Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Did you watch the Superbowl yesterday? I didn’t – instead I worked on some Valentine’s Day sugar cookies. I have a sugar cookie recipe that I love, but I’m still trying to find the perfect royal icing recipe. Do you have a favorite? Please share it in the comments section!

For now, we have some Valentine’s cupcakes (and don’t forget about the heart shaped cake pops if you want lots of small treats for your  many Valentines). This cupcake is brought to you by my awesome friend Annie who had the good idea to take this:

Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cake

and turn it into cupcakes. I wasn’t sure how the cupcakes would turn out, since the cake does sink a little in the middle. She told me that her cupcakes sank but that they were the best chocolate cupcakes she’d ever had – even better than “Better Than Sex” Chocolate Cupcakes. I thought that was something worth pursuing!

My cupcakes did sink quite a bit in the middle and they also behaved differently in different kinds of cupcakes wrappers. See below:

The cupcake on the left sunk but it didn’t shrink. The one on the right both sunk and also shrunk in on itself. So for these cupcakes, I recommend getting sturdy paper liners like the ones pictured below. When I used foil and thin paper liners from the grocery store, the cupcakes shrank quite a bit after baking.

Use liners like these, found at Walmart, Target, Michael’s, or other craft stores

Besides the weird sinking/shrinking, these cupcakes are wonderful. Each bite is rich, decadent, spongy and almost fluffy chocolate cake. I made lightly sweetened whipped cream to go on top, as these rich cupcakes don’t need a heavy frosting. A chocolate lover would be content to eat these plain, but the whipped cream does make them look a lot prettier – I think of the sinking as the perfect bowl for a little frosting.

Valentine's Day Cupcakes 2

As an added bonus, these cupcakes are gluten-free and under 200 calories! I’m not one to count calories, but I started thinking about the fact that there wasn’t any butter or oil in the recipe. I put the ingredients into this recipe calculator and found that they’re 185 calories each, even with the whipped cream topping. They still have a decent amount of fat and sugar, but if you’re counting calories, this is a better alternative to some other cupcakes.


“Lighter than Air” Flourless Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Gourmet

  • 6 ounces of your favorite chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake tins with stiff paper liners.

Over low heat, melt chocolate and water together in a small saucepan or double boiler. Stir until mixture is smooth, remove from heat and let cool.

In a medium or large bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.

Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony.

Gently mix in the cooled chocolate.

In a separate large, clean bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites and salt until the mixture holds stiff peaks.

Stir 1/4 of stiff egg whites into the chocolate/yolk mixture to lighten it.


In 3 additions, gently but thoroughly fold the remaining whites into the batter.

Pour batter into liners until each is at least 3/4 full (they will puff up quite a bit but then deflate and sink in the middle). Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cake is puffed and dry to the touch.

Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • Food coloring (optional)

In a large non-reactive bowl (such as stainless steel or glass), beat the cream, vanilla and sugar together with a whisk or electric mixer. Once the mixture holds a soft peak, taste and mix in additional sugar if needed. Add in food dye if using and stir to combine. Spoon over cooled cupcakes just before serving (or refrigerate covered, for up to 4 hours).

16 Comments on Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

    • Stephanie
      February 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm (10 years ago)

      @Wheels – thanks! I love those little heart sprinkles. And thank you for the inspiration! It didn’t occur to me to try making that cake into cupcakes. Genius!

    • Stephanie
      February 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm (10 years ago)

      @Living the Sweet Life – they are sort of similar to angel food cake, but much richer.

    • Stephanie
      February 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm (10 years ago)

      @Erin – thanks!

    • Stephanie
      February 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm (10 years ago)

      @Stacey – thanks for including my cupcakes in your list. The other 20 desserts look amazing!

  1. Chef B
    February 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm (10 years ago)

    Here is a good cream cheese royal icing recipe:

    1 pound 9 ounces powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup butter
    8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

    In large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Mix in vanilla until combined. By hand, mix in powdered sugar..
    ***If icing is not stiff enough to decorate with, place in fridge for 1/2 hour or add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
    ***Alternately, if icing is too stiff, add a tiny touch of water until desired consistency is reached.

    • Stephanie
      February 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm (10 years ago)

      @Chef B – thank you! I’ve never tried cream cheese in royal icing. I can’t wait to try out your recipe!

  2. Stephanie @ Life Tastes Like Food
    February 13, 2012 at 12:03 am (10 years ago)

    Love this! LOVE flourless cakes. And filling the middle with frosting is such a great idea! So fun, Steph! 🙂

    • Stephanie
      February 13, 2012 at 7:26 am (10 years ago)

      @Stephanie – thanks! They started out kind of ugly but ended up pretty cute I think 🙂

4Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. […] 52 Kitchen Adventure is a blog worth visiting for its culinary spirit of …well…adventure! During the year 2010 Stephanie, the explorer behind the blog, researched one unusual ingredient each week. She shared her adventures in her blog. When 2010 ended the project ended. But Stephanie’s passion for food continues as she explores the use of “seasonal ingredients, cooking from scratch and eating as healthy as possible while having a big sweet tooth.” We were looking for an alternative recipe for Valentine’s Day cup cakes and found a flourless chocolate cake recipe at 52 Kitchen Adventures. Stephanie includes a fantastic photo tutorial with the recipe. […]

  2. […] Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes from 52 Kitchen Adventures […]

  3. […] Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes by 52 Kitchen Adventures […]

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