Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

11 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2010

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.

Ingredients 12 servings

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Original recipe yields 12 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Cupcakes
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
  • 1½ cups chopped pitted cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed and drained), plus 12 fresh cherries with stems for garnish
  • Frosting
  • 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup packed confectioners’ sugar


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 ( ½-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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 1½ teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar to ½ cup nonfat milk.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cupcake
  • Per serving: 269 calories; 10 g fat(3 g sat); 3 g fiber; 42 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 31 mcg folate; 30 mg cholesterol; 26 g sugars; 23 g added sugars; 191 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 52 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 291 mg sodium; 150 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 other carbohydrates, 2 fat

Reviews 11

October 15, 2017
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By: mludowise
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.
June 09, 2015
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By: laurenwalters
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!!
October 07, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
May 02, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Decadent chocolate w/ a lite topping The cupcakes are delish! I used a dark chocolate cocoa powder which made them even more decadent. Though I swapped plain FF Greek yogurt for sour cream and ended up w/ a frosting on the runny side. Guessing I should have added more powdered sugar... Pros: Rich, moist, satisfying, nutrient rich Cons: Runny frosting
July 01, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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.
May 02, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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
May 04, 2011
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By: twyla_kennedy
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
March 18, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
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!
November 24, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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?
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