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Emily’s Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes

Emily’s Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes are delicious and so easy to prepare. You can make them gluten-free so everyone can enjoy the sweetness. When it comes to personalizing these fluffy mini cakes, there are so many options: sprinkles, fresh fruit, chocolate chips, candy, truffles or any creative touch you can think of. The cupcakes can be made two days ahead.


  1. 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground flax seeds (flaxseed meal)
  2. 3 tbsp (45 mL) cold water
  3. 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix
  4. 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  5. 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  7. Pinch salt
  8. 3/4 cup (175 mL) hot water
  9. 1/3 cup (75 mL) canola oil
  10. 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
  11. Vanilla Butter Icing
  12. 2 cups (500 mL) powdered (icing) sugar
  13. 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
  14. 1 tbsp (15 mL) heavy or whipping (35%) cream (approx.)
  15. 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan. In a small bowl, stir together flax seeds and cold water; let stand for 5 minutes or until thickened. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Whisk in flaxseed mixture, hot water, oil and vanilla until well combined. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack before icing.
  2. Icing: In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat powdered sugar, butter, cream and vanilla, adding more cream as necessary and beating until creamy and smooth. Spread over cupcakes.
  1. Tip: Store cupcakes (without icing) in a large, sturdy airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Store iced cupcakes lightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  2. Dairy-Free Icing Variation: Replace the butter with vegan butter substitute and substitute almond milk for the cream.
The Best of Bridge

This recipe is available in the book Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers.