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Best Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

These super moist sourdough chocolate cupcakes are packed full of decadent chocolate flavor in each bite. Deliciously moist and fluffy cupcakes, sent to the next level of chocolatey perfection with a chocolate buttercream frosting. This recipe comes together easily with simple ingredients and simple steps. Even the beginner baker can whip out a batch of these perfectly delicious chocolate cupcakes.

sourdough chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate sprinkles

There are not many desserts that can top a chocolate cupcake that’s topped with even more chocolate. Except for this one because it adds an extra delicious sourdough tang, plus all the benefits of fermented grains (if you choose to long ferment the batter).

Can chocolate and healthy go together in the same sentence? Well, maybe not exactly, but you won’t find another chocolate cupcake recipe that gets closer to that notion than this one! These cupcakes check all the chocolate dessert lover’s boxes; chocolate batter, chocolate frosting, and chocolate sprinkles. It all adds up to chocolatey perfection.

My video recipe version of these amazing chocolate sourdough cupcakes.

My husband loved these cupcakes so much that he asked me to make a triple batch to bring to all his co-workers for a Christmas treat. If that isn’t a testament to how delicious these cupcakes are, then I don’t know what is.

Move over sourdough starter, the star of the show here is chocolate. Let’s go over how to make the most amazing sourdough chocolate cupcakes ever. And be sure to follow my tips because there is one very important tip that can make or break this recipe, and nobody wants broken cupcakes.

You’ll need 2 bowls, one for the dry ingredients, and one for the wet ingredients. There’s no creaming butter in this recipe so you can easily mix this batter up with a whisk, but feel free to use a stand mixer or hand mixer if you’d prefer. Grab a spatula and a muffin tin and you’ve got all the tools you need.

Tips for Making Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes:

Only fill the cupcake liner 2/3 full. I know you will be tempted to add a little bit more, but resist! This is the very important tip I mentioned earlier. Don’t fill the cupcake liners any more than 2/3 full. It is really all the batter you will need, trust me.

Overfilling the liners can cause overly crispy mushroom tops and crater sinking in the centers, they can also overflow. Just remember, 2/3 full.

spooning sourdough chocolate cupcake batter into cupcake liners

Buttermilk is a key ingredient in this recipe. You can’t skip over this part. Don’t worry if you don’t have actual buttermilk on hand. It is super easy to make some simply by souring regular whole milk. I’ll leave instructions for that in the notes on the recipe card below.

You’ll get the best flavor and that super moist texture we all love by using buttermilk.

Another thing to note is to make sure you are using natural unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed cocoa powder. There is some geeky food science involved here, if you’d like to learn more you can check out this article, “Dutch-process Vs Natural Cocoa Powder” over on Sally’s Baking Addiction website.

Be sure to melt the coconut oil. Solid-state coconut oil will not mix evenly throughout the batter. You can substitute coconut oil with another vegetable oil, such as avocado oil which has a neutral flavor.

It’s important to follow the instructions when a recipe notes to use room temperature ingredients. There is some science behind this and it is the reason some baked goods turn out fluffy and uniformly baked, and others end up dense and flat.

Bake only 1 batch at a time in the center of the oven. This ensures even cooking.

You can check if the cupcakes are done baking by pressing gently on the cupcake with your finger. If the cupcake bounces back all the way, they are done baking. If your finger leaves a dent in the cupcake, they need to bake longer.

sourdough chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate sprinkles on parchment paper

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • You can use discard sourdough starter or active sourdough starter in this sourdough chocolate cupcake recipe.
  • This sourdough recipe can be long fermented to enjoy the health benefits of the long fermentation process.
  • The batter can be mixed up and baked right away or fermented in the refrigerator overnight.
  • This is a great way to use up unfed sourdough starter discard.
  • You can make a double batch and freeze some for an easy breakfast treat, snack, or dessert.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR SOURDOUGH CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • Espresso powder
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • Sourdough starter
  • Vanilla
  • Buttermilk
  • Chocolate buttercream frosting (see notes for recipe)

Helpful Baking Tools

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Cupcake pan
  • Cupcake liners
  • Piping bags
  • Wilton piping tip
  • Chocolate sprinkles
sourdough chocolate cupcakes process images; whisking dry ingredients, whisking wet ingredients, pouring wet into dry, mixing batter

HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. You’ll need to line another pan with 3 more liners. This recipe makes about 15 cupcakes. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, sourdough starter, buttermilk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk until combined. The batter will be pretty thick.

Pour or spoon the batter into the cupcake liners until 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. A cake tester also works great. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before you decorate with frosting.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting using an icing knife or a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip.

process images of making sourdough chocolate cupcakes; spooning batter into cupcake liners, cooling unfrosted cupcakes on a wire rack, frosting cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, finished cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer beat the butter in a large bowl for about 2 minutes until creamy.

Add in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat again on low for a few seconds and then turn the speed up to high and beat for another minute or two.

If the frosting is too thin add ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar. If too thick add another tablespoon of cream and mix.

bite out of a sourdough chocolate cupcake

HOW TO STORE SOURDOUGH CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Once completely cooled and frosted these cupcakes can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Unfrosted sourdough chocolate cupcakes freeze well in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 months. Simply remove the cupcakes from the freezer and thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, then bring them to room temp before frosting.

LONG-FERMENTED SOURDOUGH CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE INSTRUCTIONS

If you would like to long ferment the batter in order to reap the benefits of fermentation, such as the breaking down of hard-to-digest phytic acid, simply whip up the batter then cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Stick the batter in the fridge and ferment overnight. The next day set the batter out and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding to fill your cupcake liners.

More Sourdough Favorites From Our Rooted Deep Home

If you make this recipe and love it, It would bless our family if you gave it 5 stars! Tag me on Instagram @rooteddeephome with your tasty creation.

Yield: 15 cupcakes

Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

Simple ingredients and easy to make, these super moist sourdough chocolate cupcakes are packed full of decadent chocolate flavor in each bite. Deliciously moist and fluffy, these are sure to be your new favorite go-to chocolate cupcakes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (discard or active)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
  • chocolate buttercream frosting (see notes for instructions)
  • chocolate sprinkles for decorating

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line another pan with an additional 3 liners - this recipe makes about 15 cupcakes. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl whisk the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together, eggs, sourdough starter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, buttercream, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. The batter will be thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into the liners filling until 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting using an icing knife or a piping tip such as a Wilton 1M. These cupcakes will store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder

4 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk (at room temperature)

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk, or a handheld mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. About 3 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla. Beat again on low for another minute and then increase the speed to high and beat for a full minute. If the frosting is too thin, add another 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder. If the frosting is too thick add another Tablespoon of cream.

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