Famous Chocolate Cupcakes

Famous Chocolate Cupcakes

Today, our month of food writers’ “famous recipes” continues with these rich chocolate cupcakes from Kamran at The Sophisticated Gourmet. This easy recipe only requires one bowl, and would be the perfect surprise for any chocolate lover’s birthday…

Famous Chocolate Cupcakes
by Kamran Siddiqi of The Sophisticated Gourmet

These cupcakes are as difficult as throwing a boxed cake mix together. Because I find any excuse possible to not dirty another bowl or spoon when baking, I’m happy to say that this recipe doesn’t require much cookware. It’s a one-bowl recipe that can be made, simply, with a bowl and a spoon or a silicone spatula. It can also be made using a stand mixer (which in this case, I find to be a bit more work), or food processor. Although they are effortless to put together, these cupcakes are of the finest breed — incredibly moist and flavorful, just as chocolate cupcakes should be.

Famous Chocolate Cupcakes

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe: Famous Chocolate Cupcakes

You’ll need:

For the cake:
1 cup granulated white sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

1 egg, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
¼ cup sunflower oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup / 120mL boiling water

For the frosting:
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup milk
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp golden syrup / light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream and pour in the oil and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula (which I prefer) just until smooth and combined. Pour in the boiling water, and slowly mix, starting from the center working your way out (this makes it easier to mix without the splattering). The batter will be liquid-y, but fear not, this is normal.

Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups, using a spatula to help scrape the bowl, filling each lined cup with 3 tablespoons of batter, or about halfway full.

Bake for 15-19 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until a cake tester or a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean.

Transfer cupcakes in pans to wire racks for about 10 minutes until the tins are cool to the touch. Once the tins are cool, remove the cupcakes from the pans, and transfer to the wire racks. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer), combine the melted butter and cocoa powder powder until smooth. Now, alternately mix in the milk and powdered sugar, beating (on medium speed) to spreading consistency. Add another tablespoon or so of milk, if necessary. Mix in vanilla and golden syrup / light corn syrup.

Note: The frosting recipe provided can easily frost all 16 cupcakes. However, if you’d prefer to have tall “hats” of chocolate frosting on each of your cupcakes, as pictured in this post, 1 ½-ing the recipe will be necessary.

To frost the cupcakes, I use a small off-set spatula (you can use a butter knife without a serrated edge, if you don’t have one) at an angle to spread the frosting smoothly around the cake. Make sure to frost to the very edges (doing this is not only an excuse to have more frosting on your cupcakes — yum! — but it also helps keep the cupcakes moist). Then, I use a cake spatula to create the indent in the center. You can shave some dark chocolate on top using a vegetable peeler (or you can use a microplane or one of those manual cheese graters that they use at Italian restaurants to grate Parmesan), and you’re done.

Famous Chocolate Cupcakes

Thank you so much, Kamran!

P.S. More recipes, including four-ingredient fudge and Nutella brownies.

(Photos and recipe by Kamran Siddiqi. This series is edited by Caroline Donofrio.)

  1. These are the most delicious looking chocolate cupcakes i have ever seen and just what i needed. Will try to make these tonight for desert and hope they turn out as nicely and yummy like you instructed. Thanks for the share.

  2. Thanks for sharing one of the best chocolate cupcake recipe. After follow your steps baked the chocolate cupcake. Amazing! It is so delicious and tasty.

  3. I made these for my mother on this Mother’s day. She really loved them. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Thanks for such great information to make a chocolate cupcake. I followed these steps and baked the cake on my Husband birtdhay, and he was amazed by the taste.
      Thank You, Cup Of Jo :)

  4. Sam says...

    I made these for my father’s birthday yesterday and they were delicious. Love that you can make them in one bowl with common ingredients :)

  5. Looks yummy but seems heavy chocolate… Something like death by chocolate cup cake, if I may say so….

  6. Julia W. says...

    Made these today…YUM. I love how light in weight/texture yet deep in flavor they are and that none of the ingredients are obscure in anyway.

  7. Oh, gosh… Chocolate deliciousness… Some people are on a diet, you know? xD
    The cupcakes are ahmazing!


  8. Sharon says...

    Dutch Cocoa or regular unsweetened?
    These look delish, can’t wait to make them

  9. YUM! I’ve already started looking for Christmas treat recipes (yikes). I reckon sprinkling some crushed candy canes on top would make for the perfect addition to make it seasonal! x

  10. Mmm.. This recipe looks delightful and I love chocolate! So excited to try it.. thanks for sharing! :)

  11. Caite Millar says...

    Yum! But I don’t have cupcake tins… possible to make this as a regular cake? Any recommendations for baking temp and time? Thanks!

  12. Madie says...

    I follow Kamran on Instagram and I love his recipes and photography. Everything he does looks amazing and actually do-able. I love that the bowl in the photo above has a chip in it – a real baker in a real kitchen, imagine that! :)

  13. These look so yummy!! I cannot wait to try them.


  14. Leslie says...

    Yesterday was my son’s first birthday, and this recipe made the most perfect little birthday cake! I made it in a 9×9 pan and baked for 20 minutes. It was yummy, yum, yummy! Thank you.

  15. Jane says...

    and the main ingredient is SUGAR .. just thinking out loud.

  16. oh these look so good! I can’t wait to try baking them :)

  17. OMG these look so good!!! I wish I had them right now.. I might just make this for lunch with my friends! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Jennifer says...

    How long is the cooking if I wanted to turn these into mini cupcakes?

  19. Wow looks great! I had a horrible cake mistake this last week and this looks like it could undo my horrible mistake.

  20. Deep dark chocolate and fudgy frosting is exactly what I crave….all the time. And a one bowl recipe means a creator after my own heart :) I can’t wait to make these, definitely this week!

  21. Yummy!! I will definitely be trying these out this weekend! Perhaps with an iced pumpkin coffee to wash it down? I think yes :)

  22. Beautiful! I love how short the ingredient list is for this. The sour cream must make these cupcakes so moist, and the chocolate shavings are such a lovely touch. Excited to check out Kamran’s blog!


  23. Rebecca says...

    yuuuummmmm :)
    Thanks for the recipe. We all need more reasons to celebrate, and I think I might be having an impromptu cupcake-making celebration with my kiddos when they get home from school today!

  24. Anne says...

    Pregnant lady craving took over and I made these right away. Nice light tender crumb in the cake yet still chocolatey and moist. The frosting is the standout though. Perfection! Great consistency and over the top chocolate. Winner

  25. Please please please when you post all these wonderful recipes put the grams conversion, every time I have to work half an hour to convert every single ingredient O_o
    After all more than half world uses the metric system ;-)


    • Tressa says...


  26. I’m usually not one for very chocolate-y things (I prefer chocolate mixed with something else), but these look delicious!

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  27. These cupcakes are perfection! I’ve been following Kamrans work for quite a while now, and this recipe has been my go-to chocolate cake recipe for a long time! I highly recommend making them. Lovely to see it up on your blog!

  28. Wow these look great! And relatively easy to make. My boyfriend loves chocolate, and making these would be a perfect surprise for him.

    Meet Me in Midtown

  29. OMG! Chocoholic :D

  30. Cupcakes… safe to just look at, but will probably be kept safer in my mouth as I’m definitely making them this weekend.

    XX Laura

  31. My birthday is coming up and I want something just like this! Forget the baby weight that I’m trying to shed. These look too good!

    Also, just wanted to say thank you for all the work you and your team do to present this blog each day. I’ve been reading every day for over seven years. I have a joke with two of my girlfriends that Cup of Jo team is reading our minds because you usually post about topics that have recently come up in our conversations. Clearly, you know your audience. Thanks again.

  32. Deleila says...

    Thanks Joanna! These look great!! It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I was just about to head over to pinterest to look for a recipe! No need now :)

  33. yael steren says...

    oh boy! of all days to see such a delicious recipe! it’s yom kippur today so I won’t be able to do this today, but i will definitely try it in the future! xo yael

  34. ooooh and now I’m off to have a chocolate cupcake for lunch