★★★★★

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

This rich and fudgy Chocolate Cupcake is my go-to recipe for super moist and flavorful chocolate cupcakes! Topped with chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting, the taste is incredible!

Love chocolate? Our Fudgy Brownies are literally the best. We might be biased, but you bake a batch and let us know what you think! For more chocolate, try this Gooey Chocolate Cake Bar!

Chocolate cupcakes topped with swirls of chocolate frosting.

Why this Recipe Works

I have been testing chocolate cupcakes for years, always trying to tweak and perfect it. Like these Hostess Cupcakes!

Here it is friends, the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe!

I wanted a cupcake that is not only rich and fudgy, but strong enough to hold frosting! A cupcake that stays moist for days and doesn’t dry out.

So I turned to an ingredient I always trust to make baked goods extra moist: buttermilk. It locks in moisture without disrupting that pure chocolate goodness.

There’s no doubt these cupcakes are phenomenal. Here’s why:

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make chocolate cupcakes.

Two Kinds of Chocolate. I recommend bittersweet baking squares, chopped into bite size pieces. Anything over 60% cacao is perfect. I also use unsweetened cocoa powder (this brand is my favorite)!

Hot brewed coffee. Coffee helps enhance the natural cocoa flavor of the chocolate without giving the cupcakes a coffee flavor. Brew it fresh or reheat a leftover cup from this morning!

Buttermilk. My easy homemade buttermilk substitute works wonders in this recipe if you don’t have store bought.

Vanilla extract. Use pure vanilla extract when possible for best flavor. Learn how to make your own vanilla extract to enhance all your baked goods!

All-purpose flour. Because cocoa powder can be heavy, you need all-purpose flour to help structure these cupcakes, and cake flour is too delicate in this recipe. Make sure to learn how to measure flour properly!

Vegetable oil. Unlike in my chocolate cake recipe which uses butter, we use oil in cupcakes. This helps improve the chocolate flavor without drying out the cupcakes or leaving them too crumbly.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make chocolate cupcakes.

Bloom the Chocolate.

Place the chopped chocolate squares and the cocoa powder in a bowl. Pour HOT coffee over the chocolate mixture. Stir to melt and combine all the chocolate. The heat of the coffee helps BLOOM the chocolate flavor!

PRO TIP: If you don’t want to use coffee, use hot water instead!

Make the Batter. Add the dry ingredients, followed by the wet ingredients. Beat until the batter is thin and well combined.

Bake. Spoon the batter into a lined cupcake tin. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Cool cupcakes completely before adding frosting! You could also top these with our vanilla sour cream frosting!

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting being piped on top.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use hot coffee. The warmth of the coffee helps melt the chocolate, making it easier to incorporate info the batter. If you use leftover brewed coffee, reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute before adding to the cocoa.
  • Scrape the bowl: As you mix the dry ingredients into the wet, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the chocolate doesn’t settle.
  • Use good quality chocolate. The better the cocoa and chocolate squares you use, the better the finished cupcakes will taste.
  • How to tell when cupcakes are done. Some people swear by the toothpick test. I prefer to touch the tops of the cupcakes. If it bounces right back, the cupcakes are done. If it stays indented, they need a little longer.
  • Strawberry. What goes better with chocolate than strawberry? Add a swirl of our homemade strawberry frosting to the top of these rich chocolate cupcakes!
Chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.

Recipe FAQs

Why is my cupcake batter so thin?

This chocolate cupcake batter is supposed to be thin! Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly into the cupcake pan. It will bake up into perfect cupcakes.

Can you frost cupcakes without a frosting bag?

Yes, you can certainly frost cupcakes without a frosting bag! To pipe the frosting: Transfer the chocolate frosting to a ziploc bag. Snip off the corner of the plastic bag. Squeeze the frosting onto your cupcakes as desired. You can also use a flat spatula to spread the frosting over the chocolate cupcakes.

How do you store these cupcakes?

Baked chocolate frosted chocolate cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container. They will keep well for about 3 days.

Why did my cupcakes sink after baking?

Chocolate cupcakes tend to sink after baking if the liners are too full. Also, cocoa powder is not structurally strong enough to hold up the amount of moisture in this cupcake. Adding more flour would create a dense cupcake. It’s okay for some sinkage while it cools!

Chocolate frosted chocolate cupcakes with colorful sprinkles on wooden platter.

More Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

This rich and fudgy Chocolate Cupcake is my go-to recipe for super moist and flavorful chocolate cupcakes! Topped with chocolate or vanilla buttercream frosting, the taste is incredible!

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate squares, chopped
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp chocolate syrup

Instructions

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Prepare cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour hot coffee over both, then stir until chocolate is melted.
  3. Add sugar, flour, kosher salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add in vanilla extract, eggs, vegetable oil, and buttermilk. Beat for about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl several times (and the bottom too to make sure the chocolate doesn't settle).
  4. The batter will be thin, that's okay! Using a large cookie scoop, spoon batter into prepared cupcake tins, about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, or the cupcake springs back from a touch of your finger. Remove and cool completely on wire rack.

For the frosting:

  1. Beat butter in large mixing bowl for 3-5 minutes, until pale in color and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, milk, and cocoa powder. Beat an additional 3-5 minutes until fluffy. Slowly add in chocolate syrup, beating until smooth.
  2. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use hot coffee. The warmth of the coffee helps melt the chocolate, making it easier to incorporate info the batter. If you use leftover brewed coffee, reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute before adding to the cocoa.
  • Scrape the bowl: As you mix the dry ingredients into the wet, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the chocolate doesn't settle.
  • Buttermilk: Don't have any on hand? Use my buttermilk substitute instead!
  • Use good quality chocolate. The better the cocoa and chocolate squares you use, the better the finished cupcakes will taste.
  • How to tell when cupcakes are done. Some people swear by the toothpick test. I prefer to touch the tops of the cupcakes. If it bounces right back, the cupcakes are done. If it stays indented, they need a little longer.
  • STORAGE: Store cupcakes at room temperature in covered container for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 4g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Chocolate frosted chocolate cupcakes are pure cocoa perfection. With fluffyy buttercream frosting, these ultra moist cupcakes are guaranteed to satisfy even the most intense chocolate craving!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Learn How To Become a Better Home Baker
Sign up for the Shugary Sweets FREE Email Course Today—soon you’ll say, "I made it from scratch!"

Categories:


Posted on April 20, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Well I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. These were the most PERFECT chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever tried. Perfectly moist – but they didn’t crumble apart when I took a bite. Sometimes moist cupcakes do crumble – but these held together and were scrumptious to sink my teeth into!

  2. So much better than cupcakes from a mix! I made them with chocolate frosting this time, next time I’m going to try peanut butter frosting. 🙂

  3. Your cupcakes look so delicious! I’ve never tried making cupcakes before, but after reading your recipe I feel like I have to. Thank you for sharing!

  4. It just blows my mind that boiling water would not mess up a cake/cupcakes. I have seen several recipes that call for it.

  5. Happy birthday! You look fabulous and anyone who has raised 4 kids deserves cupcakes, daily!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *