This is by far the best cupcake recipe in the world. And don’t just take my word for it, try making them yourself! They are easy, nearly flop-proof ( I have made them in a variety of testing environments and in at least 3 different countries), moist and delicious. I even made them for my friends’ wedding…

Chocolate wedding cupcakes for Carina and Richard back in 2008.

Usually, I make them in the chocolate variety but for a friend’s baby shower last week, I made the as plain vanilla to match the pink icing.

Vanilla, girly cupcakes with strawberry icing (shop bought icing) for Alice and her baby.


1. Sift dry ingredients together:

  • 3 cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • (Can also add 2t instant coffee)

2. Mix wet ingredients together:

  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 50ml white vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water

3. Pour into paper lined cupcake tins (or if you are making a cake, into a 12 inch by 10 inch pan)
4. Bake for about 35 minutes at 180ºC (Cupcakes are done when a skewer comes out clean)


  • For plain vanilla cupcakes, leave the cocoa out.
  • I usually make Nigella’s royal icing if I want white icing.
  • If I want colours, I make royal icing and add food colouring or make (sinful) butter icing, adding cocoa to make it chocolaty.


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