These Moist Chocolate Cupcakes are completely from scratch & full of chocolate flavor! The cupcake is so moist, it melts in your mouth and the frosting is made with real melted chocolate for a silky smooth, super chocolatey frosting you won’t want to stop eating!
Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Sometimes all you really want is a little chocolate. Well these cupcakes are for when you want plenty of chocolate – no skimping. I’ve shared several different chocolate cake and cupcake recipes, including the ones used in these nutella chocolate cupcakes and this easy moist chocolate cake. And while I love them all, if I could only ever bake one chocolate cupcake ever again, it’d be this one.
How to Make Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
To start, the cupcake itself is maybe the most moist cupcake you’ll ever have. It’s ridiculously good. I never knew homemade chocolate cupcakes could be so good until I had these. Part of their secret is that they are baked at a lower temperature.
You’ll notice when you make the cupcakes that the batter is very thin. I mean like, very thin. It’s supposed to be that way. These are FULL of moisture. Baking at a lower temperature allows the cupcakes to bake more evenly and end up super fluffy and so moist. Unlike some cupcakes that end up dry on the outside and crack, these don’t do that and are moist throughout for DAYS. They might even be more moist on day 2 and 3. Ridiculously awesome.
How to Make An Awesome Chocolate Cupcake Frosting
And then there’s the frosting. The best chocolate cupcakes needed an awesome chocolate frosting. Something silky smooth and full of real chocolate. This frosting begins with butter and melted chocolate. So smooth and delicious on its own. The chocolate gives it a fudgy quality that I love. I used semi sweet chocolate. It’s my favorite to use in recipes like this. It lends a richer chocolate that isn’t bitter. SO good!
To make the frosting even more chocolatey and rich, I also added some cocoa powder. I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa blend in both the cupcake and the frosting. I love the rich chocolate flavor it gives, but you could also use regular cocoa and everything would bake up just fine.
The final ingredients in the frosting are the powdered sugar and some heavy cream. The powdered sugar will thicken up the frosting a bit so that it pipes well and holds it’s shape and the cream will thin it out a bit. If you need a little help with the frosting, check out my tutorial on how to the right frosting consistency.
Seriously, these moist chocolate cupcakes are super moist and wonderfully full of chocolate. The fluffy chocolate cupcake with the fudgy chocolate frosting is divine! You’ll hardly be able to take your fingers out of the frosting long enough to put in on the cupcakes but once you do – the cupcakes won’t stand a chance!
Moist Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes, plus cooling time
- Yield: 14-16 Cupcakes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
These Moist Chocolate Cupcakes are made completely from scratch! The cupcake is made with oil and is so moist, it melts in your mouth with a fudgy frosting!
- 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (207g) sugar
- 6 tbsp (43g) unsweetened cocoa powder*
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water*
- 1 1/4 cups (280g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 3 tbsp (22g) Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
- 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4–5 tbsp (60-75ml) heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
2. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3. Combine the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla in another medium sized bowl.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
5. Add the water to the batter and mix until well combined. Batter will be thin.
6. Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
9. Add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined.
10. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.
11. Add about half of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix until well combined.
12. Add remaining powdered sugar and salt and mix until smooth.
13. Add remaining heavy cream as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.
14. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.
*You can also use regular unsweetened cocoa powder
I have previously used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder for these cupcakes, but Hershey’s has changed it and it no longer works as well in these. I recommend regular unsweetened cocoa powder.
This recipe calls for hot water. You don’t have to use hot water – the cake will still bake fine – but the hot water allows the cocoa to “bloom”, which brings out a richer chocolate flavor in the cake.
- Serving Size: 1 Cupcake
- Calories: 520
- Sugar: 55.8 g
- Sodium: 168.3 mg
- Fat: 29.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 65.6 g
- Protein: 3.8 g
- Cholesterol: 54.8 mg
Keywords: chocolate cupcakes recipe, chocolate dessert recipe, best chocolate cupcakes, easy chocolate cupcakes, moist chocolate cupcakes, best chocolate frosting
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Almost forgot! I only use Valrhona cocoa powder. That makes a difference as well.
It’s just a good basic chocolate cupcake. It is moist, did not “dome” on top, excellent flavor. I did use 1/2 C of coffee instead of hot water to brighten the chocolate flavor. (It did not have a coffee flavor.)
Can I substitute the water for Guinness beer?
Guinness is carbonated, so it’ll actually affect the outcome. Not sure if it’ll work well or not.
I made a vegan version of the cakes replacing milk with soya milk. They rose beautifully and tasted delicious!
So glad to hear that!
This is the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe!
It’s actually not their recipe, although it is similar.