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Pealing back the cupcake liner on a moist chocolate cupcake.

Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay Conchar
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 14-16 Cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Made completely from scratch, these moist chocolate cupcakes are delicious and a crowd favorite! They are super moist, pack tons of chocolate flavor and are so easy to make! Topped with a rich chocolate buttercream, these are amazing!


Chocolate cupcakes

  • 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 or buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water*

Chocolate buttercream

  • 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
  • 24 tbsp heavy cream


For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl and combine. Set aside.
  3. Add the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to another medium sized bowl and whisk together to combine.
  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. The batter will be very 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.

For the buttercream

  1. To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
  2. Add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add about half of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. Add remaining powdered sugar and salt and mix until well combined and smooth.
  6. Add remaining heavy cream as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.
  7. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 847.
  8. 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 doesn’t work quite the same in these. They don’t rise as well. I recommend regular unsweetened cocoa powder, but you can technically use either.
  • 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.
  • Milk and buttermilk both work great in these cupcakes. I don’t notice much difference between the two, other than that the buttermilk makes them even more tender (and they are already super tender).


  • 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