CHE BELLA! Mama’s Little Model Cupcakes

by valentinalucia

Today, after being quite spooked as a premature fire alarm went off as I stepped out of the shower, I went to work on my first batch of cupcakes in the new house. I wanted to make something simple, yet still different than the other desserts I’ve made since I’ve been in my new home. I decided on a classic chocolate cupcake – simple, quick, and delicious – accompanied with a slightly more exciting and festive cream cheese icing. These cupcakes came out looking and tasting so good I happily gave them the name Mama’s Little Model Cupcakes!

Let’s start with the base – the chocolate cake part of the cupcake. It’s a very basic recipe, with a few of my own little twists. As usual, I tried to separate my flours and use a little of both all-purpose flour and white whole-wheat flour. Other than that, I let the dry ingredients do their thing. When it came to the wet ingredients, however, I tried to spice things up by using a little bit of almond milk with the milk the recipe calls for originally. Honestly, I don’t think this change made much difference. I used more regular, low-fat milk either way, so I think the almond milk really just satisfied my curiosity and interest in using it in a recipe. The cake came out fluffy and fairly moist, thanks to the applesauce, I presume. I always try to make things a little bit healthier when I can, and sacrificing a tad on the cake by not using butter or oil and using applesauce makes me feel less guilty when it comes to the decadent frosting 🙂

Cream cheese frosting could be the death of me. Well… really, any frosting could be the death of me, but I haven’t had cream cheese frosting in a while, so it was extra good for me! You can bet I licked the spoon AND the bowl after making that frosting! I added sprinkles to the frosted cupcakes to add some more fun and brighten up presentation, and, personally, I think they turned out super cute, adorable, delicious, scrumptious and fabulous!

Chocolate Cupcakes (makes about 2 dozen)


3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup milk (low-fat is fine)

1/4 cup almond milk*

1/3 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

*Almond milk was my spin on the recipe, it’s purely optional. If you choose to eliminate almond milk, increase the amount of regular milk to 3/4 cup.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place liners in 2-12 cup muffin tins.

2. In a large bowl, mix together cocoa, flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt thoroughly.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, water, milk, applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix wet mixture into flour mixture until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add in mini chocolate chips.

4. Fill muffin cups evenly with the prepared batter, about 3/4 full in each tin.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Remove cupcakes from the pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting recipe provided by Martha Stewart