This Chocolate Cupcake recipe makes moist, delicious cupcakes! These chocolate cupcakes, from my Best Chocolate Cake Ever, are so easy and always favorites for the Best Chocolate Cupcakes!

Chocolate cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes…but the best chocolate cupcakes.

But I guess it just makes sense that I would share my recipe for the Best Chocolate Cupcakes. Especially since I’d been talking about my chocolate cake, the best chocolate cake ever , so much before sharing this cupcake recipe. So many of you had told me how much you loved the cake too, but you have Claire to thank for these cupcakes.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

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.

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. They really love that.

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 pretty lucky.

Anyway, I also wanted to be sure to size a frosting recipe to work perfectly with the amount of chocolate cupcakes. Even though having extra buttercream frosting doesn’t seem like a bad idea, I always try to keep the recipes even when I share them.


Making the Cupcakes

These are not only the best chocolate cupcakes in my book, but also about the easiest ones I’ve ever made. Since I used my amazing chocolate cake to create this recipe, I knew these were going to be the most moist, rich and delicious chocolate cupcakes.

There are a couple of ingredients that make my cake – and these cupcakes – different and the best I’ve ever had. One of these is the boiling water. It’s so important to my recipe, so please don’t skip it even though you may think it sounds strange. It will make the cake batter thinner compared to most other batters, but it results in a very tender and moist cupcake.

Like I said, this recipe is so simple. The batter can easily be mixed in a bowl without using heavy duty stand mixers. This makes 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-DSC_1999

Frosting the Cupcakes

I kept it simple, yet scrumptious when frosting these cupcakes. They are topped with my delicious Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. The taste combination of the rich chocolate and creamy vanilla is amazing!

You can also use my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, or Cream Cheese Frosting, or even my delicious Peanut Butter Frosting. They are all great on these cupcakes.

I just put all of my buttercream frosting into a zip top bag, snipped off the corner and went around on top for a generous bit of frosting. Of course, you can get fancy with them if you like, but I know that my family just likes things good and simple.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes |

So, if you love chocolate and are looking for what my family calls the best chocolate cupcakes, this is your recipe. It’s also perfect if you enjoy my recipe for the best chocolate cake ever and just don’t need a whole cake. And if you know someone who needs a little bit of cheer or has some celebrating to do, this is great. Let’s just declare it chocolate cupcake day and go make them!

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

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Get this easy recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.
4.84 from 312 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting half of full recipe


  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • 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.
  • Add milk, vegetable oil, egg, 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.
  • Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about 1/2 full.
  • Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Prepare Buttercream Frosting according to instructions.
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch


I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Robyn xoxo


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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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944 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. I really loved this recipe! I made cupcakes for the first time today and they came out amazing! I totally thought I screwed up the whole thing because I accidentally added 1/2 a cup instead of a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil but it turned out just fine luckily!!! I decided to go with the cream cheese frosting, what is the consistency supposed to be like? More runny or thicker?

  2. Best cupcakes I’ve ever made and I’ve tried ALOT of recipes. The frosting is incredible-not sickly sweet like a lot of buttercream frosting I’ve tried. Highly recommend.

      1. This is the ONLY homemade chocolate cupcake recipe i’ve ever liked. And i could say the same about your chocolate layer cake recipe as well (they have the same flavor for anyone who is curious). They’re super moist and not bland. The recipe is also extremely easy and forgiving — great for beginners. Thank you so much for changing my life! I substitute the espresso powder + hot water for bold, hot coffee. I highly recommend that no one leaves out espresso powder or coffee in this recipe – it makes all the difference!

      1. Hi always loved this recipe

        Just want to ask a question

        If I didn’t have oil and wanted to use butter is that possible – I was thinking I could nelly the butter so it mimic the consistency of oil but how much butter is the question

  3. I made these today for my daughter’s 5th birthday and wow – what an awesome recipe! The cupcakes turned out unbelievably moist and had such a depth of flavour, I’m truly impressed. My daughter specifically asked for chocolate frosting so I also made half a recipe of that, which was the perfect amount for 12 cupcakes (piped on nice and thick, bakery-style). The combination was amaaazing! This will forever be my go-to chocolate cake recipe. I never leave reviews but I’ve been totally blown away by this recipe, to the point where I can’t wait to have another excuse to make it. So, so good!

  4. Today I made half recipe of best chocolate cake and used half recipe of vanilla buttercream frosting, served it at quilting meeting. Everybody loved it! I also made my own espresso powder. Thanks for two wonderful recipes!

  5. Since we are at home, we decided to make these. Just by a taste of the batter I can tell that these are going to be phenomenal! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. What an amazing cupcake recipe! I typically don’t like chocolate cupcakes very much but these are so delicious and I love them. My family keeps talking about the batch I made a few days ago so I plan to make some more today. Being able to bake and try out new recipes is sort of therapeutic for me. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and I look forward to trying more from your site 🙂

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