Black Forest Cupcakes

How gorgeous are these black forest cupcakes? If you love chocolate and cherries, you’re in for a treat, literally. The best thing about these chocolate cupcakes is that as decadent as they look, they are on the healthier side of things. Made with real cherries and plenty of cocoa powder, these cupcakes are subtly sweet and lower in calories than most regular recipes so you can enjoy them irresponsibly.


Black forest cupcakes recipe

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Here is what you need to know about these black forest cupcakes:

  • Yes, inspired by the famous German black forest cake, which is known for its combination of chocolate, cherries and cream.
  • Great for those who want chocolate cupcakes that are lower in calories, have no refined white sugar as they are sweetened with honey (or maple syrup), are egg-free, and can be made with plain or gluten-free flour.
  • These cupcakes are vegan-friendly, just replace Greek yoghurt with a plant-based alternative.
  • Nut-free friendly, simply replace almond milk with oat milk or coconut milk.
  • Yoghurt, applesauce and cherries keep these cupcakes super moist without having to add a lot of butter or oil, which frankly I don’t mind, but I wanted to develop a recipe that wasn’t too high in calories specifically.

👉 For more chocolate recipes, check out this raspberry chocolate parfait, the healthy chocolate zucchini cake, and healthy banana chocolate chip muffins.

Black forest cupcakes recipe feature 1

What You’ll Need

Here is what you will need for these black forest cupcakes. Find the full measurements in the recipe card below.

  • For sweetness: Honey or maple syrup.
  • Wet ingredients: Greek yoghurt, unsweetened applesauce, almond milk (or another milk of your choice.
  • Dry ingredients: plain flour, wholewheat or gluten-free can be used, baking powder and baking soda/bicard soda as the rising agent, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt.
  • Cherries: fresh or frozen dark cherries are what you want, ideally; canned cherries could be used but they are a bit soggier and will be more disintegrated in the mixture. The flavour is also less intense. Not glace cherries!
  • For the topping: whipped coconut cream or Greek yoghurt, grated chocolate and extra cherries.

Variations & Substituions

  • Gluten-free: Substitute the whole wheat flour with an equal amount of gluten-free flour or blend.
  • For grain-free: Use 1 cup almond meal + 1/4 cup cassava or tapioca flour (please note, this is not a nut-free version).
  • Lower sugar: Replace the honey or maple syrup with 1/2 cup of a natural sweetener like stevia or monk fruit sweetener.
  • Vegan: Replace the honey with 1/2 cup of a vegan sweetener like maple syrup, agave syrup or date syrup. Substitute the Greek yogurt with an equal amount of dairy-free yogurt (e.g., almond or coconut-based).
healthy Black forest cupcakes recipe

How To Make Black Forest Cupcakes

Jump to the full recipe card below for more detailed instructions, ingredients list and nutrition info.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • Mix honey (or maple syrup), Greek yogurt, applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  • Whisk whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.
  • Gradually mix dry ingredients and cocoa powder into wet ingredients until just combined. Avoid overmixing.
how to make black forest cupcakes batter
  • Fold in pitted cherries.
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cupcakes cool in tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Baking the cupcakes
  • Top cooled cupcakes with whipped coconut cream or Greek yogurt, garnish with cherries and shredded dark chocolate, if desired.
how to pipe cream topping on cupcakes

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Black forest cupcakes recipe feature 2

Black Forest Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Print Pin Save
5 from 1 vote
Calories: 253kcal

Equipment

  • 1 muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners
Learn how to make healthy and delicious black forest cupcakes. This recipe is egg-free and is easily adaptable to be completely plant-based/vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Made with real cherries and plenty of cocoa powder, these cupcakes are subtly sweet and lower in calories than most regular recipes so you can enjoy them irresponsibly.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or any other milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherries fresh or frozen

For topping:

  • 2 cups coconut cream whipped, or Greek yogurt for piping
  • ¼ cup shredded dark chocolate
  • Additional cherries for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the honey (or maple syrup), Greek yogurt, applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients and cocoa powder to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Gently fold in the pitted cherries.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream or yoghurt until thick and fluffy.
  • Once cooled, top each cupcake with a dollop of whipped coconut cream or Greek yogurt and garnish with additional cherries and shredded dark chocolate, if desired.

Notes

  • You can use either honey or maple syrup as a sweetener, depending on your preference.
  • Whole wheat flour adds a healthier twist to the cupcakes, but you can use all-purpose flour if desired.
  • Greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce help keep the cupcakes moist without adding excessive fat.
  • Feel free to use fresh or frozen cherries, just make sure they are pitted and chopped before adding them to the batter.
  • Adjust the amount of cherries according to your taste preference.
  • Replace the whole wheat flour with a gluten-free flour blend to make the cupcakes gluten-free.

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords: Cupcakes, German Cupcakes, Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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