Chocolate Pomegranate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Pomegranate Syrup

I'll admit it.

Up until recently, I was scared to eat a pomegranate.

It might be because they stain EVERYTHING they touch, and I'm not the most coordinated person at the best of times (particularly with food; if it can stain, it probably will). It could also have something to do with the fact that I've been taught all of my life to eat every part of the fruit but the seeds ... I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks (plus they sort of look like jellied minions of doom ... I'm not wrong). 

Jellied Minions of Doom in their Lair

Luckily for me, overcoming a debilitating irrational fear was next on my bucket list (right after marrying Prince Harry ... I'm still working on it) so I decided to don my darkest clothing to avoid stain-age (complete with balaclava [not the delicious greek dessert]) and infiltrate the pomegranate lair.

Now I'm sure this has painted an interesting picture in your minds thus far, dear readers. Me, clad in black looking like some sort of evil henchman, creeping up on some poor unsuspecting fruit (screaming on the inside [me not the fruit]) ready to spill its guts and seize the day!


Unfortunately, I'm not that brave (or that cool ... plus I don't own a balaclava). So here's the real story:

Me, clad in whatever I was wearing at the time cowering against my kitchen counter not at all like any sort of evil henchman, staying as far away as possible from the unsuspecting fruit (screaming on the outside [still me not the fruit]) as my brave friend seized the day for me.

So let's recap: still afraid to eat/touch a pomegranate, and I will never be inducted into the Evil League of Evil. Got it. But, the dirty work having been done for me, I was now free to throw together a cupcake which, although 70% evil, tastes pretty darn good!

To be honest, I wasn't sure what flavours really meld well with pomegranate having never eaten one myself. However, you really can never go wrong with chocolate in my mind, so that's what I went with (for those of you peculiar people that don't like fruit with your chocolate, come up with your own flavour and let me know!). I whipped up a quick chocolate cupcake batter and folded in the pomegranate seeds (because despite being evil, they are surprisingly delicate to work with) resulting in an extremely thin batter except for the pomegranate seeds of course; if this is your result you haven't done anything wrong, though filling the liners like this is an extremely messy job so once again dear readers, please leave your white prada jumpsuit in the closet for this one.

While the cupcakes were baking I made the chocolate buttercream frosting because really friends, you can never ever go wrong with more chocolate. Because I was slightly nervous about how the batter would cook due to it's inconsistent consistency (say that 5x fast), I rotated the cupcakes at the 10 minute mark. This allows for them to cook evenly and indeed the finished product turned out to be evenly cooked while staying incredibly moist.

It was at this point dear readers that I had a bit of a moment. I looked at the remaining juice from the pomegranate sitting in a bowl of my kitchen table and I thought, it's now or never. Facing my fears I walked over to the table, gingerly picked up the bowl and poured it through a strainer into another bowl. I added some sugar (to take away the evil) and I set it to a boil on the stove (to get rid of any remaining evil). The resulting homemade pomegranate syrup is not only impressive but entirely delicious! It's the perfect addition to the cupcakes drizzled overtop of the frosting, cutting the sweetness of the chocolate with its tart but still sweet flavour.

When I was finished, and the cupcakes had cooled, been frosted, and drizzled with pomegranate syrup, I picked one up, closed my eyes, and took a bite: "crunch". That's the sound of victory my friends; I had finally faced my fears and was reaping the sweet sweet rewards. It's also the sound the cupcake will make when you bite into it because the pomegranate seeds are still intact. Just make sure you let your tasters know (my boyfriend's dad actually thought they were grape seeds!). And, as always dear readers ...

Happy Baking!

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup boiling water

1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tins with baking cups. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and stir until combined. Stir in boiling water. The batter with be very thin. Fold in pomegranate seeds. Fill baking cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating halfway through. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons milk (I used 2%)

Cream butter with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the bowl of the mixer. Mix on low speed until the sugar, cocoa, and butter are combined.. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla, salt, and milk and beat for 3 minutes or until combined.  
Pomegranate Syrup:
2 cups pomegranate juice (from a real pomegranate)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on high until brought to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until mixture reduces to a quarter; this will take about 45 minutes. Take off heat and let cool slightly. 


  1. Sarah, it is an absolute delight reading your blog. You have such a wonderfully quirky voice when writing and I love reading all about your adventures in the kitchen. You come up with some delightfully delicious recipes that I can not wait to try out for myself. Always loved baking, but cooking was more my forte.. though reading your blog, I find it transfers a little bit of your passion into my own kitchen for baking again and I can not wait to try out some of your fantastic recipes. I can see you doing very well in your business and I wish you much success and enjoyment doing so. Have fun! Thank you for sharing your wonderful personality and recipes in this blog. :)

    1. this was an absolutely beautiful comment that I have read over and over the past year. thank you for your kindness and support. If you've tried any of the recipes please comment and let me know how things went! hope to hear from you again, and thanks for reading!

  2. Ooooh you should make a cupcake that tastes like pecan pie! (That's my fave kind of pie!) I feel this would be amazing.

    1. Hey girl! I actually just made some chocolate pecan pie cupcakes a little while ago. Those will be up on the blog soon ;)

  3. This is the first chocolate pomegranite cupcake recipe that doesn't sound super complicated. But I was wondering if there is a way to substitute pomegranite juice for the seeds? And if so how much.

    1. Hi Brittaney!

      Thank you so much for your comment :) you're right, it isn't too hard! and it's definitely delicious. If you want to sub pomegranate juice for the pomegranate seeds, I would sub out half of the milk (1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice). Good luck, and thanks for reading!



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