The chopped cherries blend into the ultra-rich chocolate cake, giving these cupcakes a slight cherry flavor while keeping it super-moist with little added oil. The combination of reduced-fat cream cheese and sour cream gives the frosting cheesecake-like flavor with about 40 calories and 3 grams saturated fat less than a traditional cream cheese frosting.

Stacy Fraser
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2010


Recipe Summary

3 hrs
Nutrition Profile:




Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.

  • Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

  • Beat granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Fold in chopped cherries until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared cups (they will be full).

  • Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 26 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  • To prepare frosting: Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sour cream and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting until very cold, about 2 hours. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a cherry on top, if desired.


Ingredient Note: Look for whole-wheat pastry flour in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can make “sour milk” as a substitute: mix 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar to 1/2 cup nonfat milk.

Nutrition Facts

269 calories; protein 4.8g; carbohydrates 41.8g; dietary fiber 2.6g; sugars 25.9g; fat 10.2g; saturated fat 3.3g; cholesterol 30.1mg; vitamin a iu 191.2IU; vitamin c 1.4mg; folate 31.1mcg; calcium 52.2mg; iron 1.3mg; magnesium 24.3mg; potassium 150.1mg; sodium 290.7mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 23g.

Reviews (11)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I've made this fabulous cupcake recipe twice now and it's been a hit both times. I used nonfat Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream in the frosting and it's unbelievably rich. P.S. Has anyone ever baked it as a cake? What adjustments (if any) would I have to make? Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Good flavor but not super moist These cupcakes had a great flavor that was not overpoweringly sweet but they were not "super moist" as noted in the description. I had to add more milk to the batter due to it being too thick and actually stopping my mixer. They are somewhat dry and fall apart when eating them. Next time I will add an additional egg to help bind it all together. Pros: good flavor Cons: dry consistency crumbly Read More
Rating: 5 stars
A fantastic recipe! While I used the required ratios of whole wheat and regular flour I used all-purpose not cake flour and it still came out fine. I used pitted frozen cherries for the batter too which was super easy. I find regular cupcakes too sweet and too much most of the time and these were tasty and delicious. And the frosty is YUM!!! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Try adding chocolate chips and skipping the frosting. Use whipped cream instead of frosting. The simplicity of the cream balances out the rich chocolate flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I also found these to be a bit on the dry side but the flavor is great. I added extra cherries and another egg and will add extra milk when I make again. I also used greek yogurt instead of sour cream in the frosting so it had a bit less body. All in all though delicious! Pros: A Healthier Dessert Option Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Also found it a little bit dry but I think the chocolate and cherry flavors make up for it. It's hard finding healthy cake recipes and most of them end up a little dry. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delish! - add twice the cherries If you add twice the cherries the cupcake is so much more moist! You can also some chocolate chips to make it more rich (not necessary though - delicious without the chips!) Pros: wonderful flavor! Cons: Batter gets thick Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Dry!! I've made these twice both times so dry. I'm sure they can be tweaked to be more moist. Pros: Frosting Cons: Dry!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Loved it! This recipe was so rich and yummy! Not too sweet. My husband who shies away from any sort of overly sweet dessert LOVED this one! Read More