Every summer, chocolate grows a little neglected in my kitchen. I don’t mean to let it happen — in my mind, there are few higher confectionery callings than brownies or ganache — but as soon as I start seeing rhubarb and strawberries and raspberries at the markets, and just today peaches (!) and blueberries (sorry NYC, there are none left. I bought them all), I start daydreaming about crisps and cobblers and grunts and crumb cakes and suddenly the winter’s stash of chocolate has grown soft and neglected in my pantry.
You could argue that a lot of chocolate desserts can feel too heavy in the summer, especially those flourless truffle bombs and their gooey warm restaurant-plated compatriots. I know, I know: What kind of pregnant woman rejects chocolate? But such weighty sweets have lost all appeal since I started carting around a tiny Bruce Lee in my abdomen; real estate needs to be carefully allotted so not to draw the ire of this 1.5-pound bundle of fist jabs.
Thank goodness for David Lebovitz, however, for a reminder that not all chocolate desserts need to be a study in the art of decadence. Some, like these chocolate yogurt snack cakes, are light, mildly sweet and infinitely moist, but never overly intense. Yogurt cakes are a French standard — Clotilde introduced me to the gâteau au yaourt years ago, with it’s simple yogurt-cup measurements and I’ve yet to find an adaptation of it since that I didn’t love.
David’s is no exception, and the fact that it came from his new book about real life in Paris that has made me laugh so hard, I am sure my neighbors think (or, well, now know) I am nuts, doesn’t hurt. I don’t think I’ve so eagerly anticipated a book since, well, ever because although few probably gaze at Paris with rosier colored glasses than Alex and me, I equally love stories about some of the realities of living there, be it eating hamburgers and fries with a fork and knife (bananas, too!), a penchant for male Speedos (“pour l’hygiène !” they tell David) or in the chapter that precedes this recipe, stories about his cleaning lady that spends half a day polishing the buttons on his food processor and the plastic holes on his alarm clock but regularly forgets to clean the bathroom. This is my kind of beach read, gritty and hilarious, yet also craving-inducing to the point that we have to swing by the grocery store on the way home so we can make snack cakes, pronto.
One year ago: Sweet Cherry Pie
Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
From David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris
This is almost a rarity in the world of chocolate cakes — light and not overly decadent; perfect for breakfast or a snack or, you know, right now.
Makes 12 cupcake-sized snack cakes or 16 mini-springform ones
7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) plain, whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (David recommends aluminum-free baking powders, such as Rumford or Bob’s Red Mill, as do I)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners or lightly butter the pan. Or, if you’re Deb and have to be fancy dust off that much-neglected mini-springform pan and coat it with a nonstick spray.
2. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with 1/4 cup of the oil. Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat. (Alternately, you can do this in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, then in 15 second increments, stirring well between each until smooth.)
3. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup oil with yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yogurt mixture. Stir lightly a couple times, then add the melted chocolate and stir until just smooth.
5. Divide the batter among the muffin or springform cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (less for mini-springforms, more for muffins, though your oven may vary) or until they feel barely set in the middle and a tester or toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving with coffee and a nice dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and any berries you can scrounge up in your fridge. Or, you know, as is.
Do ahead: These cakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for four days.
246 comments on chocolate yogurt snack cakes
Oooh, maybe I’ll make these tonight! I need something to get me outta my funk, and it would figure that it would come from you AND David. Looks like I need to start reading the book on my kindle, too.
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t allergic to chocolate. This looks so darn good!! I might just make them anyway with a bottle of benadryl next to me, lol
This is perfect, since my all of a sudden picky toddler suddenly refuses to eat plain yogurt. (I blame the daycare’s fondness for strawberry Yoplait.) My son has gone from eating whatever I can throw in front of him to caring more about which cup his milk is served in (the green alien cup, please) than the variety of filling in is ravioli.
Also, might I suggest chocolate angel food cake? Ina has one that looks quite tasty, and I made a chocolate orange one (which you can see on my blog) last April. Next time, I’m combining the two recipes. The only thing mine was missing was the extra chocolate. ;)
I’m going to try soon as well. I’m always looking for something chocolatety that won’t kill the calorie count!
Could you tell me what brand of chocolate you use for your baking? I see your picture, but don’t recognize those shapes and I’m always looking for good baking chocolate (preferably some that is not processed on machinery with nuts since my son is allergic.) Thanks!
Lynae — I used Valrhona chocolate feves.
I know exactly what you mean about neglecting chocolate in summer! I’m seduced by all that sweet-smelling fruit at the grocery store and then am too busy the overflow into baking it into tarts and muffins and crisps to even think about chocolate. But these look fantastic!
OMG! This looks so good. I’m going to make it this weekend.
These are beautiful little bites! The idea of yogurt & chocolate together does sound a lot lighter and more summery!
okay i haven’t seen a cuter version of these snack cakes on any other blog. must invest in a mini-springform pan pronto. so cute! and “a tiny Bruce Lee in my abdomen” = double cute!
Look at those little guys! I could eat them all. I am sure. Soooo gooooood!
Oh, I love everyday type cakes! That yogurt cup cake is one of my standbys now, and these look wonderful. Thanks for pointing them out, David’s book is on my list but I haven’t gotten it yet!
Chocolate was the one thing on the proscribed-for-the-pregnant that I refused to give up. I mean, I was certain that my twins would do far better with a happy pregnancy than a caffeine-free one!
yum – I got hooked on clotilde’s yogurt cake too. I think I made it 4 times in two weeks and then in typical ADD foodie fashion moved onto something else. Must try this version though and might have to break my only library book pact for David’s book.
Although I did make blueberry buckle yesterday which is divine.
It’s a fabulous book isn’t it? I’m reading it right now.
I do think brownies are sort of inherently summery, but maybe that’s because I always had brownies on the fourth of July as a kid.
Oh, and there’s a study out there (and my scientist friend says it’s a good study, ie properly conducted) that women who eat chocolate every day in pregnancy have happier calmer babies.
These look delicious. I’m going to try them gluten-free (a requirement around our house) and see how they turn out. Question for you: do you ever substitute sweeteners (like agave or raw sugar or brown sugar) in your baking? It’s something I’m trying to get a handle on, and if differing measurements of different ingredients makes a difference to the texture.
These sound really good. I’ve been on a big baking kick lately, and I have all the ingredients (except the chocolate), so it might mean a quick to the store on my way home. As always, thanks!
And good luck with that boxing kangaroo you’re carrying around with you :)
they are adorable–now I’ve got the swing-by-the-store, must-make-these craving! thankfully I’ve got homemade yogurt on hand. hope your little Bruce Lee enjoyed these.
Those look so yummy!
They’ve got yogurt in them… so they’re good for us, right?!
David’s book is the next thing I am buying off my Amazon wish list (and when I have time to read for pleasure again after the Bar). These looks so cute and tasty!
These look adorable, and delicious. After I finish the batch of homemade ice cream I have in the freezer, these are coming up next.
I now have an intense craving for that book, and need to pull over and order it NOW.
I know what you mean about the fresh fruit. My dessert line up for the past two weeks has been fresh fruit cake, crisp, crumble, cobbler…repeat.
I don’t want to look at another nut or caramel concoction for a few solid months.
These chocolate cakes, on the other hand, are just too precious.I’ll be trying them no matter the season!
These look amazing! Anything with yogurt in the batter & I’m sold!
If I had some eggs in my kitchen I would be making these RIGHT NOW. As I do not, will have to wait until tomorrow… unless the 24 hour garage sells eggs…
I’m making them as soon as I get baking chocolate!
How cute! And I bet they’d be good with berries on the side, too…
These are adorable. Right now I’m still in the throes of summer fruit love, but I know the chocolate obsession always lurks near the surface. I can’t wait to read David’s book!
OH! It’s a mini cheesecake pan that you use. Okay, that makes more sense now. I could not figure out how you could have mini springform pans that small and how looong it must have taken to bake this quicky recipe, unless you had a bunch of them! They probably do make them though..somewhere.
These look good!
Yummy! Can’t wait to try these
How cute! and these look delicious! I d like to try these :)
These look great, and I’m nearly out of dessert (unheard of!) so these will be next on the list.
When I studied abroad in France, this not too overpowering chocolate cake was a staple that would show up for dessert every couple of weeks. I didn’t find out that it was made with yogurt until I came back to the States and emailed them for the recipe. I love them in cupcake form!
self rising flour or all purpose flour?
Christina — All purpose flour.
YYYYUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMM YUM YUMMY!!!!!!!!
Everytime I come here my mouth immediately begins watering!!!!! Seriously!
Oh and your ingredients!
I will have to pass this recipe along as well as use it for some of my friends this summer!!!
hmm…i wonder how many of those little cakes i could manage to pop in my mouth in one sitting. i’m thinking far too many. love yogurt in any type of cake and love the fact that there’s no butta.
Love this post ! For the deliciously enticing photos, for your writing as always and for a new recipe too! Iit makes me want to grab my copy of David’s book right off my shelf and start reading it right away. Not to mention, running to the store tomorrow to pick up ingredients so I too can make snack cakes – pronto !
They’re in the oven. Didn’t take long, eh? My little two-year old saw them and was truly upset that she couldn’t just reach out and grab one to eat. So that’s the story. Thanks for the recipe!
for Christina, the recipe contains baking powder, so the flour would be all purpose. I have substituted self rising flour quite successfully in these yogurt cakes, but then leave out the added baking powder and salt.
I absolutely LOVEE the first picture!! These look delicious! The chocoholic in me thanks you for these!
I, too, am guilty of ignoring the chocolate in favor of all the fresh delicious fruit. Except for your unbelievably perfect Classic Brownie recipe that I made last weekend. OMG, how could you do that to me?
You’re right – chocolate should not be totally forsaken in the summer, but it is difficult to eat a rich, heavy chocolate dish when the temperature starts to climb. These look as though they would fit the bill perfectly.
I can’t wait to read the David Lebovtiz book!
I must try these little perfect gems. Love this…
Chocolate and yogurt…what could be wrong about that?
These look wonderful! Today was my youngest daughters first day of preschool so I think we’ll make these together to celebrate after she gets home!
Ooh, these look delicious… as do all of your recipes! Just looking at your pictures makes me want to run and bake them up right away!
chocolate and yogurt…mmmmmmm…. and they’re cute too!?
Absolutely delicious! Chocolate and yogurt – never thought of pairing them before. Will surely give this one a try
Also checked out the good bites video – it was great listening to YOU :)
What cute little cakes. They do sound perfect for the season!
Deb you are such a bad influence. It is almost midnight in my part of the world and somehow there are now muffins in my oven. The smell is to die for…
I love these…especially that since you call them snack cakes, they don’t sound bad for you. Nevermind that they’re still chocolate cake…
I’ve got a batch in the oven now- thanks!
My batter was hopelessly lumpy, though. Do you think fat free yogurt might be the culprit? That’s my only sub, as I don’t have any full-fat stuff right now. I suppose it’s not entirely hopeless. Lumps can’t make them THAT bad… Right?
Delightful little cakes. I must admit I’m not much of a fan of the ooey, gooey chocolate cake – these are perfect for my taste.
I was just thinking about chocolate this morning and how I haven’t made anything chocolate since, well, like you said, rhubarb and berries and cherries started appearing in the groceries. This recipe sounds fabulous. And I think I need to get David’s book to read over the 4th of July up in the north woods.
Oooh .. these are absolutely “little bite” cakes, how cute! Another gorgoeous recipe and I’m sure it’s absolutely moist with the addition of yogurt. By the way, could I use any regular baking powder in the same quantity if I don’t have the “recommended” kind?
These are so cute. They look like delicious little chocolate mushrooms!
This recipe sounds great – especially because there is no butter-softening time required so you can jump right in after getting home! I makebrownies with yogurt and the tanginess goes really well with the dark chocolate.
Lauren- I don’t think the lumpiness would be caused by the yogurt substitution. I would think that it would come from not whisking the dry ingredients enough or stirring the combined mixture enough (step 4).
Devastating. I’m totally stealing, er, copying this recipe. ;)
snack cakes eh? Don’t tell me that or I WILL eat them as snacks. store them in my desk next to the emery boards like a bosom bodied secretary.
I like how this recipe is basic enough that you can customize…
i’ll look around the blogs for the perfect flash of color.
These are adorable and tasty I’m sure. I’ll take any excuse to have chocolate for breakfast.
I wonder what change would ensue from using the thicker Greek style yogurt??
Julia — I used Greek yogurt. No reason any full-fat yogurt won’t work, but the Greek stuff is a little richer (drained of more liquid).
Jo — You can use any kind of baking powder. However, I’m making more of a point to bring up the differences as I have many scone and biscuit recipes on this site, and often get comments from people who are unhappy with a tinny or metallic taste. It is always from using a baking powder with aluminum in it (also, it turns fresh berries in scones a freaky color), it is just most noticeable in those recipes as they use an extra-large quantity (though this one doesn’t exactly skimp). Seeing as the aluminum-free stuff is readily available (notably Rumford around here) and only pennies more, I figure I’ll implore people to switch to it at every pass.
Where, oh where were these when I was pregnant? Chocolate and yogurt made up about 75% of my third-tri diet. (The remaining 25? Ice cream.)
I hear you on the fruit fixation, but combining it with chocolate? That’s pure perfection. Is there a way to bake the berries right in there? Or am I asking too much?
Clabber Girl double acting has sodium aluminum sulfate. Scratch it from the list!
D’oh, you’re right. I’ve assumed that because it is made by the same company as Rumford, it was also aluminum-free. Now edited.
I’m totally smitten by these precious little bites. Chocolate perefection – ah- & ever so indulgent! I’m done with preganancy & kids, but don’t need an excuse for something as yum as these!
Ooh, I just made yogurt cupcakes based on Clotilde’s recipe. They’re absolutely delightful and I love the idea of making them chocolatey. I definitely neglect chocolate (mostly in the summer but often year round anyway since I’m a fruit fiend) but these look so good.
chocolate is my fav one.. sweet little cupcakes… (“,)
Gorgeous! And they sound like they’d taste delicious too!
I am a New Jersey ex-pat :-) living in the city. I would LOVE to know where all of those awsome green markets you speak oh so fondly of are situated?
Also, congratulations on the soon to come bundle of joy. I am a proud mama of an 8 month old baby Amina and she is the chocolate of my eye ;-). I predict that in a while, when the baby comes at last, we will be seeing much more lighter recipes because there is nothing like children that can make you want to be healthy and arround for many years to come. Cheers, salaam, shalom, peace!
Aloha Deb … those are so cute — where can I get one of those pans? Mahalo! 8-)
Alohacookiegirl — Amazon sells them.
Jen — It’s a regular size muffin pan, not a mini that would work. That said, there’s a useful list of can pan size conversions on this page.
Dijana — Union Square. There’s a full list of all of the NYC Greenmarkets on the official site.
I’ve still got “The Sweet Life” on my reading list – I can’t wait to get to it. I feel the same way about dessert when fruit come into season, although these do look amazing!
Now, I don’t have either of your pan suggestions (a mini-muffin pan or a mini-springform pan) Do you think it would it be possible to bake in a loaf pan and adjust cooking time as needed?
Love your recipes.This will be a wonderful gift to bring to a friend who is moving
tomorrow.I’m curious about the baking pan,is it a mini cheesecake pan?
Update: I’m pretty sure the lumps are from not mixing the wet stuff well enough (thanks, Rachelino). There are tiny bits of cooked egg white throughout the cakes. They may not be pretty enough for company, but they are delicious!
Next time, and there WILL be a next time, I’ll be more thorough with my mixing.
Sounds great – and thanks for telling about David’s book…I’m always the last to know but now I’ll head to Amazon and get me a copy…I’m needing something to read to take my mind of the never-ending COLD of summer in Seattle!
Egads. This WILL be made in my kitchen.
I just tried the cheese straws, by the way, and they are out of this word delicious. Also they look like the picture, which is a rarity.
This is perfect timing! My cooking buddy and I were just saying the other week that we haven’t been making anything chocolate lately because everything is so rich and not summery.
This is exactly what I’m in the mood for, thanks.
I actually didn’t go for chocolate during my pregnancies either, except for something occasional, light, and dairy-ful (the only time I ever liked hershey’s kisses). These look lovely, thanks!
I made these yesterday and they taste great! The only thing I would change next time is upping the chocolate to 8oz–my cakes came out a bit lighter and I think it’s because some chocolate was “lost” in transferring the melted chocolate from bowl to bowl. Still great flavor though and perfect for a chocolate summer treat that isn’t heavy.
Gah – I must make these!! I think I might have to up the amount of chocolate too, though.
I’m a fan of David Lebovitz too – thanks to a blog hop from your site – his IKEA piece is what won me over. :)
Just bought David’s book in Paris and read it on a trip around France and Spain. Great, fun, funny read. Also learned to make a yogurt cake when I was an au pair in France 30 years ago! It is a stand by recipe in every French kitchen. Thanks for another great post.
yeah for minis! i always skew to the small side when baking for potlucks/BBQs and these look simply delish.
Love these little gems!
What kind of pan is that that you used?
I am pretty positive that I would LOVE this dish!!!!
Omg, just the picture alone tells me I have to Naptime Chef these tasty treats straight away! David’s recipes never steer us wrong.
I agree about chocolate in the summer, but these look like they are worth making any time of year!
I’ve been following this blog for about a month or two now and I have a question or two…
1) Have you ever made/published a cookbook with your amazing recipes and photos?
2) If not, would you ever consider it? There are several places online that you can do this and I know that I would be first in line to buy it!
I love the phrase you just coined “snack cakes”–sealing forever the legitimacy of chocolate and cake as SNACK and not dessert. Brilliant! So, when is YOUR book coming out? Yours is the beach read I am waiting for . . with your “gritty, hilarious, craving inducing” etc spirit! I hosted a party a few months ago with all mini foods & among some what I cooked/baked was your (vegetarian version) meatball sliders (thank you–adorable!) and these little precious cupcakes. Everything was mini. The pictures were so cute. Thank you so much again for this awesome site. Love the photograph of teaspoon filled with fleur de
I only had non-fat Fage in the house, so I used it. The batter with very lumpy, but the little cakes came out delicious! I’m sure they’d be even better with the full fat Fage, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Thanks for giving me an excuse to use my Bouchon pan!
Aloha Deb — thanks for your reply. I took a look at Amazon and there are so many different standard size muffin pans. Your’s seems to by straight-sided and taller and narrower than ones I see and ones I already own. Can you tell me the brand of yours? Mahalo!
OMG!!!! My apologies Deb — thanks again … I didn’t realize you sent a live link to the exact pan!!! 8-)
made these last night at 9:30 when my hubby asked, “what’s for dessert?” and my son had a friend staying the night. i used a mini muffin pan, a regular muffin pan, and some silicon muffin cups and they were tasty in every form! the minis are VERY DANGEROUS, and most of the recipe is gone not 24 hours later.
home run, deb! this is the 3rd recipe of yours i’ve tried, and my tastebuds thank you!
I happen to have that exact cheesecake springform pan. I love that little thing. My biggest trial is keeping the little metal discs away from some very curious children who like the way they clank together. That, and working with the tall sides.
I make mini lemon muffins, courtesy of Martha Stewart, to complement the chocolate ones.
These look insanely good. The pair of chocolate and yogurt is mouthwatering. Even more tempting with the rich and creamy greek stuff. Although, lots of little bites to nosh on, I’m afraid these wouldn’t last a minute in my house!
These look super amazing! I actually DO have some chocolate I need to use up. Thanks!
Congrats on the launch of Goodbite.com
I spent the last hour perusing.. terrific new site!
Cant wait to see and hear more.
these look adorable! my goal is to bake every weekend, and this sounds like a recipe i can definitely try! thanks =)
These look so delicious! I’m vegan, and I am wondering what you think about substituting a soy or coconut-based yogurt into the recipe instead of using the whole-milk yogurt? Do you think the cakes would retain their fluffiness? It doesn’t look like there are any other non-vegan ingredients, which is exciting!
These look adorable and easy. It’s too hot here for chocolate right now, or pretty much anything that isn’t ice-related, but these are definitely on my to-make list once it cools down.
Made these today for afternoon tea. Total hit with hubby and the kids. Many thanks. (Oh and I used low fat plain greek yoghurt (because that’s what was in the fridge :)) and they were just lovely.
These look like just what I need.
I have been waiting to make these because I need the mini springform pans, and didn’t want to make them in muffin tins, then it wouldn’t be a “snack” anymore.
I’ve tried a few of the recipes from David’s book, the pain depice, the fig olive tapenade and they all have been a success.
Made these this morning in my mini-muffin tin – 48 little tidbits of goodness! (baked them for about 13-14 minutes…) Almost made myself sick eating the batter equivalent of about two that wouldn’t fit in the tins…
(This is very long, but hopefully important enough to warrant the length.) When I’ve printed other recipes from your website, I’ve copied them into a Word document (complete with your copyright info, of course!) so I could use my font of choice and use up my blue ink (or else I wind up changing ink cartridges with a lot of blue left in them because red and yellow seem to go first). When I did that with this one, not everything copied over (using Firefox to view, and an older version of Word), like the line about being fancy and using the springform, although the instructions did continue after that. So I decided to try it at work instead (using IE to view and Word2007). That’s when it got really weird. The spacing was all messed up, and the actual instructions were nowhere to be found. So I looked at the print preview, and everything was there up to the line about the springform pans (which in both instances actually cut off after “much-neglected,” even though it was on different computers).
It could just be me. The internet could be teasing me with these, making me want to turn on the oven so I can bake them, even though it feels like it’s eleventy-one degrees in our kitchen, and then not allowing me to easily transport the recipe from our library to the kitchen without having to hand-write it (and I have carpal tunnel syndrome). But I thought I should let you know.
Fantastic! I love little muffins:)
Deb – I know how you feel about chocolate in the summer, those fruit desserts just call my name! These do look divine, though, and I’m a big fan of combining ‘chocolate’ and ‘snack’ and ‘yogurt’ into one recipe where you can (almost) convince yourself that they might actually be good for you?
I KNEW I had seen that recipe somewhere! And it sounded delicious both times and must now be made. David’s book is just great. As you said, it is hilarious and the recipes are a bonus. I have dulce de leche on my shopping list for those incredible brownies americaine that opened so many hearts and doors for him in Paris.
I made this! A) I spilled the chocolate all over my hand the first time and it was the most delicious accident ever, B) I used milk-free coconut yogurt and they actually turned out really really well!
But C) I did have a question–problem?–about something: I used sea salt and I don’t think it incorporated very well into the batter. Tips about this? It seemed like it flavored different spots differently, and while I didn’t find any chunks of salt I think maybe it was too large or I mixed it in too late. Any tips? I want to get it right before I share it with anyone…
I have a mini- mortar and pestle that I use to pulverize salt for baking as I only have kosher salt. I grind it finely and dump it in with the dry ingredients – no problems with lumps if salt. The tiny mortar and pestle was a gift in getting my pharmacy degree from a friend. Very useful item. I’ve seen them in Williams & Sonoma and other cookery specialty stores. Mortar is about the size of a walnut.
This is one I’m going to have to make with my daughter this weekend. She’s obsessed with tiny chocolate cakes. Tiny+chocolate=Princess. :)
Only got 2 ounces bittersweet and 2 ounces white chocolate at home. Also only got low fat yogurt. But they turned out to be awesome! I didn’t mix them too much so they are better mixed than muffin batter but less mixed comparing to cake batter.
But turned out very good. Fluffy chocolate cup cakes!
These sound awesome, and I think that yogurt is so much better in cake than all by its lonesome.
BTW you cracked me up with the mini Bruce Lee comment! :-)
these are so adorable
I made these little snack cakes last night, but substituted whole wheat pastry flour entirely for the all purpose flour. I think it left the snack cakes a shade dry, which I was expecting, given the difference in protein content between the flours. I also used a combination of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate – and the chocolate flavor was really perfect for a hot summer evening dessert! David’s book is definitely on my “to-read” list for this summer.
Made them. I liked them, but I have very peculiar tastes – I like a dryer cake. Boyfriend and dinner guest (and boss who had one earlier in the day) all gave it a thumbs-down. Too dry, they said. Also, I used coarse sea salt, which did not really dissolve – so occasionally, you’d bite into a bit of salt. Again, I love salt and chocolate, so for me it’s perfect. But I don’t think I’d make these for company.
I made these last night, and they were delicious! Put it with some cookies n’ cream ice cream, and I was in heaven. Love the almond extract in them! Thanks for the recipe!
I have a question about the weight of the flour. You listed 1 1/2 cups of flour at 200 grams. The packaging on the AP flour that I’m using says 1/4 cup = 30 grams. So for 1 1/2 cups = 180 grams. Would you suggest I use 200 grams of the AP flour? Or the 180? Curious. Thanks!
Weights always vary, especially when dealing with something as miniscule as grams, where differences in brand or the way the cup was filled with flour can result in a 20 gram or more different. When in doubt, defer to the recipe in front of you: the person who wrote it used that weight.
Made these last night and they were (past tense) delicious. Not dry at all, and we all loved the chunks of salt in them. We didn’t frost them, use whipped cream, or even dust with powdered sugar because the top crusts were concentrated chocolate goodness all on their own.
Oh, and I only had low-fat yogurt in the house and they turned out just fine.
I made these last night and they were so easy and they turned out delicious!! I love that they’re not overly sweet – perfect! Thanks Deb!
Great recipe!! I tried it last weekend and it was a hit! Thanks and keep them coming!!!
My hubbie forwarded me on this post saying I might like it. Yipsie do, I do like it. A post with paris, chocolate and the hint of a baby. I’ll be tuning in for more reading.
And Oh do they look like just the hit I need right now, I mean NOW.
I just have to chime in. Dinner last night served to eight guests:
Grilled Chicken Salad Bar (choose your own veggies)
Your AWESOME Challah bread
Blueberries & Strawberries with homemade whipped cream
THESE FABULOUS CUPCAKES.
All eight guests were extremely satisfied, and these snack cakes received so many many compliments.
I pretty much licked the screen reading this.
I’m making these to take to a concert in the park. I’m sure they will be a hit!
would you please provide some advice for how to avoid having lumps in the batter when mixing the wet into the dry? And also, do you allow the chocolate to cool until warm or just slightly before adding into the batter? i ended up having curd-like lumps in my batter :(
It will be hard for me to say until I make this again and pay more attention at that step. I did have some small lumps but they baked out. In general, just adding ingredients slowly and mixing them well with a whisk will help people avoid most lumps.
thanks for the advice! despite the lumps, they tasted great! light and fluffly and the almond extract makes them unique!
For those of you with a toddler or two to distract you while baking, you might learn that forgetting the sugar ENTIRELY in this recipe isn’t so bad. I just told my husband I made “bittersweet chocolate snack cakes.” They were quite good, plain and with a bit of tangy apricot jam. Deb, your recipes may also be accidently abbreviated with serendipitous results in the future as your wee one grows. :)
I made these yesterday en they are very good. I didn’t use the vanilla and almond extract, but it works fine without. Also I used selfraising flower instead of ordinary flower and no baking powder. The structure of the cakes has become a little bit dense, but I rather like it this way.
PS I did have rather big lumps in my batter, but I didn’t find them in my cakes.
The cakes look yummy! Will try them out today.
i have to get to the store and buy these ingredients. MUST MAKE THEM.
MUST EAT THEM!
droooooooooooooooooooooool….. yummmmmmy! yay! bye!
been waiting to make these and finally had a moment last night.
chocolate: guittard fr. vanilla, delicious.
yogurt: homemade, not strained, worked great.
oil: settled on Stephen Singer ex-virgin because it was the only thing in the pantry (and after eating the finished cakes, actually not a bad choice flavor-wise…)
all these things yielded a lovely little bite.
my only complaint, compared to some other tastes above, is that i’d dial back the almond extract. i dont know, maybe my particular brand is more potent?
it wasnt totally overpowering in the finished cake, but i def tasted it more than i would have liked.
–or maybe up the vanilla instead?
i also encountered lumps in the batter but whisked carefully to break them up. no prob. but next time i’d probably sift-and-fold dries in thirds into wets to mitigate this.
Let me first say I came (from daivid leibovitz) here for the recipe, looks great but i haven’t tried.
I just wanted to comment on your stereotypical portray of French people being dirty (since we seem to forget cleaning bathrooms). For as long as I’ve lived in France, neither my family house bathroom nor that of my family and friends were any dirtier than all those I visited in Ireland where the other part of my family is from or any other anglo saxon country I’ve visited, including the US. And, can you believe it, everyone I know washes. Maybe even David could confirm that too…
I happen not to find not to find such strories that rely not on knowledge of the other’s culture or country but on cloed minds and prejudice anywhere near funny. Offending would be more like it.
You have completely misread this post. I was summarizing a story in David’s book about his wacky cleaning lady having obsessions with cleaning some spots in his apartment and not others. It was hilarious. Nowhere did either he or I mention a) her sporadic nature being typical of where he lives, b) French people being dirty. You should not jump so quickly to be offended.
I just made these. They are phenomenal! Thanks for the recipe. And the coarse salt gives them an amazing salty chocolate-ness that reminds me of salted caramels. I am a little in love.
(I also ran out of sugar half way through and had to substitute powdered sugar – 1 cup granulated to 1 3/4 cup powdered – and they still turned out amazing. It took a little more effort to make the batter smooth but I found a whisk worked well to break up lumps.)
The lumps didn’t bake out of my batter, but the finished cakes still taste delicious. I think the batter would have been less lumpy if I’d used a whisk to combine the dry and wet ingredients, but I didn’t because the recipe seemed to suggest being careful not to overmix. I’m pretty sure the lumps are yogurt, rather than flour or egg white. Next time, I will sift the flour and use a French-style yogurt rather than Greek-style. Thanks for the recipe.
Want to make these in the MINI- cheesecake pan I fell in love with but can’t get the pan shipped to Canada.Does any “canuck” know where in Canada I can buy it?
Making these tonight to unleash them upon my coworkers tomorrow.
My dog is guarding the oven as they bake…
Marvelous! After dealing with house-buying stress and being slammed at work, I was naughtily craving something desserty and decidedly unhealthy — these saved me :)
Recipe notes: It’s no lumpier than a similar batter you don’t wanted overworked (e.g., brownie); as long as you mixed the wet ingredients until smooth, all should be well :) I agree that some (my husband) might prefer about half the almond extract. Other than over-measuring the flour, I don’t know how you could get a dry turnout from this; my batch was exquisitely moist with slightly crackly tops, but I weigh ingredients when baking (fewer dirty dishes — yeah!).
I made these in a mini muffin pan and they came out as great bite size snacks! I think this may be worse, as I am now prone to eat 5 at a time.
These were great — perfect texture, so moist and fluffy. I agree about maybe halving the almond extract though. My almond extract is brand new, so maybe it is extra potent.
Wonderful recipe. Make sure to use course salt – I felt like it added greatness to this recipe. There was something so therapeutic mixing these by hand versus the mixer. Happy Sunday.
I just made these with my supply of Belgian chocolate… they are awesome! Couldn’t be any better than just following the recipe!
I seem to be having the same problem as sosoclever…
I pulled out the recipe last night to make it after printing it a while back, and noticed it was incomplete-today I tried copying and pasting it into word, but as mentioned, it cuts off after the word neglected…
Made these yesterday for a friend in need, I believe they hit the spot. I actually used a bit less chocolate (i know, controversial) as I just smashed up a bar of Green and Blacks cooking chocolate which is 150g I think. Also, I left out the almond stage as it would kill me and I was sharing both the moment and the cake with needy friend. Despite these changes, amazing cakes and I recipe I will revisit. Thanks!
oh my goodness. I’m eating a hot-from-the-oven snack cake now. This is a JACKPOT recipe! Thanks for posting :)
These are amazing, the coarse salt is absolutely brilliant in them. I made them awhile ago and just might have to make another batch. I also read the Lebovitz book and it was so much fun, but would never have tried this recipe above all the others without your post.
This is great…I love to cook and my husband LOVES to eat, but am always worried about the fat intake because of all the butter involved. This one is a fantastic alternative. I’m gonna put a batch in the oven right away. Thanks so much!!!
Hey there! I tried printing this out but it cuts off after the first step in the directions. I also tried to copy/paste it into a word processor, and even though I copy everything, it still pastes only what it was printing before. I guess I could suck it up and actually write it down…but I didn’t know if anyone else was having this issue as well.
Made these today in a large muffin pan. they came out really superbly well, I baked them in a large muffin pan so they’re a lot bigger than the cute sized ones in the pic…which is a problem because I keep eating them! I didn’t have a baking scale so I think I ended up putting in more chocolate – this is never bad, but may have made it a tiny bit denser. Also didn’t have coarse salt so put in regular cooking salt and still turned out fine, though I will have to try again with the recommended kind. Thanks so much for this delightful recipe!
would a regular muffin pan also work?
thanks – they look soooooo delicious!!!
sorry, i found the answer already – same question was asked a few month earlier.
sorry, that i haven’t checked before, but there are so many comments.
Yay a simple yet delicious looking recipe that I can conduct in my small, cramped and ill equipped college apartment kitchen. I plan to make these to bring to my volunteering event for people who have raised money for cancer research :) Hopefully they turn out alright!
Just made these tonight, and they’re soo good. I also like them much better than recipes I’ve seen for chocolate muffins that use buttermilk instead of yogurt.
Just made these tonight for the first time and made a few changes, but oh my… these things are heavenly!
First I reduced the amount of oil to about 1/3c, increased yogurt to 6oz, and used fat free yogurt. I also couldn’t get past the overwhelming almond, even though it was only a little bit; will probably omit next time…
I did the math on everything and with the changes, these come out to be about 285cal per muffin (if you make 12). And yeah… they taste pretty awesome! Thanks Deb – this one’s a keeper!!
I think my snack cakes missed the memo on “infinitely moist.” They were very dry. Not inedible, but certainly not memorable. It might have been operator error, as I had to guess on the chocolate measurement and didn’t have anything but olive oil. When I try again, I’ll increase the yogurt, decrease the baking temperature and time, and be certain of the chocolate amount.
These are baking right now and I’m worried about them. I suspect I let the melted chocolate sit too long (although it was still liquid-y when I poured it into the batter), because the batter was not at all like normal batter or like it looks in the picture; dividing it among the muffin cups consisting of grabbing a handful of what felt like fudge and putting it in the cup. The batter tastes good and the baking process smells good, but I’m afraid it’s going to be a dried-up wreck coming out of the oven… four minutes to go, and several have already developed the deep cracks across the top. I suspect I’m spoiling my heretofore perfect record of Smitten cooking (I’ve had a couple things turn out less than fabulous, but they’ve always been edible and not felt like a waste of ingredients).
More notes: mine came out much darker than those in the picture (again, fudge-like). I tried putting about a half-tsp of skim milk on each cake last night after they had cooled, and they soaked it right up. Just ate one, and it was edible, but very different from what I expected: again, dark fudge-y and a little inclined to stick to my gums, rather than light and springy (as the yogurt cake from a few days earlier was). I’m going through every divergence from the exact recipe:
I used Baker’s brand unsweetened baking chocolate squares;
I used 2% fat Liberte yogurt rather than whole milk;
the eggs were still cool from the fridge, not yet room temperature;
I had no almond extract, so I subbed an equal amount of additional vanilla extract;
I misread “coarse salt” and thought “kosher salt,” so I used the latter.
I would love to hear from anyone more knowledgeable than I (which is to say, with any knowledge at all) about the science of baking explain how these sorts of divergences from the recipe turn a light cake into a fudge-y one.
I made these with mint milk chocolate (hey, it was on sale: 2 for $3!) and melted butter instead of oil. They were phenomenal, though I think I will dark chocolate and peppermint extract next time, as I had to add a bit of cocoa, since the batter wasn’t quite chocolatey enough. I’m not even going to admit to how many I ate, though suffice it to say, it was more than three but less than 10.
I meant to say in my previous post that I didn’t use the almond extract, since I was using mint chocolate.
Okay, so I was going to make these again soon and wanted to print the recipe. Hit the “print” button, everything came up fine, but when it printed, it stopped in the middle of the first instruction. I then highlighted the whole thing and tried the browser print button, and it did the same thing. I just printed about 8 of your recipes (to save my poor computer from splatters in the kitchen, because your site is my current obsession), and this is the only one that didn’t print in its entirety. Very weird, and I noticed that no one else mentioned this problem, but any ideas why?
Now this is beyond bizarre. I brought up the original recipe, highlighted it and tried copying it to a Word doc. No such luck. It stopped after “neglected.” How can I print this recipe? without using a pen, that is.
Finally managed it by copying only from “mini-springform” to the end and inserted it in my word doc. But it doesn’t have your pretty “sk” at the top. :(
Hi Jennifer — It looks like there might have been a broken link after the word “neglected”. Maybe that caused it. Try refreshing your browser (clearing the cache) and see if it works now.
I made these again for my birthday yesterday (I’m as bad as you, Deb), and I made them with sour cream instead of yogurt (since I had no yogurt), and one bar each of milk and dark chocolate, with peppermint extract. The one bar of dark chocolate gave it a nice depth of flavour, but the milk chocolate prevented it from being too intense for me, as I’m not a huge dark chocolate person.
It made about 19 cakes… I ate about a dozen. Terrible, I know, but it was my birthday, and calories don’t count on one’s birthday, right? I have yet to try making these with almond extract, now that I’ve gotten myself hooked on my peppermint variation. They were a huge hit with the company I had over, as well, and even better after a night in the fridge. I’m surprised they lasted overnight, but I was saving a couple for my poor overworked brother.
I’ve made this recipe 3 or 4 times now and i just love them. The perfect amount of chocolately goodness and not too heavy. In case anyone is still reading all the way to the bottom of these comments, I was going to say that this time I made them with half oil and half applesauce, in an attempt to make them a few less calories.
They are still really moist and delicious. Maybe not quite as rich as using all oil, but still a very nice, but fairly light snack. I really don’t even miss that extra oil. I got 18 muffins, and calculate them to be 4 points on weight watchers. Thanks again for all your great recipes, Deb.
Just made these last night. I used the rest of the whole milk bought for last week’s blueberry boy bait to make some homemade yogurt. Then I needed to make these, of course! Excellent – although I had to do two batches because the mini muffin tins didn’t take too much batter. I ended up with maybe 2 dozen minis and 1 dozen larger (although a few of those were kind of flat, but I had already greased the pan so I was committed to 12). I think I would try the applesauce in lieu of the oil next time to cut some of the fat, overall though I think they were excellent!
I just baked these for my daughter’s birthday in class tomorrow, as 24 cupcakes and two mini cakes (I doubled the recipe). Interestingly, I’ve made the non-choc cake many times and in contrast I found this cake unbelievably dense and rich (I don’t like choc myself). I also found the cakes and cupcakes domed quite high. I also lowered the heat to 175 and still found the cupcakes only needed 20 minutes.I used non-fat yogurt but I wouldn’t have thought that would make a difference. Perhaps my German baing chocolate was too high in cacoa content? Normally I would have cut half the oil and used applesauce, but I didn’t want to experiment with a 7 am deadline and all the stores closed!
I’ll be dropping them off with a huge can of sweetened whipping cream and I hope that the flavor is not too intense for children- I was expecting something lighter. My husband loved it, though.
I just made these and they are my new favorite thing. They are wonderful – not very sweet, very chocolatey, and more like a muffin than a cake. I was 1/4 cup of flour short and they still came out great.
I made these 2-3 times. Though I don’t smell anything, my husband complains of some smell so I kept on increasing the quantity of Vanilla. Today I put 3 tsp of vanilla. He still complains of the smell. Will it turn out same if I use melted butter instead of oil?
Please help… They turn out extremely well except for this smell that only my husband gets :-(
I just made these tonight and they are perfect!!! I usually have problems with my electric oven (pear and choc cake def problems, and cauliflower cake cooked in half the time) but not tonight….amazing…I added pears and it didnt affect the cakes at all! Deb i just wanted to let you know that I love this website and am hooked at trying your recipes. Great job! Thanks for putting both metric and us as I live in Italy and it gets tricky with some ingredients.
Just made this today. I didn’t have enough bittersweet chocolate so I used some white chocolate in stead but reduced the sugar. I also used only 1/4 cup of olive oil and added 1/4 cup extra yogurt. The result? Excellent! I licked the mixing bowl clean :-P and shared a muffin with the rest of the family as soon as it was cool enough to eat. :-) With my modification the 12 muffins have about 255cal each, not very light but worth every calorie!
Now I need to get David’s book from the public library to read. :)
Love you blog! Thank you!
I’m a big fan of yours (and David’s). I tried this with 85% cocoa chocolate and in a 9×5 loaf tin. The batter didn’t really look very much like the batter in your picture. Perhaps because of the chocolate? I was worried it might seize up and split because it became very stiff very quickly. I stirred very little as directed but DID use a electric hand blender to blend the flour and yogurt mixture (very briefly though). It took about 1 hr 15 minutes in my always slow oven but came out quite dry and dense, though it looked like it had risen nicely. Ok but not the light moist cake I was hoping for. It could be down to the chocolate, over-blending, the tin, the local flour… Hmmm…
Hello! I just found your site and have been addicted – running through years of recipes in 2 days!
One quick question – where did you get your mold in this recipe? Is that the bouchon mold from Williams-Sonoma? I’ve been looking for one for ages! (Also live in NYC)
It’s a mini-springform pan.
Made this today, but had to sub sour cream for the yogurt, and baked it in a loaf pan. Delicious! Reminds me much more of a “bread” than a “cake,” in a good way. Thanks for sharing, Deb!
This was my third recipe from Smitten Kitchen. So far everything I have made (the olive oil cake and the blueberry boy bait) have turned out wonderful with rave reviews. I tried this tonight, following the recipe exactly. I cooked for 20 minutes and checked with a toothpick. They were not at all cooked. So I left them in for 25 minutes, let them cool and removed from cupcake tin. When we tried them, I thought that they were too dry. I am a newbie at baking, so any advice would be most welcome. I am wondering if they were too dry because they were overcooked? Should I have taken them out earlier? Or should I have taken the cupcakes out of the tin while they were still warm so that they wouldnt continue to cook? Also, my batter was quite sticky and difficult to dole out evenly into the tins. I love the idea of the recipe, and if anyone has any advice, I will try again.
Linzi, I can’t speak for Deb, but my experience with this recipe (per my comment right above yours) yielded a product that was somewhere between “bread” and “cake.” It was firmer and drier than I expected, but in a good way. I also found that the flavor, texture, and moisture were better developed after the bread rested in a sealed ziploc bag overnight; it never became springy, like a cake, but it went from “firm” to “tender,” if that makes sense.
I baked mine in a loaf pan instead of Deb’s adorable mini-springforms (wish I had that pan!), and needed to bake it for over an hour. If you were using a cupcake pan, they probably needed the extra bake time you gave them.
It sounds like you did everything very well; could it be that you expected more of a “cake”-like result than what you got? (That was my initial experience.) It may also just be a matter of taste; you may have done it perfectly, but it may just not be your thing. :) I had that experience with Deb’s beautiful Swiss buttercream recipe – followed exactly, got the results, but found out that I just don’t like Swiss buttercream. (That blueberry boy bait, on the other hand… drool!)
Lisa – thanks so much for the post. That was exactly how I felt about these “snack cakes”, it felt more like a mix between bread and cake. I guess I expected a springier product, but when it turned out drier and firmer I thought perhaps I had overcooked it. I will try again with maybe a scant bit more yogurt. I also tried Deb’s Swiss Buttercream and it just didnt work for me. I love buttercream, but I couldnt get the texture right on this one – and it was just too buttery (yes, I guess there is such a thing!)
These were delicious and light. Baked these two days ago, and substituted the almond extract for peppermint and everyone loved it. They do become moist after a day in the container.
yay! I just made these and they’re REALLY tasty (although the ones I made in my silicone cupcake pan taste a little plastic-y…time for some investigation). PERFECT for a third trimester pick-me-up (and it looks like one of your other preggo commenters wanted to put berries in hers, too…i think i’ll make them again with sour cherries). I live in France and can’t find baking soda/powder; they come pre-mixed in little pink packets called “chemical leavening” (11 g of powder per packet), and I just threw one of those in and the recipe turned out fine. And: about the speedos. Once my husband didn’t have one, so the pool here LOANED him one…how a loaner speedo is more hygienic than one’s own board shorts is beyond me. LOVE your posts talking about how you wish you were in Paris because I am in France wishing I could eat at the New York restaurants you blog about… greener grass.
Hello Deb! I’ve been looking around your beautiful blog for a while now and I finally got the occasion to try these… They are absolutely perfect!! Everyone loved them at home and I can assure you they disappeared in a couple of hours…
Thanks for this one and congratulations for your blog, it inspires me every time!
Oh these are fabulous. ‘Snack cakes’ really is the perfect name for them as that’s exactly what they are. They’re chocolatey without being overly so which can probably be attributed to the fact that the little cakes themselves are light, fluffy and moist. Since I had batter leftover but no more muffin pan to pour it in, I poured it into a small ramekin and made a little cake for myself. Since it was my own I felt OK with experimenting (after all, the only one who would suffer for it would be me) and I sprinkled the top with a little cinnamon and some left over salt that I had ground up but didn’t end up needing all of it for the recipe. I LOVED the sprinkled salt layer which gave me a little more of that salty-sweetness that I enjoy and I think next time I will do that for all of the cakes and it wasn’t too salty at all which I was afraid of. Didn’t really taste much cinnamon but I still might put some into the recipe next time to see if it adds a little something extra – although these cakes are wonderful on their own. These cakes are good cooled, out of the oven but they are a little dry day-of and require milk to wash them down. After a night covered in saran wrap on the counter, they are perfect… still light and fluffy but moist as well and I don’t find myself NEEDING milk. For those of you who have had trouble with large salt granules, I would recommend using a salt that you can grind. I have a sea salt grinder which has those large chunks inside but which then grinds down into much smaller chunks. Still larger than regular table salt but not huge monster pieces that I really can’t imagine melting into the cupcake. Also, as with everything (ok, most things), do not over-mix the batter. It’s ok for there to be some lumps as long as there isn’t any dry flour hanging around, the lumps will bake out. This mixed VERY easily by hand and I would 100% recommend hand-mixing for this one instead of a machine to reduce the risk of over-mixing. I had a regular-sized muffin tin at 350 for 20-22 minutes (can’t remember now since I baked my ramekin right after…) and a knife came out clean. Perfect crackled top. Thank you so much for this recipe! Will be making this again, definitely!
I replaced the oil with coconut oil with great success. I made mini-muffins, to further snack-ify them, and baked them at 375 for 17 minutes. They were moist and delicious. I think they would be good with a cream cheese frosting, if you wanted to make them more of a dessert.
I just made these. They are really easy and taste great. They have a grown-up chocolate taste. I used Greek Yogurt. The only problem I has was that my Baking powder was expired..eeeek! I guess I havn’t been baking much. It seemed to work anyway though. So, baking powder is now on the grocery list!
These turned out great! I didn’t have almond extract so I subbed more vanilla (for a total of 1.5 tsp). I also only had chocolate chips, and those seemed to work fine! I made 12 regular-size muffins, and I love how they rose with a big dome and aren’t flat like a lot of muffin/cupcakes turn out. Laurel, I love the idea of coconut oil – will probably try that next time! :o)
I found your blog a couple of months ago and have religiously scoured through your recipe index since, as everything I’ve taken on from this site so far has worked wonderfully, but somehow everytime I come back I end up with half dozen more bookmarked recipes, a solid twenty or so saved and printed out recipes and more than I can count opened tabs waiting for me to calm down a bit on the ‘open in new tab’ button and be processed into some kind of saved form for later use. Your recipes and the lovely stories that accompany them never cease to impress me and your blog is absolutely one of my favourites :) it makes me appreciate cooking and good food and this recipe reminded me of a caramalized pear yoghurt cake I made for for Easter, it’s from Matthew Evans Winter on the Farm and is beautifully light and fluffy and the family loved it. I’m sure these will be just as good
this is my third recipe that i m trying from your blog and whoaaaa what a great result! I made these for my son’s friends and frosted it with your sour cream and corn syrup frosting (left over from best birthday cake). They turned out great and the kids loved them :)
Overall the flavor is good, but a bit dry. I used half semi-sweet and half unsweetened chocolate for a more adult palate. I used Medditeranean yogurt, 10% fat. I also had problems with the white lumps. I should have stirred better, but I was afraid they would become tough. My favorite is still the standard vanilla yogurt recipe from France that you use the yogurt pot to measure. Its easy and always moist and only requires one bowl.
Just made these. They are so beautiful and picture perfect! Definitely more of a muffin than a cake. I like them..I like the texture and I love that they’re not too sweet, because I made them for my 4 yr old. I’m trying to raise him preferring dark chocolate to milk. He loves them! Anyway due to pregnancy brain I accidentally only put 1/4 cup yogurt…yet I’m still tasting the sourness of it in the muffin and not in a good way. Next time (and there WILL be a next time!) I’ll use vanilla yogurt. Other than that I really like these and will definitely be making them again.
Oh I had some tiny lumps in my batter that manifested themselves as bits of “vanilla” cake amidst the chocolate. It didn’t bother me or affect the taste at all but I suppose if I were picky about it, next time I would strain the batter through a mesh sieve.
I baked these today. They came out perfectly! Nice texture and great taste, not too sweet. And the almond extract definitely came through when I took a bite! And the best part was I didn’t have to use my mixer for these! Lovely. Thanks Deb for another great recipe :))
I’m a relative newcomer to your blog, but have become a huge fan. Made this recipe today because my sick two-year-old demanded cake … Found out too late that I didn’t have enough muffin forms, so made this in a loaf tin instead! Needed twice the time in the oven, but absolutely delicious. Thank you :-)
So so amazing. Love you.
Hi! J’Adore your blog!!!! :) I live at high altitude and was wondering if these muffins would work just as well here? Also – I need to make 2 batches of 12, would 2 bars of semisweet chocolate, chopped, be enough for both batches???I like the idea of lightly sweet chocolate muffins…. :) I know this is an extremely old post, but If you can reply, I would be really happy! :) Thanks!!!
Hi Kaya — I don’t know what size your bars of chocolate are, so I cannot tell you if they will be enough. Thanks.
Just finished making these! The second batch is still in the oven… They turned out perfectly! :) thanks for replying!
Just made these today and they were great! I like that they were neither too sweet nor too rich. I made them in mini muffin/cupcake pans and they were the perfect size for after-dinner nibbling. Next time, I think I will try reducing or eliminating the almond extract (since it almost overwhelmed the chocolate flavor), eating them with whipped cream and berries, and maybe substituting something in for some of the oil (more yogurt? more chocolate? applesauce?). Any advice?
“Or, if you’re Deb and have to be fancy dust off that much-neglected mini-springform pan and coat it with a nonstick spray.” Link shows mini-muffin pan, not springform. I clicked in anticipation of seeing springform mini-pans! Never heard of those! …because they don’t exist.
They are springform-ish. The sides don’t spring but the bases are removable (unlike muffin pans) so you can use them for cupcake-size cheesecakes and the like. You don’t need to invert the pan to remove the cakes.
I think the story of the cleaning lady’s obsessions (David’s household help) is very funny, and in no way offensive to the French culture / people.
This is a beautifully crafted recipe. I made a variation that suited my tastes nicely: oil = 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 coconut (mixed in with the chocolate); didn’t have full fat yogurt, so 1/2 fat free Euro style, 1/2 full fat sour cream; subbed coconut extract for the almond extract; used coarse Hawaiian sea salt. I baked them in madeleine pans and the recipe yielded about 16 madeleines plus some batter for me. They took around 14 minutes to bake. I took them out when the tops split. Yum!
These are WONDERFUL. Marvelously delicious. I made them as our weekly family treat (in the dead of New England winter) and I can’t stop eating them with cups of black coffee and tea. I made mine using a standard size muffin tin and all 12 came out light, airy, and hugely domed. Definitely a dessert, don’t be fooled by the name “snack cakes”. Full-fat yogurt, chocolate, sugar, eggs…DESSERT! So, so good.
These are a huge hit! Moist and light. Only change I made: skipped the almond extract and added 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon. Will be made again.
I thought these were terrific! not too sweet, which is just how I like dessert. I think they are really easy to overbake, though. when I checked them the first time, they seemed pretty gooey, so I gave them three more minutes. however, I think 1.5 would have been better. I didn’t have almond extract (which to me tastes like medicine), so I subbed in half a teaspoon of vanilla paste. great! next time, I might try peppermint. my only question is, what’s up with the snarky commenters? jealousy, I’m betting. oh, and I love love love your cookbook!
I baked this recipe today for the first time with my three-year-old granddaughter for her daddy’s birthday. We made them exactly as described in the recipe and my granddaughter was able to eagerly help every step of the way due to the simplicity of the recipe. To say that the resulting cupcakes are a hit would be a gross understatement. We used MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread for the icing which sent the taste sensation into the stratosphere. Thanks to you Deb for sharing and, of course, to our guru David Lebovitz. Once again, a sure-fire winner.
Deb, I have two sets of the mini springform pans (2 x 12 each) and can’t wait to make these cute little cakes in them, like you did. I wonder if you remember what you did with the extra cups you did not use. I think you said it makes 16 in these pans, so what did you do with the other 8 open cups which did not have batter in them? I usually fill water in on a regular muffin tin, but am not sure if water would leak out of these with the removable bottom? Any advice? Thanks so much.
Yikes, I totally do not remember what I did but I skip the water thing all of the time with empty muffin cups and wouldn’t worry about doing so here.
These look beautiful. I wanted to bake these for my son’s birthday party. Would these work as mini cupcakes? He doesn’t like rich cakes or frosting, so I thought it would be perfect. How about sprinkling a few mini M&M on top before putting in the oven? Would they sink to the bottom or crack? Thank you, always, for your insight and inspiration.
Oh yum. I made two batches: one as-written (but I was too timid with the stirring, they had lumps) and then another with coconut oil and also a big handful (~1/3 cup) of shredded coconut stirred in with the melted chocolate. I brought them in for morning tea and everyone agreed they were firmly muffins (i.e., breakfast!). The choco-coco ones were a really big hit.
Gotta love your pan! :O
These little cakes are addicting! I didn’t stir the batter enough and it had tiny flour lumps in it, but we didn’t mind at all. They were gone in a day.
Looks fantastic. But could the base of the batter be mixed with other wet ingredients or left alone if one wanted to try other versions? Nothing against chocolate. Would it be a direct weight exchange? 200 grams of mashed bananas for example in place of the chocolate?
Italy mamma — It might, but I haven’t tested it to be sure. If you’re looking for a banana loaf, this is my favorite. If you’re looking for a classic yogurt cake, this one from Dorie Greenspan is pretty straightforward.
This made 12 regular size muffins with the blue scooper and 5 mini muffins. I used Greek yogurt. They had a nice texture. Next time I would use a better quality chocolate for a more intense chocolate flavor.
Made them again with Cabosse d’or dark chocolate. They are even better than before! It took 19 min for 15 muffins with the blue scooper.
Deb, how do you think this recipe would fare if I added berries into these cakes?
I remembered this recipe this weekend after my family was up many, many times (sick three-year-old) throughout the night. I had a glop of leftover yogurt and a yearning for gentle chocolate therapy. (Actually, I had used the yogurt the night before to make a smoothie for the aforementioned preschooler. Oy.) I pressed on, using sour cream and buttermilk instead. These cakes were just what we needed. We tossed them in a cloth-lined basket and nibbled on them throughout the day. Wonderful! Delicious! Thanks for making!
I just made these, and really enjoyed the texture. I cut down the sugar by 50 grams as well, just because they are for the kids, and they are still plenty sweet. I think they would be great with organic peppermint extract. Another excellent Smitten Kitchen recipe!
A question, can I use sour cream instead of yogurt?
I just finally got around to making these. I made about half the batter in mini muffin tins that were greased. The muffins are totally crumbling when I take them out and not holding their shape. Where did I go wrong? Also the big and small muffins are caving in the centers. Any thoughts on what happened?
I tried this but it came out way too sweet. I used semisweet chocolate and should have halved the sugar. I also used greek yogurt and they came out a little dry but maybe that was because of the excess sugar.
See, I just don’t understand why it took me so long to discover you. Your writing style is exactly what I like, humorous and charming and about food! of course. I cannot wait to read the book you recommended. Yet another thing that’s exactly my style. One of my secret fears is that someday in my life I will have read all the good food memoirs and there will be no more left to read. This book takes me one step farther from that becoming a reality. :D
Can i used this recipe and turn it into a whole cake?
I’d think so. Maybe an 8- or 9-inch springform?
Just made this in a 9 inch heart shape pan (because – Valentine’s Day). I also had enough batter for 4 four ounce ramekins. The cake was delicious!
Mine were a bit dry but I realized I grabbed the wrong yogurt (fat fee-oops) so just in the event you are going less fat, it does not work. Going back to do it correctly next time. The chocolate flavor was wonderful though!!!😉
I have decided that I am not going to make any more recipes unless they are Smitten Kitchen approved! My SK recipes are the only ones that consistently turn out exactly as advertised. These chocolate cakes were perfect and delicious, somewhere in-between a muffin, brownie, and cake. Fudge-y in flavor but light and fluffy in texture. I used non-fat Greek yogurt because it was all I had and they still came out great. For chocolate I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips (again, what was in the pantry). I may upgrade to an even darker chocolate in the future. A bit of an issue with lumps of flour when I added the chocolate mixture but I am used to my muffin batter being lumpy, so I just baked them off and they came out just fine! Even in a muffin tin they had those delicious crackly tops Deb shows in the photos. I highly recommend this recipe!
If anyone is interested in pre-making or storing these babies… I was planning on making a big batch for a big party so just try it out, I made some, froze some, defrosted them in the fridge and forgot about them for about a week and (I know it might be unspeakable for some) they tasted kind-of-even-better after all that time. The flavour and texture were really nice. And I used Belgian chocolate instead.
Perfect, delectable little chocolate muffin cakes! They turned out as the recipe described and we love them. I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate (60%) and low-fat yogurt (all I had) and they are moist enough and have wonderful flavor. My only issue is the clumps of flour mixture that occurred when I stirred the wet mixture in and didn’t disappear in baking as I had hoped they would. I didn’t want to overmix, but I will have to do something different next time to prevent the lumps.
I just made these today and they are excellent! Mine turned out a very moist, light chocolate flavor and texture. I did use a wire whisk, after reading the comments about the batter being lumpy. This worked well, yet didn’t affect the texture at all. Will make these again, definitely. The only change I would make for my next baking day is not to make a double batch! I mis-calculated; since I wanted to take some to a friend gathering and also have some for home, I thought I’d need more. It made nearly 45 mini muffins and 6 giant muffins. But I intend to freeze the remainder few and have them with some chocolate ganache. Thank you for another excellent recipe!
Made these today. Delicious!!! Used plain Greek yogurt and grapeseed oil. They were perfect. Made 12 regular sized muffins and 1 small bundt cake (about a 3 cup size)
Someone in my family has a tree nut allergy. Can I omit the almond extract and if so, would I need to replace it with anything? Also, can I replace the vegetable oil with butter?
Of course, just use vanilla extract or another you like. I haven’t made it with butter. It should work but can be a little less moist at room temperature.
Any reason i can’t use a normal mini muffin pan for this?
Is it necessary to use a mini springform pan?
No reason at all
Is there any way to make these with less sugar, without ruining them?
Is it possible to use cocoa powder instead of melting chocolate?
These are delightful. Not too sweet, a hint of tart, tender. Perfect to pair with coffee. I love them. I used semi sweet chocolate, all vanilla (I was out of almond extract), grape seed oil, and low fat plain yogurt. Couldn’t be happier with them. My teens love them too.