Cook the Book: One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Cook the Book: One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe is the drop-cookie of chocolate cakes: an effortless chocolate batter that makes crowd-pleasing cupcakes, but is easily adapted to produce layer cakes, too.

It's so easy, in fact, that Martha Stewart admits it hardly belongs on her Cooking School curriculum: no special techniques, no electric mixer, and no more than one bowl. Frost as desired, or sandwich with your favorite buttercream.

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  • Yield:24 cupcakes


  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (plus more for pans)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. 1.

    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

  3. 3.

    Whisk in eggs, yolk, water, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway. Bake cupcakes, rotating tins half way through, until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Transfer to a wire rack; cool 10 minutes, then turn out cupcakes onto rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

  6. 6.

    Variation: Chocolate Layer Cake

  7. 7.

    Coat two 8 by 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds; spray parchment.

  8. 8.

    Follow instructions for cupcakes above, dividing batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

  9. 9.

    Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes.

  10. 10.

    Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes, and cool completely, top sides up, before frosting.