Recipe - Egg-less Butter-less Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday to my dearest Duc! Because he loves peanut butter so much, I wanted to put my peanut butter frosting to good use so I figured chocolate cupcakes would do the trick. However, on the search for a moist cake recipe from scratch, I came across what was promised to be moist but also egg-less and butter-less [original cake recipe here]. Intriguing! So these turned out pretty great. I also played with my new cake decorating set (the beginner's set) to put a nice border on the cupcakes before creating leaves from which chocolate dinosaurs could "emerge" from. The dinosaurs were fun to make too! I bought a fantastic mold into which I melted dark chocolate to make ridiculously cute dinos (he's a dinosaur lover). These definitely turned out a lot better than I had hoped, so I'm glad that they were a good birthday gift!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 12 cupcakes)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup & 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water*
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules or espresso*
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
      *Note: You may use 1 cup of brewed coffee in exchange for the 1 cup of warm water & 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules. The coffee will enhance the chocolate taste, not give it a coffee taste.

Step 2: Mixing separated ingredients
For the dry mixture, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. Make sure they are well sifted/mixed as cocoa powder has a tendency to clump. In a separate bowl, mix together your coffee/warm water with coffee granules, vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil. Don't worry about the olive oil flavoring the cake strangely - it won't.

Step 3: Finishing
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Combine the dry and wet ingredients together. Mix until just combined - the batter will be thin and lumpy. Pour into a lined muffin/cupcake pan about 1/2 of the liner. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick through the middle of a cupcake and having it come out clean. Enjoy by frosting however awesomely as you'd like!


Some photography provided by Duc Duong.