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Black and white choc cupcakes

February 22, 2011

Making cupcakes is an educational experience to be reckoned with. I have learned in 1-2 weeks many things:

  1. Oven temperature really does matter (I bought a thermometer)
  2. For a rounded top, fill 90% full; for a flat top fill about 60-70% (good for icing and topping)
  3. Cupcakes bake verrrrryy slowly unless they’re on a metal surface (hot bottoms!)
  4. If the above happens, and cupcakes are removed too soon, they sink
  5. If the above happens, you’ll need approximately 1.5 x more buttercream to fill the resultant crater
  6. Even if the above doesn’t happen, you will still need a ridiculous amount of buttercream

Saying that I was quite pleased with these dark choc / white choc cupcakes as I heavily edited the recipe, so they were a true experiment. The mixture is based on the hummingbird black-bottom cupcake, minus the cream cheese and with white choc chunks. The buttercream is white chocolate, made by substituting some of the butter for melted white chocolate.


Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 190 g plain flour
  • 180 g sugar
  • 40 mL sunflower oil
  • 40 g cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate + 1 1/2 tsp white vineagar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g white chocolate, in small chunks/chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 80g butter, softened
  • 200g Icing sugar
  • 60g white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • Cocoa and maltesers, for decorating


Preheat the oven to 170 oc / Gas 3. In one bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate and sugar. In another bowl whisk together the oil, veneagar, vanilla and 125 ml water. Whisk the wet mixture slowly into the flour using an electric whisk, then whisk in the egg. It will get quite thick. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

To make the buttercream, whisk together the melted chocolate and butter on high, then switch off and slowly add the icing sugar. When mixed in slightly, turn back on the mixer and beat on high till smooth, adding the vanilla in also. If a little too stiff add a tiny bit more butter. Spread onto the cupcakes in an even layer. To finish and decorate, pipe some more buttercream in a swirl on top, embed a malteser and then dust with cocoa. Seve at room temperature, when the cupcakes are distinctly brownie-like.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2011 2:27 pm

    Hmm, I had heard bad things about the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, along the lines of the recipes haven’t been tested enough and so don’t work properly, but I think these photos may have restored my faith in it.

    • February 22, 2011 2:59 pm

      Done 😉 Though picarbonate does sound fun.

      To be honest, the velvet cupcake + red food colouring DID really annoy me. And I haven’t yet tried the full black bottom cupcake recipe without edits..(they are quite squidgy and sunk but I liked that)…so I wouldn’t be surprised if people HAD found problems. I’ll keep you all updated if I encounter more issues.

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