The Best Chocolate Cupcakes?

Because we call my older sister “cupcake,” we made chocolate cupcakes for her birthday instead of a normal chocolate cake.

Thought I to myself, “I need to find a good chocolate cupcake recipe.” So I went searching in my favorite spots: Taste of Home, The Pioneer Woman, and Tasty Kitchen. No luck there. I’m sure there would have been a good Taste of Home one, but nothing caught my eye. So I Googled it, “Best Chocolate Cupcakes.” I didn’t want some blah-blah recipe from some obscure website, I just wanted the BEST chocolate cupcakes.

Thankfully, the first website that came up had a recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I knew that Cooks Illustrated is picky, but perfect. So I decided this had to be the perfect recipe.

Corrie and I set work on the cupcakes. I tried hard to follow the recipe like a good girl, but I think I slipped up just a little. I mean, we didn’t have bittersweet chocolate – what could I do but substitute? And what did it matter that I increased the recipe without making two separate  batches? But I tried.

Would you like to see this much-talked of perfect recipe? Here you go.

1/2 cup butter

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.
  2. Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and fully combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to touch.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl to combine
  4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined; then sift in remaining flour mixture and whisk batter until it is homogenous and thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
  6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

Then we iced them with a version of this chocolate icing, plus powdered sugar. Everyone loved them.

Here’s my nephew enjoying his cupcake.

However, as good as they were, I’m not convinced they are the perfect cupcake. That, or I’m a horrible cupcake maker. Probably the latter. They were ultra-light (the miniature ones we made almost don’t exist), perfectly moist, and the flavor was balanced just right. Maybe I didn’t think they were perfect because they didn’t rise and form domes; they spread and had flat tops. Or maybe that was the result of not making two separate batches. Oh dear. What a bad girl I am.

Do you have a favorite cupcake recipe? I’d love to see it! And I need to sharpen these dull cupcake-making abilities.

Forever and always,


You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4)





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