Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes, Improvised

I have to give my kids all the credit for tonight's fantastic creations. They were bored and (just a little) cranky. I had a headache and was in no mood to entertain them. So I set them loose in the kitchen and told them (in these exact words) to "leave me alone, I'm really not in the mood to bake or cook tonight."

About ten minutes into their escapades, they realized that we were out of eggs. (BAD Mommy.) In an effort to salvage the recipe, these ingenious modern-day kids decided to do a Google search for "egg substitute in cake." Voila. Did you know that there are at least a dozen things you can substitute for eggs in a pinch? They debated between applesauce and mayonnaise. My eight-year-old son loved the gross sound of the mayo but, in the end, applesauce prevailed.

They substituted 2 tablespoons of applesauce for the 2 eggs in the original recipe. We held our breath for the entire twenty minutes that they baked. (Just kidding. We didn't.) They came out looking perfect, even more perfect than they do when I make them the 'right' way with real actual eggs.

Next up was the icing. In my words: "No way are you kids making icing at 8:30 at night." So, they improvised yet again and melted some chocolate chips with just a bit of canola oil to make it spread easy. (Sarah's idea.) They collected LITERALLY every topping I had in the cabinet: two varieties of sprinkles, sugar pearls, mini chocolate chips, and flower confetti. Wow. These cupcakes are more beautiful than anything I have ever made (which isn't saying very much, but they really are). And, they taste fantastic.

Chocolate Cupcakes
This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.

1/2 stick margarine
1/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons applesauce (or 2 eggs, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon coffee, dissolved in a little water
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups water

Preheat the oven to 350*. Combine the margarine, oil, sugar, vanilla, applesauce and coffee in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a stand- or handheld-mixer for a couple of minutes until well combined. Turn off the mixer, and add the remaining ingredients. Turn it back onto low speed and mix for a couple of minutes longer, till well combined.

Pour the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake holder. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Prepare a simple icing by melting about a cup of chocolate chips in the microwave with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Spread the icing onto the cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles, chips, or whatever your heart desires.


  1. Your kids are adorable (and great bakers). Very nice job with the cupcakes.
    It is so funny. I just made cupcakes last Friday and I also made eggless cupcakes and used a chocolate chip glaze. But, no applesauce. You have to try the Moosewood vegan chocolate cake. I mix up the dry ingredients, set up the liquid ingredients, and then the kids can mix the batter right in the pan.

  2. Thanks Laura. I'm a big Moosewood fan but I haven't tried that recipe. Will bookmark it now for next time we bake. Anything the kids can do independently is appreciated. If it tastes good, that's a great bonus!


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