Small Batch Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Cassie Johnston
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cupcakes 1x


These Small Batch Healthier Chocolate Cupcakes are fudgy and tender, and only make four cupcakes. Perfect for chocolate cravings!



For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 5-6)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the Cupcakes

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Begin with the frosting by placing the pitted dates in a tall, narrow container (like a small Mason jar or measuring cup). Pour over boiling water, and use a spoon to push the dates into the water as much as possible. Let soak 15 minutes.
  2. Once soaking time is finished, pour the dates and soaking water into a high-powered blender (like my Ninja). Add in the cocoa or cacao powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend on high until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until cold and firm, about 3 hours.
  3. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°. Line four cups of a muffin tin with paper muffin liners, set aside.
  4. Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a double boiler (or you can do this in a microwave safe container, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth). Remove from heat.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa or cacao powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, as well as the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add in the egg and stir until just smooth.
  6. Fill the liners in the prepared muffin tin 2/3 full with the batter. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely, then frost.


Like lots of frosting? Double the recipe to get the frosting-to-cake ratio you see in the photos.

I like to err on the side of undercooked baked goods, so I pulled these out right at 12 minutes. They’re a little gooey, but they set up when cooled.

Skip to toolbar