These simple Chocolate Cupcakes are perfect in flavor and texture, paired with chocolate buttercream frosting and a short video tutorial on how to frost cupcakes like a pro!

Cakes and cupcakes are some of the most popular recipes on TBFS.  Don’t miss our German Chocolate Cake (or cupcakes) or our classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting and sprinkles on top, lined up on a grey board .

Chocolate cupcakes are a classic treat that everybody loves, and this homemade recipe is killer! And although I love a great moist and delicious homemade chocolate cupcake, the frosting is my favorite part, and this chocolate buttercream does not disappoint!  I think perfect cupcakes require a 2:1 frosting/cupcakes ratio.

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes:

1. Whisk together: In large mixing bowl whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until well blended; allow to cool for 5 minutes.

2. Cream: in another large mixing bowl add the melted butter, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until well combined. Add eggs and eggs yolks, mixing after each addition, just until combined.

3. Add cocoa and flour.  Stir in cocoa mixture and then milk. Slowly mix in flour and stir until combined.

Four process photos for making chocolate cupcake batter in a mixing bowl.

4. Pour into cupcake tins: Divide batter evenly among the 24 muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

A muffin tin with baked chocolate cupcakes next to a bowl of chocolate buttercream.

To ensure cupcakes rise properly:

Use room temperature ingredients, particularly eggs.

Eggs at room temperature (as opposed to cold from the fridge) are fluffier and will emulsify in the batter better, which will help the cupcakes bake and rise properly. A trick for bringing eggs to room temperature quickly is to run hot water over them for one minute, or let them sit in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.

Pro Tips for Frosting Cupcakes:

If you want to get that perfect swirl on the top of a cupcake, use a piping bag and frosting tip. My favorite tip is a Wilton 1M.

And since I really love ya’ll I’ll share this very amateur video I made yeas ago for how to frost cupcakes. I made it when I was 9 months pregnant and while it’s embarrassing and not the best quality, I do talk about my three favorite decorating tips and show how to frost cupcakes with them!

Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: The cupcakes and the chocolate buttercream frosting can both be made ahead of time. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then store them in a ziplock freezer bag. Freeze for up to one month. I like to frost the cupcakes when they are frozen because they’re easier to frost.

To freeze: Freeze your cupcakes before frosting them. Frosting cupcakes is so much easier when they are frozen.  Cupcakes thaw quickly so even if you want to serve them an hour or two after frosting, it shouldn’t be an issue. You could also freeze frosted cupcakes, but I suggest flash-freezing them on a tray for 30 minutes (to help the frosting keep its shape) before placing them in a freezer safe container.

A chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and a big bite taken out of it.

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Recipe

Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting and sprinkles on top, lined up on a grey board .
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

For the cupcakes

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter , melted
  • 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or half & half or heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter , softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins with 24 paper liners.
  • In large mixing bowl whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until well blended; allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    Four process photos for making chocolate cupcake batter in a mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in another large mixing bowl add the melted butter, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until well combined. Add eggs and eggs yolks, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
  • Stir in cocoa mixture and then milk. Slowly mix in flour and stir until combined.
  • Divide batter evenly among the 24 muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. 
    A muffin tin with baked chocolate cupcakes next to a bowl of chocolate buttercream.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

For the Frosting:

  • Beat butter for two minutes. Add vanilla extract, cocoa powder and milk and beat again until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired frosting consistency.
  • Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles!

Notes

To make ahead: The cupcakes and the chocolate buttercream frosting can both be made ahead of time. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then store them in a ziplock freezer bag. Freeze for up to one month. I like to frost the cupcakes when they are frozen because they’re easier to frost.
To freeze: Freeze your cupcakes before frosting them. Frosting cupcakes is so much easier when they are frozen.  Cupcakes thaw quickly so even if you want to serve them an hour or two after frosting, it shouldn’t be an issue. You could also freeze frosted cupcakes, but I suggest flash-freezing them on a tray for 30 minutes (to help the frosting keep its shape) before placing them in a freezer safe container.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 2gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 230mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 470IUCalcium: 18mgIron: 1.1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Cupcake recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.

I originally shared this recipe February 2015. Updated May 2020 with process photos and additional tips.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I used the frosting from this recipe but reduced the sicing powder to 1 1/2 cups. It was delicious. Everyone loved the cupcakes and the frosting. This will definitely be my go to recipe for chocolate frosting.

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