Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Rich and delicious: a chocolate lover's dream

These tiny dark chocolate cupcakes are a mouthful of bliss. They are easy to make and so amazingly moist and delicious that you might find yourself needing to make double the quantity....

This mixture is a bit like a muffin mixture, where the butter is melted and the ingredients are not mixed too thoroughly. I'm sure what gives them such depth of flavour is the brown sugar and molasses.

That and the fact that the main ingredient is actually chocolate. Yum, yum!

These cupcakes are full of dark chocolate flavour, and are quite sophisticated. I find that in general adults prefer them to children. Certainly my children prefer the chocolate chip cupcake recipe.

I make these dark chocolate cupcakes in tiny cases. I think a full-sized cupcake of this recipe would be too much for most people as part of an afternoon tea.

I have made a full-sized cake out of this. You would need four times the quantity, and two 9" round cake tins. We filled and topped the cake with four times the quantity of topping. Of course, you only need small slices.

It's an amazing cake - especially if you use the chocolate ganache frosting as a topping. I definitely prefer it in small bites like the recipe below.

These cupcakes are based on a recipe by Otto Lenghi, a talented chef based in London. He has written two cookery books that I know of, both of which I can highly recommend.

These cakes came from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. The other book, called Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi, does not have any sweet recipes in it and is basically a vegetarian cookbook. Both these books are available on Amazon.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


Level: Easy
Time: Just over an hour to bake and cool.
Makes: 12 small cupcakes



1 egg
60g (4 tablespoons) soured cream
40ml (3 tablespoons) sunflower oil
10ml (2 teaspoons) black treacle
(or black strap molasses)
10g (1/2 tablespoon) unsalted butter
30g (2 tablespoons) caster sugar
30g (2 tablespoons) light muscavado sugar
60g (1/3 cup) plain flour
15g (1 1/2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
20g (1/4 cup) ground almonds
100g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate,
cut into small pieces,
or good quality chocolate chips


If you are covering these cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting (highly recommended!) then you should make the frosting first since it takes up to 2 1/2 hours to reach the right consistency.

Other recommended toppings are fluffy vanilla frosting or chocolate cream cheese frosting, both of which can be made more quickly.


  • Set the oven to 325F, gas mark 3.

  • Melt the butter in a large bowl over a pan of water. The reason for doing it this way is because if you just melt it in a pan, it is such a small amount of butter, that you lose too much on the sides of the pan.

  • Weigh out the soured cream, sunflower oil, black treacle, caster sugar, muscavado sugar, and beat the egg.

  • When the butter is fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add the above wet ingredients.  Whisk until they are just combined. Don't overmix.

  • Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt and almonds and fold into the mixture gently until fully combined.

  • Fold in the chocolate chips.

  • Fill the cupcakes completely with the batter and bake on the centre shelf for 15-20 minutes. If you insert a cocktail stick, there should be quite a bit of crumb attached.

  • When they are ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

  • Once the cupcakes are properly cool, you can top with the frosting. If using chocolate ganache frosting, check first to make sure that the frosting has started to set. You need to catch it before it hardens, but when it has become easy to spread.

    Top each dark chocolate cupcake generously.

Serve with

On their own, I love them with Earl Grey tea.

Perfect with chocolate eclairs, ham sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches and green tea on a warm spring day.

As part of a delicious cooler weather afternoon spread, dark chocolate cupcakes are great with soft gingerbread cookies and a selection of finger sandwiches, little jam tarts and a carrot cake.

A nice robust black tea like Earl Grey or English breakfast would go well with a big spread like this. For those avoiding caffeine, I would think of Rooibos.


If you loved this Dark Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe,
you might also enjoy our Vanilla Cupcakes.