This Chocolate Cupcake recipe is so easy and the results are amazing every time. Top them with our 6-minute Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and you have the ultimate chocolate lovers cupcake! Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is.

Chocolate cupcake recipe topped with chocolate buttercream frosting

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We love homemade cupcake recipes from Vanilla Cupcakes to Pumpkin Cupcakes. They are always the first dessert to disappear at birthday parties. If you are a fan of cupcakes made from scratch, this Chocolate Cupcake Recipe is a must-try!

Chocolate Cupcake Video Tutorial

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Fluffy and moist center of a chocolate cupcake

Why you will Love these Chocolate Cupcakes

First, this recipe is SO EASY! Simply mix the dry ingredients, then mix the wet ingredients, and whisk them together. They bake up with a beautiful domed top.

These chocolate cupcakes are moist and fluffy at the same time with a tender crumb. The coffee is the secret ingredient here and makes these intensely chocolatey and gives the cupcakes a deeper color. You can’t really taste the coffee in these and you probably wouldn’t know it’s there if you didn’t read the recipe, but it really makes the chocolate flavor shine. 

Ingredients for chocolate cupcakes with coffee, cocoa, flour, vanilla, oil, egg and vinegar

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Quick prep – Preheat the oven and line a 12-count cupcake pan.
  2. Mix dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt), breaking up any big clumps of cocoa.
  3. Mix wet ingredients – In a second bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (warm coffee, vinegar, oil, egg, vanilla)
  4. Combine batter – Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. The batter will be a little loose with small lumps.
  5. Fill and bake – Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake at 350˚F for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool before frosting.
Step by step mixing ingredients to make chocolate cupcakes

Pro Tip: Do not overfill cupcake tin. If you add more than 2/3, it will flow over, get stuck to the tin, and won’t form that perfect dome top. It’s better to have a little batter left over than to overflow the pan. 

Tall chocolate cupcake with domed top covered with chocolate frosting.

Common Questions

What is the best cocoa to use?

For best results, use unsweetened natural cocoa powder.

What oven settings do you recommend?

Our recipes are written for using a conventional oven. We bake at 350˚F on the center rack of the oven for exactly 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Can I make this into a Cake?

This cupcake batter converts well to a cake and you will want to double the recipe for a 9-inch, 2-layer cake. See our Chocolate Cake Recipe for guidance on baking the cake.

Can I Substitute the Coffee?

You can substitute 1 cup coffee with 1 cup room temperature buttermilk. In my tests, the coffee gave the best color and more chocolate flavor (see photo below). If you are concerned about caffeine, decaf coffee will also work.

chocolate cupcake with coffee and chocolate cupcake with buttermilk

The Best Frosting for Chocolate Cupcakes

There are so many ways to frost a cupcake. We love them with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. You could also make Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting, or any of these cupcake icings:

Frosted cupcake with chocolate buttercream

Make-Ahead

  • Storing at Room Temperature: Make the cupcakes a day in advance, cool completely to room temperature then cover and store at room temperature until ready to frost and serve.
  • Freezing: Freeze un-frosted cupcakes for up to 2 months in a freezer safe zip bag or storage container.
  • To Thaw: Defrost cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight. For the softest texture, allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.
Domed cupcakes baked and ready for freezing.

I hope this Chocolate Cupcake recipe becomes a go-to favorite for you! I cranked out 8 batches of cupcakes when I was developing the recipe and I am confident these are the ultimate chocolate cupcakes.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

4.98 from 635 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream
This Chocolate Cupcake recipe is easy with great results every time. A surprising ingredient makes these moist, fluffy and super chocolatey cupcakes. Try these with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the center of the oven. Fill a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together dry ingredients, breaking up most of the cocoa clumps.
  • In a second mixing bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  • Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and whisk just until the ingredients come together and no dry streaks remain. Batter will be a little loose and lumpy.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to portion batter, filling each cup 2/3 full (do not over-fill). Bake 18-22 min (20 minutes was perfect), until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely to room temperature before frosting.

Nutrition Per Serving

187kcal Calories30g Carbs3g Protein7g Fat1g Saturated Fat1g Trans Fat14mg Cholesterol195mg Sodium69mg Potassium1g Fiber17g Sugar20IU Vitamin A8mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
187
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
7
g
11
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
14
mg
5
%
Sodium
 
195
mg
8
%
Potassium
 
69
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
30
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
17
g
19
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
20
IU
0
%
Calcium
 
8
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cupcakes
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 187

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Terri
    March 1, 2024

    Made these. Loved them. They were so moist and delicious. I liked them without frosting as much as I did with. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 1, 2024

      Hi Terri! I’m so glad you loved the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Alexandra
    March 1, 2024

    Hi, I prepared these muffins and I loved the taste, plus very easy to prepare. However, they came out a little dry. What can I add to make them more mostly? Could it be because I didn’t use the vinegar? What can I use as a substitute for it?
    Thank so much.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 1, 2024

      Hi Alexandra! That could affect the texture because the vinegar helps to activate the baking soda. I would also make sure you are measuring your ingredients correctly. Using too much flour can cause this to be dry and dense. I have a tutorial on how to measure ingredients to help. Lastly, I encourage using an internal oven thermometer (amazon affiliate link) to see if you’re oven is calibrated. They can be dry if they are over-baked. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Laura Spring
    February 20, 2024

    I’m excited to try this recipe. But I have a few silly questions, what kind of coffee do you use?
    Is there a specific brand or roast I should get? I’m not a coffee drinker and there’s so many options in the aisle.
    Did you brew a whole pot and take a cup portion out of that?
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 20, 2024

      Hi Laura! Any coffee will work (brand/roast). If you prefer to use instant coffee granules, you can do that too- make it according to the package instructions. If you want to brew your own, the Golden Ratio is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. You don’t have to brew a whole pot.

      Reply

  • Pamela
    February 3, 2024

    wow, this recipe is so easy and tastes great! and the butter cream frosting is delicious, and also easy to make. This went into my “keeper” recipe folder. My chocoholic son, loved these.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 3, 2024

      I’m so glad you found a keeper! Thank you for the feedback, Pamela.

      Reply

  • Gretchen
    February 2, 2024

    Great cupcake! I was concerned because my batter was much thicker than yours. Perhaps by weighing flour rather than measuring in a cup, I added more??? Regardless, they were very, very good. Not too sweet. I topped with a homemade biscoff buttercream. Boy, were these good! Thanks again for a wonderful recipe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 2, 2024

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Gretchen. Be sure to measure by fluffing the flour first with a spoon then spoon it into a dry ingredient measuring cup and scrape off the top. If you push your measuring cup into a flour bin, you will get up to 25% too much flour. Also, do not tap the flour down in the measuring cup.

      Reply

  • Pam
    January 28, 2024

    By far, one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had! Super quick & easy to throw together. So moist & rich flavor! And I love that the recipe is written to make 12 (vs. 12).
    I’ll be making these again … and again!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 28, 2024

      Thank you, Pam for your wonderful feedback!

      Reply

  • Maurie A White
    January 20, 2024

    The family went nuts over them the first time. Everyone loved them. I’m making them now on a request from a granddaughter. They are perfect and so delicious.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 20, 2024

      That is the best when the family loves what we parents make. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Kay Robbins
    January 14, 2024

    Wow. So this was my first time ever making homemade cupcakes. I made these with your chocolate icing recipe. So delicious. I was so proud. They turned out so good. I have made it an every weekend thing where I pick 2 to 3 recipes by you from your cook book or your Pinterest page and make them. However, this was the first time I got the courage to attempt baking a sweet. Lol. I will definitely make these again.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 14, 2024

      Hi Kay! That’s awesome. I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes.

      Reply

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