Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are very easy to mix (you don’t even need a mixer)

By Chef Tracy Darue

A few weeks ago, FVCC hosted the annual “College 4 a Day” event. The event provides an opportunity for high school juniors to experience what it’s like to be in college for a day. We were overwhelmed by the number of students who signed up to be in the culinary department for the day. We split them into two groups and worked with each group for two hours. Two hours to lecture, mix, bake and decorate is not very much time, so I needed to come up with something quick for students to mix and bake. I also wanted to show them some simple ways to decorate cupcakes with a piping bag. These cupcakes are very easy to mix (you don’t even need a mixer). Also, strangely enough, they don’t contain any eggs, so they are considered vegan. I hope you enjoy them as much as the students did. It was a great day for all of us at FVCC!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin cup liners in standard size muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large measuring cup, combine water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.
  5. Whisk together until just combined. It’s okay to have a few lumps.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin cups (preferably with an ice cream disher, 2 3/4 oz. size).
  7. Bake 16 to 24 minutes (depending on your oven) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a baking rack. Remove from pans.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with a simple frosting.

Chef Tracy Darue is the Instructional Coordinator of Baking and Pastry at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information about the Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC, visit www.culinaryinstituteofmt.com.