.

dairy free chocolate cupbake 1


58 thoughts on “Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes which were meant to be a cake

    • These are so nice, I have made them twice! Definite keeper of a recipe PLUS, I froze a couple to show mom for when she arrived and they defrosted beautifully icing and all. SO, needless to say these are now my favourite! 😀 Have a beautiful day. 🙂 xo

    • Celia, you are too kind, thank you so much! I was just saying to Pete this morning, I want to go back over everything I have learnt and put it more into practice and to learn more about my camera’s capabilities. Have a beautiful day. 🙂 xo

  1. Great looking cupcakes, Mandy. They’re decorated beautifully and you photographed them just about perfectly. Glad to read that they can be frozen, icing and all. I’m much more likely to make them if I can freeze some. Once frozen, they should be easier for you to pack when you come for a visit. I certainly don’t want you to cook while you’re here. Just bring the goodies with you. 🙂

  2. Finally, a moment to visit my fave blogs! I’m so behind and it’s almost impossible to catch up. Funny how life gets in the way of things. Hope your doing well and I must say these cupcakes look delicious! I prefer cupcakes over cake. 🙂

    • Hi Karista, lovely of you to passed passed in your busy schedule. It’s amazing how quickly life catches up with us! All well on our side of the world thanks, just starting to get really chilly! Hope you have been well too. Have a beautiful week ahead. 🙂 xo

    • Tell you what, I will add this to the list of recipes I am going to make for you when you come and visit and you can ice them for me – I will give you personal decorating tips. 😀 Have a beautiful week ahead. Much love to you in Minnesota. 🙂 xo

  3. I love those recipes too! And my son is going dairy-free. You’re right, they say butter doesn’t pose much problem when cooked/baked most milk doesn’t either. It’s the heating that helps. I can’t wait to try these, I’ve pinned them, they’re so pretty! You’ve done a nice piping job on these! xx

    • Perfect timing with this recipe for your son Smidge. Thanks for your lovely compliment about my icing. 😀 I didn’t know about the heating bit, very interesting. Have a beautiful week ahead. 🙂 xo

  4. Those look beautiful. It’s funny but when I bake cakes here, I end up throwing 1/2 away but if I use the same recipe in cupcakes, the cupcakes disappear – why is that?
    You’ve really been playing with your new pastry toys. Those little flowers in the last photo (maybe flowers isn’t the right word) are very classy looking but I love the little silver balls.

    • It’s amazing how cupcakes are more “preferred” – I wonder if its because you can just pick it up and eat it – no need to get a knife and a plate…
      My handyman / gardener has asked if I will bake his 2 year old daughter a birthday cake so I am going to play some more this afternoon.
      Have a beautiful day Diane. 🙂 xo

      • You know, that could be why – cupcakes are so easy & more portable. That’s so sweet that your handyman asked you to do the cake – can’t wait to see what you come up with but I bet it will be beautiful.

        • I think it has cooled sufficiently now for me to ice it. I made pink icing but I am not entirely happy with the shade – think my colouring may be a wee bit old? Will see what I can do. 🙂 xo

  5. Glad to see you back! You would never know these are dairy free. They look incredible and rich and delcicious. I am craving that icing though. Looks so yummy and I am a sucker for cupcakes rather than a cake- easier to bake easier to eat:)

    • Hi Belle, thanks for popping in. There definitely is something more appealing about a cupcake versus a cake. I baked a cake this afternoon for my handyman’s daughters 2nd birthday and it just isn’t quite the same. Have a beautiful day. 🙂 xo

  6. Sounds lovely, and I’ll bet if anyone extremely dairy-averse wanted to, they could make a very tasty substitution in the icing by using solid coconut oil. In any case, a delicious treat!

    • Excellent idea about the coconut oil Kathryn – alternatively, they could also dress the top with fresh fruit and the like too. These are fabulous and I am sure they will remain one of my favourites. 🙂 xo

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