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Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes are the dessert representation of one of my favorite childhood books, Matilda by Roald Dahl

Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes on a wire rack

In the book (and movie), Matilda, has the ability to move objects with her mind, a power I sorely envied as a child.

Honestly, I still envy it, particularly when I’ve just settled down with Avocado Brownies, only to realize that (*gasp*) I forgot to add ice cream and now must stand up and walk 3 feet to the freezer to retrieve it. Agony!

Matilda would be able to float that carton on over without disruption. Jealous!

Anyway, back to the story. In Matilda, the antagonist is Agatha Trunchbull, Matilda’s cruel and unusual headmaster.

Who, despite her horrific ways, has one quality worth emulating: excellent taste in chocolate cake (I’d love her opinion on my Instant Pot Cake).

Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes topped with homemade ganache sitting on parchment paper

5 Star Review

“Made these salted chocolate olive oil cupcakes last night and they were amazing! Love the salty/sweet combo!”

— Nicole —

I can no longer remember the exact words Roald Dahl uses to describe The Trunchbull’s cake, only that since the age of nine when I first read this book, it has been fixed in my mind as the epitome of what the ideal chocolate cake should be:

  • Outrageously moist
  • Sinfully chocolaty (like these Brownie Bites)
  • AND paradoxically light and indulgent at the same time

The Trunchbull’s chocolate cake is the chocolate cake by which all others should be measured.

I baked (and eaten) dozens of chocolate cakes in pursuit of the perfect chocolate I imagine when I think of Matilda, and I have finally found it in today’s salted chocolate olive oil cupcakes.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes with ganache and sprinkled with sea salt on a wire rack

How to Make Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes

Forget the over-dried, sickly sweet-frosted excuses for chocolate cakes that appear at office anniversary parties. Salted chocolate olive oil cupcakes are decadent, unbelievably moist, and reminiscent of an old-fashioned Triple Chocolate Cake you would be proud to serve your grandmother.

Ingredients for chocolate olive oil cupcakes with sea salt

The Ingredients

  • Olive Oil. My secret ingredient. In addition to being heart-healthy, olive oil resulted in a far more moist, tender chocolate cake than any other butter-based chocolate cake I’ve baked.
  • All-Purpose Flour. No need for fancy cake flour, this recipe uses everyone’s staple pantry flour of choice.
  • Sugar. Sweetens and tenderizes the cupcakes.
  • Cocoa Powder. Gives these cupcakes a deep, intense chocolate flavor.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Function as leaveners to give the cake some lift.
  • Low-Fat Buttermilk.Adds moisture and a subtle tang to the cupcake batter.
  • Egg. Lends richness to soften and enhance the texture of the cupcakes.
  • Vanilla. Balances and accents the cocoa flavor.
  • Coffee. Used in both the cupcakes and ganache, coffee adds moisture and intensifies the chocolate flavor.
  • Chocolate and Heavy Cream. Create a heavenly ganache when warmed and swirled together.

Substitution Tip!

If you are looking for something a bit lighter (relatively—we are still talking about chocolate cake here), a whipped ganache or chocolate buttercream would also be fabulous, and I imagine a mocha cream cheese frosting would be excessive in the best possible way.

  • Fleur de sel. A light sprinkling of this fine sea salt cuts the chocolate’s richness juuuuust enough to make them absolutely suitable for multiple servings.
Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache in a glass bowl with a spoon

The Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the coffee.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on low. Gradually stir in the coffee and continue to mix on low until just combined.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in to the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Prepare the ganache by warming the heavy cream, chocolate and instant coffee together with a pinch of salt. Stir until smooth and shiny.
  6. Spoon warm ganache over each cupcake and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve and ENJOY!
Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache on a wire rack

Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes are chocolate cake as chocolate cake was intended to be. I like to think that Roald Dahl would approve. With this recipe before you, I have but one question to ask:

What would Bruce Bogtrotter do?

Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes

4 from 3 votes
These Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes are the most decadent and moist chocolate cupcakes you will ever bake! A must for chocolate lovers.

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Servings: 12 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:

For the Salted Chocolate Ganache:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee
  • Fleur de sel or fine sea salt for sprinkling


  • Place rack in the upper third of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a a standard 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until combined. In a separate medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and continue mixing, just until combined. The batter will be very thin.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups and bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then with a fork, gently lift them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Prepare the ganache: Place the chocolate, heavy cream, and instant coffee in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not allow the water to boil or to touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the chocolate, stirring often, until almost completely melted. Remove bowl from the sauce pan and stir gently with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is silky smooth.
  • While the ganache is still warm, spoon it over the top of each cupcake. While the ganache is still wet, sprinkle with fleur de sel. Let cupcakes sit a few moments to set, though ganache will not harden completely. Serve and enjoy.


  • To Store. Keep leftover Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Although coffee is included in the batter and ganache, it adds moisture and intensifies the chocolate flavor. The cake, however, does not taste like coffee.


Serving: 1(of 12)Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 2gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

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  1. Made these salted chocolate olive oil cupcakes last night and they were amazing! Love the salty/sweet combo! They kinda fell apart trying to get them out of the muffin tin but I just put them in some cupcake liners after the fact and nobody seemed to mind!5 stars

    1. Nicole, I am so excited to hear that you liked these cupcakes!! I’m sorry that they fell apart on you, but I am glad that the taste made up for it :-) Did you let them cool before removing them? Thank you so much for trying the recipe and for letting me know how it turned out!

  2. Help! I made these today and followed your directions exactly. I baked them 18 minutes and when I checked on them they had sunken big time and the surfaces were covered in air holes. I took them out and let them cool for 20 minutes, but I can’t get them out of the cupcake tins without them falling apart. It’s not that they’re sticking to the tins, as I did use a cooking spray. They just crumble and fall apart as I try to get them out. The flavor is good, but I don’t know what I did wrong. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marie! I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with these cupcakes. Unfortunately, it’s so hard to say what might’ve gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you, but it sounds like something may have been mismeasured. I hope you were still able to enjoy them!

  3. I followed the recipe exactly but these were a disaster! They sunk a ton in the middle and overflowed over the top so they were just twelve little craters. Taste and texture seem okay but not presentable at all. Bummer!2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Sarah. I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you. It has worked well for myself (and others) and I wished it would have been a hit for you too. It’s really hard for me to know what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you, I’d say that maybe not fill the cups so high next time and see if that alleviates the problem with them overflowing.