Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

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This chocolate cupcake recipe is easy to make from scratch with simple ingredients. They are the best, moist chocolate cupcakes with a rich chocolate flavor and perfect texture. Topped with our favorite chocolate buttercream frosting, these chocolate cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate any special occasion. 

front view of a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting with the wrapper unwrapped


Once you try these from-scratch chocolate cupcakes, you’ll never reach for a boxed mix again! Topped with our favorite chocolate buttercream frosting, these chocolate cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate any special occasion. 

Adapted from our recipe for the best chocolate cake, these are the best, moist chocolate cupcakes with a rich chocolate flavor and perfect texture. Made with simple ingredients, they come together in no time and are seriously the best chocolate cupcakes you’ll ever eat. 

front view of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe: Ingredients & Substitutions

As always, we’ll discuss the ingredients in these chocolate cupcakes and some possible substitutions – although I don’t really recommend tampering with this recipe. 

overhead view of the labeled ingredients in this chocolate cupcake recipe
  • All-purpose flour. Cake flour or bread flour are good substitutes. To make them gluten free, use a 1:1 all purpose gluten-free baking flour.
  • Granulated sugar. Use regular white sugar or organic cane sugar for the best results. 
  • Espresso powder. always have espresso powder on hand to make chocolate desserts (like this chocolate cake, chocolate zucchini cake, etc.). It’s definitely worth purchasing if you love baking. You can substitute instant coffee.
  • Canola oil. Oil keeps these chocolate cupcakes very moist. You can substitute equal amounts of melted butter or another neutral oil if desired, however canola oil yields the best results. 
  • Sour cream. Full-fat, plain Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream. I recommend using full-fat ingredients.
  • Whole milk. 2% milk or half and half are good substitutes. 
  • Vanilla extract. You can switch up the extract and use almond, peppermint, orange, etc. if you prefer flavored chocolate cupcakes.
  • Mini chocolate chips. These are a must. Regular-sized chocolate chips sink to the bottom of the cupcakes while baking. Be sure to use mini chips for the best results. 
up close front view of a chocolate cupcake cut in half with chocolate frosting

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

As always, we’ll walk through how to make chocolate cupcakes step-by-step, and don’t forget to watch the video. This chocolate cupcake recipe is so simple to make! 

Begin by combining the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Set aside to use later. This step is important to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed and that there are no lumps. 

two overhead photos showing How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

Next, combine the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together canola oil, eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla until the mixture is smooth.

Once the wet ingredients are combined, add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.  

two overhead photos showing How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

Stir in the mini chocolate chip until evenly distributed.

two overhead photos showing How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

Bake

Next, use a ¼ cup measuring cup to fill each cupcake liner with ¼ cup of batter. Then bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

two photos showing How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

Cool

Place the cupcake pan on a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature (takes about 30 minutes). Once cooled, lift cupcakes in their liners out of the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

front view of 6 chocolate cupcakes cooling on a wire cooling rack

Frost

When the chocolate cupcakes are cooled, frost them with chocolate buttercream frosting , vanilla buttercream frosting, peanut butter frosting or homemade vanilla frosting  I use the following tools to decorate cupcakes:

front photo showing frosting being piped onto a chocolate cupcake

Store

Store these chocolate cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve at room temperature. 

Freeze

It’s really easy to bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes and freeze them. Simply follow the recipe and let them cool completely. Then transfer the unfrosted cupcakes to an airtight container and freeze until you’re ready to frost and serve. 

front view of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe FAQs

Can you double this Chocolate Cupcake recipe? 

Yes! You can easily double (or triple) this chocolate cupcake recipe. This is a great option if you want to make enough homemade chocolate cupcakes for a large crowd. 

How do you keep cupcakes moist?

Make sure to store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer. Often times putting them in the refrigerator will dry them out.

front photo of a chocolate cupcake with a bite taken out of it on a plate

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Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Laura
This chocolate cupcake recipe is easy to make from scratch with simple ingredients. They are the best, moist chocolate cupcakes with a rich chocolate flavor and perfect texture.
5 from 8 votes
Course brunch, cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Cupcakes
Calories 219
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a standard muffin tin with 12 cups and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and espresso powder. Set aside
  • In a large bowl, whisk together canola oil, eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.
  • Add mini chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to fill each cupcake liner with ¼ cup of batter.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
  • Place cupcake pan on a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature (takes about 30 minutes).
  • Once cool, lift cupcakes in their liners out of the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, frost with chocolate frosting and serve.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • All-purpose flour. Cake flour or bread flour are good substitutes. To make them gluten free, use a 1:1 all purpose gluten-free baking flour.
  • Granulated sugar. Use regular white sugar or organic cane sugar for the best results. 
  • Espresso powder. always have espresso powder on hand to make chocolate desserts (like this chocolate cake, chocolate zucchini cake, etc.). It’s definitely worth purchasing if you love baking. You can substitute instant coffee.
  • Canola oil. Oil keeps these chocolate cupcakes very moist. You can substitute equal amounts of melted butter or another neutral oil if desired, however canola oil yields the best results. 
  • Sour cream. Full-fat, plain Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream. I recommend using full-fat ingredients.
  • Whole milk. 2% milk or half and half are good substitutes. 
  • Vanilla extract. You can switch up the extract and use almond, peppermint, orange, etc. if you prefer flavored chocolate cupcakes.
  • Mini chocolate chips. These are a must. Regular-sized chocolate chips sink to the bottom of the cupcakes while baking. Be sure to use mini chips for the best results. 
Frosting
Frost these cupcakes with this chocolate buttercream frosting, vanilla buttercream, peanut butter frosting, or homemade vanilla frosting  I use the following tools to decorate cupcakes:
Store
Store these chocolate cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve at room temperature. 
Freeze
It’s really easy to bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes and freeze them. Simply follow the recipe and let them cool completely. Then transfer the unfrosted cupcakes to an airtight container and freeze until you’re ready to frost and serve. 
Doubling the Recipe
You can easily double (or triple) this recipe. This is a great option if you want to make enough homemade chocolate cupcakes for a large crowd. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for making a cupcake recipe! We LOVE your chocolate cake and I wanted to make cupcakes from it for my daughter’s birthday, but wasn’t sure how until I saw this near the bottom of the cake site. I’m excited to make this! 😋

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe makes a tender, delicious cupcake, probably the best i’ve ever had! And, i’ve been searching for cupcake/cake recipes and baking for a long time! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    These are the best cupcakes. They are so delicious. Made these for my sons birthday. My son said he wants these cupcakes every year

  4. 5 stars
    AMAZING chocolate cupcake recipe! It was outstandingly moist and had just the right amount of chocolate in it. I made these for my son’s birthday along with your chocolate buttercream frosting, and he wanted more and more!
    Great recipe, I love your food blog!

  5. 5 stars
    I made them but without the cream on the top cause i wanted them more like muffins, eventhough they are soooooo delicious AND moist 💕 I baked 16 muffins AND my husband & I ate them all througout a whole week and they remain fresh, moist AND delicious outside the fridge. I’m starting to cook since the quarantine AND i think your recipes aré awesome!!