Super Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

Super Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

All steps are illustrated with photos. Use a freezer bag to keep things simple. This is foolproof even for beginners. Go ahead and add toppings if you feel like it.

Ingredients: 11 aluminum cups worth, or 4 muffin cups worth

2 tablespoons
Vegetable oil or butter (see Hints)
2 tablespoons (20 g)
Milk or orange juice
3 tablespoons
☆Pancake mix
100 g
☆ No-sugar added cocoa powder
1 tablespoon
※Or use more no-sugar cocoa powder for a more bitter flavor
add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon milk
☆Or if using sugar-added cocoa powder
4 tablespoons of powder, omit the sugar, add 1 tablespoon milk
※Refer to Recipe ID: 2117301 for the non-oil version


1. Get the ingredients and equipment ready. We'll be using a ziplock bag (medium size). Open it up inside a stable container such as a bowl.
2. Combine the cocoa powder and pancake mix. I used 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in this photo. Start preheating the oven to 170°C.
3. Add the egg and sugar to the bag, and mix with a small whisk if you have one (or use a fork).
4. Add the oil and mix it in too.
5. Add the combined pancake mix and cocoa powder plus the milk and mix. When the batter is more or less mixed, close the bag and mix it well in the bag.
6. Place the aluminum cups on an oven tray. Gather the batter into one corner of the bag.
7. Squeeze the batter out neatly. Fill the cups about halfway full to start, and add more to the cups that have less batter later. Make sure each cup has about the same amount of batter.
8. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes.
9. If a toothpick poked into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, they are done. If the toothpick is still covered with batter, add 5 minutes of baking time.
10. Take the cupcakes off the oven tray to cool. Done!
11. These are the only things you have to wash up.
12. ※If baking the cupcakes in a toaster oven: Use aluminum cups. Line the rack with foil and set the timer on your toaster oven to 10 minutes. Start checking how much it's browning on top after 2 minutes.
13. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the baking will be very uneven. Turn the cups around, and cover any that are browning too fast with aluminum foil.
14. Keep observing the cakes and cover any others that get browned with foil too. In our toaster oven, it took 10 minutes at 860 W, including the time it took to move the cups around.
15. I thought that it was surprisingly hard work to bake the cupcakes in a toaster oven. The recipe is easy, but you need to watch them constantly as they're baking.
16. ※ I also made mushipan (steamed bread). Don't use aluminum cups if you're microwaving them. 1 cup took about 50 seconds at 500w. Poke with a toothpick to test for doneness.
17. If you want to steam them all at once, place them in a frying pan with about 1-1.5 cm of boiling water, cover with a lid and boil for 10 steam. These here contain orange juice and apples.
18. Recipe ID: 2120331 is for easy 4-ingredient chocolate scones made with pancake mix.

Story Behind this Recipe

I thought up a recipe that the kids could take the lead in making. I really made the steps simple so that I could just observe from the side without worrying, and enjoy making these with them. Cleanup is easy too. But I aimed for a flavor that would make adults happy too.
These cupcakes can be used as 'for friends' Valentine's Day gifts, since they're easy to make.