Wacky Chocolate Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. cake flour (All Purpose flour works just as well)
1 Cup of sugar
3 Tablespoons of cocoa
1 Tablespoon of vinegar (white or cider is fine; I used white)
1 Cup of Cold Water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons melted shortening or vegetable oil (I used the latter)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Simple Syrup:
3 parts water
1 part sugar

Prepare Simple Syrup by bringing the water and sugar to a boil. Simmer until all the sugar has dissolved (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat, and allow it to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
I honestly, just throw together butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and cream cheese whenever I make a cream cheese frosting. I should start measuring when making cream cheese frosting, but it always turns out super yummalicious for me. If you don’t have a cream cheese frosting recipe, try this reliable one from Simply Recipes.

Prepare simple syrup ahead of time.

When the simple syrup has cooled, Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into an ungreaded 8×8 pan.

If you’re making cupcakes, sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and then line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners. This recipe, made about 18 cupcakes for me, but if you are able to use 1 muffin pan, go for it!

Punch three holes into mixture (small, medium and large). Into largest hole, pour in oil; in medium hole, pour in vinegar; in smallest hole, pour in vanilla. Cover with 1 c. cold water. Stir well with a fork (or whisk it). Bake cupcakes for about 18-22 minutes; and bake the cake for 25-35 minutes

Cool cupcakes for 1 minute.

Take a toothpick, or in my case, poultry pin, and begin to make holes all over the tops of the cupcakes (try not to puncture the cupcake liners. You don’t want to use anything thicker than a poultry pin or toothpick, because then you’ll have a huge mess.

Brush the simple syrup onto the top of each cupcake. Be generous. I brushed each cupcake about 3 times with the syrup.

While allowing the cupcakes to cool, prepare the cream cheese frosting, or if you’re vegan (or don’t like cream cheese frosting), just let the cupcakes cool completely and cover with powdered sugar.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, spoon the frosting into a piping bag. If using a re-sealable bag, snip off about ½ an inch from the corner… Proceed to pipe on small blobs on each cupcake, making sure that you pull up to create nice spikes.

If desired, put some sprinkles on top, and call it a day.


Makes about 18 Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Heather in SF, and her older sister.