Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese icing

So while I am not a believer in Valentines Day, I am a believer in food, love and the gifting of food to the one you love. What I am trying to say is that if you are a Valentines Day believer then you should bake your loved one cake….I don’t think there’s any better way to say “I love you”.

Now don’t judge me immediately on my lack of icing ability, I suck at it. OK, there I said it! I put it down to a combination of impatience (and not waiting long enough for the cupcakes to cool) and general laziness. On the plus side, it still tastes good and isn’t that what really counts? I think so anyway. Couple that with my awesome cupcake mix and you are sure to impress.

This mixture would also work really well as a cake, and in retrospect I probably should have made it as such – then perhaps my icing ability wouldn’t have been such an issue…cakes are supposed to look a little bit more rustic. Or rather its less noticeable that you stuffed up.

All that said though, he liked them. It might not be Valentines Day, but that’s kind of the point. I like to remind myself to take the opportunity to show your love and appreciation whenever you can, and often the most unexpected times are the best. It’s nice to remind the people in your life that you love and appreciate them, especially when they least expect it. So get romancing, get baking people!

Serves 12 (very large cupcakes)

Made with love

Made with love

The list:

For the cakes:

1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

60g dark chocolate

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 and 1/3 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the icing:

125g cream cheese

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract

3 – 4 cups icing sugar

2-3 Tablespoons whipping cream


The method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.  Prepare cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. Combine cocoa powder and milk chocolate in a bowl. Pour boiling water over; whisk until mixture is smooth. Whisk in buttermilk.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in another  bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour and cocoa mixtures; beat until blended. Divide batter between pans.
  4. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached, 15-20 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 5 minutes.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add confectioners sugar, whipping cream, coconut extract and vanilla extract.  Beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  If frosting is not “stiff” enough to pipe or frost with, add more confectioners sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency is met.
  6. Scoop into a piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Decorate with dessicated coconut or sugared hearts for your loved one.


Out of the oven, remember to cool completely before icing (as I did not)

Out of the oven, remember to cool completely before icing (as I did not)

Despite the dodgy icing, they went down a treat

Despite the dodgy icing, they went down a treat

*Recipe adapted from Lemon Sugar


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