Not-So-Sweet But Deliciously Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve really only just started to explore the world of baking primarily because I hate to measure.  Case in point, I goofed with the recipe below and instead of 36 cupcakes, ended up having to bake 54 because I calculated my flour wrong.

I decided to start baking cupcakes from scratch because I wanted to be able to control the sweetness.  I’ve been impressed by the chocolate cupcakes from our local H-E-B grocer and big box places like Costco, Sam’s and *hiss* Walmart.  Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t classify them as gourmet but they all pretty much taste the same to me and have a very loose texture.

I recently made a Martha Stewart chocolate chip cupcake recipe so I had high hopes for it.  On my first go, I thought “this is it!” – wonderful flavor (I used Guittard dark chocolate chips – yum) and decadently dense but after making two batches a week later, I realized it was just TOO dense for a cupcake.  When all I want to do is drown my throat in milk, then it’s not that great a sweet experience.  As a recovering diabetic, I save my dulce indulgences so it had better be good!

I don’t really know what the perfect cupcake should taste like but the recipe below that I discovered on pinterest via is it for me.

I just finished making a batch to take to a friend’s house later today and decided to use a 4 oz bar of Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate instead of the usual Baker’s unsweetened chocolate baking squares.

Does the brand or quality of chocolate for a baking recipe make a difference?  For you novices like me – yes.  Absolutely.  The batch today has a much more refined taste than the ones I made last weekend.

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t need to look again nor do I ever need to buy or order cupcakes again.  (I just need to work on my decorating skills which are dismal).  This recipe is just too easy and makes not-so-sweet and really quite deliciously moist cupcakes.

via from Modern Day Baker by Nick Malgieri

makes 18 cupcakes


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (recommended:  Ghirardelli or like quality unsweetened chocolate baking bar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

For the cupcake batter, stir the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.  NOTE:  I do adjust my sugars for most recipes like this so I shave off about 2 tablespoons of sugar from this recipe, but that is just my personal preference.

Put the cut up chocolate in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Blend in the melted butter and then the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and sour cream.

Add the flour and sugar mixture in 3 separate portions, whisking until smooth after each.  (whisk, whisk, whisk – I know – lots of whisking.  Just blend it in gently.)

As this makes a relatively thin batter (little ice cream scoops will runneth over with this stuff), I fill a spouted measuring cup and then pour amongst the muffin pans.  I fill to about 3/4 which makes 18-19 cupcakes per recipe for me.

Bake the cupcakes until they are well risen and your trusty toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes or so.  In my oven, these cupcakes are done at about 17 minutes.

Cool in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to racks and cool completely before icing with your frosting of choice.

Next Up:  Not-So-Sweet Frosting  (do you sense a pattern here?).


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