A basic chocolate cupcake made with store cupboard ingredients. You can change the ratios of flour if desired: it is fine to use just white or just wholemeal flour, though you’ll need to add a bit less water if you use all white flour and a bit more if all wholemeal. The cake will take on a slightly different texture depending on which you use (being lighter with white flour).

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes – 8 oz (225g) caster sugar
4 dessertspoons cocoa powder
pinch salt
9 oz (255g) plain white flour
3 oz (85g) plain wholemeal flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 oz (30g) vegan chocolate chips
6 fl oz (170 ml) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
4 teaspoons vinegar
2/3 pint (350ml) cold water
Icing – 2 oz (50g) vegan plain or milk chocolate
1 dessertspoon vegan margarine
1 dessertspoon icing sugar, sieved
Decoration – a few squares of vegan plain chocolate

1. Place the sugar, cocoa, salt, flours and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Add the chocolate chips, oil, vanilla essence, vinegar and water. Combine well with a fork, but do not beat.
3. Pour into 12 large cupcake cases or 18 regular size. Bake at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20-30 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly when pressed. Cool thoroughly.
4. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a double saucepan* with the margarine and icing sugar. Stir to ensure that the ingredients are well combined.
5. Smooth a spoonful of icing on each cake, leave to cool for a few minutes then decorate with flakes of chocolate (grate the chocolate and/or cut it really finely with a sharp knife).

*If you don’t have a double-saucepan, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not come into contact with the water.