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This Best Chocolate Cupcakes recipe makes decadent, moist, rich and delicious cupcakes! These chocolate cupcakes, from my Best Chocolate Cake Ever, are so quick and easy to make and always favorites!


Chocolate cupcakes. Not just any cupcakes…but the best chocolate cupcakes. Like my chocolate cake, they are the most moist, rich, and delicious chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. They practically melt in your mouth. They are the perfect chocolate lover’s cupcake!

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes


How to Make the Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Not only does this recipe make the best chocolate cupcakes in my book, they are also so quick and easy.

Ingredients for Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • espresso powder – Optional, but I highly recommend adding espresso powder to your chocolate recipes.
  • milk – you can also use buttermilk, almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk
  • oil – you can use vegetable, canola or melted coconut oil
  • eggs – when baking, I like to use room temperature eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • boiling water

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.


This cupcake recipe is so simple. The batter can easily be mixed in a single bowl without using a mixer.

How Many Cupcakes Does this Recipe Make?

This recipe is sized to make exactly a dozen cupcakes. You can easily multiply the recipe to increase it when you are baking for a party or a larger crowd.

Chocolate Cupcake Modifications

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes:

Substitute with your favorite gluten-free flour that you use for baking.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes:

Substitute with your favorite dairy-free milk such as almond, coconut, rice, oat, or soy milk.

Egg-Free Chocolate Cupcakes:

To make the cake an egg-free chocolate cake recipe, use ⅓ cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of the large egg in the recipe. You will note that you may have to bake the cake just a few minutes more. Be sure to check with the skewer for doneness.

I’ve also used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer as well as a flax egg with great success.

To Use Butter and Other Oils:

I have tested the chocolate cake and cupcakes recipes with additional oils, as well as butter. I’ve tested using an equal amount of melted coconut oil to the vegetable oil called for in the recipe. I’ve also tested using the same volume of melted butter in place of the oils in the chocolate cake. While it does make the texture slightly different, it is still delicious and worth trying if you’d prefer to use butter in place of oils in your chocolate cake.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Use the dairy-free and egg-free recommendations above.

Chocolate Cupcake Frosting

You have several delicious options when it comes to frosting for these cupcakes. You’ll notice that I’ve photographed them with my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. The combination of the rich chocolate with the creamy vanilla is absolutely amazing.

But you know, it is also incredible with the frosting options as well.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

Peanut Butter Frosting

For each of these frosting options, you’ll need ½ of the full recipe for a dozen cupcakes.

To decorate the cupcakes, you have a few options as well. You can swirl the frosting on top of the cupcake with a spoon or spatula, place the frosting into a zip top bag and snip the corner to use as a quick frosting bag, or use a frosting bag fitted with a 1M tip (or open star).

Best Chocolate Cupcakes |

How to Make Ahead and Store the Homemade Cupcakes:

Both the cupcakes and the frostings can be made ahead. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, place them into an appropriate sized freezer-safe, airtight container. Freeze the cake layers for up to one month.

To frost the cupcakes, simply remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. Then, frost once they have completely thawed.

Store the cake at room temperature on the counter. I like to store under a cake dome or in a cupcake carrier to keep fresh. I do not recommend storing in the refrigerator unless you use a frosting that requires refrigeration, such as the cream cheese frosting.

Here’s my best chocolate cupcakes recipe with vanilla buttercream frosting. I hope you love them as much as we do!

4.87 from 373 votes

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Dessert 30 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 12
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Get this easy recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 cup milk buttermilk, oat milk, or other favorite plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting half of full recipe


  • Prep. Preheat oven to 325º F. Place cupcake liners in muffin pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Whisk dry ingredients. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add wet ingredients. Add milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract to the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Carefully add boiling water to the cupcake batter. Mix until well combined and the batter smooth. Note that the batter will be very thin.
  • Bake. Evenly distribute the cupcake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ½ 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.
  • Frost and serve. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting according the recipe instructions. Note that you'll need ½ of the frosting recipe for a dozen cupcakes. Frost the cupcakes and serve.


The nutritional values are for one cupcake without frosting.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

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Frosting / Icing Recipes

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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Recipe Review


  1. 5 stars

    You are a different individual. I’m amazed how you went above and beyond your recipe. You went over the rest to include different aspect of substitutions. I appreciate that you thought of others with food allergies etc. 😍😘

    1. Thank you, Kemetria. I know how difficult it can be to find recipes for people with food allergies and wanted everyone to be able to enjoy this cake.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I did this with Kinnikinnick gluten free flour, a flax egg and oat milk as my son is dairy intolerant, allergic to eggs and celiac. They are great and moist which is usually sacrificed with all my substituting.

    1. Jessica, I am so glad you can make these cupcakes to meet your son’s dietary restrictions. Thanks for telling us how you make them.

    1. Alana, you can make these cupcakes either as making all in one batch or 3 individual batches. Just make them however it is easiest for you to manage.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow these cupcakes were super moist. I would definitely make this one of my go to recipes. I doubled the recipe for my nieces birthday and was able to make 24 regular and 24 mini cupcakes with the batter. Awesome.

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe. We have a number of allergies so I made it gluten free, dairy free and egg free (Kinnikinnick gf flour, oat milk and flax egg). Everyone loves them, even my father in law who typically dislikes gluten free baked goods.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made the double layer, round cake version of this MANY times & want to try mini cupcakes… what would you recommend for time/temp? and how many will this batch bake? I will need several dozen. And will probably use your chocolate buttercream frosting 🙂

    1. This recipe should make about 72 mini cupcakes, Amy. My Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe is half this recipe and makes 12 cupcakes or 36 mini cupcakes. You will need to lower the baking temperature to 325º F for the mini cupcakes. It will just take about 10-15 minutes for them to bake so I would start checking them at about 8 minutes. Enjoy!

  6. 5 stars
    Have made two batches of these. Wonderful chocolatey taste! About to make another batch for my neighbor. Thank you Robyn for this keeper (:

  7. 5 stars
    This and the chocolate cake recipe are by far my favorite recipes to make. I get requests for this recipe from my family all the time. Thank you!!!

    1. Melissa, don’t you just love it when your family asks for you to make a recipe over and over? Thanks!

    1. Amora, I haven’t added chocolate chips to this cupcake recipe However, when I added to the cake, the chips stuck to the bottom Some have added chocolate chips to this batter with good results while others have had the chips just melt in the bottom of the cupcake. You might want to try my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins.

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