Super Moist Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes

These chocolate cupcakes made with olive oil are super moist and will keep well for a week in the refrigerator, but I can say with certainty that they will never last that long.  Make them mini or regular size. As an alternative the batter can be poured into a 9 x 2 inch cake pan.


Makes 1 to 1 1/2 dozen


  • CAKE
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon oil or 1tablespoon almond extract
  • Crystalized white sugar for sprinkling on top
  • Ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Sift the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. With a whisk or hand mixer on low speed beat in the olive oil until smooth. In another bowl, mix the cocoa and hot water and whisk to smooth out the lumps. Add the vinegar and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk or beat until the batter is smooth. Divide and fill non-stick cupcake tins or muffin pans 3/4 full with the batter.
  3. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Do not over bake. They should be firm to the touch.
  4. Place the tins on cooling racks, and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cupcakes from the pans to cool completely. Frost when cool with frosting below.
  5. Beat the cheese in a bowl until smooth; gradually add in enough of the sugar to make a smooth frosting that is not runny. Stir in the cinnamon oil or the almond extract.
  6. Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle the crystalized sugar over the top. Garnish with a fresh strawberry, if desired.
  7. Variation: For an artistic effect use a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe the frosting in long swirls on top of the cupcakes.
  8. Tip: A dry silicone pastry brush is handy for removing crumbs from cake tops before frosting.

This recipe was featured on Season 12 - Episode 1201.

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This is an amazingly tasty chocolate cake. I could not believe that a cake without eggs, milk, or sour cream could be so good!


The cake had good flavor and texture. It was delicate in holding its form as a larger cake. I will make smaller cakes from it next time.


This is the one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had. Generally, I don’t even eat chocolate cake! I’ve made this three or four times. It is easy, delicious, and the olive oil helps the cake last longer. I keep it in the fridge and serve it cold–yum!


We are getting ready to move, and I was having a major pregnancy craving for chocolate cake,but we didn’t have any eggs. A Google search brought me to your recipe. My 3 year old son and I made this recipe as cupcakes after watching your video together, they are in the oven now. He is so excited, he is sitting on my kitchen stool in front of the oven. Thank you so much for bringing this recipe into our kitchen.

Paula B.

Just made a flourless chocolate cake and it was fantastic, now I am searching for all kinds of chocolate cake. I had heard that olive oil was a great addition to cake baking. Love the frosting recipe also. Think I will make this tomorrow! First visit to Ciao Italia’s site but a fan already!


I’m another pregnant lady with chocolate cake cravings and no eggs in the house. Excited to try the recipe!

I just wanted to note that if you watch the video, there are some discrepancies from the written recipe, and I think the video version sounds like a better recipe:

– Flour consists of 1c cake flour and 2c all purpose
– Cocoa should be mixed with 2c HOT water, not cold
– Frosting is made with 8oz of mascarpone and 3.5c of confectioner’s sugar, not 16oz of light cream cheese (I’d sub out 8oz of regular cream cheese with the same amount of sugar)


Wow! I stumbled across this when looking for a cake to make for a gathering where we needed a dairy-free dessert. I could not believe how EASY the cake was. We wound up using almost all regular white flour (vs unbleached) as I didn’t have as much unbleached as I thought. We made cupcakes, and I baked them for 21 minutes in a 350 degree convection oven (325, the oven auto-adjusts the temp when doing convection).

You didn’t mention cake pan sizes or cooking times for alternate sizes – that would be really useful information.

Since the dessert needed to be dairy free, of course I couldn’t use your frosting, but I used an egg white / corn syrup frosting that was basically marshmallow fluff (Karo’s website has the recipe as do others).

The end result was a HUGE hit.

Joanne S.

As a previous reviewer SUNNY stated, many errors in this recipe, watch video first before proceeding with written recipe. She listed all the discrepancies, but forgot two other errors…the baking soda should be only 3/4 tsp, NOT 2 tsps.! Vanilla extract is not listed in ingredient list, but MaryAnn uses it in the video. It is also written out in the directions. Whoa Nellie. This is really a recipe that is confused! I’d love to try it but am afraid to. I would follow the video version of recipe and NOT the written one.

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