Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

A chocolate cupcake on a pewter platter

This chocolate cupcake recipe is a perfectly moist, light, fluffy cupcake with a super chocolatey buttercream frosting! How can you go wrong?

chocolate cupcakes

Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Made from scratch cupcakes are always the best! They are just as easy to make and are great for any occasion.

You will never use a box mix again. I promise these cupcakes will deliver the moist, deep chocolate flavor and perfect texture everyone craves!

Ingredients Needed for the Cupcakes

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Large egg
  • Buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Hot strong coffee (or hot water)

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make an easy substitute by adding 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1/2 cup measuring cup, then filling the rest of the way with milk. Stir, then let sit for 5 minutes before adding to the recipe.

chocolate cupcake batter in a glass bowl

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, set aside.

In a medium-size bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl add the room temperature egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until combined. Add the hot coffee and mix together until combined. This batter will be thin, don’t panic.

Fill the paper cupcake liners only 1/2 full ( I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup). Be sure to only fill the cupcake liners halfway full not 3/4 or even 2/3 full like most recipes.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

Cool completely before frosting.

unfrosted chocolate cupcakes on a wire rack

Ingredients Needed for the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Unsalted butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Heavy cream or milk
  • Salt
  • Pure vanilla extract

How to Make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Using a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer beat the softened butter on medium speed until creamy and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, as well as the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

Frost the cupcakes as desired and top with chocolate sprinkles or pearled sugar.

You will love this recipe so much it will be a go-to from now on!

chocolate cupcakes

Can I Use This Chocolate Cupcake Recipe to Make a Cake?

You can use this recipe to make a super moist chocolate cake instead of cupcakes. Just keep in mind this recipe only makes 14-16 cupcakes which is the same as one square baking dish or one 9-inch round cake layer. If you are trying to make a cake in a 9×13 baking dish or create a two-layer cake, just double the recipe.

The oven temperature stays the same, but the baking time will change since individual cupcakes cook faster than cakes cooked in larger pans. Cakes cooked in 9-inch baking pans should take about 30-35 minutes to bake, but just be sure to test the center of each cake with a toothpick to test for doneness.

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Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

This chocolate cupcake recipe is perfectly moist, light, fluffy cupcake with a super chocolatey buttercream frosting!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate buttercream frosting, cupcakes, moist
Servings: 14
Calories: 412kcal
Author: DSTR

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder I used Hershey's Special Dark
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot strong coffee

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder I used Hershey's Special Dark
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar or more or less
  • 4 Tbsp Heavy cream or milk or more or less

Instructions

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, set aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • In a large bowl add the room temperature egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until combined. Add the hot coffee and mix together until combined. This batter will be thin, don’t panic.
  • Fill the paper cupcake liners only 1/2 full ( I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup).
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Using an electric mixer beat the softened butter on medium speed until creamy and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, as well as the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Frost the cupcakes as desired and top with chocolate sprinkles or pearled sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 502IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

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