• Yield: Makes 6 cupcakes, and doubles easily

  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking, 35 minutes total

If you can melt chocolate and stir, you can make these cakes, and no commercial mix has chocolate as good as this. Quality chocolate is like breeding: it always shines through. Gooey chocolate pockets stud the cakes, while the cake itself is nearly as dense as fudge.

There is a real bittersweet edge here. For the kids add another 3 tablespoons of sugar. For yourself, keep the adult attitude; put the young ones to bed, light the candles, and pour two glasses of port.

You could turn this recipe into a cake by baking it in a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment. Increase the cooking time to about 35 minutes.

Wrapped, the cakes keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cook to Cook: The pan you choose will change the baking time of this and other recipes. Here, the dark pan called for gives you fudge cakes in 16 to 18 minutes; shiny pans lengthen the baking time by a few minutes more. We use a dark (not black) nonstick metal pan for this recipe.


  • One 3.5- or 4-ounce bittersweet chocolate bar (Lindt Excellence 70%, Valrhona 71%, Scharffen Berger 70%, or Ghirardelli 70% Extra bittersweet, in order of our preference), broken up

  • 1-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken up

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk (for a double recipe, use 5 eggs)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, organic preferred (measured by dipping and leveling)

  • Half of a 3.5- to 4-ounce bittersweet chocolate bar, broken into bite-sized pieces


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a dark metal 6-cup cupcake tin.

2. Combine the broken-up bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates with the butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Melt them for 2 to 3 minutes at medium-low power. Check by stirring, as chocolate holds its shape when microwaved. Or melt it in a heatproof bowl over simmering water.

3. In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and yolk, sugar, and salt until creamy. Stir in the flour to blend thoroughly. Then stir in the chocolate/butter mixture until smooth. Finally, blend in the bite-sized pieces of chocolate. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan, filling each three-quarters full.

4. Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes. Insert a knife into the center of a cupcake. It should come out with some streaks of thick batter. If you have any doubt about doneness, press the top of a cupcake to see if it is nearly firm. Remove them from the oven. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes to serve warm, or for 20 minutes to serve at room temperature.

From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, Clarkson Potter, 2008.

Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.