Chocolate & Pomegranate Cupcakes

These are a delicious new take on the chocolate cupcake.

The addition of pomegranate adds a subtle fruitiness and gives the chocolate a new edge.  Star of the show are the pomegranate seeds sprinkled on the tops glistening like jewels. (I’m a sucker for glitter!)

165g butter
300g caster sugar
3 eggs
70g self raising flour
200g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
70g cocoa powder
300ml pomegranate juice
1tbsp vinegar (normal malt is fine)

200g dark chocolate
200ml double cream
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp pomegranate juice
Pomegranate arils to decorate

Makes 18.

Preheat oven to 180c/160c Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4.

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Add in the eggs gradually adding in a little bit of the flour at any sign of curdling.

Sift in the flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and mix in well.

Lastly mix in the pomegranate juice and the vinegar.

Fill each muffin case 2/3rds full.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile make the frosting.  Chop the chocolate into small pieces and set to one side.

Heat the double cream in a pan till just under boiling point.  How do you know its just under boiling point?  The truthful answer is I don’t exactly know but I take it off the heat just as bubbles start to appear at the edge of the pan!

Tip the chocolate into the hot cream and allow to stand for a couple of minutes.  The chocolate will have started to melt in all on it’s own.

Now give it a good stir until you have a wonderfully glossing chocolate ganache.

Finally mix in the sifted icing sugar and pomegranate juice, you may well have to give it a really good beat to get rid of any lumps.  (This is where my electric mixer comes in!)

Now you have two options you can spoon the runny frosting directly onto the tops of the cakes as a glossy choccie icing or you can leave it to cool for a couple of hours to thicken up and pipe it.

I love piping the tops of cakes, I have nozzles and I have bags and I’m going to use them!  The idea that piping is difficult is a myth, it’s true though that you get better with practice and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

I will try and show you how to do the lovely ‘rose’ effect piping in the following photos but please do bear in mind that it was beyond me to pipe and photograph at the same time so… step in Mr Whisk, he’s ever so lovely but he doesn’t take a good photograph!

You will need a nozzle like this, alternatively any wide star shaped or plain nozzle will do.

Once the frosting has cooled and thickened give it a really good beat with a spoon.  Fill your piping bag fitted with your chosen nozzle and then get ready to pipe.

Start in the centre of the cupcake and pipe in increasing circles in one continuous motion.  You are almost wrapping the frosting around each previous circle. Only stop piping when you get to the outside edge.

On a completely different note – whose are those old lady hands?aaargh they’re mine : (

Each one you do will get better – I promise!

Sprinkle the tops with pomegranate arils (did you know they were called that? – no neither did I!)

Chocolate and Pomegranate Cupcakes

Ruth Clemens BakerRuth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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33 Responses to Chocolate & Pomegranate Cupcakes

  1. butteredcrumpet says:

    They look devine! I can imagine scoffing a few of those in the winter after a big bowl of steaming stew, with a large glass of fruity red wine. De-lish!

  2. A Thrifty Mrs says:

    Mmmm great idea. They look delicious.
    I found you on guest blog and would love it if you considered doing a guest post on my blog.

  3. Choclette says:

    Ooh, these do look good and so elegant. I keep thinking I should try for elegant, but it just doesn't seem to be in me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    These look fab, I am going to give these a go and hope they are half as good as yours look. WIll be going to buy myself a pipping bag and nozzles.

  5. Jo says:

    Wow! They look beautiful. Quick question – what kind of chocolate did you use for the frosting? I might be mistaken, but from here it looks like Bournville (if I can tell that from the shape of the squares then perhaps I have problems). That's fine and dandy, I love the stuff, but I was wondering whether you would have to alter the sugar content if you used a non-sweetened dark chocolate?

    P.s. I was rooting for you to win last night on the telly. I'm sure Edd is lovely and very good but I've been team:Ruth since episode 1! xx

  6. Anonymous says:

    Would love to give these a go but last time i looked for pomegranate juice for a tagine, all i could get was a juice drink with added sugar and water ! any suggestions

  7. Ruth says:

    Yep, its Bournville! I think its a really good all round chocolate for baking with and is far less temperamental than high percentage cocoa solids bars. If using a nonsweetened bar its entirely personal preference I wouldn't adjust the sugar content.

    POM juice is by far an away the best juice for baking with – I'm pretty sure its available worldwide?

  8. Jo says:

    Thanks for the advice! I like cooking with Bournville too (though often too much of it doesn't get there), but my boy is a chocolate snob so sometimes I have to use other types. Did you come up with the recipe yourself?

    POM is available in most supermarkets I think. Also if you go to International stores there is an Iranian product called 'Rob-e Anar' that might also be suited to this. It's a pomegranate syrup used in traditional Iranian cooking. I don't know how it would affect the recipe but it might be worth a play sometime.

  9. Yummy says:

    Hi Ruth 🙂
    Im going to make these with my mom this weekend,The Cupcakes seem right up my street, Just wondering do they sell pipping bags and nozzles in supermarkets like Asda,Tesco ect. Also i thought you were GREAT in the British Bake Off & the other contestants. Just watched the final now on bbc iplayer with my mom 😛 ive watched all of them now.
    Thankyou <3
    P.S i will let you know how they turn out.

  10. Nurliza says:

    Hi Ruth,
    i have been a fan of u since i started watching the british bake off. i wish i can bake like u. You made baking looked so easy. i have only started baking about 2 years ago and have so much to learn . i love cupcakes and i have been practicing every now and then but i still am no good with the piping. i am not going to give up and you have been like an inspiration to me. i think you have got a brilliant talent. Thank you for giving advices on the piping and i am going try the cupcake recipe. Thank you again. 🙂

  11. Christel says:

    I'm Cupcake mad!!!! These Cupcakes look GORGEOUS!!!!

  12. laurnyhunter says:

    i made these last night and they were delicious !!! x 😛
    Lauren Hunter

  13. kristina Perry says:

    I made these yesterday and they are gorgeous, I have shared them around my family because i no would just scoff them all

  14. Clare says:

    I made these for a party at work this week. Everybody loved them!
    Thanks 🙂
    P.S. The recipe made loads more than 18…What was I doing wrong/right?

  15. Ruth says:

    Clare – it depends on the size of cupcake papers and indeed the tin that you use – it all effects the yield – lucky you with lots of cakes!! xx

  16. NaomiElizabeth says:

    I have just started a blog of cakes and baking in general, I made these cakes the other day and I was wondering if you would mind me writing a blog about them, I will post a link to the recipe on here along with a picture of the ones I made?

  17. Ruth says:

    Go for it NaomiElizabeth x

  18. Emily says:

    Hi Ruth I think you should have won but well done.

  19. Anonymous says:


    You are Fabulous at what ever you do,you won the show in my eyes.WOW Well done love your recipes.
    good luck for the future.

  20. Tiger says:

    I baked these cakes for friends and they were a massive hit. In fact my mum keeps asking me to bake some for her when she next comes to visit (she only got a picture of them but never got to taste). Plus I've done my Xmas cake and just waiting for the icing/decorating recipe from Ruth. Love, Love, Love this site. Susie xxx

  21. julieh says:

    well i finally got round to making these beauties!!
    they have gone down a storm family loved them
    they have put their order in for xmas???
    many thanks again Ruth for a lovely recipe
    would just like to say i used milk choc (dairy milk) and they were fine fussy lot i have here!

  22. Kelly says:

    Just to say thank you for this excellent recipe – the cupcakes are gorgeous; as much fun to eat as they were to make. I ended up with over 30 of them so am leaving cupcakes wherever I visit at the moment!
    Kelly x

  23. Shazza says:

    I will give it a go, these look gorgeous x

  24. Anonymous says:

    hi which size nozzle did u use to make th swirls


  25. Ruth says:

    Hi Lily, The nozzle is a closed star nozzle from this Tala Food Piping Set from John Lewis

  26. Pingback: How to Cover a Cake with Sugarpaste | Baking, Recipes and Tutorials - The Pink Whisk

  27. Sara says:

    Do you think this frosting recipe would work for filling and covering 2 of your chocolate cakes (in your blog the recipe comes under chocolate muffins), and would I then be able to sugarpaste the finished cake?

  28. Rosie says:

    Hi Ruth,

    I want to make this for a bake off at work and was wondering if these quantities would make 2 cakes to sandwich together?



  29. GerryBerry says:

    HI Ruth!!! What can I use instead of pomegranate juice in the icing? Want to make your perfect chocolate cake and use this icing.

  30. Kirstie phillipson says:

    Really looking forward to trying these cupcakes and in a bouqet too oh and I never new they were called pomegranate arils either so thanks for that 🙂

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