Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


Have you been searching for an unforgettable, perfect chocolate cupcake recipe? I think it’s fair to say your search will likely end here. While I was relaxing outside a light summer breeze that only evenings have to offer gently swept across my face, and I slowly sank my teeth through that whipped, lightly tangy, kissed with cocoa frosting and into the cupcakes fluffy, tender crumb with a moisture that was bound to stick to my teeth, then my taste buds touched that rich yet perfectly sweet chocolate divinity I knew my search was over. Pure bliss? Yes it was =).

The secret to this recipe is that I adapted it from one of my all time favorite cupcake recipes that I recently created, my Red Velvet Cupcakes. I knew how similar red velvet is to chocolate so I knew it would be fairly easy to create this one. Let me tell you I have been having a rough time creating the perfect white cupcake, maybe this was much easier for me because chocolate is my true love. Why settle for white when you can have chocolate? Life isn’t complete without it.

My reason for choosing to pair this frosting with this cupcake is because I often get a brownie at a local bakery with a Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting and it goes perfect with the rich chocolate brownie. I’ve been meaning to make the frosting at home for quite some time now and I knew this was the cupcake for it. I love how well the frosting’s gentle cream cheese flavor, along with the light taste of chocolate and it’s sweet buttery richness compliments the chocolate cupcake. I didn’t want an overpowering frosting, just one that would highlight the cupcakes perfection. And with a cupcake so incredible I’d say fancy frosting technique is required. I absolutely love the way the world famous Hummingbird Bakery decorates their cupcakes so I adapted that technique to frost these cupcakes. It’s whipped perfection with a pronounced indentation to hold a generous pile of sprinkles right in the center. If it looks better it will taste better that’s my theory.  This is chocolate at it’s finest. Enjoy and indulge a little!

P.S. in the unlikely event that you have any left over frosting, simply refrigerate it a few hours until firm and enjoy it by the spoonful – it tastes just like fudge when it’s cold!


Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup butter , melted
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup salted butter , firm but not cold
  • 6 oz cream cheese , cold
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 1/3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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. 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. Stir in egg and egg yolk, mixing just until combined after each addition. Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture then blend in heavy cream. Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined, while scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.
  2. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 19 - 21 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip together butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 1 minute. Stir in vanilla. Sift cocoa powder into mixture then blend until combine (you'll want to sift it to break up any lumps). Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Notes: chocolate cupcake recipe updated 2/3/13
  3. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Anu: Delicious cupcake with wonderful icing August 6, 2012 at 10:30am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: I’m waiting for Jason to pick up dinner but now all I can think about is how I can have at least 5 of these cupcakes for dinner instead! August 6, 2012 at 8:51pm Reply

  • emma: i can’t wait to try this frosting! it looks perfect. i’ve loved everything i’ve made of yours. :) August 6, 2012 at 9:55pm Reply

  • The Cooking Actress: Those cupcakes look flawless! August 7, 2012 at 4:39am Reply

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: I love that this recipe only makes 15 cupcakes! Who needs 24 lying around the house? My mom used to make brownies with chocolate CC icing and they were a favorite of mine, too :) August 7, 2012 at 9:00am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Emma – I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed everything you’ve made from my blog, that’s great =)!
    Sally – I agree, 24 is so many for one small family and too tempting. And yes aren’t brownies with chocolate cream cheese icing the best?
    Thanks for your comments everyone! August 7, 2012 at 3:10pm Reply

  • Marilyn Anderson: These are straight from heaven. I have never tasted such a divine moist choc cupcake. And the frosting…it could be piled twice as high and I still couldn’t get enough. Such an unforgettable creation! August 7, 2012 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Shawn @ I Wash…You Dry: Yum! I love how you described these, has my mouth watering! :) August 8, 2012 at 4:44pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Marilyn – you are so nice! Thanks so much for your comment, I love when I see your comments on here =).
    Shawn – thanks! I’m still in awe at your blog and how well you’ve transferred everything over from blogger to wordpress. Everyone, you need to check out Shawn’s blog, it’s amazing =)! August 9, 2012 at 3:45pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Hi. I love your blog. I have a question about the recipe for the chocolate cupcake. Do you use sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder? Any recommendations? September 27, 2012 at 11:07am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – thanks =). I just use unsweetened, usually I just use Nestle the 100% Pure Cocoa Powder or Hershey’s. Nothing fancy =). September 27, 2012 at 7:40pm Reply

  • Anonymous: What is the size of your measuring cups
    October 24, 2012 at 12:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m sorry I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking, but my measuring cup sizes are the average measuring cup sizes. Did you have a problem with these cupcakes? October 25, 2012 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Cynthia: Oh yum! This is (unbelievably) a pairing I have yet to try – as cupcakes that is! I am curious to see the result! Thanks for sharing :) October 28, 2012 at 12:16am Reply

  • Anonymous: Would you be able to tell me your technique for frosting them? They look great! November 7, 2012 at 2:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks =)! I piled on a heaping pile of the frosting then took the icing spatula and ran it vertically around the edge of the frosting while rotating the cupcake and tilting the spatula slightly. Then took the icing spatula and swirled the center lifting it out near the middle. I hope that helps! November 8, 2012 at 8:49pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Hi, how many ounces are in one cup? i cant bake measuring in cups but they look so delicious! November 18, 2012 at 10:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would say about 6 ounces because when I measure I scoop into the flour I don’t spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level as some baker do. Hope that helps and I hope you enjoy! November 20, 2012 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Don: Just found your blog. Awesome stuff! I am going try your cream cheese frosting tonight, but I think I will add in some Nutella and see what happems! November 29, 2012 at 11:58am Reply

  • Nisa Homey: Aww! again cream cheese is not available at this part of the world…any substitute for that…will come back after i bake these… December 4, 2012 at 10:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could use mascarpone cheese and add less sugar to the frosting if you have that in your area. Otherwise I’d recommend the plain chocolate buttercream I have on my site =). December 4, 2012 at 10:44pm Reply

  • Mary: Hi Just wondering how long to cook these if making mini cupcakes :) December 23, 2012 at 11:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Mary – I haven’t done it before but I’d imagine about 10 – 12 minutes. Hope that helps! December 23, 2012 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Alexa: Please help made these chocolate cupcakes last night and when I pulled out of the oven the centers collapsed and the side were hard and crispy over the edges they still tasted amazing but I’m not sure what i did wrong. I read the directions carefully maybe I over whipped the butter or other ingredients? Help please!! December 24, 2012 at 9:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Alexa – Someone else mentioned this problem also(my neighbor). Not sure why I didn’t have that problem. I will try them again soon and revise the recipe if necessary. Sorry they didn’t turn out! December 24, 2012 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Ava: Loooved these! I doubled the amount of cocoa powder in the recipe because my frosting was looking a bit gray. I otherwise followed the recipe exactly and they were simply the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. I ate 8 out of the 15 myself! Thank you, Jaclyn! You rock! January 4, 2013 at 9:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed these Ava! I’m sure the additional cocoa powder was delicious =). Thanks so much for your comment! January 6, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

  • jean a.: what makes the middle drop and everthing looks like its cooked January 28, 2013 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Ok so I received mixed reviews on these, I’m pretty sure this is the only recipe so far that I’ve had someone say they sink (other than the brownie cupcakes which are meant to do that) so that definitely needed to be fixed. So I made a new recipe and posted it above, I tested it twice so hopefully they turn out the same for everyone else! February 4, 2013 at 7:18pm Reply

  • Ava: Oh no, Jaclyn! I made these during our winter vacation in San Diego and they were simply perfect…best chocolate cupcakes ever. But now, I attempted to make them again for Superbowl Sunday (back home at an altitude 5,350 ft.) and it was a complete disaster. The cupcakes bubbled over, the batter overflowed even beyond the edge of the pan, and then they sank in a chewy bubbly mess! They were not edible. I followed the recipe exactly both times so I wonder if it was the high altitude (although I’ve made many other cupcake recipes from you, Jaclyn and they always turn out great). Another possibility: the only substitution I made was substituting whole milk with a splash of white vinegar for the buttermilk (they don’t sell buttermilk here). This is a common substitution I have made countless times with good results, but I’m now wondering if the vinegar could have made a reaction with the baking soda for a sort of school-project volcano effect. Anyway, I read that other readers had similar issues and I wondered if you had managed to find out the cause, or if someone has tweaked this recipe for high altitude. I hope you can help because this recipe was such a find and I don’t want to not be able to make these delicious cupcakes again! February 2, 2013 at 8:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It is a crazy thing I can’t really explain. I know that the formula for these cupcakes went way above the fats and sugars they should have to the flour/egg ratio, so I don’t know why they turned out a few times and not the rest for others. This is basically the same recipe as the red velvet recipe I have posted which turns out for me every time so I don’t really know for sure what’s going on, I wish I was a food scientist and had the exact answer =). Who knows maybe there is something in the red food coloring that is helping hold the cupcakes structure together or maybe it is the varying levels of protein in the all purpose flour or maybe it’s an altitude thing. Anyway I hope the recipe I’ve updated above is one you enjoy too =). Sorry they didn’t turn out the last time! February 4, 2013 at 7:24pm Reply

  • Lou: Can you pleaase do a tutorial on how you frost your cupcakes like this. I’ve been trying to use this method to frost mine but its not working very well with me. Thanks. February 5, 2013 at 11:01am Reply

  • Ava: Thanks so much for your response, Jaclyn! In my case, I think it was the altitude. I made your red velvet ones today and, although the result wasn’t as disastrous, they also sank. I don’t know the first thing about adjusting recipes for high altitude but I’m going to look it up and experiment a bit! Thank you! I love your site. February 8, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Steph: Hi Jaclyn! Thank you so much for your recipe! I was just wondering… How long can this chocolate cream cheese frosting stay at room temp? Does it need to be refrigerated if the cupcakes are not eaten the same day as baked? Thanks! December 17, 2013 at 6:40am Reply

  • Jessica: Hi Jaclyn! I posted here but the comment doesn’t seem to appear! Well, I just wanted to say many thanks to your hard work and beautiful photos in this blog! Also, I wanted to let you know that this recipe and the Chocolate Covered Bacon Bites aren’t categorized in any category! February 24, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just fixed those categories! Thanks for letting me know! And thank you so much for the nice compliments! Oh and the comment doesn’t appear until it is moderated. Should show up now. :) Have a great day! February 24, 2014 at 4:23pm Reply

  • Jacky: Hello! Thanks for the recipe. Can this chocolate cupcake recipe be doubled to make 24 cupcakes? Thanks much! March 10, 2015 at 11:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be just fine. I hope you love them! March 15, 2015 at 2:48pm Reply

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