Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

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 Moist Chocolate Cupcakes sitting on burlap

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with a bite taken

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.

moist chocolate cupcakes sitting on burlap with sprinkles
Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles

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!

Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with bundting in background
Chocolate Cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles on burlap

Read transcript

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close up of Moist Homemade Chocolate Cupcake

Moist Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • 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
  • 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
  • 45 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.

Keywords: chocolate cupcakes recipe, chocolate dessert recipe, best chocolate cupcakes, easy chocolate cupcakes, moist chocolate cupcakes, best chocolate frosting


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Homemade Moist Chocolate Cupcakes pinterest collage
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Recipe rating

  1. Glo

    Hi they are extremely lovely. I baked mine but the cupcake broke into two but it looked well done too. What could’ve happened please?

      1. fatima

        i love this recipe so much !!!! and the cupcakes were great in the oven !!
        but this time i wanted to bake the cupcakes in microwave , wht do you think will the cupcakes will be same moist as in the oven ???

  2. Lily

    Hi! Can I use steamer instead when I cook it? We don’t have an oven and I don’t know if the outcome will turn great or not when I use steamer.

  3. Kate

    We are in the middle of a snowstorm, my mother’s birthday is tomorrow and I really want to make these. I have everything but vanilla… do you think it will turn out if I don’t use it? I know they always say for baking you need to be exact with recipes and measurements lol, thanks!

  4. Mandy

    Sooo I’ve made this recipe before and it’s delicious!!!! But I don’t have buttermilk this time, any substitute I can consider ?

    1. Elle

      You can always make a quick buttermilk by adding one to two tablespoons of lemon juice to a cup of milk (dairy or otherwise). Or, you can add a tablespoon of vinegar.

  5. Angeles Barajas

    I was wondering how many cups does the frosting make because I need frosting for the 12 cupcakes and I don’t want to have leftover frosting?

    1. Lindsay

      They can stay at room temperature for 2-3 days. Beyond that, you should probably refrigerate them. Glad you enjoyed them!

  6. Hiba

    This is the most amazing recipe made it multiple times. Just wondering if I want to make double the batch and so one of my tray would on middle shelf in the oven and the second on bottom shelf shall I switch to fan settings? And if so what would be the temperature and time?

  7. Bodell

    I was curious if this would pair well with the frosting from the s’mores cupcake? Looking for a white frosting

  8. Julie

    These are the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve had, they came out perfectly! I made them for my nephew’s birthday party and everyone there love them too. Thank you for a great recipe!

  9. Tiffany

    I love baking and have tried several chocolate cake/cupcake recipes. This one is PERFECTION! It’s perfectly moist and chocolatey. It’s what my cupcake dreams are made of. I haven’t tried the frosting since I prefer it with a cream cheese frosting. I plan to add a ganache filling next time I make them. Yum!

  10. Jolee

    I don’t have buttermilk where I live. Can I substitute for milk? It looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. ☺️

    1. Christina

      Making buttermilk is supper easy and really is better. 2 T of lemon juice to 1 cup milk. Add juice to measuring cup first and fill with milk to finish the cup. Stir, wait a minute or two and walah!

  11. Sarah

    5 cups of powdered sugar seem like a lot?? Is this to allow for a massive amount of frosting per cupcake? Can this be altered?

    1. Lindsay

      It allows for the amount of frosting you see on the cupcakes in the photos. If you would like to reduce the powdered sugar, you can and you will end up with less frosting.

  12. Luisa

    I made these as cupcake base for Halloween, and the sponge was so flavourful and moist. My daughter has requested it as her birthday cake now. Do you know what quantities I would need for an 8″ sponge cake?


    I am a food snob and I troll the internet looking for recipes. I have tried several cupcake recipes and nothing compares to this recipe. These cupcakes are DELICIOUS. I followed the recipe exactly. They are light and moist. 10 stars from me !!!!!!

  14. marlene Lage

    I have made this more than a dozen times and always come out to perfection.
    thank you so much for sharing just a easy and wonderful recipe.

    1. Lindsay

      Hot. I usually heat it just until it begins to boil in the microwave, then add it. It’s not boiling anymore, but very hot.

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12