Looking for the best chocolate cupcake recipe? These super moist and decadent chocolate cupcakes are what you need!
Best Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Once you make these chocolate cupcakes from scratch, you won’t ever go back to the box mix or store bought cupcakes again. Whether you need birthday cupcakes, party cupcakes, or something to take to your office, you’ll find they are a hit with kids and adults alike.
Yes, it may be easier to whip together a box mix of cupcakes, but they will never be as deliciously sweet and moist as these chocolate cupcakes.
This is a derivation of an original Hershey’s cake recipe. Made from scratch using buttermilk, flour, and cocoa powder, these cupcakes are super chocolatey, perfectly fluffy, and deliciously sweet.
Top these moist cupcakes with my favorite homemade chocolate buttercream frosting for the most exquisite cupcakes you’ve ever had.
Why you'll love this Chocolate Cupcake recipe
- The recipe is easy. Making something from scratch isn’t always easy, but this recipe is especially easy because you just mix everything together. No creaming of butter and sugar is necessary.
- You can make substitutions. If you don’t have buttermilk for example, you can use whole milk instead.
- Perfect for any occasion. I make these cupcakes for birthday parties, classroom parties, office parties, and to take to potlucks and BBQs. They are great for anytime.
How to make Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch
**This is an abbreviated list. Be sure to see the recipe card below for full instructions and details.
- First, preheat your oven to 350°F and spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter.
- Then, beat together the wet and dry ingredients while gradually adding in the boiling water.
- Next, pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins filling each one ¾ of the way full.
- Place the muffins in the oven and bake them for 22 to 25 minutes.
Are these Cupcakes Moist?
These cupcakes are so moist! In fact, they are so moist they are really delicate, so you will have to be careful when frosting them.
Why Do You Need Boiling Water?
You may not think the boiling water is necessary, but it is part of what makes these cupcakes so delicious. The boiling water is part of a tradition that has been passed down in baking.
It helps to break apart the dry ingredients in the cake batter so it really blends everything evenly together.
How Do I Store Chocolate Cupcakes?
After baking, you can easily store your cupcakes for later. If they are frosted, you will want to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
They can be stored in the fridge for 3 days. If they are unfrosted, you can store them in an airtight container on the countertop for 2 to 3 days.
You can also freeze your cupcakes to keep them longer as well. If they are frosted or unfrosted, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- You can make it into cakes. For two 8” round pans, you will bake for 30 minutes. For 1 sheet cakes, you will bake for 30 minutes.
- The cupcakes are delicate. If you want to pile them high with frosting, try refrigerating or freezing the cupcakes first. This will make them more stable.
- You can substitute cocoa powder. Instead of using unsweetened cocoa powder, you can use dutch-process cocoa powder.
- Buttermilk can be substituted. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute it with whole milk instead.
- You can also substitute the butter as well. Instead of using butter, use vegetable oil.
These light, fluffy, and moist cupcakes will just fall apart in your mouth. They are perfect for any occasion and are sure to make all your guests’ tastebuds happy!
They will quickly become your favorite chocolate cupcakes as well!
More cupcake recipes we love
If you make this recipe be sure to leave us a comment or rating. Enjoy!
Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- 1 cup boiling water
- chocolate buttercream frosting (or your favorite frosting) click for recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and beat together with a mixer or by hand. Gradually add in the boiling water while mixing to help break apart the batter. Batter will be thin.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins (filling about 3⁄4 of the way full).
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Cool cupcakes completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
- Once frosted, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored on the countertop (airtight container) for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- This is a derivation of an original Hershey’s cake recipe.
- You can bake the cake batter in traditional round cake pans - bake times will vary depending on size, but two 8” rounds will bake for about 30 minutes or a sheet cake (9x13) will bake for about 35 minutes.
- The boiling water is a traditional technique used to help break apart the dry ingredients in a cake batter.
- This is a light, moist cupcake with a light crumb. The cupcakes are delicate. Keep refrigerated (or even frozen) if you want to pile high with frosting. This will provide more stability to the cupcake base during the frosting process. (Please note - I piled cupcakes very high with frosting. They were not pre-chilled. They held up fine, but once you bite into the cupcake, they start to get top heavy.)
- I used natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder can also be used.
- Milk can be substituted for the buttermilk - I recommend whole milk.
- Vegetable oil can be used in place of the melted butter (as in the original Hershey’s recipe).
- This recipe is especially easy because you just mix everything together - no creaming of butter and sugar is necessary.