Easy Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes

Easy Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes

Easy Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes

This easy recipe uses no eggs, almost no butter, and the best part? One bowl! - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 12

Easy Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (works with 2 1/2 Tablespoons less sugar)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch processed (I use Droste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup cool water
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Frosting:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Insert paper liners in 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl sift flour thru salt. Stir to combine.
  3. In a measuring cup combine water thru vanilla.
  4. Add liquids to flour mixture and combine well using a spatula.
  5. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups (1/2 to 2/3 full).
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan and frost.
  7. Frosting:
  8. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Beat with electric mixer to combine.
  9. Add a little extra sour cream if needed to obtain a spreading consistency. (about 1/2 Tbsp.)

Note: For a simpler frosting, use my 2-Minute Chocolate Frosting but double the recipe. For the recipe click here.

Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes

64 Comments on "Easy Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes"

  1. Kim

    Jenny Jones:
    I am going to make your easy healthier chocolate cupcakes today at home but I don’t want to only make 6 cupcakes instead of 12 cupcakes.
    How do I go about making the batter for 6 cupcakes from your recipe?I am the only person in my family that loves and enjoys eating chocolate cake and cupcakes.I would appreciate it you could please help me to shorten up your recipe to make the 6 chocolate cupcakes at home.

    • Allison Muench

      Hi Kim, to make 6 cupcakes you would just divide the whole recipe in half.

      3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1/2 cup sugar (works with 2 1/2 Tablespoons less sugar)
      1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch processed (I use Droste)
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/4 teaspoon salt

      1/2 cup cool water
      3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
      1/2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla
      1 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
      1 Tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
      1 cups confectioner’s sugar
      1 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
      1/4 teaspoon vanilla

  2. Kim

    Jenny Jones;
    Hi Jenny,I am going to make your easy healthy chocolate cupcakes at home, but I can’t eat all 12 cupcakes,only 1 cupcake every other day or so .How do I go about making a small batch of the easy healthy chocolate cupcakes from your recipe?Can your chocolate cupcakes be frozen and how do I go about freezing them without the frosting?Can I put the cupcakes in ziplock bags and then put them in a container with a tight fitting lid and for how long should they be kept frozen in the freezer?Is it ok to heat up the cupcakes in the microwave on just thaw it on the counter and then frost them?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I freeze these cupcakes, after frosting them, all the time. Place the frosted cupcakes apart (not touching) on a cutting board and carefully put in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then remove them from the board and place the cupcakes into a freezer bag with the air removed. Thaw them at room temperature, not in the microwave.

  3. Katie's mom

    Hi, Jenny! Do you have a recipe for white cupcakes that you could post?

  4. Katie's mom

    Hi, Jenny! Do you have a recipe for while or yellow cupcakes that you could post?

  5. Mary

    I tried the cake recipe like this and decided to use less sugar. Not a good idea. The sugar helps bring out the rich chocolate flavour. Without this amount, the cake tasted rather bland and not chocolatey as it should taste. This is one recipe not to mess with! Cider or white vinegar provided the same results though.
    This is a favourite recipe for sure. Thanks.

  6. Susan

    Hello Jenny,

    I absolutely LOVE your recipes! Do you have a recipe for vanilla or white cupcakes? I see that you have a recipe posted for chocolate ones, but not white or vanilla ones. I’m trying to find one to make cupcakes for my girls for Valentine’s Day!

    Thanks SO much!

    Susan 🙂

  7. Katie

    For anyone wondering, the cupakes (without frosting) are 186 calories each.

  8. Melody

    Well was looking for a great Low fat cupcake recipe. I watched the video first then decided to make it. All I can say is wow they turned out amazing. My kids just loved it. This recipe will definitely be a keeper and to make again and again. Thank You Jenny

  9. Jessica

    Put the nutrition information on all Jenny’s recipes

  10. Patti

    Hi there! I was wondering, if I double this recipe, would it be enough to make a 9×13 cake?

    • Linda Funakoshi

      Hi Jenny, Thank you for this wonderful receipe, I have made this cupcakes several times already, my husband is allergic to eggs and he loves your receipe. I’m not a baker but this is so simple.

  11. Kiki

    Love your recipe for chocolate cupcakes
    I wish to use less sugar – how do I do that

  12. Kiki

    Can I add a little orange juice (1/4 cup) and
    orange zest to the chocolate cake?

  13. Jan

    I make these all the time, delicious! I topped them with crushed candy cane at Christmas and they were once again a hit! Thank you Jenny.

  14. Carolyn

    Do you have the nutrition (calories / fat per cupcake etc) for these?

  15. Caroltn

    Do you have the nutrition (calories / fat per cupcake etc) for these?

  16. Janice

    Hi Jenny! Really looking forward to trying these cupcakes. One question…can you provide nutrition information? Just like to compare/contrast with other recipes I have made. Thanks so much! Just found your website and recipes look fabulous!

  17. Ellen M

    Hi Jenny,
    These cupcakes look fabulous! I intend to make them soon.
    However, I was wondering if this recipe could be adapted to make a cake instead? If so, what adaptations would need to be made? (eg. length of baking, size of pan, etc.)
    Thanks so much!

  18. Kelly

    Believe it or not I’ve never baked chocolate cupcakes before! Your recipe won the Google search race lol. Took a chance and tried these – they came out perfect ! Thanks Jenny!

  19. Barbara Sparnell

    I made these about a week ago and they were so yummy! They were ridiculously easy and SUPER moist even the day after!!
    Jenny, I am becoming a big fan. 🙂 Your
    Beef stew was the best I’ve ever made!!! Looking forward to making your spaghetti and meatballs next week.
    I am planning to make those chocolate cupcakes AGAIN this evening.
    I need to find something to replace the all purpose flour and the regular sugar to cut down the calories even more, especially, if I keep making them twice a week! Ha! Thanks Jenny! 🙂

    • Barbara Sparnell

      P.S. I did sift all the dry ingredients over and over which is why I think the cupcakes were so light and fluffy!

  20. Rachelle. Miranda

    Dear Jenny its Rachelle Miranda. I am a 66 year old disabled senior that loves your blog. I hav commented on your fabulose recipes and baked several now. I am also a life long fashion designer. I specialize in Ball room and Tango dresses. However i hav a limited income and i am looking for a used working stand mixer. I like the kenmore eliet one. I got one at a white elephant sale and gave it to my Grandaughter. Now i hav stand mixer fever. You r contacted. By millions of people any ideas or leeds. It doesnt hav to be Kitchen Aid just bread power worthy with the attachments. Im makeing ur chocolate cupcakes today. Thanks Rachelle Miranda

    • Jenny

      Please say what city you are in case someone has a used mixer, because these mixers are heavy and hard (expensive) to ship.

      • Rachelle. Miranda

        In regards to my request for a stand mixer i live in clawson michigan. A suburb of detroit. I made your ribs and chocolate cupcakes today. Once again you hav done a super tasty good thanks Rachelle Miranda Sambadance2012@yahoo.com

  21. Rachelle. Miranda

    I lov all of your recipes they are simple and to the point. Iv. Made the bread stix wheat bread cinnamon tunnel bread and tonight ill make your healthy chocloate cup cakes. Thanks so much keep on cooking ans shareing. Rachelle miranda

    • Rachelle. Miranda

      I am looking at your healthy chocolate cupcakes can u use buttermilk insted of milk and vinegar or lemon juice

      • Jenny

        This recipe does not use milk at all, only water. I suggest not changing the recipe.

  22. Thomas

    Healthy AND delicious? Sign me up!

  23. Bella

    Hey Jenny! Lovely recipe but was just wondering if I could add chocolate chips to it?

    • Jenny

      I don’t know if they would sink. You will just have to try.

  24. Mei

    I was wondering if you would recommend using cake flour or if all purpose flour is better? I have used all purpose flour before and it turned out pretty good but I was wondering if you would use cake flour.
    Thank you

    • Jenny

      I post all my recipes to be the best they can and I always use all purpose flour in my baking. I you want to use cake flour, I think you would have to use more and you can find what adjustments would be needed with an internet search on substituting cake flour for all purpose.

  25. Candy

    Hello Mrs.Jenny,

    May I take cocoa powder out if I want to make vanilla cupcakes?

  26. monica

    Is it necessary to use vinegar?

    • Jenny

      It IS necessary to use either vinegar or fresh lemon juice.

  27. Ami

    Hi Jenny – does it make a difference if you use apple cider/white vinegar in place of distilled white vinegar?

    • Jenny

      I have only made it with fresh lemon juice and with distilled white vinegar but I know other recipes use cider vinegar and white vinegar.

  28. Tam

    your recipes are really good and easy to make! I just wonder from all your recipes what is the “best seller”? 🙂

    • Jenny

      The most popular recipes are: 1) Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs 2) Cinnamon Rolls 3) Simple Whole Wheat Bread.
      The ones I make the most are 1) Granola Bars 2) Tortillas 3) Giant Breakfast Cookies.

  29. Sherry

    Came out gr8..
    Thanks a lot..

  30. Nory

    Hello, jenny!

    May i ask if you have a recipe for a more fluffy-looking frosting. i want to use a piping bag and form a volcano-looking frosting. Pls advise. Thank you

  31. Nan

    Jenny, will the frosting you put on your Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe work on these cupcakes? Thanks

    • Jenny

      Yes, in fact you can put any frosting on a chocolate cupcake.

  32. Michelle

    Can i use any oil to bake these cupcakes.

  33. cerine

    hi why my cupcakes took more than 20 minutes baking and it turned out to be very moist

    • Jenny

      It could be that the oven was not hot enough. Assuming you did not make any changes in the recipe, next time make sure you take enough time to preheat your oven. Mine takes about 20 minutes. Every oven is different so it’s helpful to use an oven thermometer because even if you preheat it for a long time, it could be your oven is lower than your setting.

  34. Lyn

    Hi Jenny, do I really require to use 1 cup of sugar? can I cut it down?

    • Jenny

      Funny you should ask because I just made these yesterday and to me they are perfect. I don’t like a lot of sugar either but when baking with chocolate, which has a bitter quality, this seems like the right amount of sweetener. If you’re used to less sugar in your baking I guess you could try reducing it but for me these cupcakes are just right. I found some online with less sugar you could try by googling “healthy chocolate cupcakes.”

  35. Milo

    Hi Jenny,

    May I ask why you use vinegar in this recipe?
    Does it make a difference if I skip it?

    • Jenny

      Skipping the vinegar will make a big difference. Vinegar is an acid and is often included in eggless cakes and cupcakes to react with baking soda and start the chemical reaction needed to produce carbon dioxide and give those baked goods a lift as they bake.

      • Milo

        Thanks for your quick and helpful reply.
        May I replace the vinegar with something acid else, like lemon juice?

        • Jenny

          I believe lemon juice would work. I have never used it but it makes sense to me because it is equally acidic. Good luck. (I am off to bed)

  36. mel

    My daughter & I made these for my husband’s bday. They were a huge hit. Thank you for this easy, healthy, delicious recipe. So much better than a box mix!

  37. ruth

    i tried it tonight for a easy chocolate cake i learned on martha stewart cake and this was wonderful to limit the amount of saturated fat from 112 grams to 14 only for the entire frosting and i omited the amount of powdered sugar i used some maple syrup and only two tablespoons of powdered sugar the two butter tab. spoons some coconut flakes some cocco powder and added a table spoon more to the mix vanilla and some cocconut butter smidgen and mixed fifty times by hand i think i have a stronger arm now 🙂 and it frosted the cake like a dream and looked terrific thank you for saving us the fat and a simple recipie you did it again jenny i will keep learning from you it is so much fun and i love the colorful cookware you have around your kitchen and gadgets and such fun colors bright and cheery love it

  38. Ewa

    Hello Jenny. I have a question. Do you need to keep finished cupcakes refrigerated? I want to take them to work and I’m wondering whether they will be ok in a room temperature for the 6 hours or so? Thanks again for all your recipes. I love them.

    • Jenny

      I always refrigerate frosting that contains cream cheese or sour cream but I would have no problem leaving the cupcakes out for six hours. My thinking is that milk or sour cream would never spoil if left out for 6 hours or even a little longer.

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