This basic recipe for extra-moist vanilla cupcakes with chocolate chips is a family favorite and perfect for offering as a snack, at tea time or as party food. They also occasionally can appear on an iftar table when breaking the fast in Ramadan.
Frost the cupcakes if you like, but they are equally delicious plain. Since the quality of chocolate chips in Morocco can be iffy, a good alternative is to hand chop quality dark baking chocolate or a chocolate bar for recipes which call for chocolate chips. In this case, the vanilla cake is flavorful enough so skipping the chocolate chips hardly will be missed.
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 3 packets vanilla sugar)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk
- Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or finely chopped semisweet or dark chocolate)
- Heat your oven to 375 F (190 C). Grease and flour cupcake tins or line them with paper liners.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low speed just until a smooth, thick batter forms. Do not over mix. You can stir the chocolate into the batter now if you like, or add them in the next step.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling a little more than half full. Top each with a sprinkle of chopped chocolate or a few chocolate chips if you haven't added it to the batter in the step above.
- Bake the cupcakes until set and golden in color, approximately 15 to 17 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for several minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, store the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, or for longer in the freezer.
Cupcakes Have Worldwide Appeal
Cupcakes have made their way to Morocco, where the tasty little cakes can be found as packaged snacks, bakery-made sweets or home-baked treats. Casablanca even has a specialty cupcake shop called J'Adore les Cupcakes ("I love cupcakes").