You’ll understand the allure of these dark chocolate potato chip cupcakes if you’ve ever dipped your potato chips in chocolate. Dark chocolate and potato chips make some of the best “chocolate chips” you’ll ever have. When combined as a cupcake, you end up with cupcakes that are sweet and salty with a subtle crunch.
As you can see from the photo, the dark chocolate potato chip cupcakes are not frosted. This makes it easier to take them to an outdoor event on hot summer days, and the crunchy chips are all the topping you’ll need – although, I wouldn’t blame you if you served some ice cream on the side too! No frosting doesn’t mean that the cupcakes can’t look adorable.
The dark chocolate potato chip cupcakes use my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe as the base for the cake. Whenever I make it, it’s nice to again appreciate how stellar and straightforward that recipe is.
How to Decorate These Cupcakes
I used a number of props to decorate these cupcakes and give them a summer picnic feel. These originally came in a subscription box along with the grass tip that I used to decorate the serving plate, but the company that produced the box no longer exists. I’ll share sources for these or similar products below.
Cappel’s sells the large ants I put in the piped grass.
Instead of using acrylic flowers, you could try decorating the cupcakes with edible flowers.
How to Pipe Grass
Instead of piping grass on top of the cupcakes using a grass tip (which would make the potato chips soggy), I piped a field of grass frosting for my cupcakes to rest on using the grass tip. When I served the cupcakes, my friends ended up spreading some of the plate frosting onto their cupcake bites. Some people even dipped chips into it!
I filled my piping bag with green food coloring mixed into my go-to vanilla frosting.
The grass plate is half of the fun of these dark chocolate potato chip cupcakes, so don’t forget this part. If you have never worked with a grass tip before, don’t worry – you can do it! The grass will look like grass even if you aren’t perfect about it – my lawn certainly doesn’t look perfect and even.
Watch the video below to see how it’s done.
Dark Chocolate Potato Chip Cupcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder natural or Dutched will both work with this recipe
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 ounces chocolate Choose your favorite. You can use any chocolate that you like except white chocolate or candy melts. The chocolate doesn't have to be one typically earmarked for baking - any chocolate bar that doesn't contain mix-ins like nuts, Rice Krispies, nougat, etc. will work.
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 9 tablespoons vegetable oil This is the same as 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon - measure in a liquid measuring cup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup water room temperature, measured in a liquid measuring cup
- 2 cups potato chips crushed; salty potato chips are recommended
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
- Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
- Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
- Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
- Mix in water until just combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
- Sprinkle crushed potato chips over cupcake batter in the liners and put into the oven.
- Check for doneness at 18 minutes - a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. If they are not done, check again every three minutes until they are done.
- Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature.
- If you would like to add coffee to the recipe, either add 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules along with the sifted dry ingredients, or replace the water with room temperature brewed coffee.
- Using different cocoa powders will alter the taste of the cupcakes, but you really can't go wrong - it's all chocolate! Some of my favorites are Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder, Penzeys Natural Cocoa Powder, and Cacao Barry (when I want something really dark).
- The chocolate in these cupcakes doesn't have to be one typically earmarked for baking, but it should be dark. I typically choose chocolate with less sugar and a more complex flavor. A melted Patric Chocolate bar yielded my favorite version of these cupcakes to date. I also enjoy TCHO, Scharffen Berger, and Lily's sugar-free chocolate.
- If you don’t have sour cream in the house, I’ve done extensive testing and found that yogurt works perfectly as a substitute for sour cream.
- Use any mild vegetable oil. I’ve used canola oil, generic vegetable oil, and safflower oil.
- To crush potato chips, put them in a plastic bag, seal, and roll across the bag with a rolling pin. Alternatively, you could use a food processor; be careful to only process until you see small chunks as you don't want a fine powder.