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Devil's Food Cupcakes with Pomegranate Sugar Shards

5 from 3 votes
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  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup  freshly brewed coffee
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • chocolate ganache frosting
  • 16 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup

pomegranate sugar shards

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice

pomegranate syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the cocoa and hot coffee until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the melted butter and sugar until combined and the butter is cooled, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in each egg one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extra and scrape down the bowl if needed. Beat in the cocoa/coffee mixture until combined. Add the flour in 2 batches, alternating with the room temp sour cream and finishing with the flour. Beat until just combined.
  • Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure to fill each liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting with the ganache. Once frosted, stick the pomegranate shards into the center. Drizzle with the pom syrup and serve!

chocolate ganache frosting

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the heavy cream and syrup in a saucepan until it’s just bubbling around the edges and warm, but not boiling. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate melts – this will take a few minutes! You want it to be completely smooth.
  • Stick the mixture in the fridge. Stir it every 5 to 10 minutes, until it’s thick enough to spread or pipe onto the cupcake without running. I refrigerated mine for about 1 hour, then spread it on the cupcakes!

pomegranate sugar shards

  • Spray a baking sheet liberally with nonstick spray. Fit a heavy saucepan with a candy thermometer. Add the sugar, syrup and pom juice and heat over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture bubble until it reaches 300 degrees F without stirring. Once it’s at 300 degrees F, remove it from the heat and as soon as it stops boiling, pour it on the sheet. Allow to cool for 1 to 2 hours and then when it’s sold, twist the pan or hit it with something hard (the back of a screwdriver?!) to break it into pieces.

pomegranate syrup

  • Heat the sugar and juice in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it bubble for 1 to 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool completely. It will thicken as it cools.


[cupcakes from martha, glass shard idea from tip toe fairy]

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