Making Room for Cupcakes

For years, I thought restriction was the answer.

I couldn’t be trusted around food. I was afraid that, given the opportunity, I would eat myself into oblivion.

Or, at least into obesity.

Cookies were the enemy (especially chocolate chip cookies — especially my homemade chocolate chip cookies). Desserts of all kinds were verboten. And don’t get me started on tortilla chips.

And, when I did — inevitably — eat those forbidden things I was bad. I was wrong. I beat myself up about it.

Or, I didn’t.  At least, not at the time.  Because I was too busy eating ALL THE COOKIES.  (Or cake. Or chips. Whatever.)

And then, of course, to punish myself later, I’d go back on a strict diet.

Sometimes those strict diets would stick for a while. Even a few months.  But then I’d start eating all the things again and head back towards tight pants and emotional woes.

I have since learned that those terrible swings, eating all the things then eating none of the things, it has a name. And it’s called binge eating disorder.

The binge eating didn’t surprise me that much. The fact that dieting was also a big part of my disorder?

THAT rocked me.

What am I supposed to do when my pants get too tight if I can’t diet????

I’m working on it.  I tune back in.  I get more mindful.  I try to pay attention to my choices and what I’m actually putting in my mouth.

But the one thing I don’t do?

I don’t restrict any more.

So when my daughter asked if we could make some chocolate cupcakes — and I happened to notice that it was national cupcake day — of course I said yes.

room for cupcakes


Because cupcakes are awesome.

I’m not going to restrict, but I’m going to be smart about it.  I’m going to only make 12 cupcakes (not three or four dozen — who needs that many?). I’m NOT going to make “low-fat” or “diet” cupcakes; I’m going to make really tasty ones so that I’ll be satisfied with just one.

The recipe below calls for a dark chocolate glaze (also delicious) but we had some leftover cream cheese frosting that went perfectly. And was a good vehicle for sprinkles.  (I know; leftover frosting? Crazy talk.)

And I’m going to enjoy the process as much as the end result.  Cooking with my baby?


What could be sweeter?


Double Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Double Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes


  • 5 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1oz 70-85% dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup(s) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 12 muffin cups with spray or line with papers.
  2. Whisk 1/2 c warm water and cocoa in a small bowl until smooth. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, and make a well in center. Add cocoa mixture, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in vinegar. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  4. For the glaze: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly.
  5. Whisk together sugar and water until smooth. Add melted chocolate in a slow, steady stream, whisking until thickened, about 1 minute. Immediately pour glaze onto center of cooled cakes. Using an offset spatula, gently spread glaze over top and sides.

 P.S. The best way to eat a cupcake (in my personal opinion): Remove the top, flip over, and make a sandwich. Then you get frosting and cake in every bite.
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