Recently, I was flattered by a gal at POM Wonderful who asked me to try some of the recipes on their website. You know, the pomegranate juice in the funny shaped bottle?

As a child, I remember when pomegranates first came into my life as an extremely rare treat, something like the oranges of much earlier decades. A grade school classmate actually brought a few to show-and-tell one day. We opened them and plucked the “seeds” out one by one.

Fast-forward 25 years and POM Wonderful comes out with a funny bottle filled with beautiful dark red juice that seems to have the benefits of the fountain of youth. Good for your heart, packed with antioxidants and yowzaa… there is even talk of erectile function!

Of all the delicious cocktails and and savory recipe options, I decided on these chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Big surprise. My review? Yum. Moist, chocolate-y, easy to make. If you are looking to sneak something healthy into treats, this is a good option. And, if you are vegan, these cakes have no eggs or butter. Just replace the cream cheese frosting with something like this or this.

Find more POM Recipes here.

POM Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water, heated to boiling
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar (not wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk

1 cup arils from 12 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the center. Place a paper baking cup in each of 24 regular sized muffin cups. Whisk together the dry ingredients to combine well. In a large measuring cup, combine pomegranate juice and boiling water. Add oil, vinegar and vanilla to the pomegranate juice mixture. Add to the flour mixture all at once and whisk to combine (batter will be lumpy). Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups (about half full). Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and free of crumbs. Let cool. Frost with pomegranate chocolate or vanilla cream cheese frosting and decorate with arils.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla, powdered sugar and milk, and beat until frosting is of spreading consistency.