This is a very easy cupcake batter and mixing by hand helps create nice light cupcakes, topped with cream cheese frosting. 






Skill level

Average: 0.7 (78 votes)

You can add a a little edible gold foil or glitter, if you like. 



  • ¾ cup (175 ml) canola oil 
  • 1 egg 
  • ¾ cup (170 g) sugar 
  • ½ cup (125 g) full-fat yogurt 
  • 3 tsp (15 ml) red food colouring 
  • ½ tsp (3 g) white vinegar 
  • ½ tsp (3 g) vanilla 
  • 1¼ cups (160 g) plain flour 
  • 2 tsp (10 g) cocoa powder 
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder 
  • ½ tsp (3 g) baking soda 
  • ½ tsp (3 g) fine salt 



  • 250 g cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 115 g (½ cup)  unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 2 to 3 cups (250-400 g) icing sugar 
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
  • pinch fine salt 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cool cupcakes completely before icing. 

  1. For the cupcakes, heat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat together oil, egg and sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in yogurt, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla. 
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet; mix just until combined. Divide batter into prepared muffin tin.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of cupcakes comes out clean, about 24 to 28 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. For the icing, beat together cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth.  Add icing sugar ½ cup (65g) at a time until desired consistency. Stir in vanilla and salt.
  6. Decorate as desired by either smoothing icing onto cupcakes with an offset pallet knife or by spooning it into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice and swirling onto cupcakes.