The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

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Soft, fluffy, and light, this Chocolate Cupcake Recipe is truly the best. It’s loaded with chocolate flavor and has a soft crumb that practically melts in your mouth.

side view of chocolate cupcakes on a marble cake stand

The Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

I’ve made the cupcakes before. They’re featured in my chocolate raspberry cupcakes post.

It’s one of my favorite chocolate cupcake recipes and it’s adapted from my favorite chocolate cake recipe.

I halved the cake recipe and added a touch of oil along with the butter and the results are amazing. The cupcakes taste decadent and are so soft in the centers.

To get enough of that rich chocolate flavor I added both melted chocolate and cocoa powder. This is something I do often when making chocolate cake.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes on a marble cake stand

Can you make chocolate cupcakes with oil?

You can use oil in chocolate cupcake recipes. I made this one with just 2 tablespoons of oil plus melted butter. I prefer butter because it adds richness but sometimes a little oil is needed to add moisture.

Main ingredients for homemade chocolate cupcakes

Flour – this recipe calls for all-purpose flour. The crumb isn’t as tight as when using cake flour but the cupcakes remain incredibly soft.

Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder adds a ton of chocolate flavor.

Unsweetened chocolate – adding in melted chocolate will give the cupcakes even more decadent chocolate flavor. The flavor reminds me of brownies.

Buttermilk – this is the key ingredient for moist, spongy cupcakes. Do not try to substitute for whole milk or milk substitute.

Coffee – adding a little coffee to chocolate desserts enhances the chocolate flavor. Use decaf coffee if you are sensitive to caffeine or replace the coffee with an equal amount of buttermilk.

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes on a black wire rack

How to make chocolate cupcakes?

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients

Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.

dry ingredients combined

Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients

Beat the butter, oil, and sugar until well combined.

combined wet ingredients

Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.

whisk in eggs

Step 4: Add melted chocolate

Whisk in melted chocolate that has been cooled.

stir in melted chocolate

Step 5: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and coffee. Stir until everything is well combined. The batter will be thick.

chocolate cupcake batter in bowl

Step 6: Bake

Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake in a 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and frost as desired.

Chocolate Cupcakes Batter in Pan

Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Moist Chocolate Cupcake with a bite taken out

Tips for this chocolate cupcake recipe recipe

  • There’s no need for a mixer with this recipe! All you need are a couple mixing bowls and a whisk. A rubber spatula will be handy too!
  • Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter among the prepared cups. I have a 1.5 tablespoon scoop and fill each cup with 2 scoops. This is the perfect amount of batter.
The Best Chocolate Cupcakes recipe image
5 from 1 vote

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Soft, fluffy, and light, this Chocolate Cupcake Recipe is truly the best. It’s loaded with chocolate flavor and has a soft crumb that practically melts in your mouth.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cupcakes, cupcakes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yields 14 cupcakes
Calories 182 kcal
Author Jen Sobjack



  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line 14 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk and set aside.

  3. Add the chocolate to a small heatproof bowl and set it over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir continuously until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer beat the butter, oil, and sugar together on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. 

  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and mix until well incorporated.

  6.  With the mixer set to low speed, gradually add half the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and coffee, and then the remaining flour mixture. Beat just until combined. The batter will be thick.

  7. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, about 18-20 minutes.

  8.  Cool the cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.

Make ahead tip

  1. The cupcakes can be made 1 day in advance before frosting. Cover and refrigerate each overnight. Frost the cupcakes the next day.

  2. Or the cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and frost as desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can use decaf coffee or simply replace it with 1/4 cup more buttermilk.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 182 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 182mg 8%
Potassium 125mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 11g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 3.7%
Calcium 3.1%
Iron 10.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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