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Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12
Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: Everyday Food, October 2003

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Easy White Icing
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.

  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.

  3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then spread with Easy White Icing using a table knife or small offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Reviews (78)

  • SandMan11 18 Dec, 2014

    So tasty and delicious. I made these last weekend and it was a very simple recipe to make. Not sure if the instructions are flawed though. I checked the cupcakes at exactly 18 mins and they were perfectly done. I would not recommend the 20-25mins (thank you richmonder for the tip). Otherwise, yummy. They are dense and the dutch cocoa makes it a bit decadent. This is definitely going in the archives.

  • Skygirlnicola 17 Sep, 2014

    These were freaking delicious! There are mixed reviews that say they were too dry - WTF? Honestly I have no idea what these people were doing wrong...? They weren't light and fluffy it's true - but they were super good and moist- they should be called Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes because they are definitely more dense like a Brownie - but who doesn't love a good brownie? I used creamcheese icing and they came out so well. I followed the recipe exactly and baked them 20 min. Perfection!

  • richmonder 6 Sep, 2014

    I've made these 7 times. Followed the recipe exactly and baked for 20 minutes, checking with a toothpick starting at 18 min. They are absolutely fabulous and went over huge! Used the Easy White Icing recipe as noted, also great. If you make these, you should adjust your expectations. They are like a puffy brownie - a velvety, delicious, soft texture. Not too sweet, but chocolate perfection. Tip: the flavor settles in the best on day 2 or after freezing. Don't judge them right out of the oven.

  • Lynztree 22 Jun, 2014

    I'm not sure why these ended up dry for some folks. They are a bit more dense then your average light and fluffy cupcake, which is also a great thing! They almost had the consistency of a brownie. Just watch your baking time and start with only 20 minutes. I will bake these again!

  • Donna Sparrow 4 Apr, 2014

    Very disappointed! The batter was like brownie batter. The cupcakes are dry and have the consistency of a dry brownie. I do not recommend them at all!

  • -Mary- 12 Feb, 2014

    These cupcakes were a total disappiontment. They were very dry. Will never do these again.

  • Izza Kalsom 14 Oct, 2013

    The cuppies turn out delicious and beautiful. As I want to make it luxurious I change the topping to chocolate ganache...
    I'm keeping this recipe. Thank you.

  • Taimar 6 Oct, 2013

    I still cannot understand why these muffins were totally salty. I checked that i put sugar, not salt; butter was without salt. Yet the muffins were unedible and had to throw them away!!

  • happyvillagemom1 26 Sep, 2013

    the sour cream made such a difference ... very moist, fluffy... tweaked by adding 1/2 c of semisweet choc chips for extra choc punch !!! will do it again :-)

  • Reenareen 31 Aug, 2013

    I've made these 3 times now, and every time, they are a complete crowd pleaser. The phrase 'best ever' has been used more than a few times! I baked mine for 23 minutes and they turn out perfectly. Thanks Martha!

  • mthbkr 8 Jul, 2013

    These were so good, I actually needed to register to leave a comment. Everything was the same except I used turbinado sugar *aka Raw Sugar*(the ratio is the same, 1 C) and a smidge more coco powder. Baked for 25 mins on the first batch and 21 for the second. 15 total cupcakes is what I ended with. Batter was like whipped mouse. (good even then) Brownies meets moist cake is what I have. Topped with the cream cheese frosting (used Raw sugar just turned into confectioners). These are epically good!

  • mthbkr 8 Jul, 2013

    These were so good, I actually needed to register to leave a comment. Everything was the same except I used turbinado sugar *aka Raw Sugar*(the ratio is the same, 1 C) and a smidge more coco powder. Baked for 25 mins on the first batch and 21 for the second. 15 total cupcakes is what I ended with. Batter was like whipped mouse. (good even then) Brownies meets moist cake is what I have. Topped with the cream cheese frosting (used Raw sugar just turned into confectioners). These are epically good!

  • ohthegoodlife 16 Jun, 2013

    I think I've found the best chocolate cupcake recipe - these are delicious.... and so easy to make!!! Somehow I ended up with 18 cupcakes and still had leftover icing.

  • rootbeercupcake 29 Apr, 2013

    These cupcakes were amazing! Anyone who had a problem with them wasn't measuring correctly or something, because I couldn't believe how perfect mine came out.

    Here's a tip for those who had problems: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/04/18/how-to-not-screw-up-your-next-recipe-measuring-101-2/

    Try them again, it's worth it!

  • rootbeercupcake 29 Apr, 2013

    These cupcakes were amazing! Anyone who had a problem with them wasn't measuring correctly or something, because I couldn't believe how perfect mine came out.

    Here's a tip for those who had problems: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/04/18/how-to-not-screw-up-your-next-recipe-measuring-101-2/

    Try them again, it's worth it!

  • rootbeercupcake 29 Apr, 2013

    These cupcakes were amazing! Anyone who had a problem with them wasn't measuring correctly or something, because I couldn't believe how perfect mine came out.

    Here's a tip for those who had problems: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/04/18/how-to-not-screw-up-your-next-recipe-measuring-101-2/

    Try them again, it's worth it!

  • veronicarollinghills 27 Apr, 2013

    Delicious, not too sweet, enough density to really get the chocolate flavor. Sour cream gives it a little tang and moist.
    Only used 1/2 of easy icing recipe and then just used one cup powder sugar, also added a couple of splashes of vanilla extract on the advise of a reviewer. Last day at work for expectant mother, picked up Meri Meri cupcake decorations and these were perfect, even if my icing skills aren't the greatest.

  • Lea Hernandez 10 Apr, 2013

    I made these for a tea party and it was a hit. Its really good. :)

  • pasadenamom1 1 Apr, 2013

    If these were called brownie cupcakes they would be perfect, but they are too dense for cupcakes. Tast, but if you are looking for a traditional cupcake this is not your recipe. I made them with the cream cheese frosting which is a keeper!

  • littlesweetspots 31 Jan, 2013

    I also made these cupcakes with my almost three year old. I think the cupcakes turned out really nice. The only changes I made were we used greek yogurt instead of sour cream since that is what we had on hand; and we cooked them for 18 minutes as 20 was too long. Next time I would make a cream cheese icing instead of the buttercream to balance out the richness of the cupcake. Overall, Yum!

  • HMMR 1 Jan, 2013

    Found this to be great my three year old loves it the way it is to recipe. Tried it with Droste Dutch cocao powder as I had no cocoa powder left . Found it worked just as well. Very light & family freindly.

  • Foodie to the Max 10 Nov, 2012

    I wish I had seen the lovely video before making the cupcakes straight from the recipe. I made a double batch, and only got 16 cupcakes. The cake was dense, and the chocolate was too rich, so they were not sweet enough. I think all of these issues may be because of too little flour.

    The recipe calls for 3/4 cup when the video calls for a cup. I didn't mind the bitterness, but before frosting, something is just not quite right. That 1/4 cup would've made a difference!

  • Leese_Kay 4 Nov, 2012

    Not bad, but not exactly what I expected. Very moist, but they turned out wrinkly. I used a different cocoa which is most likely where my problem came in (it was groud chocolate and cocoa mix). Delicious non the less. Had a certain cream cheesy quality from the sour cream. Seemed like german chocolate cake. Fiancee loved them.

  • ElliesMama 27 Aug, 2012

    I'm very disappointed in these. I was so excited to try them out but wish I had used a trusted recipe from the past instead. The tops were hard, the centers caved and the butter and sour cream could be easily detected. I bake cupcakes several times per week and am pretty comfortable doing so, so I'm guessing it's the recipe and not me.

  • ElliesMama 27 Aug, 2012

    I'm very disappointed in these. I was so excited to try them out but wish I had used a trusted recipe from the past instead. The tops were hard, the centers caved and the butter and sour cream could be easily detected. I bake cupcakes several times per week and am pretty comfortable doing so, so I'm guessing it's the recipe and not me.

  • Auntie1949 24 Aug, 2012

    Have been looking for a buttery chocolate cupcake for quite some time and this one fits the bill nicely. Very rich, very moist. I used extra large muffin tins to cook these in and should have added another five minutes to cooking time. For smaller cupcakes 20 minutes would have been fine.

  • chromacraze 25 Jun, 2012

    These are like a brownie but not dense like others have said. They are still very soft. I wasn't thinking brownie until I read the reviews. Maybe these can be overbaked easily because they were done sooner than I expected. 20 min. was perfect with a toothpick and I took them out of the pan immediately so they wouldn't continue to cook. They are not too chocolately which is nice, but I don't like the use of sour cream. They tasted okay, but I could smell it on the inside. I would substitute

  • Nadine 29 May, 2012

    i thought they were like the traditional light cupcakes but they aren't at all.. i was surprised and i thought i did it all wrong especially that they looked lovely until they were out of the oven where they kind of fell down in the middle .. they are more like brownies but they taste good ..for chocolate lovers i mean . Dense but moist =) Try them with whipped cream , they are divine that way . The cream kind of breaks the strong dark chocolate like flavour .

  • muri888 26 May, 2012

    Sarah's demonstrations are excellent. I love trying the recipes and watching the video. So enjoyable and easy to make. Thank you Sarah.

  • urbanwalrus 23 May, 2012

    I was initially really hesitant to try this recipe, because there was such mixed reviews. I was looking for a good chocolate cake recipe to make s'more cupcakes for an event. I tried a couple other recipes, and everyone agreed that this one was a clear winner. I baked them for 16 minutes, used natural cocoa (not dutch-processed) with 1/2 tsp baking soda and no baking powder. I honestly don't know what went wrong with the people who tried and hated it. It's really good. Really.

  • urbanwalrus 23 May, 2012

    I was initially really hesitant to try this recipe, because there was such mixed reviews. I was looking for a good chocolate cake recipe to make s'more cupcakes for an event. I tried a couple other recipes, and everyone agreed that this one was a clear winner. I baked them for 16 minutes, used natural cocoa (not dutch-processed) with 1/2 tsp baking soda and no baking powder. I honestly don't know what went wrong with the people who tried and hated it. It's really good. Really.

  • urbanwalrus 23 May, 2012

    I was initially really hesitant to try this recipe, because there was such mixed reviews. I was looking for a good chocolate cake recipe to make s'more cupcakes for an event. I tried a couple other recipes, and everyone agreed that this one was a clear winner. I baked them for 16 minutes, used natural cocoa (not dutch-processed) with 1/2 tsp baking soda and no baking powder. I honestly don't know what went wrong with the people who tried and hated it. It's really good. Really.

  • littlejessmo 30 Mar, 2012

    I made mini cupcakes with this recipe and the were AMAZING brought them to a housewarming party and they were an absolute hit! People were getting baggies to bring them home to their kids before they were all eaten up!

  • Mints22 21 Jan, 2012

    Agree with others, these are dense, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I liked them

  • sionbailey 13 Dec, 2011

    I am a 34 yr mother of 3, and sad to say that I've never made homemade cupcakes before...until today!!! I've been scared to bake from scratch, but needless to say the cupcakes and icing turned out dense but fantastic (although I have nothing to compare them to). Great for a newb!

  • classymom 10 Dec, 2011

    as usual, it's really hard to screw up a MS recipe isn't it? These puffed up wonderfully and were delicious. The mocha buttercream frosting is excellent on these or just a simple chocolate ganache. Previously, I had tried a Nigella Lawson chocolate cupcake recipe that used boiling water and the batter was sensational but the cupcakes completely fell to pieces when in the oven -- I had to throw the whole batch out -- what a huge disappointment. Anybody know what may have gone wrong there?

  • lottiev 25 Sep, 2011

    Continued from the previous review:

    Despite the fact that these weren't what I was looking for, I'm glad they turned out this way, because I used them to fill with salted caramel and top with a bittersweet ganache. The richness and lack of sweetness made them a wonderful foil for the caramel. All in all, a very grown-up cupcake, but that's what I set out to make when I filled them with salted caramel.

  • lottiev 25 Sep, 2011

    I definitely enjoyed these. As many others have said, they have a somewhat dense composition, but they're extremely moist, and I think it lent a velvety texture. I didn't read the reviews first, so I expected more of a traditional cupcake. However, I was taken aback by the small amount of leavening, so I wasn't entirely unsurprised to see how dense they were.

  • kparks2 26 Feb, 2011

    Made the cupcakes and like everyone else says they were dense. I personally wonder if the addition of the sour cream causes that. But also like others have stated the flavor is delicious but not the fluffy cupcake consistency I was looking for. Definitely great for a chocolate fix! Good recipe.

  • shine2991 23 Feb, 2011

    I made a test batch for my daugters birthday party and they were delicious! I agree they are almost brownie-like but the flavor is amazing! I do think that 20 minutes was too long, by the time they cooled they were mostly dried out. I am going to make another test batch tonight, testing after 14 minutes and so on. I also think they would go very well with a Chambord flavored whipped cream frosting.

  • esmacherrypie 30 Dec, 2010

    They were definitely more brownie than cupcake, and I would suggest this only for elders and serious chocolate lovers - definitely not something to bring to a kids party.

  • AllyPally 18 Dec, 2010

    These cupcakes were dense, as many others have stated, but they were really moist and, I think, delicious. I loved them! I really don' t think they were as bad as the last person made them out to be. If you make them, maybe cook them for 20 minutes rather than 25 to keep them from being too dry. As, I said, mine turned out really yummy. So, I recommend them.

  • lauralizzy 13 Dec, 2010

    I brought these cupcakes to a holiday party this weekend and was very upset at how they turned out. They were extremely dense and felt like small chocolate bricks rather than a light and moist cupcake. Do not make these cupcakes.

  • kgoldstein 1 Nov, 2010

    If you're looking for a classic chocolate cupcake, DO NOT use this recipe. They turn out much more like brownies than cupcakes, and not great tasting brownies at that. I was very disappointed with the result since I've had lots of success with other martha stewart recipes.

  • kelseywilliam 10 Oct, 2010

    I just added some milk until it actually looked like a cupcake batter

  • MissCathy1982 11 Sep, 2010

    VERY disappointing. Just like another user said, these are brownies made in a cupcake pan. If you are looking to make cupcakes, DO NOT MAKE THESE. Also, the easy white icing is not all that great by itself, but it definitely does NOT go with these brownies.

  • snbtran 16 May, 2010

    I'm not sure what happened to the other bakers but, these cupcakes were FANTASTIC. Yes, they were a little bit more dense but extremely moist - the same texture of red velvet cupcakes. This was super easy to make and were a bit hit at a bridal shower. Simply delicious!

  • CupcakeSnob 31 Mar, 2010

    Oh I forgot to mention these cupcakes are also very very dry

  • CupcakeSnob 31 Mar, 2010

    Yuck! I've made and eaten many cupcakes in my life and these were the worst I've ever eaten. These cupcakes are WAY to dense! The flavor was also not very good. I like dense cakes, but these were something else (not in a good way)

  • shaoi 24 Mar, 2010

    Hi, Martha. I just started cooking and baking this year-- all because of your easy-to-follow recipes. These chocolate cupcakes are the first cupcakes I have ever made. My husband and 4-year-old son loved them. They were rich and super delicious. I just wish I could afford one of those stand mixers. Using my hand-held electric mixer can be tiring sometimes. Anyway, thank you so much for the recipes. I have tried and tested quite a few. More power to you.

    P.S.
    I love your iPhone app!

  • cpsd 24 Feb, 2010

    This recipe was delicious.....but SOOOO dense! I wouldn't even call these cupcakes. They're more like super dense (and decadent) brownies. Having said that, they were amazing super dense brownies! I was bummed though, because "classic cupcake" made me think traditional fluffy chocolate. Maybe there's something wrong with the recipe?? I'm surprised that it calls for equal parts cocoa and flour. = (

  • oanya 6 Jun, 2009

    The recipe says it makes 12, but I've gotten 18 both times I made these. I would recommend baking these for closer to 20 minutes. When I baked them for 25 minutes, they came out a little dry. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder available at the grocery store, and they came out quite tasty!! I highly recommend the Swiss Meringue Buttercream with these, but keep in mind the recipe makes enough frosting for 28 cupakes!

  • Solregn 5 May, 2009

    if the oven is to hot the cupcakes (or cake) rises too much in the middle and you get big bubbles in it. If the oven is to cold the cupcakes doesn't rise enough (it looks more like a crater) and get doughy or dense. Pinkpank, maybe your oven wasn't hot enough. But it could be something wrong with the recipe too.

  • TheRealBrenna 11 Feb, 2009

    I find if you don't cream the butter right or beat the eggs for the specified length of time you get flat cookies and/or cupcakes. (My chef brother hates baking because there is too much science invloved. My sometimes flat pastries are a great example. )

  • pinkpank 9 Feb, 2009

    I made this yesterday and its delicious..but one question in mind, why are my cupcakes didn't came out right...it flattens out in the middle..please help. (or does it suppose to be that way).

  • pinkpank 9 Feb, 2009

    I made this yesterday and its delicious..but one question in mind, why are my cupcakes didn't came out right...it flattens out in the middle..please help. (or does it suppose to be that way).

  • AnyPenny 17 Jan, 2009

    Delicious straight out of the oven, but after a few hours they become very sticky. They're very moist and dense. Yummy, but not cupcake-y.

  • shugar 23 Nov, 2008

    I added 1/4c laban (like buttermilk) because the batter was way to dense to put into the cupcake cups...they baked beautifully but as they cooled they shrank into tiny, sad little hockey pucks. They tasted good but were unacceptable for serving to guests.

  • meganwashere 16 Nov, 2008

    A darkly rich cupcake recipe. Tasty all the same! But if your looking for something the kids can enjoy I would highly suggest the One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

  • JackieB0301 13 Nov, 2008

    Delicous and easy to make. I had left over batter and made mini bitesize cupcakes for myself! YUM!

  • starparticle 24 Oct, 2008

    I added 1/3 cup of whole milk and transformed these from super dense grownups only cupcakes into kid friendly and really yummy.

  • starparticle 24 Oct, 2008

    I added 1/3 cup of whole milk and it transformed these from a super dense grownups only cupcake into a more fluffy and kid friendly version. Much better!!

  • wl90 26 Sep, 2008

    yum!

  • tpatel 26 Sep, 2008

    I like denser

  • LauraWaugh 21 Sep, 2008

    i just made these and i do agree that they have more of a light "brownie" flavor, but they are wayyyy better than the boxed kind, and are a bit denser, which i enjoy. you will like these if you are open to a home made, non-box flavor.

  • lprostoff 19 Sep, 2008

    I just baked these cupcakes. I prefer a less denser, more chocolate flavor and texture. I agree that they taste more brownie-like. Instead of icing, I spinkled powdered sugar over them. They need a little something.

  • ashkashbgsh 19 Sep, 2008

    I found these to be a bit too dense as well. Almost brownie-like.

  • cheftb 6 Sep, 2008

    I agree with pookie7026. You CAN eat them w/o icing. Soooo good. Made them for my child's last day at daycare. Decorated them like butterflies. The tots loved them......and so did we.

  • lisamaria 1 Sep, 2008

    Ok, I agree with the reviewers who said they tasted too much like cocoa. These were not my favorite chocolate cupcakes. I prefer a moister cupcake. I thought they would be due to the sour cream, and they were not overbaked, so that is not it.. I found these to be too dense, yet my family said they were rich. I didn't find them to be rich at all. I just wasn't crazy about the flavor and texture of the cupcake; however the icing is fabulous

  • pookie7026 1 Aug, 2008

    These cupcakes were fantastic! I made them for the office and they were a huge hit! I used canned chocolate frosting...I like that better but I could literally eat the cupcakes without the frosting they were so good!

  • levonnept1 16 Jul, 2008

    Easily the best chocolate cupcake I have ever made. I frosted them with a fairly rich chocolate frosting from Christopher Kimball's The Dessert Bible.

  • sallytomato 19 Feb, 2008

    For me, these are the perfect chocolate cupcake, moist, rich, dense. I used Saco cocoa powder which is a blend of natural and dutch process. I like the idea of putting pieces of chocolate in the center! Also, the frosting to cupcake ratio is perfect if you use a mini muffin pan.

  • laurenjane1127 13 Feb, 2008

    These cupcakes were great. They were very moist because of the sour cream. They are a very rich cupcake though. If you dont like dark chocolate, you probably wont like these. I loved them though! I would definetly recommend trying them.

  • finleysmama 12 Feb, 2008

    Yes, Mildred, my cupcakes turned out WAY too cocoay too. I made them today for my daughter's preschool Valentine's Day party, but they are basically inedible--especially for children because they are bitter. The frosting is wonderful though:)

  • Meridew 12 Feb, 2008

    I found that these cupcakes were too cocoay, and very heavy. (not sure if I did something wrong), the kids at my son's b-day party didn't seem to like them. Has any one else found this with this recipe?

  • sweettooth100 12 Feb, 2008

    am i supposed to use dutch processed cocoa powder ??

  • HiD 10 Feb, 2008

    My batch made more than 12 cupcakes, so I set the rest aside for about an hour, and the batch that had been left standing actually looked better! I also added 2 blocks of chocolate to each cupcake, which was delicious! I iced the cupcakes with purple, red and pink squares as valentines day treats for my friends.

  • andrea25 8 Feb, 2008

    Probably because of my high altitude (6500 ft.) my fluffy cupcake batter flattened out and dropped in the middle. It still tasted wonderful and I am willing to try it again with a few altitude modifications.

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