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chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting on white plate

Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 24 people
Calories: 225kcal
Looking for the best chocolate cupcake recipe? These super moist and decadent chocolate cupcakes are what you need!
Print Recipe



  • cups all-purpose flour 210 grams
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 63 grams
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 400 grams
  • teaspoons baking soda 9 grams
  • teaspoons baking powder 6 grams
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
  • 1 cup buttermilk 227 grams
  • 2 large eggs 100 grams, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8 grams
  • ½ cup salted butter 113 grams, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 cup water 227 grams, boiling (212°F)
  • Chocolate buttercream frosting click for recipe


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
    1¾ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1½ teaspoons baking soda, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter together.
    1 cup buttermilk, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, ½ cup salted butter
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and beat together with a hand mixer or by hand with a whisk. Gradually add in the boiling water while mixing to help break apart the batter. Batter will be thin.
    1 cup water
  • 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.
    Chocolate buttercream frosting
  • Top the cooled cupcakes with buttercream.


  • 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-inch 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.
Storage: Store chocolate cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg