Cakes & Cupcakes

The Best Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes

at a glance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
5 from 1 vote

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These double chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting are a chocolate lover’s dream! 

Top down view of chocolate cupcakes on a black plate with some cupcakes on the counter to the side and come in the cupcake tin with a bowl of chocolate sprinkles and chocolate sprinkles scattered on the surface.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

The cake part of this recipe originated from a chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream that I made for my friend, Julie Roth’s, baby shower. She was craving a peanut buttery chocolate concoction, so that’s what I set out to create, knowing that I would eventually turn that recipe into a chocolate-on-chocolate dessert. 

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting have got to be one of my favorite classic combinations. But these cupcakes aren’t just ordinary chocolate cupcakes. They are dense, almost brownie-like, and topped with the most decadently delicious frosting. One bite, and you’ll be thinking of every way you can put these cupcakes into your regular rotation. 

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients 

Top down image of chocolate cake ingredients on a grey and white marble surface.

For the Cupcakes

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour (we used this one for gluten-free)
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of full-fat buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of espresso powder or instant coffee
  • ⅓ cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

For the Chocolate Buttercream

  • 8 ounces of softened butter
  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • ½ cup of milk
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredient Modifications

  • Add toppings – top your cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles (or any of your favorite sprinkles, we love Supernatural), crushed cookies, fresh strawberries, peanut butter cups, or a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Get creative and have fun!
  • Omit the chocolate chips – if you prefer to have your cupcakes without chocolate chips, you can totally leave them out of the batter. Peanut butter or butterscotch chips would also make great subs.
  • Make it gluten-free – this recipe works great with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free flour

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

There are a few, special steps to making these cupcakes that call for a little extra love, but I promise you, they’re worth it. 

Dry chocolate cake ingredients being whisked together in a large, metal bowl.
Wet ingredients being poured into dry ingredients in a large metal bowl.
Twelve cupcakes baked in a cupcake tin.
Buttermilk and butter being melted in a large, glass bowl over a double boiler.
Chocolate cake batter whisked until smooth in a large metal bowl on a grey and white marble surface.
Twelve cupcakes frosted in a cupcake tin.
Wet ingredients whisked together in a large glass bowl over a double boiler.
Twelve cupcake liners in a cupcake tin filled with cupcake batter.
Twelve cupcakes in a cupcake tin frosted and topped with sprinkles.

To Make the Cake

  1. Preheat – preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prep the cupcake tin – prep the cupcake tin by greasing each muffin cup or using cupcake liners. Set aside. 
  3. Combine the dry ingredients – whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Prep a double boiler – prepare a double boiler by adding 2-inches of water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to keep the water at a slow simmer.  Add a large glass or metal bowl over top, making sure the fit is snug and the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. 
  5. Add your wet ingredients – to the large glass bowl over a double boiler, whisk together the butter and buttermilk until the butter is fully melted. Then, add the espresso powder (or instant coffee), eggs, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients – carefully remove the bowl from the double boiler (the bowl will be hot, as will the steam that will come out of the saucepan when the bowl is removed). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the batter – scoop the batter into the cupcake tin, filling each cup approximately ⅔ full. 
  8. Bake – bake the cupcakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake. You can also check by lightly pressing on the center of the cupcake with your index finger. If the cupcake rebounds, it is done.
  9. Let cool – let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.   

To Make the Frosting:

  1. Add ingredients to mixer – add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  2. Blend until smooth – starting on low speed, blend the ingredients until combined.
  3. Increase speed – increase to medium-high speed and blend until fluffy.
  4. Frost – use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

The Best Frosting for Chocolate Cupcakes

This easy, chocolate buttercream is divine with these chocolate cupcakes. You really can’t go wrong with how you frost your cupcakes, though. Peanut butter buttercream, vanilla buttercream, cream cheese frosting, or any traditional icing would also be delicious!

How to Store Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes store best in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If you’re making the cupcakes ahead of time, we suggest waiting to frost them and wrapping the cupcakes in plastic wrap to maintain moisture.  

Chocolate cupcake with a bite taken out of it with cupcake liner pulled down to the sides sitting on a black plate.
Q Can you freeze chocolate cupcakes?
A

Yes, you can freeze chocolate cupcakes. We recommend individually wrapping them in plastic wrap or parchment paper before placing them in a freezer bag, silicone bag, or airtight storage container to protect against freezer burn and freeze them without frosting.

Q Can I use this chocolate cupcake recipe to make a cake?
A

Absolutely! In fact, that’s what this recipe was originally developed for. To make these chocolate cupcakes into a cake, simply pour the batter into a prepared cake pan (buttered on the bottom and sides) with a circular parchment cutout on the bottom, and bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Check out this article for more detailed instructions, tips, and tricks.

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Homemade Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

By: Cassy
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 24 cupcakes
These double chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting are a chocolate lover’s dream!

Ingredients  

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups flour all purpose or gluten free
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk full-fat
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt fine
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee
  • cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • ½ pound butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk whole
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Prep the cupcake tin by greasing each muffin cup or use cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Prepare a double boiler by adding 2-inches of water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to keep the water at a slow simmer. Add a large glass or metal bowl over top, making sure the fit is snug and the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  • To the large glass or metal bowl over a double boiler, whisk together the butter and buttermilk until the butter is melted totally. Then, add the espresso powder (or instant coffee), eggs, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Carefully remove the bowl from the double boiler (the bowl will be hot, as will the steam that will come out of the saucepan when the bowl is removed). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop the batter into the cupcake tin, filling each cup approximately ⅔ full.
  • Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcake. You can also check by lightly pressing on the center of the cupcake with your index finger. If the cupcake rebounds, it is done.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.  

To make the frosting:

  • Add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  • Starting on low speed, blend the ingredients until combined.
  • Increase to medium-high speed and blend until smooth.
  • Use immediately to frost your cupcakes, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
291
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14.1
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
8.6
g
54
%
Cholesterol
 
43.5
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
113.7
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
41.1
g
14
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
30
g
33
%
Protein
 
3.4
g
7
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

Cupcake Ingredient Modifications:
  • Add toppings – top your cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles (or any of your favorite sprinkles, we love Super Natural), crushed cookies, fresh strawberries, peanut butter cups, or a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Get creative and have fun!
  • Omit the chocolate chips – if you prefer to have your cupcakes without chocolate chips, you can totally leave them out of the batter. Peanut butter or butterscotch chips would also make great subs.
  • Make it gluten free – this recipe works great with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free flour.
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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  1. Andrea DeRego says

    Andrea DeRego —  09/09/2022 At 07:27

    This recipe looks delicious! My daughter has a dairy sensitivity…can these be made dairy free?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/13/2022 At 13:13

      We haven’t actually tested this, but we’d try swapping the buttermilk for full-fat coconut milk (from a can + make sure it’s mixed well) plus a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. You can swap the butter for ghee, if she tolerates it! For the buttercream frosting, again, swap the butter for ghee, and swap the whole milk for your favorite non-dairy milk. I hope that helps!

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