Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Espresso Buttercream

Sour cream adds richness and fluffy texture to these decadent cupcakes topped with a fudgy, date-sweetened espresso buttercream – you’d never know they were 100% whole wheat!

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16 cupcakes
Prep Time
25 min
30 min


  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp each baking soda and sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice (aka organic cane sugar)
  • 1/3 cup sax03fflower oil
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp whole  milk, divided
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup unsalted organic butter, room temperature (TRY: Horizon Organic Unsalted Butter)
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
 Line 2 muffin tins with 16 liners, 8 in each, filling remaining slots halfway with warm water. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ½ cup cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 

3. In a stand mixer fitted with a
 paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat eggs, cane juice and oil on medium high until pale yellow in color and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add sour cream, ½ cup milk and vanilla and
 beat until combined. Stop machine
 and add flour mixture. Mix on low until combined, then beat
 on medium-high for 2 minutes. Divide batter among liners, filling
 each two-thirds full. Bake until a
 toothpick inserted in the center
 comes out with fudgy crumbs, 10 to 12 minutes, being mindful not to over bake. Transfer cupcakes to
 a wire rack to cool completely. 

4. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process dates and butter until
 smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup cocoa and espresso powder and process until combined. Add remaining 3 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp at a time, scraping down sides
 after each addition. Once milk is incorporated, process for an additional 2 minutes. Spread icing over cupcakes.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 cupcake
  • Calories 179
  • Carbohydrate Content 20 g
  • Cholesterol Content 38 mg
  • Fat Content 11 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 3 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 151 mg
  • Sugar Content 11 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 4 g