Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


This has been my go-to Chocolate Cupcake recipe for years now. It makes the softest, perfectly chocolaty, moist and fluffy cupcake paired with the best chocolate cupcake frosting.

chocolate cupcake recipe with chocolate buttercream frosting

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting

How is it that I’ve never shared a chocolate cupcake recipe with chocolate buttercream frosting before?? Okay, I’ve shared lots of chocolate cupcakes with different kinds of frosting, but who doesn’t love this classic combination — chocolate with more chocolate!

This is has been my go-to chocolate cupcakes for years now. I created this cupcake recipe back when I was reading the how-to’s and sciences of baking books, so I came up with the perfect blend and ratios to get my favorite chocolate cupcake. I’m crazy, I literally dream about these things.

Try these out soon though, you just can’t go wrong with a classic chocolate cupcake with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting.

These are made with all the good stuff — butter, sugar, cocoa, cream. And it includes a tutorial on how to make cupcake frosting that is out of this world.

Oh and that cupcake frosting, it tastes like fudge. If you are lucky enough to have any left over, just store the chocolate frosting for cupcakes in the fridge and eat it by the spoonful. Fudge, I tell you.

chocolate cupcake frosting in glass bowl

Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients

For the easy chocolate cupcake recipe, you’ll need:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Boiling water
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Heavy cream
  • All-purpose flour

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

For the chocolate cupcake frosting, you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles on plate

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda.
  • Pour in boiling water and whisk then let cool 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl using an electric mixer blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt.
  • Mix in egg then eggs yolk.
  • Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture then blend in heavy cream.
  • Add flour and blend until well combined.
  • Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each about 2/3 full.
  • Bake in preheated oven about 17 – 20 minutes.
  • Cool before frosting.

How to Make Cupcake Frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.
  • Add the rest of the chocolate frosting ingredients and mix until light and fluffy.

scooping chocolate cupcake batter into lined muffin tin

Can I Double the Recipe?

You can easily double this recipe, it is actually half of the original recipe. I’m usually only making 12 cupcakes these days, it’s not very often that I need 24. But if you’ve got a room full of chocolate lovers, go with 24 :).

Can I Freeze Cupcakes?

While I think cupcakes are best fresh, you can definitely freeze them. If you know you’ll be freezing the cupcakes, I recommend freezing only the chocolate cupcake base and waiting until you’re ready to eat them to make the chocolate frosting for the cupcakes. You may be able to freeze buttercream, but it’s far better fresh!

Is There a Heavy Cream Substitute I Can Use?

Without having tried it myself, I can’t say for sure. But I’ve had readers report success making this recipe with whole milk. I wouldn’t use a milk with less fat than that since you need the fat to add moisture to the cupcakes.

Perfect cupcake frosting on plated chocolate cupcake

Tips for the Best Chocolate Cupcakes

  • When making the chocolate cupcake batter, the water must be boiling. Warm tap water isn’t hot enough.
  • I prefer using a blend of salted and unsalted butter in the chocolate cupcake frosting. I find it adds a richer flavor!
  • If you want extra chocolatey frosting, add an additional 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to it.

Plate full of chocolate cupcakes made from best chocolate cupcake recipe

More Easy Cupcake Recipes You’ll Love:

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

4.56 from 9 votes

My favorite chocolate cupcakes! These are soft, fluffy, moist and perfectly sweet, rich and chocolatey. So good that they might even become the special birthday request every year! A chocolate lovers dream.

Servings: 12
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (38g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (58g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup+ 2 Tbsp (125g) all-purpose flour

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup (170g) butter softened (preferably 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup salted)
  • 2 1/2 cups (326g) powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (38g) unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


For the chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Mix in egg then eggs yolk. Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture then blend in heavy cream. Add flour and blend until well combined, while scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.
  5. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each about 2/3 full. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 17 - 20 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin pan several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.

For the chocolate buttercream frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter until fluffy.

  2. Mix in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp cream and the vanilla. Mix until light and fluffy while adding more cream to thin if needed.

Recipe Notes

  • *If you want the frosting even more chocolatey you can add another 2 Tbsp cocoa powder.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 420 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 256mg 11%
Potassium 119mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 55g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 43g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 11.8%
Calcium 2.1%
Iron 8.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cupcakes
Calories: 420 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Krishna Patel: The cupcake does not taste as great as I wished, same with the icing. I would recommend finding a different recipe for the icing. Also it ws quite hard to follow the cupcake recipe..= June 9, 2019 at 11:25pm Reply

  • Katherine Ayre: I have not made the recipe but it sounds delightful I can’t wait to make it , just pointing out I do not think there is a cupcake that won’t deflate depending on the time of cooking time April 23, 2019 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Justina: Hi there,

    Loving your recipes as I find it’s foolproof. Made your lemon blueberry bread and it was delish. Just checking to see if this recipe actually comes calls for a quarter cup of cocoa? March 4, 2019 at 8:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s 1/4 cup AND 2 tbsp cocoa. I’m so glad you liked the lemon blueberry bread! I hope you enjoy this recipe too! March 22, 2019 at 2:56pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: I don’t have stand mixer. Will this work with a hand one? September 25, 2018 at 7:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be fine. October 17, 2018 at 10:20am Reply

  • Brenda: Loved it everyone else did too. Grezt recipe! August 25, 2018 at 8:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving 5 stars! August 27, 2018 at 9:58am Reply

  • Patti: Our family’s chocolate cake recipe is delicious, but has shortening, which is not my favorite baking ingredient. I have had a hard time finding a homemade recipe with a comparable texture, but now can look no further! Even with a toddler “helping” and subbing olive oil for the vegetable, these came out deliciously moist and fluffy. I am mixing and matching recipes and plan to put the raspberry buttwrcream on them. Can’t wait for dessert! June 6, 2018 at 11:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked them! Thanks for the feedback! June 7, 2018 at 12:07pm Reply

  • Michelle Hoffman: My almost 6-year old daughter was to bring birthday treats today. She was set on chocolate cupcakes and I had yet to find a recipe that deflates no matter how long I baked them. I was going to use my recipe that deflates the least and mound on the frosting (what kid doesn’t love frosting?!?!), but something told me to check your archives. I made a double batch and decorated with fruit leather rainbows. I’ll update later on kindergarten sensory panel, but I did enjoy the “25th cupcake” with a big spoon. April 30, 2018 at 9:21am Reply

    • Michelle Hoffman: **I had yet to find a recipe that doesn’t deflate. April 30, 2018 at 9:31am Reply

  • Éabha: PERFECT!! April 3, 2018 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you think so! April 4, 2018 at 12:38am Reply

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