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If you read this post, you'll know that I received a mini cupcake maker for Christmas. After trying it out a couple of times, I thought I'd share with you the recipe I've been using and my thoughts on cupcake makers in general. This recipe is very basic and can be easily adapted to suit your personal taste - less sugar, plain vanilla flavour, decoration etc. It makes about 4 batches of 7 mini cupcakes so you can definitely use the same recipe for large cupcakes baked in a conventional oven.
My mum initially bought me the cupcake maker as she thought it would be a quick way to whip up cupcakes quickly. However, it's a lengthy process as the mixture produces about 4 batches of 7 cupcakes that have to be cooked for 15-20 minutes each. If you were savvy, you could divide the measurements so that you made enough for just a couple of batches, but I think that would be tedious and probably not worth it for a few mouthfuls of cake. Although you don't have to heat up a whole oven to back the cakes, the machine may well use up a lot of electricity. It's very user friendly in the sense it heats up very quickly and is easy to set up, but the actual spooning of the mixture into the cupcake cases or moulds can be a little tricky as you're wary that you could easily touch down on a scalding hot surface. Any mixture you do spill will cook/burn so it's fairly easy to remove from the non-stick surface. Finally, the massive pro of this product is that it looks blimmin' cute and would be perfect if you're living alone or at uni and may not have access convenient access to an over 24/7. The cupcakes are also much smaller portions so you get your cake fix, but only have a mouthful of calories (or 3 cupcakes and the equivalent of a regular sized cupcake in my case.)
Overall, would I recommend a cupcake maker? Yes, I think they're fool proof and anyone can use one (with great care.) They're especially helpful if you're a student and in house share.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and maybe give it a go. It's a very standard chocolate cake recipe but use your imagination and spice it up a bit (maybe literally, I heard chili and chocolate are good together.)