Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes have a moist, sweet, indulgent base topped with fluffy buttercream icing. The perfect dessert for a birthday party!

Cupcakes are the perfect way to make your favorite Cake Recipes shareable. Instead of slicing a whole Chocolate Cake for all your guests, you can make a batch of awesome Chocolate Cupcakes that are ready-made in serving sizes.

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes close up


Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes are sure to be an all-time favorite with any true chocolate fans. The amazing chocolate cake is topped off with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting for plenty of chocolate flavor that’s sure to satisfy even the biggest chocolate lovers out there.

There’s also espresso powder mixed into the moist chocolate cupcakes. The coffee helps bring out a more intense chocolate flavor for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. The rich chocolate flavor and the moist chocolate cake base really set these homemade chocolate cupcakes apart from any you could buy at a store!

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes Collage of prep steps

Once you’ve made these perfect Chocolate Cupcakes, you can top the fudgy chocolate frosting off with a variety of decorations. Try adding chocolate shavings and fresh berries for a more grown-up look. Or, if you’re serving them for a Birthday Party, top them off with bright and fun rainbow sprinkles. They’re the perfect dessert for any special occasion!



  • Prep time: Pre-heat the oven and line your muffin tin with paper liners. 
  • Batter: Melt the butter in the microwave. Then add it to a bowl along with the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, canola oil, and hot water. Whisk until the dry ingredients are just combined. It’s important not to overmix at this step. Add the eggs to the flour mixture and whisk again until just combined. Then add the milk and vanilla. Whisk until the dry and wet ingredients are one smooth mixture. 
  • Baking time: Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter from the bowl into the cupcake liners so they’re each 2/3 full.  Bake the recipe for 20-22 minutes. To test if they’re done, insert a toothpick in the center. If it comes out without any batter on it, take the pan out of the heat. Cupcakes from the oven will be too hot to frost. Let the muffin temperature cool completely before piping the icing on top. 
  • Chocolate frosting: While the unfrosted cupcakes cool, get out a medium bowl and a saucepan to make the buttercream. Add the butter and cocoa powder to a saucepan over medium heat. Mix them together and let the butter mixture cool before adding it to the mixing bowl. Whip the mixture at medium speed, adding powdered sugar and milk ½ cup at a time. After the sugar and milk are combined, whisk the vanilla into the mixture. You can add more milk if the frosting is too thick. Transfer the icing from the bowl to a piping bag and frost the cupcakes.

Rich Chocolate Frosting Collage of frosting steps


  • Cream cheese frosting: If you want cupcakes that are a little less sweet and more tangy, try replacing the buttercream with Cream Cheese Icing
  • Buttermilk: Another way to add a nice tang to the recipe is to make them with buttermilk. Use buttermilk in place of the milk and use baking soda in place of the baking powder, so that they still rise. 
  • Coffee: There’s already espresso powder in the recipe, which helps make a richer chocolate flavor. But, if you want to add to that you can use freshly brewed coffee to replace the hot water that’s called for.

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting on cake stand

  • Triple chocolate: For even more chocolate flavor in your delicious chocolate cupcakes, you can add ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. 
  • Vanilla Icing: For an amazing vanilla with chocolate combination, take the cocoa powder out of the frosting and just use vanilla icing. 
  • Nutella Chocolate Cupcakes: Another option is instead of using unsweetened cocoa powder, you can mix Nutella into the icing for a creamy Nutella topping. 



  • Serve: Classic Chocolate Cupcakes can stay good at room temperature for up to 2 days. Just make sure to cover them so that they stay moist. 
  • Store: You can also seal the recipe in an airtight container to keep in the refrigerator for 1 week. 
  • Freeze: Or, to store them for 3 months seal the Chocolate Cupcakes in an airtight container in the freezer.

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes on serving plate

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Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes have a moist, sweet, indulgent base topped with fluffy buttercream icing. The perfect dessert for a birthday party!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tray with liner cups.
  • To a stand mixer add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, salt, melted butter, canola oil, water and turn on the beater until just combined.
  • Add in the eggs until just combined, then add in the milk and vanilla beating until smooth.
  • Using an ice cream scoop fill the cups 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the cocoa powder then remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Add the cooled chocolate mixer to your stand mixer and whip on medium speed adding the powdered sugar and milk, alternating them ⅓ at a time and finally add the vanilla in last.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk.
  • Add frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.



Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 513IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes CollagePhotos used in a previous version of this post.

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting on cake stand with cupcake liner removedChocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting and chocolate sprinkles with bite removedChocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting and chocolate sprinkles on cake standChocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting and chocolate sprinkles with bite removedChocolate Cupcakes collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I served these at my son’s birthday party and several people asked for the recipe. Best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever made!

  2. I served these at my son’s birthday party and several people asked for the recipe. Best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever made!

  3. These are to die for!! The more chocolate, the better!! They are so soft & moist & the frosting is so creamy!