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Chocolate Cupcakes

adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


Cupcakes have become quite a trendy thing among adults and there has been an effort to find more adult flavors for cupcakes in the last year or two.   The original recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that I used for this recipe is for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes.  While I thought they were good as a more adult flavor, the dark chocolate flavor was a little too dark for the kids in my family.  And let’s be honest, for most of us, when we make cupcakes, it’s for the kids.  So I traded out the unsweetened chocolate for semi-sweet and the Dutch Processed or dark cocoa powder for regular cocoa powder.  The result was a chocolate cupcake with a good chocolate flavor that was pleasing to the general kid population and adults alike.

By the Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe, this makes exactly 12 cupcakes.  By my experience, however, if you take all the batter and divide it among 12 cupcake cups, you will have mushroom shaped cupcakes that are neither pleasing to look at nor are they easy to frost.  In my experience, this recipe makes an odd 13 cupcakes.  SO, if you have a way to make 13.  Or make 12 and you will have a bit of batter left over.  Regardless, I highly discourage using all the batter in 12 cups.  I’ve done it.  It’s not pretty.


8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa powder (1 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup all purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream


You will also need:

Heat-proof bowl
Sauce pan
Mixing bowl
Cupcake pans
Paper cupcake baking cups



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in heat-proof bowl and set over a small amount of barely simmering water in a sauce pan and allow to fully melt and combine until smooth.  (To quicken the process, you can melt the butter in the microwave and pour it over the chocolate and cocoa to begin the melting process sooner.)  Once melted, set it aside to cool for a few minutes until just warm to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until smooth.  Add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully combined and smooth.  Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Sift in 1/3 of the flour mixture and whisk to combine.  Whisk in sour cream then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick.

Using a large scoop, place 1 just over-full scoop into each cupcake liner.  The recipe makes 13, so if you only have room for 12 cupcakes, you will have a bit left over.

Bake 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Allow to completely cool before filling and/or frosting.


Melt your chocolate and butter until smooth.


Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, salt & vanilla.

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Whisk in the melted chocolate and then the flour and sour cream until thick and homogeneous.

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Fill your spring loaded scoop until just over-full.


Believe it or not, it makes 13 cupcakes.  If you try to divide the batter between only twelve cups, they run over the tops they look like this….


when they should look like this…


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