Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

When the words “whole wheat chocolate cupcakes” come out of my mouth you are probably envisioning a dry, cardboard-like cupcake that was better left un-eaten. SO not the case here people! I would never suggest a dessert recipe that my family hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed, and these cupcakes are no exception. They are dark chocolate, moist, and have the creamiest cream cheese icing in the world that goes perfectly with the chocolate. This is my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe, and being whole wheat is just a bonus. No flavor is compromised here because if I’m eating the calories that come packed in a cupcake…. it better taste delicious!

I love a cupcake that tastes like it came straight from a high end bakery. One that uses whole, real ingredients and yields a product far superior to cake mixes and trans fat laden whipped topping. There is something so much tastier about a product that comes right out of your own oven, and looks beautiful! These babies are truly classic and satisfying. If your sweet tooth is over powering your brain take a few minutes out of your day and treat yourself, your family will love you for it! 😉

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My secret ingredient in these: coffee! Coffee is going to do two things in this recipe. 1) Give your cupcakes a “dark chocolate” flavor and 2) give your cupcakes a light, fluffy texture. I didn’t even tell my husband I put coffee in these and guess what? He didn’t know because you can’t taste the coffee. It is simply there as a flavor booster and acid. Acidity in baking makes things lighter and fluffier so it is always a good thing (just like the buttermilk in your pancakes). When I make cupcakes I always include something acidic for this reason.

My other secret ingredient: orange zest in the cream cheese icing. I learned this trick almost immediately in pastry school. I can vividly remember the day… we were making Danish. Our instructor presented us with the option of using a filling she made and when I tasted it I just about melted. It was one of the best fillings I had ever tasted! I just had to know what was in it and she filled me in. Zest, zest, zest! ZEST! Orange zest will kick up the flavor of a cream cheese icing and take it to a whole ‘nother level! I mean a whole ‘nother level you’ve never known before! You have got to zest them oranges baby because that is the key to the *in Oprah voice* best EEEEVVVVEEEERRRR cream cheese icing!!!! So gimmicky of me, yet so true. Please excuse my gimmicky food blogger talk… because… you know that’s not my style! 😉

 

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*Recipe measurements adapted from Death By Chocolate Cupcakes by Sally’s Baking Addiction.