Saturday, October 12, 2013


There isn't a whole lot to say about this recipe... except that it's fantastic! I adapted it from a recipe on the Joy of Baking website (link below, just before the recipe). I used a vanilla frosting, but the one on the website sounds delicious, and as are most recipes on the website, it's very manageable. Although this recipe says it's for cupcakes, it's my go-to recipe for a moist, delicious chocolate cake. This recipe makes one 8 in. round cake.

The hot water makes a difference because it activates the cocoa and draws out the chocolate-y flavour without being over-bearing. Also, butter, olive oil, or coconut oil are really the only fats I use for baking. Generally, if a recipe calls for oil, I use olive oil. I always have it at hand, and it's got natural emulsifiers that results in cakes with a moist crumb even after refrigeration. And no, you won't get an olive oil flavour in your cake at all.

I used *very* ripe bananas for the best flavour. Really ripe. Blackened skin ripe. Blackened skin, soft to the touch ripe. But really, even if your bananas have lots of black spots on them, they're fine to use. Don't bother using unripe bananas... won't work.

Moist Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
Servings: 12 regular cupcakes, 24 mini cupcakes

Adapted from this recipe.

**See Notes for additional information on sugar, oil, and eggs**

- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup demerara sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened regular or Dutch-processed
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 medium sized ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup hot water, not boiling
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C.
2. Line 12 regular or 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners, butter each cup, or spray with your favourite non-stick vegetable spray.
3. In a large bowl mix well the dry ingredients - sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In another large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients except hot water - eggs, mashed banana, milk, oil, vanilla extract and almond extract if using.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir or whisk until combined.
6. Add the hot water and mix. The batter will be quite thin but don't worry it's fine.
7. Pour or spoon the batter into the muffin cups no more than 3/4 full, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
9. Frost with your favourite frosting - or serve plain with a side of whipped cream or ice cream.

1. I always use demerara sugar, but you can also use any other unprocessed sugar like evaporated cane juice. White granulated sugar is heavily processed and I don't recommend it for anything but use it if you must.
2. Olive oil has natural emulsifiers that make cakes moister and softer, so I like using olive oil for baking rather than any other oils. Also, that's really the only oil I always have at hand.
3. I use organic free-range eggs for eating and baking but any eggs will do.


  1. I'm going to follow your example of using olive oil in baking recipes. As much as I love evoo raw (salads, raita, hummus, dipping), I have always, very reluctantly, used vegetable oil when a cake/waffle recipe asks for it. Two reasons - an irrational fear of 'olive-y' blueberry waffles and generally speaking I'm just conflicted about heating evoo. But I'm making the switch, the more I read about vegetable/canola oil, the more disgusted I am! One question: would you recommend the more processed olive oils for baking is the lighter colored ones? It hurts me to use my expensive evoo where I can't even taste it.

    1. Hi Tulika! Definitely try olive oil for baking - you won't regret it! Baking with olive oil is fine because its smoke point is around 375 F and most cakes bake at 350 F. I wouldn't recommend the "Light" olive oil for anything edible... it's what refined olive oil is called in the US. Misleading, I know, but such is the FDA. I use normal evoo... give it a go. I wouldn't use the unfiltered evoo though - it's great for savoury dishes and perhaps a cake or biscuits meant to have an olive oil flavour - but not regular baking where you don't want an overt olive oil taste. This chocolate cake batter is one of my all time favourites - I hope you like it!