One of Nigella's cakes. I have adapted it a bit for muffins. It can make about 24 regular sized muffins and 48 mini muffins. It seems complicated but its worth it!


  • 400 g plain flour

  • 250 g caster sugar

  • 100 g light brown sugar (or muscovado)

  • 50 g cocoa

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 150 ml sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • 125 ml vegetable oil

  • 175 g butter, melted and cooled

  • 300 ml water

  • 175 g dark chocolate

  • 250 g unsalted butter

  • 275 g icing sugar, sifted

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180C and line 12 cup muffin tin with papers.

  • 2.

    In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate and salt.

  • 3.

    In another bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended.

  • 4.

    In a third bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the melted butter and oil until just blended then beat in the water (yes this really works).

  • 5.

    Add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture all at once and mix on low speed.

  • 6.

    Add the egg mixture and beat until everything is blended well.

  • 7.

    Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

  • 8.

    Cool on wire rack while making icing.

  • 9.

    --To make the icing--

  • 10.

    Melt the chocolate in the microwave (2-3 mins on medium) and let in cool slightly.

  • 11.

    In a large bowl beat the butter until it is soft and creamy and then add the sifted icing sugar and beat again until everything is light and fluffy.

  • 12.

    Gently add the vanilla and chocolate and beat until smooth.

  • 13.

    Ice the cupcakes with a spatula or piping bag.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (24 servings)

  • Energy 393kj
  • Fat Total 23g
  • Saturated Fat 11g
  • Protein 3g
  • Carbohydrate 44g
  • Sugar 30g
  • Sodium 147mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

Powered by

Like this recipe? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more recipes like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below


Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

4 4 4 4 4
Average Rating
1 comment • 3 ratings
Please login to comment
Posted by RonniycReport
This recipe is amazing - I have used it time and time again.. whether it's for sharing at work or for a party - the muffins are so moist and keep for a long time. Yum! ALso check out Nigella's Old Fashion Chocolate Cake - a really great mix that is easy to carve into shapes and is so delicious