Sweet Cuppin' Cakes

From Sarah and Kara's Recipes

This was my (Sarah's) workhorse cupcake recipe for many years, and was partially responsible for me successfully convincing Kara to let me inflict myself on her on a long-term basis. I developed this recipe on my own on the back of about 30 failed batches of cupcakes. It combines a not-so-sweet marbled chocolate/vanilla cupcake with a chocolate cream cheese icing that I think is unusual in a good way.


Look, either these are good or I'm a lot hotter than I think I am; where are you gonna put your chips? Make the damn cupcakes.

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup cake flour, or other low-gluten flour (AP flour is OK, but Paul Hollywood will come to your house and tell you your cake is "stodgy.")
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp very hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup skim milk

Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • about 1/4 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, grated into small curls


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix cocoa powder and hot water until smooth; set aside. Cream together butter and sugars. Add milk, flour, baking powder, salt, egg, and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but don't over-mix. Divide batter into two parts. Add cocoa mixture to one part only.

Place 12 paper cups in a muffin pan. Divide the plain batter among the cups, then add chocolate batter to the cups. Mix the contents of each cup with the tip of a knife or a toothpick, to create a marbled appearance in each cupcake (you can skip this if it seems excessive, and end up with a perfectly nice layered cupcake). Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, then test with toothpick. Remove from oven; let cool slightly before removing cups from pan.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, make frosting. Stir powdered sugar into softened cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon juice and mix. Frost each cupcake with the frosting mixture, then top with the chocolate curls.