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My “go-to” chocolate cupcake recipe

This is a chocolate-covered blog

Yet, up until a few weeks ago, it included neither a recipe for chocolate brownies nor one for chocolate cupcakes. Some chocolate blog!

Last month, I took on the brownies: Ultimate Fudge Brownies.

(Side note: I wish I’d created those brownies a long time ago! They’re so fudgey and chocolatey that they have quickly turned into one of my absolute favorite desserts.) Today it’s time to tackle the cupcakes.

healthy chocolate cupcakes

These cupcakes are so soft and fluffy! No one will ever guess they’re healthy.

They’d also be really good with some Cashew Butter Frosting.

Chocoholic Cupcakes

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour (I used white-whole-wheat. You can use white or spelt.)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice (see note below, for sugar-free version)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt of choice (such as SoDelicious)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut or canola/veg oil (See note below, for a fat-free option)
  • optional: add a few handfuls chocolate chips to the batter!
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, then add wet. Don’t overmix. Pour into cupcake tins, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I put in 3/4 cup sugar, because these cupcakes were being served to people who are used to standard cupcakes. However, if you prefer a less-sweet baked good, or if you want more of a chocolate muffin, feel free to cut back on the amount of sugar. If you like the taste of stevia-sweetened baked goods, you can use 5 Nunatural stevia packs, or a combination of sugar and stevia. These cupcakes might work with liquid sweetener: just cut back on the other liquid a little bit.

Notes about the oil:

You can leave out the oil completely if you want to make these cupcakes even lower in fat and calories. Add extra applesauce in the amount of the oil. However, do know that the cupcakes will taste much less light and fluffy. I opted to use some oil for a few reasons: First, I believe healthy fats are extremely important to our bodies. Also, my recipes are healthier versions of traditional recipes, not necessarily low-calorie versions. And finally… taste! Fat-free baked goods can sometimes be gummy. So to those of you who are watching your fat intakes: Leaving the oil in only adds about 3 grams of fat (healthy fat) to each cupcake.

vegan chocolate cupcakes

Have you ever made cupcakes?
And do you like to decorate cupcakes?

I’ve made everything from penguins to Mermaid Cupcakes.

5/5 (3)

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Published on July 10, 2011

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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  1. Sarah @ Food and Love Diaries says

    I love making cupcakes but I never have the patience for them to cool before I frost haha. Decorating cupcakes can be so fun!!
    Oh, PS… I’m going to be making my sisters wedding cake in May… any decorating tips for me 🙂

    • Sarah C says

      The fun liners are my favorite things! I love how they make polka dot ones and hot pink ones and even snowman ones now!

  2. Sarahishealthy says

    Shut the door!!! I have been looking for a healthy chocolate cupcake recipe! You READ my mind, CCK!!!! Thank you!

  3. tea-bag says

    i’ve made more cupcakes than i care to remember! i like doing the frosting thing, but sometimes all they need is a dusting of powdered sugar! still, sometimes it’s nice to do something different – marshmallow s’more frosting, or white frosting w/ oreo dusting!

  4. Ragnhild says

    These are so beautiful 😀
    I have to admit, Im much more of a cupcake-maker, than an eater. They are fun to bake, and so pretty. But to cakey for me! I would rather bit into a plain dark chocolate bar 😉

  5. Jenny says

    I’ve made and decorated plenty of cupcakes in the past, when I was in high school… none of them were ever healthy, since I was always serving a crowd of people that loved just about everything that was super unhealthy!

    I wonder if incorporating black beans into these cupcakes somehow would make them fudgey like the brownies?! Or I guess I could just make the brownies in a muffin tin, d’oh…

    Decorating is super fun, but I actually hate eating frosting [which is usually involved, but not always, of course]… I’m not much of a cupcake fan, either – like Ragnhild said as well! I guess the number one way I enjoy chocolate is the same as my favourite way to enjoy blueberries: straight-up, plain. 🙂

  6. Lindsey @ Why Just Eat says

    We are all addicted to your Single Lady Cupcakes in this house and usually make them at least once a week. We even have the Single Lady Cupcake Ramekins devoted strictly to baking these particular cupcakes. I like to put chocolate chips and cinnamon in mine, my 5 year old likes hers with strawberry preserves and vanilla, and my husband usually wants peanut butter and white chocolate chips in his. We don’t usually decorate them because we can’t wait long enough for them to cool before we eat them!

  7. Emily says

    I love decorating cupcakes! But mine are never works of art like yours. I would love to try fondant someday, but I still haven’t yet.
    Those seaside cupcakes are adorable!

  8. Amber K says

    I actually don’t think I have ever made cupcakes. Muffins yes, banana bread, but never a good cupcake. Hmm…I wonder if it is even possible to make a gluten-free, xanthan gum-free cupcake? Sounds like a possibly tasty experiment!

  9. Sarah C says

    I’m bookmarking this, Katie. It sounds like the perfect healthy recipe that doesn’t call for all sorts of weird ingredients. That’s what I love most about your recipes :).

  10. Savannah(Sweet and Savvy) says

    I LOVE making cupcakes. And decorating them is fun… except for the fact that I have no artistic ability and am absolutley horrible at decorating cupcakes!

    But honestly, cake is so good by itself, I prefer eating it alone 🙂

  11. Lisa says

    these look good- wtith vanilla frosting, mmm!!!
    can I replace anything with cornstarch? maybe xanthan gum or something? and I still totally have to get that stevia! I tried a different brand and did not like the results 🙁 haha

  12. Liz says

    Saw this on twitter and had to click. I am a sucker for cupcakes, especially chocolate ones. I don’t really take the time to decorate them, because I don’t really like frosting. It is too sweet for me. But I love your single lady cupcakes because you can make just one. Just wondering, have you done a chocolate single lady cupcake yet?

  13. Leslie says

    Mmm I want to sink my teeth into that first photo. I love how your recipes are always so simple, without crazy ingredients like xantham gum or obscure flours. It makes it much easier to actually make the recipe as soon as I see it, without having to go out to the store first and buy things I’m only going to use for one recipe.

    In other words, I’ll be making these today! Or, well, maybe as soon as I have an occasion for which to make cupcakes. I don’t think I need eight cupcakes hanging around my house! 😉

  14. Abby says

    They look so fluffy and soft, just like you said! I also am interested, like another commenter, in how you get your photos so crisp and real looking, like I could take the item off the screen. Of course, that is also wishful thinking. I WISH I could take them off the screen, especially in the case of these cupcakes! 🙂 🙂

  15. Cait says

    The mermaid cupcake is cute, but I REALLY love the frog!!!! My birthday is in December. Can you make me frog cupcakes pretty please????
    I love your blog!

  16. Mary says

    These look so cute. I wish I had a party to try them out on!
    I’m still waiting for a party to take your deep dish cookie pie to as well!

  17. Tara says

    I haven’t made cupcakes in ages!! Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting is my favorite classic combination, but the flavors coming from the “cupcake craze” are awesome! I had a brown sugar praline cupcake from sprinkles and it was to die for!!

    Totally random side note, but I was thinking about this while working out — how cool would it be if they made m&m’s with a fudge baby filling? They would taste so good!

  18. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    The cupcakes I’ve made have always been a box mix — and that was a long long time ago. Now I just stick with cookies because they are easier (for me) to make!

  19. Little Bookworm says

    Love chocolate cupcakes and muffins. I’ve tried to decorate them before with icing – didn’t work too well! 😛

  20. Lenna says

    I have actually never made cupcakes! But my mom has baked them twice and I decorated them both times. I love decorating things and food is no exception 🙂

  21. Jen says

    I love making cupcakes, but I don’t really like eating them. They’re not my favorite dessert. So whenever I make them, I make sure there are people I can give them to! I usually make a homemade frosting to frost them with, but I’ve never made mermaid cupcakes before!

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