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Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe Level: Easy

Nothing beats a classic chocolate cupcake! These cupcakes are moist, have a tender crumb, and are packed with a rich chocolatey flavour. They are topped with a silky smooth chocolate buttercream icing. These chocolate cupcakes are perfect to celebrate any occasion; a birthday, a party and especially Valentine's Day! The recipe easily doubles.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake

Indulge in these irresistible double chocolate cupcakes, with a decadent, moist texture and rich chocolate flavour that will leave you wanting more after every bite! This easy cupcake recipe will become your go-to for the perfect dessert.

The beauty of these homemade chocolate cupcakes is their versatility! They are a blank canvas ready to be dressed for festive decorations of any kind or left in their plain chocolatey perfection. Add a swirl of chocolate frosting and a sprinkle of celebratory confetti, and you have a dessert that not only tastes heavenly but looks the part for any festivity.

Ingredients

You think the star ingredient in these ultimate chocolate cupcakes would be chocolate! Yes, cocoa powder and good quality dark chocolate help but every ingredient here plays a big role in a successful moist chocolate cupcake. But the coffee and buttermilk are where you are going to get the most flavour and the best texture. I buy my coffee at my local Bulk Barn store where I can buy as little or as much as I like.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar, light brown sugar & icing sugar
  • Egg
  • Brewed coffee
  • Buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Whipping cream/heavy cream (or whole milk)
  • Dark chocolate, good quality
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Baking powder & baking soda
  • Salt

Substitutions

Hot coffee enhances the chocolate flavour within the cupcakes, but I promise you won’t taste any coffee. If you’d like to stay away from using coffee you can use hot water instead. But I highly recommend using coffee for a richer flavour. You can use instant coffee or even decaf, just make sure it’s extra strong.

Buttermilk gives a lovely flavour as well. If you don’t have any you can make your sour milk instead (see tips below on how to make your own). You can also substitute the buttermilk for sour cream.

Variations

Whether it’s a birthday bash, an anniversary celebration, a Valentine’s Day celebration or a simple gathering of friends, these cupcakes are the perfect treat for chocolate lovers! You can change up the icing, add sprinkles, anything goes! Here are some variations for these decadent chocolate cupcakes:

  • Add chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, or any colour to match a special holiday
  • Add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the cake batter
  • Change up the icing to vanilla buttercream, raspberry or a combination of the two
  • Skip the icing and add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla ice cream on top of each cupcake
  • Make mini cupcakes

If you’re looking to feed a crowd you can easily double this chocolate recipe or try my 4 Layer Classic Chocolate Cake Recipe!

Tips For The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Be careful not to overfill the cupcake liners or they will spill/bake all over the cupcake pan.
  2. Strong coffee will bring out a more intense chocolate flavour, make sure to brew the coffee extra dark.
  3. Use buttermilk for the best results. If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own sour milk by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup whole milk. Let the mixture sit for 5-8 minutes or until thick and clumps start to form.
  4. This is a very wet/thin cake batter which can make it easy to overmix the batter. Mix the batter just until all the ingredients are incorporated. Overmixing can cause the glutens to overdevelop which can create a dense, tough cupcake.
  5. Espresso powder is a popular ingredient when baking anything chocolate. Although it’s not written in the recipe ( it can be a challenging ingredient to get a hold of), if you want to further deepen the rich, chocolate flavour add a tablespoon of espresso powder to the cake batter.

More Cupcake Recipes

  1. One Batter Cupcakes, 3 Flavours!
  2. Marble Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing and Coconut
  3. Mini Maple Walnut Cupcakes
  4. Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

How To Make The Perfect Cupcakes

Step One: Line a cupcake/muffin tin with liners and set aside. In a large bowl add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside. In a separate large bowl, add granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla. Whisk (or use a hand mixer) to combine ingredients until smooth and well incorporated.

Step Two: Add half of the sugar and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Then add half of the buttermilk and coffee. Gently whisk to combine. Add the remaining sugar and egg mixture, then the buttermilk and coffee. Stir just until combined making sure to scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl.

Step Three: Pour or spoon the batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling each cup approx. three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Step Four: Make your chocolate buttercream icing. Melt chocolate and set aside. In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) add butter and beat for 30-40 seconds. Add icing sugar and whipping cream. Beat for approx. 2 minutes. Once cupcakes are cooled use a piping bag with a star tip and pipe icing on top of each cupcake.

Print

Chocolate Cupcakes

Nothing beats a classic chocolate cupcake! These cupcakes are moist, light and packed with a rich chocolatey flavour. They are topped with a silky smooth chocolate buttercream icing. These chocolate cupcakes are perfect to celebrate any occasion; a birthday, a party and especially Valentine’s Day! The recipe easily doubles.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Cake & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon whipping cream (or whole milk)
  • 1 oz dark chocolate, good quality

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, add granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla. Whisk (or use a hand mixer) to combine ingredients until smooth and well incorporated.
  4. Add half of the sugar and egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Then add half of the buttermilk and coffee. Gently whisk to combine. Add the remaining sugar and egg mixture, then the buttermilk and coffee. Stir just until combined. Do not overmix the batter (the batter will be very thin/wet).
  5. Pour or spoon the batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling each cup approx. three-quarters full. Do not overfill the cups.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. Meanwhile, make your chocolate buttercream icing.
  9. Melt chocolate and set aside.
  10. In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) add butter and beat for 30-40 seconds. Add icing sugar and whipping cream. Beat for approx. 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and continue to beat until well incorporated, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add more whipping cream if the icing is too thick or add more icing sugar if the icing is too thin. You want to have a nice, light consistency for piping into swirls.  
  11. Once cupcakes are cooled pipe icing on top of each cupcake.

Notes

Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to two days at room temperature. Or freeze cupcakes for up to two months.

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 294
  • Sugar: 30.2g
  • Sodium: 2817mg
  • Fat: 11.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 42.8g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 3.4g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg

Keywords: Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate, Valentine’s Day, Birthday

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

What is the secret to a moist chocolate cupcake?

The secret to a moist chocolate cupcake is the liquid ingredients; oil, buttermilk and hot liquid! Oil will give a light, airy texture as opposed to butter. The buttermilk will add to this light, moist texture but will also give a nice flavour. And the hot liquid; either hot water or hot coffee will add extra moisture and the coffee will enhance the chocolate flavour.

What is the best tool to fill cupcakes?

When it comes to filling your cupcake batter into the liners it’s best to use a large ice cream scoop for hassle-free pouring and even distributing. If the batter is very thin you can always transfer it into a measuring cup with a spout so it’s easy to pour.

Can you make cupcakes without a cupcake tin?

If you don’t have a cupcake pan you get a little creative to make cupcakes. Here are a few ideas that can work in a pinch.
1. Silicone cupcake liners do not need a cupcake pan as they are sturdy enough on their own. If they are thinner, double up the liners.
2. Use aluminium tart shells, place shells on a baking sheet and then fill each tart with a cupcake liner.
3. Use ramekin dishes to bake cupcakes!

This blog post has been sponsored by Bulk Barn Canada where you can find all your baking needs! All opinions are my own and I’m so happy to work with brands I love so I can continue to share these recipes with all of you! I hope you guys get to a Bulk Barn soon and try out this recipe.

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Jane
Jane
7 days ago
Rating :
     

I would give these cupcakes 6 stars if I could! They turned out exactly as promised – light with a rich chocolate flavour. The icing is perfect!!!

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Alie Romano

Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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