Go-To Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcake Recipes


While I like to experiment with my baking, it’s nice to have some go-to recipes that always turn out well. These are all quite easy to make, and very easily adaptable. 

Go-To Chocolate Recipe


These are moist but crumbly, with a good amount of chocolate flavour.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 225 ml hot coffee
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 160g sugar
  • 100 ml oil
  • 60 ml applesauce
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
    (the measurements on this are sort of shady, so most things are easier by weight)


  1. Preheat the oven to 315F. Line cupcake tins.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Combine coffee, apple cider vinegar, sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. I mix the coffee and sugar first to melt the sugar. 
  4. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and stir until combined. I always pour the batter into a measuring cup to disperse, since it’s a pretty runny batter. 
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on size of liner. Toothpick should come out clean.

Go-To Vanilla Recipe


These are a little bit on the denser side, but are robust cupcakes with a good texture and a nice rise. 


  • 7/8 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with ~15 liners
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  3. Mix milk, oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar together
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don’t overmix. 
  5. Fill liners ~2/3 high. Bake for 12 – 18 minutes, depending on liner size. 


  • In general, I like to replace 1/3 to ½ of the oil in recipes with applesauce. I find that I like the texture better, and the applesauce is generally undetectable.
  • I usually rotate my cupcakes in the oven ~8 minutes into baking, and use the middle rack if possible.
  • If there are any open spots in the cupcake tin, I fill them with a bit of water to prevent warping. I’m not 100% sure this does much, but it makes me feel better, so I will continue to do it!
  • I weigh a lot of my ingredients as it’s more accurate
  • To measure flour, I usually scoop it around a few times to get it airy, and level off with a knife
  • When using my mixer, I generally mix batter at a pretty low speed (2) since I don’t want to overmix
  • Egg replacer sucks. Don’t use it in cake if you don’t have to. It’s alright in cookies, but its leavening action for cake-like things is subpar. 
  • If I am trying to replace eggs in something, I usually adjust/add some combination of baking soda, baking powder, vinegar, milk, applesauce, and water. I also don’t try to replace more than 2 eggs, or anything with egg whites. 
  • While I admittedly have not done this yet, using an oven thermometer is the most accurate form of measuring temperature, as most ovens are somewhat off. 

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