These Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting are rich and incredibly tender. They are easy to mix together and chocolate lovers will adore them. Plus, this recipe can easily be made into a layered cake or sheet cake!
Great for birthday parties, summer cookouts, weeknight dessert, bake sales, and more. If you want the best chocolate cupcake recipe, here it is!
What you'll need to make Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
The full recipe is at the bottom of this post.
- Butter & Oil - I love to use the combination in my cakes. You can beat the flavor of butter but also how moist the oil makes the cake. Vegetable or canola oil can be used in this moist cupcake recipe.
- Cocoa Powder - I used regular Hershey's Cocoa Powder, but the Special Dark would be a nice addition especially if you're making a Halloween themed cupcake or like a dark chocolate flavor.
- Sour Cream & Buttermilk - This makes for an extremely moist and tangy cupcake.
- Cake Flour - You can use all-purpose flour as a substitution for cake flour, but it will likely make a more dense cake. I highly recommend just going out and buying cake flour for the fluffier version!
- Vanilla - My go-to vanilla extract is my Rodelle! I do have a great homemade vanilla extract you can use as well.
- Eggs - The recipes are always tested with large eggs. Using a different size egg can add more or less liquid and potentially mess with the recipe.
- Sugar - There's plenty of granulated sugar or "white sugar" in this recipe. It's competing with the tanginess of the sour cream and buttermilk as well as the bitterness of cocoa powder.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder - The leavening agents that give this chocolate cupcake recipe its fluff.
- Salt - This helps balance out the sweetness in the cupcake. It can be reduced if you're using salted butter so that it doesn't overpower the sweetness.
How to make Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Buttercream
To make your chocolate cupcakes you will place lines in your cupcake pans and then preheat the oven.
Add the melted butter, oil, and cocoa to a bowl and whisk until fully combined. Next whisk in the buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla until the sour cream is completely incorporated.
Once combined, whisk in the eggs. You can help break them down easier by beating them before adding them to the wet ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk the ingredients until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until incorporated.
PRO TIP: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients to avoid most of the clumping that would happen if you
Fill each liner ¾ full, and bake for 18-23 minutes or until the cupcakes are fully baked.
Allow the cupcakes to fully cool.
How to freeze Chocolate Cupcakes
If you would like to freeze cupcakes, go right ahead. Just place them in a freezer container and freeze for up to three months. Then when you want a cupcake or two, remove and allow the cupcakes to thaw.
You can also freeze your cupcakes bare or with the frosting. If you freeze the cupcakes bare, they can be tossed in a freezer bag for easy freezing. If you've added frosting to the cupcakes, you will want to use a tall freezer container to prevent the frosting from sticking to the other cupcakes.
Your homemade chocolate cupcakes will last for around 3-5 days. Due to the buttercream frosting, you will want to refrigerate your cupcakes. Otherwise, it will melt and break down the frosting.
The buttermilk adds a nice richness to the cupcakes. If you do not want to use buttermilk you could use a half and half or heavy cream in place of the buttermilk.
Unsweetened cocoa powder is what you will want to use. You are welcome to reach for a dark cocoa or a classic cocoa powder. It all depends on the flavor you are wanting in the cupcakes.
Essentially you can pair your chocolate cupcakes with any of your favorite frostings. I reached for a homemade chocolate buttercream. Vanilla, German chocolate, swiss merginue buttercream, strawberry frosting, etc. Any frosting will be delicious with homemade chocolate cupcakes.
Go right ahead and double this recipe if you would like. Just batch cook the cupcakes in the oven, and then place the cooked cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool.
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, add in the melted butter, vegetable oil, and cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth.
- Add in the buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla. Continue to whisk until the sour cream is incorporated.
- Whisk in the eggs until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until blended.
- Pour the cocoa mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk until everything is combined and most of the lumps have disappeared.
- Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 18 - 23 minutes until done. Insert a toothpick or skewer in the center of the cupcakes in the middle of the cupcake pan, if they come out clean or with moist crumbs, they're done.
- Let the cupcakes cool for about 15 minutes and then turn onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter. Mix with a hand mixer on medium until creamy.
- Add in the powdered sugar, sifted cocoa powder, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.
- Beat on high until frosting a thick and creamy.
- Place the chocolate frosting in a piping bag fitted with the Wilton 1M piping tip and pipe tall swirls on each coooled cupcake.
- Sprinkle chocolate sprinkles on top of the frosted cupcakes. The frosting will crust, so quickly add the sprinkles so they will stick to the freshly piped frosting.
- Place the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container and store them at room temperature.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)