One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

by cakeduchess on January 26, 2011 · 54 comments


Frivolous and self-indulgent. Tease me with your colorful sprinkles on top of your luscious chocolate frosting. Hidden underneath your thick and buttery topping, I find your moist and delicate cupcake.

These are cupcakes from my childhood. Maybe from your childhood? If not, you wish they were. Simply because they possess magical powers. Yes, cupcakes can be magical!
Staring at the photos of the cupcakes we devoured this weekend, I feel some slight relief. My eyes are hypnotized again by the colorful sprinkles. I can smell all that chocolately goodness. I remember how good these chocolate cupcakes tasted!
Could life be better? I’m not going to lie…It could. There are things going on now that I’ve mentioned. Health issues that won’t leave me alone. It should’ve been comforting yesterday having my high school friend Berta, my dear doctor calling me with some results. “Berta baby” is what I still call her after all these years. Berta baby, I’d rather you call me to meet for a coffee. Berta tells me not to worry.


I tinker slightly on the edge of a little despair. I pride myself in being a positive and happy person. Tears well up in my eyes all day as I wonder is Berta telling me the truth? I snap at my daughter tonight for not going to bed when I tell her to for the 3rd time. I have no patience when my son tells me he doesn’t like my drawing of Disney’s Cars. He tells me Luigi just doesn’t look like that. Inside I feel like I’m a crappy mommy. My daughter asks me why am I so grumpy.
I take a deep breath. I breath out and I dream of waking up tomorrow to some cinnamon bread with my caffe’ latte. I bolt to the kitchen and I start to bake. Somehow measuring out the flour and the sugar takes the edge off. I crack the eggs and start to smile a little. When did baking become my therapy?

I made these cupcakes this past Sunday with my kids. We baked and photographed our creations. We giggled as sprinkles were strewn across the counter and the floor. The dogs happily licked up the crumbs.

We then took a batch to my daddy. His eyes lit up when he saw us arrive. He called later to tell us how happy he was we came to visit and how good they were.

You could surpise your daddy (or mommy, or neighbor even?)and make him smile. Bake him a batch of chocolate cupcakes this weekend. Call your best friend to come over and catch up with a cup of coffee and a cupcake. Or maybe some cinnamon bread. Winking smile

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
yields: 18-24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil (or canola oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full (I use a one scoop ice-cream scooper). Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
recipe from: Martha Stewart

Chocolate Frosting

2 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3/4 c. sour cream
Sift sugar, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.

Beat cream cheese and butter in separate bowl on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce speed and add sugar/cocoa/salt mixture slowly.  Add melted chocolate slowly and beat until combined. Add sour cream and beat until smooth. Add your sprinkles. Take a bite. Smile and enjoy!

Thank you for passing by to see what’s baking in the Duchess’ kitchen! I appreciate your comments and your friendship. As always, thank you for showing me your support.

My sweet little girl has started to work on her blog:) She made these cupcakes with me this weekend and just wrote her post. I’m so proud of her! Here is the link:

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

A Thought For Food January 26, 2011 at 4:07 am

What a sweet post, Lora! Cupcakes are most definitely magical… especially ones that are as simple and delicious as these!


All That's Left Are The Crumbs January 26, 2011 at 4:12 am

These would certainly put a smile on my face. Stay strong!


Lo-mo January 26, 2011 at 4:15 am

Cupcakes are a great pick me up for us as well. One bowl makes it even sweeter! I hope things start looking up for you. Take care.


A little bit of everything January 26, 2011 at 4:25 am

such a lovely post.
i love cupcakes too and of course chocolate. but when it comes to choose between chocolate cupcakes and cinnamon bread, it’s a tough choice

have a wonderful evening Lola


Kim January 26, 2011 at 4:38 am

Well you’re definitely not a crappy mommy. I hope things pick up for you health wise soon. *hugs*

These cupcakes look so delicious and would certainly satisfy my chocolatey sweet tooth with no problem. Now if only I could get the motivation to bake. With it being only one bowl though, well, that’s not a problem. Hmm. I just might consider baking these over the weekend.


Ken│hungry rabbit January 26, 2011 at 5:02 am

Beautiful post on the true essence of motherhood. I’m glad these cupcakes could offer you a moment of joy to share with your kids.


Kori January 26, 2011 at 5:15 am

Cute! I love the classic simplicity of both the recipes and the way you decorated them. They sound great!


Jeannie January 26, 2011 at 6:04 am

Wow! I love these cupcakes, reading the ingredients makes me drooling too! Anything with creamcheese is my favourite:D


Kankana January 26, 2011 at 6:13 am

what are you doing ? Making me drool for these at this hour !!! I want to eat them …..


something good January 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

Are you preparing yourself for the Chocolate Day??? :)) they look yummilicious…


MaryMoh January 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

Wow….I wish I have one. It will take me to chocolate heaven :D Yes, I think cooking and baking is very therapeutic. See, I am happy now cos I had just baked some chocolate muffins :D My hubby took almost all to the office to share with his colleagues. I’m sure there are going to be lots of smiles there. I should frost them with chocolate, too, but I did not have time. I’m sure your children enjoy baking with you and having fun with all the sprinkles.


matthewjg January 26, 2011 at 8:51 am

This cupcakes look delicious.


Lizzy January 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

These would make my hubby smile, too! I think you’d be a crappy mom only if you never doubted yourself…we’ve all had those moments! But I know your children will forget that you snapped at them once or twice, and just cherish the memories of baking such deliciousness with you! You are one great mom! xoxo


Blog is the New Black January 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Yum! And only one bowl?! Love it!


Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow January 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Those cupcakes look fantastic. Hope everything is ok!


Pegasuslegend January 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm

not fair to make a grown woman lick a computer screen shame on you! Fabulous photo life like for sure!


Stephanie January 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm

How pretty! I would so get frosting all over my face while eating this and totally NOT care. :-p Sprinkles! Yay! LOL


Rachel January 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Perfect. Anything I can make in one bowl is a winner!


happywhennothungry January 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm

These look delicious and love how they only require 1 bowl!!


Pretend Chef January 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Your story made my eyes well up because I can understand the feelings of not being an up to par parent. Even though my son is only 2 1/2 sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up and wondering what I’m doing wrong as a parent. I snap at him and his daddy some days and then I have to take a timeout. Being in the kitchen is my therapy as well. You are such a good mama and a great woman! You are an inspiration to me. Forget about the cupcakes (they do look marvelous) but you and your blog make me more giddy! Hope you have a much better day and I’m sending you an air hug right now!


Roxan January 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Lora! I have so missed your entries and delicious baked goods! Hope you have been doing well. These cupcakes are so adorable – it’s amazing what a few sprinkles can do, yes? :) I hope you are having a beautiful week!


ravienomnoms January 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I love making cupcakes like this! One of my favorites is to make chocolate-chocolate with the multi-colored sprinkles on top. These are really pretty and I am sure they are perfectly delicious!


Quay Po Cooks January 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

We all go through those moments so you are not alone. You are definitely not a crabby mum. I am glad baking offer you joy and peace. You bake beautifully as always.


Brandie@thecountrycook January 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Please don’t be too hard on yourself. I think a good parent always questions if they are a good parent or not. We’re only human and I think it’s important that your kids see all sides of you so they know it’s okay to be imperfect. Great post and those cupcakes are seriously AMAZING!! I’m your newest follower :)


blackbookkitchendiaries January 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

this is such a sweet post, and im sure these cupcakes do have magical powers!


claire January 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm

gorgeous cupcakes! i love the sprinkles on top… truly magical!

cant wait to give these a try!


Evan @swEEts January 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm

These cupcakes are lovely Lora.. I’m sorry to hear of your health issues, but I hope they’re getting better! I’m sure these cupcakes helped a bit :)


Steph January 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I think chocoalte cupcakes are my favorite thing to eat. Especially when they involve cute sprinkles :) Makes me feel like a kid again!


Susan January 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Cupcakes ARE magical! Remember all those classroom parties when we were kids? Or bake sales where it was a tough decision choosing what cupcakes to buy? Or making cupcakes for your boyfriend? Ah … cupcakes! Yours look spectacular! Channel the positive energy that cupcakes exude … hope the health issues subside!


Bridgett January 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Ah sweetie, I am so sorry you aren’t feeling well but please know you are on my mind and I am sending you happy thoughts. We all have those phases where we snap at our kids and lose the pleasure out of life’s little things but if baking makes you happy, then I am happy to be your taste-tester if needed :)
These ARE the cupcakes of my childhood. My mom didn’t do fancy, she did traditional things with simple sprinkles like this and we LOVED it. At the end of the day, we could all use one of these gorgeous cupcakes.


BakingWithoutaBox January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Oh wow. Look at those photos! They are a-maz-ing. The pink background just makes those babies pop and I want them!! And any time with daddy helps everything.
I’m so sorry about that phone call and hope with fingers crossed that it’s nothing serious.


Amy Bakes Everything January 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Chocolate cream cheese frosting rocks my world. Serious. And one bowl? OMG killer recipe!


Sue January 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Your cupcakes look so fun and delicious!I hope your worries are put to rest soon, and that all is well! Hang in there, Lora! :)


Magic of Spice January 27, 2011 at 12:35 am

The cupcakes look wonderful and I bet daddy was quite happy :)
All parents have those moments when stresses are just too much…don’t worry too much,it’s the cupcake moments they will remember most ;)


Paula - bell'alimento January 27, 2011 at 2:11 am

I heart cupcakes…and chocolate cupcakes…even bettah ; )


Sandra January 27, 2011 at 2:15 am

Lots of baking therappy going around these days. Thanks for the quick and easy recipe and I’m sending you happy thoughts.


Christina January 27, 2011 at 2:27 am

These are the cupcakes I remember from my childhood! I’m glad your baking therapy makes you feel better! Please know that we’re all sending good healing thoughts your way and wishing you a healthy and happy forever!


Brenda January 27, 2011 at 4:07 am

Baking soothes the soul………I hope you’re okay….


Sandra January 27, 2011 at 5:40 am

Perfection as always!
I know how you feel, I have to tell my kids every day for 30 minutes to go and sleep, and yes they always tell me why I am so mad all the time:( And in general I am very happy person!


Vibey January 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Any cake that doesn’t have a creaming step is a friend o’ mine! And yours look so happy and friendly and come-hither. Yum.


Claire Gallam January 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I love chocolate cupcakes!!!


Angie's Recipes January 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Those cupcakes are so pretty! Love the colourful sugar pearls on top of the frosting.


A SPICY PERSPECTIVE January 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm

What is it about sprinkles? They’re like crack! (…so I’m told.) Whenever I see them, I’ve just got to gobble down whatever they are sitting on.


Elin January 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Lora…great post! of course you are not a crabby mom . Just that certain times in our life we face health issues . Don’t worry, think positive and I am sure your doc friend will not hide things from you. We are with you and I love those cupcakes..I am sure they make you feel good with those colorful sprinkles :) Take care and tomorrow will be another great day for you :)



Raina January 28, 2011 at 12:08 am

Great idea to cheer yourself up by baking. These would definitely cheer me up. They sound wonderful. I hope everything is okay for you. It is tough enough being a mom, never mind when you are worring about your health. Don’t beat yourself up. You are a very positive person and a wonderful mom; I can tell:)


vanillasugar January 28, 2011 at 12:39 am

you know you have the nicest comments on my blog. and i wanted to tell you “thank you”. i truly mean that. your comments are always so smile-worthy. just passing on the love….


Mateja ^_^ January 28, 2011 at 1:06 am

Spending time with children in the kitchen is the best! And as a chocolate lover your cupcakes are perfect little taste bud palet pleasers!


Koci January 28, 2011 at 2:12 am

I’m sorry that you’re having a tough time right now. You’re definitely right about baking, though. It’s very therapeutic with very tasty results. And sprinkles are always a great way to put a smile one your face! :)


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Yum! I’m hungry just looking at these cupcakes!


Taylor January 29, 2011 at 2:58 am

Mmm cupcakes always make me smile too :) I missed chocolate cake day (which was this past week) and this would be a great way to make up for it!


Carole January 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm

There is something about a simple cupcake that lifts the heart and spirit. I hope that you can glide through your bad patch.


Carolyn February 1, 2011 at 12:32 am

These cupcakes do look magical and it sounds like you need a little magic these days. Thinking of you, Lora!


Aggie February 1, 2011 at 1:16 am

awwww…you are most def not a crappy mom. I feel that all the time. Stay positive…little do you know how much your positive happy face inspires me everytime I see it! (and that’s just on Twitter!!)

Your first photo just made me nuts, I’m not even a huge chocolate cake fan but who would not LOVE these!! And the fact that they are one bowl makes me even happier.

And I agree…being in the kitchen is my therapy as well. xo


Maria February 1, 2011 at 2:09 am

These cupcakes look perfect!


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