Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes

Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes

Last Thursday night, I had to make a quick batch of chocolate cupcakes for a cake stall at my son’s school on Friday morning. After a swimming lesson and a trip to the shops, it was past six o’clock before we got home and I started dinner. My son had requested chocolate cupcakes so I searched the internet for a recipe but couldn’t find anything that struck my fancy. Then I remembered this recipe from Vogue Entertaining for a chocolate layer cake that I always used to make cupcakes. This recipe came with the added plus that once I searched through the chaos of my pantry, I had all the ingredients on hand.

Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes

Because it is an Australian recipe, it’s not quite as sweet as American cupcakes and they have a nice tang and silky texture from the buttermilk. My stand mixer has recently bitten the dust so I used my el cheapo hand mixer and it all came together very easily. Then there’s the icing which has a nice depth flavour with addition of cream and brown sugar. In actual fact, these were pretty awesome – which made me wonder why I ever stopped making them in the first place. So, in the public interest, for all those who need to pull together something quickly for a school cake stall, here is the recipe.

Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes

Chocolate buttermilk cupcakes

From Vogue Entertaining, August/September 1997

Makes 2 x 22 cm cakes or 24 large cupcakes

  • 250 grams soft butter (or if you are using American cup measurements, 2 sticks of butter)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or regular milk soured with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice)
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • a pinch of salt


  • 60 grams butter (2 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons of pure cream
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 3½ tablespoons of sifted icing sugar
  • a  pinch of salt
  • a little boiling water

To make the cake:

  1. Grease and line cake tins, if using, and pre-heat oven to 180°C or 160°C, fan forced.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Gradually add in buttermilk until mixture is smooth.
  4. Sift all dry ingredients together and on a slow speed, fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just smooth.
  5. Spoon the mixture into prepared tins or into large cupcake tins (about 2/3 full).
  6. Cook in the centre of the oven for about about 40–45 minutes for large cakes, and about 20–25 minutes for the cupcakes, until a skewer comes out clean from the centre.
  7. Turn cakes onto racks to cool.

To make icing:

  1. Heat butter, cream, cocoa, brown sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan over a low heat, until the mixture is smooth, but not hot, and sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add butter and cocoa mixture to sugar with salt, and beat until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add boiling water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired thickness.
  3. Ice cakes (if the icing becomes too thick, add more boiling water), leave to set and store in an airtight container until required.


  1. These look deliciously chocolatey so I will have to make them soon! Thanks for sharing the recipie

  2. I was lucky enough to get a bite of one of these and can attest to their chocolatey goodness. Thanks for the recipe Elizabeth!

  3. Sometimes all you need is a simple chocolate cupcake, and these look perfect!

  4. That’s right sometimes you need a no-frills chocolate cupcake and are the go. They’re also good served without the icing as a layer cake with whipped cream and strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar.

  5. What fantastic frosting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: