Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist, rich, cupcakes with intense chocolate flavor in every bite, these are the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes!

These chocolate cupcakes really are the ULTIMATE! They are filled with rich chocolate flavor, are perfect for any special occasion, or just a chocolate craving. For more chocolate try Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake with Frosting, and Homemade Chocolate Pudding.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes | lifemadesimplebakes.com

All things chocolate

I don’t know about you, but I love ALL THINGS chocolate! These cupcakes are a scaled-down version of my chocolate blackout cake. They’re perfect for classroom treats, a girls night in, or a romantic dinner.

If you know me, you know I’m pretty particular when it comes to cupcakes. They have to be moist, rich and perfectly sweet. These cupcakes check all of the boxes. They’ve quickly become my go-to recipe.

I’ve used them as a base for raspberry buttercream topped cupcakes, salted caramel buttercream topped cupcakes, and mint chocolate chip buttercream topped cupcakes. They’re the best!

Today I thought I’d go all chocolate… and let me tell you, I have no regrets! They are heavenly. You’ll start by making the cupcakes, then while they cool you’ll mix up the frosting and gather the garnishes.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Making Chocolate Cupcakes

PREP. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one standard size cupcake pan with 12 liners, and an additional pan with four liners, set aside.

DRY INGREDIENTS. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

WET INGREDIENTS. Add eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla, and chopped chocolate. Beat on a medium speed until smooth, about a minute.

BAKE. Divide batter evenly between the liners (I prefer using a #20 scoop which is approximately ¼ cup of batter). Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.

COOL. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 8 minutes. Remove and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Chocolate Frosting

WET INGREDIENTS. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

DRY INGREDIENTS. Carefully add in the cocoa powder, vanilla and salt, beat until combined.

CREAM. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. When all of the powdered sugar has been added, beat in heavy cream, then add more if necessary to create a spreadable consistency. The frosting should be on the thicker side.

PIPE. Using a piping bag fitted with an extra large piping tip (see NOTES below for suggestions), pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with desired garnish.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Tips + Storing Info

To make your cupcakes fluffy and moist, be sure to use room temperature ingredients and use enough sour cream and buttermilk. These ingredients will create a soft and moist crumb.

Make your own buttermilk by following this recipe

To get a dark chocolate taste without it becoming bitter you need to make sure to use high-quality cocoa powder. Cheap cocoa powder could result in a bitter chocolate taste.

STORE cupcakes at room temperature or in the fridge, it is up to you. Either way make sure to keep them covered. Unfrosted cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container with a paper towel lining the bottom of the tupperware and on top of the cupcakes. They will last for about 2-3 days before becoming stale.

To FREEZE, wrap individual, unfrosted cupcakes in plastic wrap. Place all of the cupcakes in an airtight container/bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw to room temperature before frosting and serving.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes | lifemadesimplebakes.com

CHECK OUT MORE AMAZING CHOCOLATE RECIPES:

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Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Moist, rich, cupcakes with intense chocolate flavor in every bite. These are the ultimate chocolate cupcakes!
4.68 from 106 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Calories: 595kcal
Author: Andrea
Print Recipe

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Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • c. all-purpose flour
  • c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. quality unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt - not fine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • ½ c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. warm water + ½ tsp. espresso powder - espresso is optional
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. finely chopped semisweet chocolate

For the frosting:

  • 3/4 c. 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz. ½ block cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c. quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. whole milk or heavy cream

For the garnish:

  • 1/3 c. chocolate curls - mini chocolate chips or chocolate jimmies (sprinkles)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one standard size cupcake pan with 12 liners, and an additional pan with four liners, set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
  • Add eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla, and chopped chocolate. Beat on a medium speed until smooth, about a minute.
  • Divide batter evenly between the liners (I prefer using a #20 scoop which is approximately ¼ cup of batter).
  • Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 8 minutes. Remove and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For the frosting: in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Carefully add in the cocoa powder, vanilla and salt, beat until combined.
  • With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. When all of the powdered sugar has been added, beat in heavy cream, then add more if necessary to create a spreadable consistency. The frosting should be on the thicker side.
  • Using a piping bag fitted with an extra large piping tip (see NOTES below for suggestions), pipe onto cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with desired garnish.

VIDEO

NOTES

For the frosting, I suggest using a large piping tip, like the Ateco 829, but really any tips are beautiful verses not using one at all. 

Nutrition

Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 109g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 444IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 5mg

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About the Author

Andrea

Hi I'm Andrea!

Hotelier turned Food Blogger to help make your life simple, one recipe at a time.

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times, and it always comes out great! This is my go to recipe now, and forever! Thank you, and my family thanks you too!

  2. 3 stars
    I went to print this wonderful sounding recipe, however, when I looked at how the measurements were stated, I gave up and didn’t see a way to change to regular standard measurements. like cup, teaspoon, number of eggs etc.

    1. Hi Joyce, I’m not sure what you are seeing. When I hit print, I get this:

      Ingredients
      For the cupcakes:
      1½ c. all-purpose flour
      1½ c. granulated sugar
      3/4 c. quality unsweetened cocoa powder*
      1½ tsp. baking soda
      3/4 tsp. baking powder
      3/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt not fine
      2 large eggs
      1/4 c. sour cream
      ½ c. buttermilk
      3/4 c. warm water + ½ tsp. espresso powder espresso is optional
      1/4 c. vegetable oil
      1½ tsp. vanilla extract
      2 oz. finely chopped semisweet chocolate
      For the frosting:
      3/4 c. 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
      4 oz. ½ block cream cheese, softened
      3/4 c. quality unsweetened cocoa powder
      1½ tsp. vanilla extract
      pinch of salt
      3½ c. powdered sugar
      2 tbsp. whole milk or heavy cream
      For the garnish:
      1/3 c. chocolate curls mini chocolate chips or chocolate jimmies (sprinkles)

    1. Hi Monet, yes and it is easy with our website. Just click the Print Recipe button and a new tab will open with the recipe formatted to print – but, before you click the print button, you can change the servings from 16 cupcakes to either 32 or 48 and the ingredients will update accordingly, then hit Print and you are good to go.