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Recipe: Canada's Chocolate Cupcakes

These delicious & decadent cupcakes ooze with mouthwatering texture and are topped with classic buttercream.


  • 95g All-purpose flour
  • 40g Cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable or canola oil(or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 120ml Buttermilk, at room temperature


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  • Cupcakes: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until combined. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour or spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only halfway (this is imperative! only halfway!) to avoid spilling over the sides or sinking.
  • Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Classic Buttercream


  • 15g Vanilla extract or paste
  • 450g Confectioner's sugar 
  • 225g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 45g Cream 
  • Salt, to taste


  • Whip the butter and salt for about a minute using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. You can use a hand mixer instead if needed. Or a wooden spoon if daring.
  • Sift in the confectioner’s sugar in several batches beating on low after each addition. Scrape the bowl down and repeat the process. 
  • Add a tablespoon of the cream while mixing on low then add the vanilla. Beat until you have an even, fluffy consistency. You can add more cream or milk if desired for a thinner consistency.

You can add food colorings, other extracts, fruit purees, and freeze-dried powders. Just add a little coloring at a time.

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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