entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: sarah magid

by Grace Bonney

today i am thrilled to share a special in the kitchen with: sarah magid. i’ve been a fan of sarah’s work for a while now and have been dying to work with her on a cooking project. and thankfully, she agreed! so yesterday i visited sarah’s beautiful home in greenpoint, brooklyn (stay tuned for a sneak peek of sarah’s home in the coming weeks) and watched as she baked delicious dark chocolate cupcakes with espresso whipped buttercream and hand-sculpted sugar flowers (the cupcake is vegan-friendly!). normally i’m more of a cook than a baker, but sarah’s work really inspires me to get in the kitchen and try out a simple recipe like this. the steps take hardly any time at all, and produce incredibly tasty results (so tasty i ate them in the car on the way home) so i hope you’ll enjoy sarah’s recipe as much as i did. and if you’re looking for a bit more a baking challenge, sarah also teaches you how to make hand-sculpted sugar flowers in the video- so you can decorate your treats like a pro.

thank you to sarah and her adorable daughter ruby (you can meet ruby at the end of the video) for welcoming d*s into their home on such a dark and rainy day.

also, many congratulations are in order for sarah on the release of her new book: organic and chic: cakes, cookies, and other sweets that taste as good as they look– a wonderful, approachable guide to organic baking. i spent the last hour drooling over her recipes for cakes, cookies and updated junk food, so if you’re looking for more sarah magid in your life, or just a visual and baking treat (the book photos were shot at saipua, with flowers styled by weeder’s digest‘s sarah ryhanen!) click here to pick up a copy- i guarantee you’ll find at least a recipe or two that make you want to drop what you’re doing and start baking (or at least eating).

CLICK HERE for the full cupcake and frosting recipe, and links for buying gumpaste and decorative baking powders online!


All recipes from Sarah Magid’s Organic and Chic cookbook

Easiest Chocolate Cake
makes 32 cupcakes

2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup organic canola oil
2 teaspoons organic white distilled vinegar
2 cups cold water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners, set aside

2. In a large bowl, place sifter on top and add dry ingredients. (Or you can sift each ingredient and mix together in the large bowl).

3. In a medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.

4. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry, using a whisk to incorporate.

5. Using a ladle or spoon, pour batter into cupcake liners, filling batter 2/3 up in each liner.

6. Bake for 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool before frosting.

Espresso Whipped Buttercream

Makes 3 1/2 cups

2 sticks unsalted organic butter
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup organic whole milk
1/4 cup sifted organic all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons strong espresso (either from a shot or from powdered espresso)

1. In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the milk and flour, whisk until there are no lumps, then slowly add remaining 3/4 cup milk. Over medium-high heat, whisk frequently until mixture is thick and bubbling, remove from heat. Keep stirring and let cool to room temperature. (You can cheat by flash chilling in the freezer).

2. In standing mixer, add softened butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes until mixture is light and thick.

3. Add cooled milk/flour mixture, and beat for 4-5 minutes until it is thickened and creamy.

4. With mixer on low speed, add espresso, and whip at high speed for 1 minute.

5. Frost cupcakes, or cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator up to 3 days. If refrigerated, make sure it comes to almost room temperature then re-beat for fluffy texture.

Sugar Flowers:

Sarah used pre-mixed gum paste, available here.

But if you would like to make your own, here is a recipe. (it requires a lot of specialty ingredients so Sarah advises buying the pre-made mix and adding food coloring to customize it)

If you would like to add colored powder to your flowers like Sarah (added in the center of each flower with a paintbrush), click here to buy edible colored powder for baking.

Images from Organic and Chic below, by by Noah Sheldon


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  • Loved the video, and yes, I too use organic Canola oil – every day. Can’t wait to try the recipe! BTW, what is the wallpaper behind the cupcakes in the opening shot?

  • I ordered her book earlier this week and I’m even more excited now about receiving it in the mail after watching your video. Her desserts are just sensational!

  • I can’t wait to try her method for making a thick frosting by heating the milk and flower. Never thought of/heard of that before. We’ll definitely give it a try.

  • Thanks Grace, it was so fun to have you over! The wallpaper is Matthew Williamson, it was a remnant that a friend gave to me. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Organic canola oil can be found at many large grocery stores, a brand I like is Spectrum. Thanks!

  • Sarah, thank you for the recipes. Absolutely beautiful photos! I’m going to try out the recipes soon.

    Quick question: does the gum paste you use have all natural and/or organic ingredients?

  • I love the versatility of your blog! You bring up all sorts of subjects and all parts of design! I think it’s great that you are able to cover such a broad range of subjects!

    And this post is amazing! I love the name “Organic and Chic” so awesome!

    aspiring couture

  • I’m a little naive when it comes to Vegan eating, but didn’t Sarah say the cupcakes were Vegan friendly? I got confused when she made the frosting with butter and whole milk. I wouldlove to make these for my Vegan sister in law.

  • Ooh! That book looks absolutely adorable! The recipes sound scrumptious and the photos are stunning. Thank you for sharing this, Grace, and thank you Sarah for sharing your yummy organic recipes!

  • Hi! Gumpaste has some ingredients that aren’t made organic yet, but are natural such a guar gum which is derived from trees. It gives the elastic play-dough texture that is like play dough. My recipe has organic shortening and organic sugar to make as organic as possible. Some people use the flowers as decoration only and eat just the cake-so you can truly eat all organic! Thanks!

  • sarah – you seem like a lovely person. your method of teaching is low key, calm and easy. while watching, i kept thinking this is the kind of person i would like to have my daughter learn from. many thanks.

  • I needed some urgent cupcakes to take to school for a little girls birthday and these turned out fabulously. The teachers were asking me for the recipe. Of course I didn’t make the espresso cream but fluffy pink cream instead.
    Usually, I don’t cook from american sites (am from australia) as the recipes tend to contain too much sugar of corn syrup, but this one looked good and they were very moist. Thanks again. I will have to hunt down the book.

  • Yeah!! I love Sarah and her work, the video and her book!! She made a birthday cake for my son and the espresso mini cupcakes for his baptism — delicious and chic! xoxo

  • I thought that the cupcakes looked very yummy and someday i will make these cupcakes and try to eat them all with know one looking if i do make them i am also only nine years old you need to keep making resipies

  • I actually made my first cake from your book yesterday! This video was really helpful, too–I realized I wasn’t whipping up my butter enough for the buttercream frosting. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m a huge fan!

  • I have this Wallpaper! But in gold! Ive loved it for years and years before i eventually purchased it for my new bedroom! Cupcakes look good too!

  • I made these yesterday, same day I came across the recipe..
    I was fasting and couldn’t wait to try them out!
    The buttercream is very delicious. I never knew the flour and milk trick to frosting…
    I am glad I didnt skip the frosting like I usually do, because to me
    this cake doesnt taste so good without, and just delicious with!
    Thank you, and the video was very nice!

  • Sarah~I can’t wait to try these cupcakes! You make it seem so easy! Also, I couldn’t help but notice your wonderful blouse in this video..do you mind sharing about it and the where abouts of it? I look forward to that..Thanks!

  • My mom found a recipe for a vegan chocolate cake, it’s exactly like this but it was called a Depression Cake. Assuming they made it during the depression. Either way, it’s a great cake moist and sweet!

  • This recipe is a keeper. The cake and frosting complemented each other wonderfully. Too bad my cupcakes didn’t turn out like the picture though. :)

  • I enjoy reading your blog. I love your creativity and inspires me to bake organic. I have a question…I made the espresso whipped buttercream icing yesterday. It looked yummy at first but then I noticed to be a bit grainy. I used organic sugar so I’m wondering if I could have used powder sugar (organic if there’s such a thing) instead? I really like this recipe. I just want to perfect it. Thanks!

  • the cupcakes are great..but the icing is horrible as cane sugar remains super granular in the frosting…i shoud have ground it superfine ….was not mentioned anywhere to do that.

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