Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Chocolate cupcakes. You probably saw this one coming, didn’t you? I can be rather transparent. Especially since I’ve been talking about the best chocolate cake ever so much and all. But, for this recipe, you have Claire to thank.



A while back, Claire emailed me and said she needed some help.

She wanted to make a special treat for her fiance and wanted to make a dozen cupcakes like the cake.

Now, when someone sends me an email asking for my help, I try to do everything I can to help them. And, sometimes that results in my family eating more chocolate – of which, they really love.

Since I’d only doubled the recipe to make chocolate cupcakes for a crowd, I wasn’t entirely sure I could tell her without a shadow of a doubt that she could only make 12 from the recipe. So I went to work.

As a side note, whenever you can say that testing for the best chocolate cupcakes is work, you know you are one lucky girl.


Anywho, I also wanted to be sure to size a frosting recipe to work perfectly with the amount of chocolate cupcakes.

Although having extra buttercream frosting doesn’t seem like a bad idea, I always try to keep the recipes even when I share them with y’all.




I didn’t get all fancy when frosting these cupcakes either.

I just put all of my buttercream frosting into a zip top bag, snipped off the corner and went round and round on top for a generous bit of frosting on top.

Of course, you can get fancy, fancy with them if you like, but I know that my family just likes things simple, yet delicious.




Which really makes these not only the best chocolate cupcake in my book, but also about the easiest one I’ve ever made.

Again, the cake batter is thinner than most, but results in a very tender and moist cupcake.

The batter can easily be mixed in a bowl without the use of heavy duty mixers making it great to throw together after your family has gone to bed or bright and early in the mornings. (Can you tell I’ve done that a time or two?)


Best Chocolate Cupcakes |



If you love chocolate and are looking for what my family calls the best chocolate cupcakes, this is your recipe.

If you’ve wanted to try my recipe for the best chocolate cake ever and just didn’t want to be tempted by a whole cake, this is your recipe.

If you know someone who needs a little pick-me-up or has some celebrating to do, this is your recipe.

Or, better yet, it’s Thursday. Let’s just declare it chocolate cupcake day and go make ‘em.

You in?

Here’s my best chocolate cupcakes recipe with vanilla buttercream frosting. This recipe yields 12 cupcakes and can easily be doubled.

4.8 from 105 reviews
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Get this easy recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.
Serves: 12
  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup boiling water
    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
    3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
    4. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
    5. Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ¾ths full.
    6. Place in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    7. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
    8. Prepare Buttercream Frosting according to instructions.


    I hope you enjoy these as much as we do and hey, I’m here for ya, man! Err… you know what I mean.

    Robyn xoxo



    Subscribe by email and never miss another post by Add A Pinch!


      • 250


        Absolutely! You can make the buttercream in advance and transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for several months. Just let it come back to room temperature before using when ready.

    1. 256

      Priya says

      Hi!! These cupcakes look delectable!! Can’t wait to try this tonight! Could you advise if I should use normal cocoa powder or dutch processed cocoa powder or if it will make any difference?

      • 259

        Karen says

        I used grapeseed oil because that was what I had handy and they turned out fantastic. I also doubled the recipe, and they took longer (about 25-30 mins) to bake at 325. After about 20 mins I bumped the temp to 350. Still turned out great.

    2. 260

      astrid says

      Hi! I’m from Holland, and this is the best recipe for chocolate cupcakes I ever made! I made them with a vanilla creamcheese frosting. So delicious!!
      If I want to add some liquid flavour….say like rum of irish coffee creme….do I have to reduce the water? Or is it save to add the extra liquid into the batter?
      Thanks for this fantastic recipe!!

    3. 261

      Ignaura says

      I’m new to baking, so I’m still looking for the perfect recipe of some of my favorite desserts. This cupcakes the best!!!! I was nervous because the batter was very this, but they turned out awesome, so moist and soft and fluffy and tender. I used you vanilla buttercream frosting and it is great, didn’t have espresso powder in hand, so I’ll have to try adding it and see how much of a difference it make. you have a new reader!!

    4. 262

      nancy says

      Thanks for this recipe! Getting ready to make it now, but what is espresso powder? Is this instant coffee powder?

    5. 263

      Jill says

      By far the best cupcakes I have ever made! I used Black Onyx Cocoa powder from The Savory Spice Shop (I order it from Santa Fe) and the cupcakes are so rich in flavor and in color. They are almost black. These are always a hit! Thanks!!!!

    6. 264

      Catherine S says

      This is truly the greatest chocolate cake recipe ever. I even have made it subbing in gluten free flour and almond milk and it is still amazing. Well Done!!

    7. 266

      Nancy says

      I made this recipe twice and the cupcakes came out beautifully – so moist and fluffy! I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, though, as the first batch was too sweet for me. Thanks for the recipe!

    8. 267

      Judy Botejue says

      I made these cupcakes today. They were amazing. The most soft and best cupcakes I have ever made.

    9. 268

      Celle says

      I am already super impressed with your chocolate cake recipe, so finding this recipe for cupcakes has elevated me up to another level of “Baking highs”! I wish to make them a day ahead of time, is this possible? I don’t want to sacrifice any quality of the baking what so ever.

    10. 269

      Jocelyn says


      I tried this recipe today, not sure if I’m doing the right thing, before adding hot water what is the texture of the mixture? Thick liquid or dough-like? Also, can I substitute vegetable oil with melted butter? They taste good, but I slightly overbaked them, will definitely try again tomorrow! :))

    11. 270

      Dorrian says

      I made these cupcakes tonight and can you say….. Wow! They looked so good I couldnt wait until it cooled so I didn’t

    12. 272

      Tracy Miller says

      These were fantastic! I used King Arthur cake flour. They turned out great. Very moist and tender. Thank you for a great recipe.


    Leave a Reply

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

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    Rate this recipe: