These light and fluffy chocolate cupcakes are super moist and easy to make. They are topped with a sweet chocolate buttercream and a chocolate sauce drizzle, making them irresistible!
Why You Have to Try This Chocolate Cupcake Recipe!
If chocolate-on-chocolate isn’t convincing enough already, let me share a few more reasons you’ll adore this recipe:
- Rich Chocolate Flavor: These cupcakes have the perfect balance of cocoa powder and dark chocolate to create a rich, deep chocolate flavor.
- Moist and Tender: You do not have to worry about dry cupcakes with this recipe! Since the batter is more wet than dry, we end up with chocolate cupcakes with double the moisture.
- Time-Efficient: Like my best chocolate cake recipe, these chocolate cupcakes come together quickly without a lot of kitchen tools or time needed.
- Change Them Up: Use this recipe as a base that you can customize with all kinds of flavors and toppings! Their perfect chocolate flavor goes with peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, cream cheese frosting, and more.
You will need to gather up some basic baking ingredients to make this recipe. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.
- Flour: Simple all-purpose flour is what you’ll need.
- Cocoa Powder: Either Dutch-process or regular unsweetened cocoa powder is fine.
- Rising Agents: This recipe uses baking powder and baking soda.
- Sugar: Plain granulated sugar, or you could use brown sugar.
- Dark Chocolate: I like to use a chocolate with around 70% cocoa.
- Butter and Oil: Unsalted butter and vegetable oil (or another neutral-flavored cooking oil).
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract.
- Eggs: Large, whole eggs.
- Optional Toppings: Chocolate buttercream frosting (1.5 batches), chocolate sauce (1 batch), and rainbow sprinkles.
How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes
This mixing and baking process might be a little different – the melting and heating steps are key! Let’s take a closer look.
- Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt.
- Wet Ingredients: In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter until melted.
- Combine: Add the oil and vanilla to the saucepan. Quickly beat in the eggs until combined. Finally, whisk in the dry ingredients.
- Bake: Pour the cupcake batter into the tins, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few crumbs. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting!
So there you have it – the ultimate simple (yet decadent!) chocolate cupcake recipe. Here are a few helpful baking notes to help guarantee success:
- Chocolate: Use a high-quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate for the best tasting cake. Do not rush the melting of the chocolate and sugar. Doing so may burn the ingredients and making it unusable and you will have to start over again.
- Frosting: I recommend making 1.5 batches of the chocolate frosting for a regular amount of icing on your cupcakes. If you like your chocolate cupcakes to have a lot of frosting, make a double batch!
- Don’t Over Bake: The most important tip is to ensure you do not over bake these cupcakes. Remove them from the oven as soon as they are cooked through and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
Want to change things up a little? Here are a few ways to make these cupcakes shine even brighter:
- Frostings: Chocolate frosting is a classic, but you can try a different flavor like cream cheese frosting. The sweet peanut butter frosting from my favorite chocolate peanut butter cake recipe would also be amazing!
- Mocha: Want to give your cupcakes an espresso flavor? Add 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder to the cupcake batter.
- Nuts: Add 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans for an added crunch. You can also add mini marshmallows for a rocky road flavor!
Storing Chocolate Cupcakes
Store cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Depending on the type of frosting, the cupcakes may need to be refrigerated. Buttercream frostings are fine at room temperature, while cream cheese frostings are best kept in the fridge.
Can I Freeze These?
Like most cakes and cupcakes, these cupcakes freeze well for another time. Cool completely, then wrap each unfrosted cupcake individually in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Freeze them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to three months.
For frosted cupcakes, you can flash-freeze them on a baking sheet for an hour or so, until the frosting is firm. Transfer to a container with a tall lid, so the frosting doesn’t get smushed.
Thaw cupcakes in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until melted. Whisk in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
- Quickly beat in the eggs (do this quickly so they don’t scramble) into the chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in the dry ingredients, until smooth.
- Fill each cupcake tin with batter until the cupcake tin is filled 3/4 full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly dry, with just one or two crumbs clinging to it.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting, as desired.
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