chocolate cupcakes frosted and topped with sprinkles in cupcake tin
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Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

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These chocolate cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender, and they pack a strong kick of chocolaty flavor in every bite! A light and fluffy chocolate buttercream is the perfect frosting to pair with the cupcakes.

* This post was updated with new photos 🙂

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    Calling all my fellow chocoholics!

    Not only are these cupcakes super chocolaty and rich, they also couldn’t be any easier to make! I absolutely love cupcakes because they’re a lot easier to make than cakes, AND they’re portable!

    chocolate cupcakes frosted and topped with sprinkles in cupcake tin overhead image

    Chocolate cupcakes ingredients:

    To make these chocolate cupcakes and the chocolate frosting, you will need:

    Flour
    Sugar: granulated for the cupcakes and powdered for the frosting
    Cocoa powder: either Dutch processed or natural cocoa powder will do. I usually use plain, unsweetened cocoa powder because it works with pretty much every recipe
    Baking powder & baking soda: the baking powder helps with airiness and moistness, and the baking soda gives a bit of a fudgy aspect to it
    Salt: to balance out the sweetness in the cupcakes and the frosting
    Eggs
    Milk: for the cupcake batter
    Milk or heavy cream: again, for the buttercream frosting. You can use either one. The milk will yield a slightly denser and fudgier frosting, while the heavy cream will yield a fluffier and richer frosting. Since milk is not as thick as heavy cream, you’ll end up needing slightly less for the frosting if you use milk

    chocolate cupcakes frosted and topped with sprinkles on counter top head on image

    Vegetable oil: makes for the most moist cupcakes!
    Vanilla extract
    Water: boiling water is another secret to getting moist cupcakes! The hot water helps kick start the baking powder and baking soda before the cupcakes even start baking. The heat also blooms the cocoa powder, giving the cupcakes a more chocolaty flavor
    Instant espresso powder: this is optional, but it makes the cupcakes taste more chocolaty! The cupcakes shouldn’t taste like coffee. Instead of the water and espresso powder, you can also use strongly brewed, hot coffee
    Butter: the foundation of the chocolate frosting

    How to make chocolate cupcakes:

    First, we start by whisking together the dry ingredients. So that’s going to involve combining the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk, and set aside.

    In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together most of your wet ingredients: the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Combine your wet and dry ingredients, and mix until you get a thick batter.

    If using the espresso powder, dissolve the instant coffee in your boiling water. Then add the hot water to your cake batter, whisk well after the addition. The batter will be very loose at this point!

    chocolate cupcake batter

    Portion out your cupcakes into a 12 count muffin tin that’s been lined with paper liners. Bake the cupcakes in the center of a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

    Cool for about 10 minutes in the muffin tin, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely to room temperature before frosting.

    baked chocolate cupcakes
    chocolate cupcakes baked closeup

    For the buttercream frosting, place your butter in a large bowl and beat for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until it slightly lightens in color. You can do this by hand or using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

    Add about half of your powdered sugar to the butter, and beat until the powdered sugar is fully dissolved. Add the remaining powdered sugar along with your salt and beat again until you no longer see any dry portions of powdered sugar.

    Add your cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream. Beat for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until your mixture is light and fluffy! If your frosting is too dense, add in another tablespoon of milk or heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency.

    Frost your cooled cupcakes, and you’re done!

    chocolate cupcakes frosted and topped with sprinkles overhead image

    Chocolate cupcake storage:

    Without frosting, these chocolate cupcakes can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature. Keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container. The unfrosted cupcakes will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.

    After frosting, it’s best to keep your cupcakes in the fridge so your buttercream doesn’t soften too much! The frosted cupcakes will also keep for about 1 week in the fridge.

    If you liked these chocolate cupcakes, check out some of these other recipes!

    no bake chocolate biscuit cake
    2 ingredient chocolate fudge
    chocolate truffles
    fudgy brownies
    one bowl chocolate cake
    sour cream vanilla cupcakes


    Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

    These chocolate cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender, and they pack a strong kick of chocolaty flavor in every bite! A light and fluffy chocolate buttercream is the perfect frosting to pair with the cupcakes.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Bake Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Servings 12 cupcakes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate cupcakes:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, (optional) * see notes

    For the chocolate buttercream frosting:

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk or heavy cream ** see notes

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 12 count muffin tin with paper liners, and set aside.
    • For the chocolate cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine. Set aside.
    • In a medium bowl, combine your eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together to break up the eggs and combine everything.
    • Pour your egg mixture over your dry ingredients. Mix everything together until you get a thick batter. If using coffee, dissolve your instant espresso powder in your boiling water. Add the water to your cake batter, whisking until you get a smooth batter. It will be very loose!
    • Portion your batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup no more than 2/3 of the way full. Bake in the center of your preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely to room temperature before frosting.
    • For the chocolate frosting: Place your butter in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a wooden spoon if mixing by hand, beat the butter for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until it turns a pale yellow color.
    • Add about half of your powdered sugar and beat into the butter until incorporated. Add the other half of the sugar along with your salt, and beat the mixture again until all the sugar is dissolved.
    • Add your cocoa powder, along with the vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream. Beat for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy, and you no longer see any dry cocoa powder. If the frosting is too stiff, add in more milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after the addition, until it reaches your desired consistency.
    • Frost your cooled cupcakes, and serve!

    Video

    Notes

    * The espresso powder in this recipe is optional, but highly recommended! Your cupcakes shouldn’t taste like coffee at all, but the coffee makes them taste even more chocolaty! You can also use strongly brewed black coffee in place of the water and espresso powder.
    ** You can use milk or heavy cream as your main liquid. I personally like using heavy cream when I have it on hand because it yields a richer and fluffier frosting! Milk works just as well, but it will give you a slightly denser frosting. Since milk is also not as thick as cream, you’ll need less liquid if you use milk, so keep an eye out for the consistency!

    Enjoy!



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