Cupcakes Galore

Well, not really a galore, but two no-fail cupcake recipes that have been lifesavers since buying packaged cake mixes is a costly and often impossible task here in Jakarta.

First. A very simple and delicious Chocolate Cake.

Bob Sykes Bar Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
Yields about 30 cupcakes or a two-tier 9” cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa (add more cocoa)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
  3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans
  6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for the round cakes, about 18 minutes for the cupcakes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.


I realize I have already posted a recipe for carrot cake, however this one comes with a twist, an apple twist I might say. The little bit of apple makes a huge difference. This recipe is not as “carroty” as the previous one. This is more like a vanilla cake with a bit of carrot, cinnamon and apple. It is great and very kid-friendly.


The Cupcake Diaries Carrot Cupcake

Yields about 22 medium cupcakes



2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (French butter works best)

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (not on the original recipe but a good addition)

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup hot water

2 cups freshly grated carrots

½ cup freshly grated apple (approximately 1 medium-size-apple- Gala apples work well)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line your cupcake pan with paper baking cups
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside
  3. Beat butter on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  5. Reduce speed to low. Mix as slowly and little as necessary to avoid traumatizing the batter.
  6. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the hot water, beating until well incorporated. Repeat and beat just until combined.
  7. Using a spatula fold the grated carrot and apple into the batter.
  8. Use a standard-size-ice-cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter until two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

My favorite frosting both for the chocolate and carrot cupcakes is vanilla cream-cheese frosting.


The Cupcake Diaries Vanilla Cream-Cheese Frosting

Enough to frost 18-20 cupcakes



4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature



  1. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixing fitted with the paddle attachment
  2. Beat until well combined
  3. Beat on high-speed at the very end for at least 2 minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy
  4. If you find it’s not fluffy enough, add a teaspoon of milk and beat until desired consistency is acquired



6 thoughts on “Cupcakes Galore

  1. Oooh apple and carrot cupcakes, I hadn’t thought to try that but it sounds absolutely yummy! Now I just have to buy a cupcake tin! Its the weird one piece of baking equipment I don’t have! (I think it disappeared into the black hole of long term storage before China, oops!)

    • The packers here in Indonesia threw away cookie sheets and cooling racks, they were too light and they thought it was just paper! I was so frustrated! I had silicone pans but I went back to the regular metal ones, they work best. Make sure you use up every single pound of your UAB! =P

  2. Yum I LOVE cupcakes, and all baked goods really. I tried a new twist recently on cream cheese frosting for carrot cake: Adding maple syrup (about 1/4 cup) for MAPLE cream cheese frosting. Not that cream cheese frosting needs any extra sweetness, but it was good!

    • I’ve seen that recipe, or that twist but I haven’t tried it. I will have to sometime. The only problem is that the cream cheese here has a weird consistency and I’m scared to so how it reacts to new ingredients hahah…. Make sure you pack your UAB full of maple syrup or spices you can’t live without!

  3. Pingback: Moving to Jakarta without losing your Mind Part 2 | Stumble Abroad

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