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Lightened Up Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Melissa Griffithes-Bless This Mess
  • Total Time: 29 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Cupcakes 1x


Fluffy Lightened Up Chocolate Cupcakes that save on calories but still taste amazing. Topped with low-fat chocolate icing, no one ever guesses they're healthy!


  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Low- Fat Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl add the chocolate and cocoa. Pour the boiling water over the top and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate time to melt. Whisk until smooth and then let the mixture cool, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  4. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled add the eggs, vinegar, and oil to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk everything together until well combined and a smooth batter is formed.
  5. Measure out 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin tin. Bake the cupcakes for 17-19 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Pull the done cupcakes from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan, on the rack, for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan once the 10 minutes are up and allow them to cool completely on the wire rack, about 1 hour.
  6. Frost each cooled cupcake with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the chocolate frosting and serve.


The original recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder to be added with the chocolate and cocoa. Leaving it out was the only thing I changed.

To properly measure boiling water allow a larger amount of water than you need to come to a boil in a small saucepan and then carefully measure out the amount of water needed once it has begun to boil.

I used dutch-processed cocoa with wonderful results, and would recommend it (something like Hershey's Special Dark). You could use traditional cocoa but your cupcakes and icing will look less black and more brown than mine.

Don't be tempted to switch all-purpose flour for the bread flour. The extra gluten in bread flour is a big part in the texture and structure of the cupcakes.

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 19 min
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy chocolate cupcake recipe, healthy chocolate cupcake recipe