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) milk
- 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) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and combine. Set aside.
- Add the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to another medium sized bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Add the water to the batter and mix until well combined. The batter will be very thin.
- Fill the cupcake liners about half way and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
For the frosting
- To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add about half of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add remaining powdered sugar and salt and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add remaining heavy cream as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 844.
- Store cupcakes at room temperature for up to 24 hours, then refrigerate. Cupcakes are best served at room temperature. Best eaten within 4-5 days.
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: moist chocolate cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes from scratch, homemade chocolate cupcakes
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Hi! Love this recipe. I want to make some tonight but I’m out of buttermilk. Can I use half & half or whole milk instead of buttermilk?
Absolutely. Whole milk or even 2% work great.
Absolutely delicious!! I made these for a party this weekend and they were a huge hit!! I will definitely be making these again!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them!
Hi! I just made these for my
daughter’s birthday party tomorrow. Would you recommend refrigerating them overnight? I haven’t yet frosted them.
No, you can leave them at room temperature.
Hi there is this the frosting that use to have shortening in it? I have make it to my boys and my husband its a family tradition
Yes, you can use all butter or half butter and half shortening.
Best chocolate cupcake recipe ever!!! These cupcakes are so moist and delicious. The frosting was tasty as well, but i only used 4 cups of sugar. It was also A LOT of frosting. It was enough for 24 cupcakes. Sucked wasting the other half of the frosting since i wont be using it any time soon, but at least i know for next time to cut it in half.
So glad you enjoyed them! The frosting makes enough to pile the frosting high, like you see in the photos. If you add less frosting, then yes you can definitely reduce it.
Recipe did not work at all. The cupcakes completely collapsed and dented badly in the middle. We threw them out. They weren’t edible.
I can truly attest that these cupcakes are super reliable. I have made them countless times. If they sunk in the middle, you likely mis-measured an ingredient (possibly the baking soda) or your baking soda may not have been good. You may have also opened the oven too soon, which can cause them to sink. I hope you try them again!
Mine also completely sunk in the middle … but I’m also in high altitude, so I’m wondering if this is why they sunk in the middle. Super bummer as I also made these for my son’s bday party and I had to toss out the batch.
Anything you recommend for high altitude?
I don’t know much about high altitude baking, but this guide may be helpful.
I have made this recipe so many times and have never had this happen! People absolutely RAVE about them every single time and beg me for the recipe. Wish I could take credit! If the cupcakes sank that was human error not the recipe.
P.S. her vanilla cupcakes are also hands down the best.
Hi. I have to make a large amount of cupcakes for a birthday party. Would I be able to make the batter ahead of time?
You could make the cupcakes ahead, but I wouldn’t make the batter too far ahead. The baking soda starts reacting prior to baking them and you’ll love some of the rise in the cupcakes if it sits for too long.
This recipe was so quick and easy to make and the results were excellent! The cake itself is so light, fluffy, and moist. It was tough to get them out of the tin without squishing them while they were still cooling. They are very rich of course with the icing, but sometimes that’s what you want! I actually made a much smaller batch of icing, dividing by 4, and froze many of the cupcakes so I can try some other icing options at some point. We’ll see how they defrost. I also filled one with raspberry jam to cut through the chocolate a bit. mmm so good. Will definitely be a go to recipe when I need a really good chocolate cake or cupcake. I may try with hot coffee instead of water at some point as well. Also appreciate the included weight measurements, even if they do jump between g and oz. Thanks!
Glad you enjoyed them!
I have a chocolate cake recipe that calls for a cup of hot coffee and the cake turns out delicious! Can hot coffee be substituted for the water? Thank you!
Sure, that’d be fine. I hope you enjoy the cupcakes!
Great recipe…I made some minor modifications as we serve chocolate in Germany. Very simple and yet the best cupcake recipe I have ever found.
FYI…If I had to work through Pinterest to get your information, I would rather be buried alive next to my mother-in-law. Thanks for the online information.