Dishing the DivineYum!

insanely moist and decadent chocolate cupcakes with delicious chocolate icing

August 9th, 2011 · 56 Comments

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My precious friend Johanna is 8 1/2 months pregnant with her first baby. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am. Johanna is a stunningly beautiful pregnant lady. Somehow only her tummy got bigger. She’s full of life and so excited to meet her son (and needless to say, so am I!). Johanna’s baby shower was a fun, casual afternoon bar-b-cue filled with amazing foods prepared by the host and hostess. Linda, her step-mother, made the dessert and brought out tray after tray of cupcakes for people to eat. It was cupcake heaven. She offered at least four kinds of cupcakes and each one was better than the last. I choose my calories wisely so I dug head first into the chocolate cupcake. Oh. My. Gosh. I took one bite and moaned. Not kidding here. Moaned. Chocolate cupcakes are always so… cakey! And cake is just not my thing. It’s bland, boring, un-fun and not worth my time. But not these! No these were fudge-like, rich, decadent, delicious. I had never had a cupcake that could even compare. I immediately asked where to find the recipe and Linda pointed me to the cookbook she got it from. I grabbed it from the library and started baking. Could I make cupcakes as delicious as hers? The answer is YES! Oh, yes. These were incredible.

I made a half batch of these cupcakes to share with my book club girls and another friend that I was visiting yesterday. The book clubbers rated these two thumbs up. My friend Alyson thought they were divine and shared one with her two year old this morning. I found a voice mail on my phone from him saying, “Tank you for de cupcake.” You’re so welcome, Baby G. You’re so welcome.

Please, make these for your friends, family, neighbors, church members… anyone! You won’t be disappointed!

insanely moist and decadent chocolate cupcakes

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
  • 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

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat 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.

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. Whisk in the butter, then the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and sour cream.

Whisk in the flour and sugar mixture in 3 separate additions, whisking until smooth after each.

Divide the batter equally among the cavities in the pans, spooning it in. Bake the cupcakes until they are well risen and feel firm when pressed in the center with a fingertip, about 20 minutes.

Cool in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to racks and cool completely before frosting. If making the frosting below, start it while the cupcakes are cooling since it also needs time to cool.


chocolate fudge icing
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and whisk well to mix. Place over low heat until simmering and pour into a bowl to cool to lukewarm, about 110F.

Add the cooled cream mixture to the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Distribute the butter in small pieces all over the top of the chocolate mixture, then whisk it in smoothly. Whisk in the vanilla. Cool the icing until it is firm enough to spread. (I chilled mine in the fridge for 20 minutes and then stirred it and let it sit on the counter until firm.)

Use a small offset spatula or knife to spread some of the icing on each cupcake.


Tags: 60 min or less · dessert · easy

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sherri lynn @ life of a wife // Aug 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    These look amazing! I can tell by looking at them that they are moist!

  • 2 LeAnn // Aug 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    These were luuuuuscious! So rich and delicious.

  • 3 Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 // Aug 10, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Those do sound wonderful! I love the little voicemail from your 2 year old fan. So cute.

  • 4 DANIELLE // Aug 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm


  • 5 Pam Groth // Aug 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I make a lot of cakes and love to test out new recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  • 6 Julia @DimpleArts // Aug 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    These look amazing! Dessert Blog Hopped here:)

  • 7 Lisa Travis // Aug 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Can’t wait to try these and compare with Caprial’s Desserts recipe which has coffee and buttermilk. Very important that we do these comparisons, you know…

  • 8 Meg B. // Feb 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I made these cupcakes this evening after finding the link on Pinterest. Oh. My. Goodness. Chocolate dream. I forgot to get the ingredients at the supermarket for the icing so used what I had at home instead(Pillsbury Creamy Supreme – Buttercream) and the cupcakes were absolutely indescribable. I will be making these again, and again, and again! Thanks for posting!!!

  • 9 aqil // Feb 16, 2012 at 5:10 am

    thank you for the recipes :)

  • 10 BKBaker // Feb 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Complete fail. followed the recipe exactly and the resulting batter was ridiculously watery. Added more flour and final cupcake turned out too dry. Straight into the trash.

  • 11 Paula // Feb 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @BKBaker – sounds like it would have been fine if you hadn’t added the extra flour. One of the reasons these cupcakes is so moist is that the batter is pretty wet. Sorry to hear about your fail! :(

  • 12 Novean // Feb 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    My cupcakes came out great!!! It was delicious and moist and absolutely went beyond what I had expected….thus recipe is awesome…I have only one concern and it was that my cupcakes sort if sank in the middle, any thoughts on why it happened? Its honestly not a big deal because the cupcakes tasted wonderful and noone really cared that the middle was sunk, I was just wondering if the ‘sinkage’ could have been avoided…?

  • 13 Novean // Feb 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I meant to type ‘of’ instead of ‘if’ and ‘this’ instead of ‘thus’


  • 14 Paula // Feb 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Novean – I asked my mom (aka our professional baker) why cupcakes would sink, and she sent me this article. It could be that we are trading lift for moistness. Or it could be your oven temperature (not listed below, but listed further down in the article). Do you use an oven thermometer? I haven’t ever cared about cupcakes sinking or not because I just top them with icing, but I get why you would want to know!

    Cupcakes are small, light, fluffy, mini sponge cakes. The lightness comes from using a raising agent in the mixture i.e. baking powder, which reacts with other ingredients when cooked to form air bubbles around which the cake mixture sets.

    Cakes sink because either the cake mixture isn’t strong enough to support the air bubbles, or because the cake isn’t cooked in the middle so the cake mixture hasn’t had time to set around the air bubbles.

    Hope this helps!

  • 15 Novean // Mar 2, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Paula – i have absolutely no problem trading moistness for lift, especially if the cupcakes are s good as these :)

    I haven’t experimented on the various oven temperatures and baking times but I’m in no hurry, sunk or not im very pleased with this recipe and just like you said they get topped off with icing/frosting anyway.

    Thanks for the info, it satisfied my curiosity :)

    How thoughtful of you to reply, thanks so much!!!

  • 16 Lou // Apr 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hello I love how moist they were however not chocolati enough! What chocolate do u use 70% coco? What can u add to make more chocolate? Also can u use white chocolate and maybe ad rasberrys

  • 17 Paula // Apr 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Lou- not chocolatey enough? Impossible! :) Yes, I use 60-70% cocoa. :)

  • 18 Kristin // Apr 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Do you think you could fill these with chocolate mouse … or would the texture of the cake not support it? Thanks!

  • 19 Paula // Apr 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I’m assuming you’re talking about AFTER cooking them as otherwise that would be really weird. I think that they’d be fine as long as they don’t sit around for too long. :)

  • 20 Carrie // May 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

    OMG. Made these last night. It was my first time to make cupcakes, I’m usually more of a muffin gal, so I didn’t use a liner (important life lesson learned). They are about as ugly as a cupcake can get, but SO DELICIOUS. Going out to get cupcake liners to make more today. The cake itself was pretty good (I had the sinking issue a bit as well), but when you add that fudge icing on top the result is sinful. Thank you for the recipe! I’ll definitely be sharing the website!

  • 21 Gabby // May 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Awesome recipe. Only thing I would change next time is the semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate for the fudge icing. Not a fan of the aftertaste and would have preferred something not so intensly chocolate. Maybe a milk chocolate. I also top a few with coconut pecan frosting as it my coworkers going away party tomorrow and that’s her face. Hope everyone enjoys them!

  • 22 juan // Jun 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    did you use chocolate or cocoa,i did use chocolate and it was’nt so chocolati and what kind of chocolate or cocoa did you use?

  • 23 Paula // Jun 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    @Juan – for the unsweetened chocolate in the cupcakes themselves, I used Bakers unsweetened chocolate. For the chocolate in the frosting, I used Ghiradhelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips.

  • 24 Caryn // Jun 22, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Hi. Could you tell me the name of the cookbook that you got the recipe from please. Also, would you know the metric conversions for the various ingredients as I would love to make these. Thanks

  • 25 Caryn // Jun 22, 2012 at 4:56 am

    so sorry. just saw the name of the book under the picture. thanks anyway

  • 26 Leni // Jul 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Absolutely wonderful. Made these for my daughter’s bridal shower, and they got rave reviews.

    I made two changes to the frosting. We don’t use corn syrup, so I used agave syrup. I also found myself inexplicably without cream! So I had to use half and half. It worked out perfectly.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 27 Ivy // Aug 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I just baked these today and wow! they taste awesome, the taste of chocolate is sooo rich! They didn’t end up looking as nice though, i think the baking time is a little off since i baked them like for 35 minutes on 350F and the amount of frosting is way too big! i think half of the recipe would do just fine

  • 28 Jo // Aug 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Ummm, did I never leave a comment on this? Well anyway, THANK YOU! You are very complimentary :)
    I’m making these for Wes’s party! Woot!

  • 29 janis // Oct 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Decided to cut recipe in half and it was the most decadent chocolate cupcake I have ever tasted!! Wouldn’t change a thing in the recipe.. turned out just like the photos above… just follow the recipe and it should come out perfect!!

  • 30 Lauren // Nov 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I just made the batter and it tastes horrible and is watery. I used the cocoa powder instead with oil and the batter tastes almost bitter is it normal?

  • 31 Paula // Nov 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm


    I cannot answer questions about changes to the recipe since I only know how the recipe is as made. I would not recommend substituting cocoa powder for unsweetened chocolate.

  • 32 Sara D // Dec 3, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I made these for my sons birthday and man were they awesome!!!! I only had semisweet chocolate on hand but I think they were quite delicious :)

  • 33 Letícia // Jan 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Hi! I really want to make these cupcakes for my birthday. But I can’t find sour cream where I live. Can I substitute for whipped cream? Thanks a lot!

  • 34 Deb // Jan 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    These cupcakes are awesome. If you use a #24 ice cream scoop you get exactly 24 perfect cupcakes. I made a buttercream frosting and mounded it high. They were gorgeous and very yummy. I got a ton of compliments when I took them to a baby shower!

  • 35 Liz // Jan 25, 2013 at 3:19 am

    These are now my go-to chocolate cupcake, absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing!!

  • 36 Kara // Feb 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Hi, just wondering how this would turn out if baked as a whole cake?

  • 37 Paula // Feb 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm


    No idea! :) You’d have to try it and just check with a toothpick for doneness. I’d imagine it’s fabulous.

  • 38 mitch // Mar 2, 2013 at 11:16 am

    hi. i tried making these today. it was a fail. well sort of. it was nice but it was light and fluffy not fudgy and moist like yours. did i do something wrong? i followed the recipe but i dont know what went wrong. help .

  • 39 Philippa // Mar 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I also made these and they were a complete fail but I was not surprised. I am a pretty keen baker and I have never come across a cupcake recipe with more sugar than flour, and especially not 2 cups of sugar. Are you sure you have typed out the recipe correctly?

  • 40 Paula // Mar 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Philippa – Just made these last week and they came out great. Sorry they didn’t turn out great for you! -Paula

  • 41 Laurie // Mar 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Hi! I’m going to try this recipe as a cake. It looks amazing! I just wanted to know how fully you usually fill the cupcake cases, to gauge how high to fill the tin!

  • 42 Jess // Jun 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Anyone try these with white chocolate? I love the recipe, just curious.

  • 43 Tash // Jun 9, 2013 at 3:14 am

    I’ve made these before following your exact recipe and they have turned out amazingly delicious! Now I was wondering if I could try making these with a peanut butter frosting instead. Have you ever tried that? Do you think it’s a good idea?

  • 44 Emily // Jun 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Can I use warmed heavy cream instead of boiling water?

  • 45 Paula // Jun 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Emily – I think it may make the cupcakes too dense. When it comes to baking, I like to stick to the recipe because little changes can result in big differences in the end results. Happy Baking!

  • 46 Rudy // Oct 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Can I make these cup cakes one day ahead?.

  • 47 Paula // Oct 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Rudy – Yes. In fact, the first time I had them, the lady who made them made them a week in advance and froze them and then just thawed them the day before serving. They were incredible. :)

  • 48 Susan // Oct 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Just made these today. They’re very chocolatey and good. Boyfriend said they’re the richest chocolate he’s had-he’s ate one without and two with the frosting already. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • 49 Rudy // Dec 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Hi, how long can I keep them in room tempeture without frosting?.thanks and good job.

  • 50 Paula // Dec 28, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I would say that if they don’t disappear in a day there’s something wrong. :) But if necessary I don’t see a problem with having them out for a few days. I like them best on days one and two though.

  • 51 Jami // May 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I made these for my sons bday party. I’m always one who likes to try new recipes. They turned out great!! My new go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes! :) I didn’t have any issues with mine falling in the middle as I read some did. I think they may have needed to bake them a little longer. Loved these! ;)

  • 52 Gold // Sep 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Hi! This recipes is so great. It is to fudgy i love it so much! I like to make some of this again, can i use yogurt for the sour cream substitute? Thanks so much for the recipe. :*

  • 53 hope // Nov 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Can I replace chocolate with cocoa powder ? if yes how much I should measure !?

  • 54 Payton // Nov 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I made these tonight after finding it on Pinterest. They are by far the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had! This is a recipe I will make again and again. I made cream cheese frosting instead of the chocolate. They were delicious!!!

  • 55 Susan Montgomery // Aug 17, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Has anyone tried these in a mini cupcake?
    Thanks for replying!

  • 56 Kiley // Oct 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I made these tonight. They are SOOOO delicious. Definitely perfect for a chocolate lover like me. :)

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