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Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes on a square white plate with chocolate chips

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

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When birthdays roll around at our house, it’s almost a given that some sort of chocolate dessert is needed for the celebration. These Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes are a perennial favorite for any special occasion!

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes on a square white plate with chocolate chips

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

One of my favorite souvenirs from a glorious summer vacation to San Francisco was The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. I wanted to bake my way through all the recipes but got stalled on a couple of delectable cupcakes, which I’ve now made numerous times. The dark chocolate cupcakes have never disappointed!

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes on a white tray

Tips for Making Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

There are a few tricks for making perfect cupcakes, starting with measuring and ending with making sure they are not over bakes. Here are some of my tips.

  • Baking is a science so make sure you measure each ingredient properly. Use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients.
  • Have your refrigerated ingredients at room temperature. If you need to hurry along your eggs, place them in a bowl of very warm, but not boiling water.
  • Many times, a mixer is not used so not to over activate the gluten. Just a whisk is used in this recipe. Dried ingredients should be mixed in just until combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so everything is incorporated.
  • Fill the cupcake liners only 3/4 full so they don’t overflow. I like using a large scoop to evenly distribute the batter.
  • All ovens bake a little differently. Start checking your cupcakes for doneness a couple minutes early. I like using a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake to check. If it comes out clean or with just a moist crumb or two, they’re done.
  • Once you start smelling the aroma of the cupcakes, you’ll know you’re getting close. I also will tap my finger on top of one cupcake. If the indentation remains, they’ll need a few more minutes. If the indentation springs back up, they’re done. I hope you’ll try these magnificent dark chocolate cupcakes!

3 kids in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

More cupcake recipes you’ll love include these Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream, Cocoa Cupcakes with Ganache Filling, and Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes | Sublime Cocoa cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting!

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Sublime Cocoa cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 12 cupcakes



  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/3 cup strong coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips, to garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 º. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk in the milk, coffee, and melted butter. Whisk in the dry ingredients. Divide batter into 12 spots in the muffin tins (fill about ¾ full).
  3. Bake for 15 minutes (mine took 21 minutes) or till tester inserted in middle of cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.
  4. For frosting: melt the chocolate gently in the microwave, stirring at 15-30 second intervals till smooth.
  5. Heat the cream till hot, then mix with the chocolate. Let cool till just warm. Whisk in butter till smooth. Let sit till reaches spreading consistency. Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate chips.


Adapted from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g


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Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Cupcakes Pinterest collage

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