Cooking is one of Eileen's passions, and she hopes that you'll try out her recipes and enjoy them.
There are lots and lots of fancy cakes out there, but sometimes all you really want is a yummy little cake that smells of vanilla and tastes of chocolate. If my children will remember anything from their childhood, it will probably be the smell of cakes or biscuits cooking in the oven. These are a particular favourite in our home—hopefully they'll end up being a favourite in yours as well.
One of the things that I love about these cupcakes is that the recipe is so easy to remember that I can do them from memory. Pile them high on a pretty cake dish and serve them with coffee or tea when hosting friends. These take just minutes to whisk together and only 20–25 minutes to bake. Happy baking!
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|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 100g / 3½oz unsalted butter, softened
- 100g / 3½oz caster sugar
- 100g / 3½oz self-raising flour
- 100g / 3½oz plain chocolate chips
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preparation is half the battle with baking. Take the butter and eggs out of the fridge before you want to cook with them. You'll want the butter to be soft. Everything else should be at room temperature, otherwise the cakes won't rise as beautifully as they should.
- If you really don't have much time, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them. They will start to warm up much quicker. When you turn your oven on to heat up, you can put your butter in an ovenproof bowl and put it in the oven to warm up quickly. Be sure to keep an eye on it, as you don't want it to turn into a liquid.
- Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC / 375ºF / Gas mark 5.
- Place 8 paper baking cases into a muffin or cake tin. If you don't have one of these tins, use double-layered paper baking cases and place on a baking tray.
- Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until the mixture is soft and creamy—you'll notice that the butter will change colour and become paler as you whisk it.
- Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and whisk.
- Add one egg and whisk until fully incorporated (if you add them both at the same time, I've been told that the cake mix can split/curdle. I've never had that happen, but let's live on the side of caution—I'd hate for you to waste any food).
- Whisk in the second egg and once fully incorporated, add in the flour and whisk until everything is smooth.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. I recently saw the Barefoot Contessa using an ice cream scoop to do this, as it stopped any mess, and she got exactly the same amount in each paper case. I get along just fine with a large spoon, which does the job perfectly.
- Place the cupcakes into your oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until they are well-risen and golden-brown. If they are risen and golden brown before the 20–25 minutes are up, then you've probably got a better oven than I do (I wouldn't be surprised).
- Once they are ready, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
- Invite some of your favourite people to come round, and make some tea or coffee! For younger visitors, these cupcakes go really well with a glass of cold milk. Unwrap them and enjoy!
Questions & Answers
Question: Why did the chocolate chips sink to the bottom when I made this recipe?
Answer: Oh dear, that’s a shame, I’ve never had that happen. It sounds like your cake batter was a bit thin. When I’m making a cherry cake, I toss the cherries in flour before adding them, and this helps to stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake. Perhaps you could try doing this with the chocolate chips. I hope this helps!