No-Oreo Cupcakes

I’ve just watched the documentary Fed Up, which is about the industry of sugar in the US. If you haven’t seen it, it’s fantastic. Aside from the major obesity issue and the devastating rise in diabetes and heart attacks amongst our youth, the main lesson I learned was that desserts are okay, as long as you control the ingredients, i.e. you make them at home.

These cupcakes taste like the Oreos my kids adored (past tense since I’m not buying them anymore) without the synthetic ingredients that make them up. The cake part is divine, light and fluffy. Best cocoa cake in the world. If you want a more pronounced flavor, I suggest adding some chocolate chips.




If you don’t know this about me already, I cut the sugar in all my recipes (no exception). Most of the time, I halve the amount and really, it’s never missing. I’ve always done it— since I made my first cake at the ripe old age of seven. Considering sugar is an addiction, if you don’t find it sweet enough at first, you will once your taste buds have adapted and they will adapt; and then you’ll find most desserts overwhelmingly sweet.




For 12 cupcakes


Cocoa Cupcakes

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup flour

½ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp baking powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

¼ tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C and line a cupcake baking tray with pretty liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg with the sugar and salt until light and creamy.
  3. Pour in the oil and the milk and mix.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients to the batter and beat on low until mixture is smooth.
  5. With an ice cream scooper, divide the batter evenly into the liners (they will be about 2/3rds full).
  6. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until puffed up and a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Let cool before frosting.




Vanilla Frosting

½ cup butter, room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

¼ cup whipping cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

Sprinkles of your choice (optional)


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and icing sugar on low speed until incorporated. Then increase the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy (approx. 2 minutes).
  2. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt, and beat on high speed until very white (another minute).
  3. Pour frosting into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice and pipe out onto the cooled cupcakes.
  4. Sprinkle with the edible decorations of your choice.



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