• Cooking Time:
  • Servings: 24
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The Big Four: Chocolate-Chocolate, Chocolate-Vanilla, Vanilla-Vanilla, and Vanilla-Chocolate Cuppin' Cakes

I've been in San Diego for the holidays. My mother, who works as an ER nurse, had to work New Years Day and asked me to make some cupcakes for the hospital's buffet celebration. I read somewhere that the most popular cupcake in the world is vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, followed closely by vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. And after that, the same thing but with chocolate cupcakes instead vanilla. So I decided to make two batters, vanilla and chocolate, and two frostings, vanilla and chocolate, and make what I call the "Big Four."

These homestyle-cupcakes are a favorite for a reason. The tried-and-true flavor combination works every time. The vanilla cake was buttery; the chocolate cake was rich and moist; the buttercreams were light and sweet.

Perfect! Who doesn't feel like an eight-year old when eating these?

(P.S: the hospital staff polished off all 48 cupcakes so they must have been good.)


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add eggs, yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined. Scrape down sides if necessary. (The batter will be very runny; I actually added another 1/4 cup all-purpose flour at the end here because I was so worried about the consistency. The cupcake's texture and flavor turned out wonderful, regardless.)
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. (Do the toothpick test to ensure done-ness. My cupcakes were ready in 20 minutes.)
  • Let cool on a wire rack.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting.
  • Garnish with colorful sprinkles, sugars, jimmies, and candies.

Categories: Chocolate  Cupcakes  Dairy  Dessert  Eggs 

Author Credit: Martha Stewart

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