This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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

Shout Out

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!

Share it with the world!

Robyn xoxo

Frosting / Icing Recipes

Robyn Stone

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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Review


  1. 5 stars
    Made these for celebration for my parents. They look super moist so far! Ridiculously fluffy and fast! I can’t wait to try them tomorrow.

  2. 3 stars
    I don’t know what happened. I followed the baking time and temp but it turned out raw in the middle. I had to leave it in the oven for 5 more mins.

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I needed to make a 6 inch round cake and the amounts on this recipe worked perfectly. I combined it with this site’s chocolate buttercream and it’s heavenly. I made the mistake of putting the oven at 325 degrees instead of 350 since it was a cake not cupcakes and it took a whole 40 mins to be done and sank a little bit in the middle, but that was totally my fault and I was able to fix the unevenness with frosting. I also sprinkled caramel to serve it, so decadent!

    Btw, I didn’t have espresso powder so I added half a cup of boiling coffee instead of plain water. it worked perfectly 🙂 This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe from now on!

  4. Delicious and couldn’t be simpler. It took 20 minutes for mine to cook though. They were light, moist and had a great flavor. I topped them with a coconut cream cheese frosting and toasted shredded coconut -yum!

  5. 5 stars
    Made these delicious, super-moist cupcakes for a teen’s birthday and they were a hit! It took approximately 5 more minutes to bake than the recipe stated, even at the suggested temperature and using medium grey, non-stick pans. As stated, the recipe was easy to double and simple to follow. I substituted some black cocoa for the regular cocoa (approximately one quarter dark cocoa to three quarters regular cocoa) to darken the cupcake colour and it turned out well. Frosted with a different, favourite, plain buttercream frosting which complemented the cupcake, as the cupcake on its own wasn’t overly sweet.
    Thanks for a wonderful new favourite recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Just what I was looking for. I did not have “Espresso” powder, so I just replaced the 1/2 cup of boiling water with 1/2 cup boiling coffee! Dark moist rich and the butter cream was excellent

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing I think I found my favirite choclate cake and cup cake recipe.I will no longer look for one .I want to thank you so so much for sharing this recipe i will never try any other one. I followed it to the T it turned out amazing.

  7. The 15 min at 325 degree oven are unworkable.Uncooked and under risen…… this recipe works at 375 oven for 20 min. I have an excellent oven for breads, cookies and am fairly known for pie crusts ,puff pastry meringues ,maccarons etc. …so I don’t think its’ my oven.
    It can be frustrating to prepare a batter and have it fail due to errors in print.
    Would not have written if I did not care.

  8. 5 stars
    I love this cake. It was so moist, light and most of all, easy to make. It’s the first chocolate cake I’ve made in years, maybe over a decade and I’m so pleased with it. Because I don’t really like icing, I just put chocolate ganache and whipped cream on top and it was delish. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    I just tried this last night and I am loving the result! That is even if I used powdered milk + water since I ran out of fresh milk, then extended the baking time to about 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes are so soft and moist, and they taste even more chocolatey the morning after. <3