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The Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Check out my new blog with another amazing recipe for chocolate cupcakes!!

Out of all the years of my life that I have been baking, I have not found one chocolate cupcake recipe that tasted good to me. They all tasted the same. Lacking in chocolate flavour, un-moist, and dense. Then I found this recipe. I was reluctant to try it, because I was afraid it would turn out like every other cupcake recipe I had found. But no! It was really good. Here it is.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp
2  1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temp (you can put the eggs in a bowl of warm/hot water for a few minutes to warm them up if they are straight from the fridge. that’s what I do.)
1  1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (**Edit!!  natural cocoa powder works best here, but if all you have or can find is dutch processed, it might be okay. I find that callebaut cocoa powders works well in this recipe)
1 cup 2% or whole milk (whole milk works best)
2 teaspoons real vanilla


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers, or grease and flour really well or you won’t be able to get them out of the pan.

Beat the butter until it’s softened in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, that should take about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Measure out the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cocoa powder and sift together.  Measure out the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine. On low speed with your mixer, add about one third of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until only just mixed. Add about half of the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until just mixed barely mixed in. Keep doing this until your wet and dry ingredients are gone. It should go dry-wet-dry-wet-dry. This process should take no longer than 30 seconds (which is a long time when you’re actually counting). Finish by using a spatula to gently fold the batter to make sure everything  is well mixed and the bottom isn’t un-mixed. Scoop the batter into cupcake pans lined with cups about 2/3’s full. Bake the cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes, until the cake tester comes out clean. For cakes, fill the pans 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes at first, then keep checking every 5 minutes until it’s done.

Just for fun, I wanted to turn these cupcakes into german chocolate cupcakes. So what I did was coat the sides of the cupcakes with a ganache and rolled it in toasted coconut and finely chopped pecans. For the icing on top, I used a dulce de leche frosting, which I made by combining the dulce de leche with a bit of a good buttercream frosting. I piped that on top in a swirl and on top of that, I drizzled some of the extra ganache in a thin strand. Oh my god they were delicious! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of these awesome cupcakes, only the chocolate cupcakes by themselves. Enjoy!

♥ Tara

p.s. please always remember that you will only have a result as good as the ingredients you used to make it. If you use flavourless cocoa, you will have flavourless cake/cupcakes. And don’t use reduced fat items, they contain a higher water content and obviously less fat and will throw off the balance of the ingredients and change the result.

Note: Since I’ve been getting requests on a video to show how to make these cupcakes, I am working on it! Hopefully it will be up soon.


About Tara

I live in a small city, I believe in love, baking is what makes me happiest.

60 responses to “The Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

  1. Great recipe, if you have the time to publish a video on how to make it, that would be nice

  2. Karen

    I have been looking for the perfect chocolate cupcake made from scratch and today I think I have found just that. I knew the minute I finished mixing the batter I had a winner. My entire house smelled of chocolately goodness and I could not wait to get them out of the oven to taste. I couldn’t even wait for them to cool completely. These cupcakes are light and airy, moist and so chocolately. MMMMMMMMMMMMM.

  3. crystal ⋅

    I just tried your recipe 🙂 it is the best chocolate cupcake recipe I have tried thanks, they are so delicious :):):) Thanks again :):):)

  4. samantha ⋅

    wow! i am cooking it now. and it smells amazing!!! i am 11 and i love to bake and i look for diferent recipes and well that batter tasted good!i cant wait to sse how it will turn out!

  5. JC ⋅

    Um,how many does this recipe make?

  6. Debby ⋅

    How many does this receipe make?

  7. Susan

    Your recipe was cited as “THE BEST” in a question I asked on about cupcakes.

    You can see the question and answers here:

    As I resulted I added your blog to our cupcake page here:

  8. Ben ⋅

    Hi Tara, your recipe sounds nice. I am going to try it for my birthday party next week! Do you know how many cupcakes the recipe yields? Thanks

  9. Catherine

    Your chocolate cupcakes look great.
    Please advise if they stick to the patty papers? I am trying to find
    a soft but dense, tasty chocolate cupcake that comes away from
    patty papers easily.
    I also make mini cakes in tiny tins – again, would this mixture pull away
    from the tins OK?

    Many thanks.

  10. Suhaila ⋅

    Is it TWO sticks of butter , like 500 g all together or ?

  11. Neva

    These look sooo delicious!!!

  12. Angela Simms ⋅

    It’s my nephew’s 4th birthday tomorrow and I am going to make these for him. Thanks for the recipe!!

  13. kelsie ⋅

    love chocolate and your recipe best one ive tried 🙂

  14. peachwriter ⋅

    I know these replies are SUPER late, but here are the answers to some questions that were asked.

    JC- for me, it made 12 cupcakes in a regular sized muffin tin.

    Debby- same as above 🙂

    Ben- also same as above 🙂

    Catherine- This recipe did not stick to papers at all. But it’s also not very dense. Maybe not quite what you were looking for unless you reduced the amount of flour and added melted chocolate. It also didn’t stick to muffin tins without papers as long as they were greased and cocoa-ed (instead of floured since it’s chocolate!)

    Suhaila- Yes, two sticks of butter, with each stick being 1/2C, so 1 cup of butter.

    And thank you everybody for the nice comments 🙂

  15. Pingback: The Best Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting « Blog Archive « My Favourite Recipes

  16. Shai ⋅

    I just recently started baking. In my non-baking years, I’ve tried several cupcakes (as in purchased them), but hardly ever enjoyed them, something was always missing. I followed this recipe, my first cupcake batch ever and THEY WERE GLORIOUS. Hands down the best recipe ever. Its so easy, quick and the perfect gift. I’m baking some for a friends christmas party tonight! Have fun with the frosting.

  17. Nicole ⋅

    This recipe is amazing. It has such a nice chocolaty flavor that’s just delicious, but not too much. Definitely adding this recipe to my favorites!

  18. I Read this and it was perfect to make and take into class for our CLASS BAKEOFF I hope I win

    From the Master of cakes

  19. Ashley ⋅

    I’m thinking of using this recipe for my son’s 2nd birthday party. I’m making Elmo cupcakes and, from what everyone has said, they should amazing!

    Question: Do you think I could use muffin/cupcake tin paper liners or do you not suggest that for this recipe?

    Thank you!

    • peachwriter ⋅

      you can definitely make cupcakes out of this recipe, it works really well. Just don’t fill them too much or they will overflow for sure!
      have fun making elmo cupcakes!

  20. Maggie ⋅

    Hi! I’m 11 and I love to bake. I have made an apple pie, many cakes, omelets, these cupcakes, etc. from scratch! The cupcakes are delicousssssss and my brother thinks their amazing 🙂 I would be very pleased if i was a cook one day. Too bad my mom won’t let me cook when she’s not home 😦 Hahaha. Thanks sooooooo much these are so yummy!!! 😀

  21. Maggie ⋅

    P.S. You might want to talk a little about using cooking spray and cupcake holders. I followed the recipe straight out of the computer, so I didn’t use cooking spray or cupcake paper holder thingys. (i don’t know what they’re called! :/) But anyway, GREAT recipe! Make your own cookbook! 😀

    Many thanksssss. God bless 🙂

    • peachwriter ⋅

      lol thanks for the suggestion! I totally forgot about writing them in. It’s just always a step I do without thinking! I don’t know their proper name either. Cupcake wraps? Papers? I don’t know..haha

      thanks! I’m glad you like the recipe 🙂

      If you enjoy this blog, I’ve moved to and I post lots of good recipes on there too!

  22. bashira ⋅

    hi,i was so xcited to bake these but for sum strange reason they flopped.ive been baking all my life cakes ,tarts,biscuits etc but this is a first for me after trying to follow the recipe which was difficult as i had to convert alot of the measurements.i dont know where i went wrong,if sumone could pls help,keeping in mind i had to search on the net for what “sticks” of butter are and find out bout the right cocoa and convert to celsius…….oh and i was a bit doubtful of the 2 and a half cups sugar coz ive never made a cake that has that amount of sugar ,so sumone pls help

    • peachwriter ⋅

      hi! I’m sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t work out for you.

      Where are you located in the world? I’m confused by all the converting you had to do.

      how did you convert the recipe? Did you convert it onto grams or ounces? Because I tried converting the recipe into grams one time and it didn’t work out well.
      I’ve been working on giving all of my new recipes their measurements in grams. Maybe that will help you when I get it right!

      The 2 1/2 cups of sugar is correct. If you reduced the amount of sugar than that could have been a reason why they didn’t work for you. And 2 sticks of butter is 1 cup of butter, or 227grams. 1 stick is equivalent to 1/2 a cup or 114grams. 375 degrees farenheit is 191 degrees celsius.

      What exactly went wrong with the recipe for you? Did you bake it as cupcakes or as a cake? What was the finished result like?

  23. lola ⋅

    After reading the reviews I was excited to try this recipe but it didn’t feel like it was THE BEST chocolate cupcakes ever after I made them. My batch came out really light, it was hard to take them out of cupcake pan without ruining the whole cupcake. The cupcakes didn’t even taste that much like chocolate cupcakes which surprised me since this recipe claims to be the BEST chocolate cupcake recipe.

    • peachwriter ⋅

      I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you. I’ve never had a problem with them except when I tried to convert the recipe to grams.
      If by “light” you meant that they were light in colour and they didn’t even taste like chocolate then you probably didn’t use a very good cocoa powder, or maybe you didn’t measure properly? I am aware that in some places it’s hard to find good cocoa without ordering it online, but it’s super important in recipes such as this where the cocoa is the main performer on the stage (haha sorry for my lame analogy).

      Here is another recipe from my other blog
      It’s really good. A lot fluffier than the ones posted here, but again you must use a good cocoa and make sure you don’t overmix the batter.

  24. Nicole ⋅

    I’m really interested in trying your recipe after reading all the great reviews. I’m kind of new to baking from scratch…so I have a question…what is considered “good” cocoa? Is Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder considered good or average?

    • peachwriter ⋅

      Hi! I would say that most hershey’s cocoas are pretty average. But I can’t say that from experience because I don’t often us any of them. I use a callebaut cocoa powder that I happened to get for free from someone, so I ‘m lucky that way. But if your cocoa powder looks dark and rich and smells like really good chocolate then it will probably be fine in the recipe 🙂

      good luck!

  25. Angela ⋅

    I was so excited to try this recipe due to the great reveiws, but I think something went wrong with my batter. The cupcakes sunk while baking :-(..I really want to make sure I am following the recipe well! I think I may have over mixed the batter by accident. Question: While alternating between the flour & milk mixture, am I blending the flour mixture very well with a blender or a spoon? Or am I not to have it blended in “very well” but just enough to say “it’s in”? Approx how long does it take to blend these ingredients in? I must have mixed for aprox 2 minutes..I can tell the cupcakes would have been good due to the taste of the batter! Please help me. A video would be nice too;-)

    • peachwriter ⋅

      Sorry to hear that your cupcakes sunk! It was probably due to over-mixing.

      When alternating the wet and dry ingredients: this process should go pretty fast. Don’t wait until everything is mixed in before the next addition. You should be using a stand mixer or a hand mixer on the lowest speed, I can’t say how these cupcakes are when made just by hand because I’ve never done it.
      I will be posting a video tutorial soon, so I hope that helps everyone who is having problems! 🙂

      • Angela ⋅

        Thanks for your insight! I also used Ghirardelli brand of unsweetened cocoa. It does not say if it’s dutch or natural but I think it may be dutch which may have added to the problem. I will definitely not give up on your recipe. Thanks

  26. is adding mini chocolate chips to this batter an option?

  27. Holly

    Hi there!! These look amazing! Ive been looking for a great chocolate cupcake recipe and I think this is it! Have you added malt to these before? I was thinking of doing these with malt..

  28. Holly

    I’ll have to check out your other recipe and let you know how it goes. Thanks!!!!

  29. nayrees

    i want to try new recipies thanks for yours and ill let you no how it turns out

  30. Katie ⋅

    Great recipe! Made for my son’s 5th birthday party and everyone raved about them. Thank you!

  31. Nicole ⋅

    I tried this recipe last night and everyone loved them- they did sink in the middle, but I filled them with frosting so it covered it. They also fell apart while unwrapping the cupcake- I think I will add some sour cream to give it a bit more moisture. I also topped with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. YUM!! Just going to teak it a little bit

    • Tara ⋅

      Sorry to hear they sunk and turned out with a loose crumb! I’ve never had that problem. Could be a difference in altitudes. I’m glad they still tasted good though!

  32. elsah ⋅

    This recipe is really great . I just made it for my friend’s birthday and everyone loving it . yummy

  33. Beatrice ⋅

    The last recipe I used for chocolate cupcakes failed me, so I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect recipe to replace that. This one is absolutely amazing. I’ve used it twice and everyone simply fell in love. I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate but I do enjoy making some for my loved ones; hearing them talking about these cupcakes I finally gave in and tried them–and went to heaven. Thanks for this lovely recipe!

  34. Tammie ⋅

    I just made this recipe 2 days ago for my little cousin’s birthday. The cupcakes tasted great but were a bit dry. I used Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder that I found at Ralphs. The chocolate-y taste was great! I frosted the cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream frosting…. everyone kept asking for more frosting because the cupcakes were that dry. Nonetheless, the cupcakes were very yummy but definitely needed to be accompanied by frosting 🙂

  35. misty ⋅

    Question… I made your recipe today and the taste was great; however, almost all of the cupcake tops “flopped” inward on me. I measured everything & I believe I followed the recipe 100%. Any suggestions??

    • Tara ⋅

      Hi! Sorry to hear about your cupcakes not working out! There are multiple reasons why a cupcake would sink. It could be the altitude you’re baking at, too much liquid in the batter, opening the oven door too soon/removing them from the oven too soon, filling the cupcake liners too much, or even a forgotten ingredient. Over-mixing the batter, or putting in too much levener (baking powder or baking soda).

      Sometimes cupcakes can be finicky!

  36. Bela ⋅

    I’m trying you cupcakes right now and so far the comments are good so my hopes are up. Hope the don’t flop in. making them for my neighbor, mom, dad, little sis, and little bro. my bro is little and a picky eater. hope he likes them XD.

  37. Shauna ⋅

    Hi, I haven’t made the cupcakes yet but am super excited about trying out this recipe! I was going to use the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s special dark cocoa but remembered that it used 1cp of boiling water and since I am using Wilton’s silly feet silicone baking cups decided other wise, because the batter is runny. Do you know if using cake flour instead of reg all purpose flour will change the density of this recipe? I only use cake flour with cake recipes because it makes them light and airy, but some recipes allow for the same results if using cake flour. I will try it with both cake flour and reg all purpose and report on or if there is a difference. But just wanted to let ya know I am glad for the recipe, Thanks Shauna (mommy to five)

    • Shauna ⋅

      Just got done baking these with the all purpose flour and hershey special dark cocoa powder; they are cooling now and my kids are drueling lol. They look light and airy and absolutely gorgeous with the round tops. I did make the first batch with the silicone silly feet cups I have 8 of them and filled them with about 2 soup spoonfulls each ( wanted to be safe cuz I wasnt sure how ‘plump” they would get and leak out onto the tray and burn” they filled up but next time I will use 3 soup spoonfulls instead. Also I noticed that instead of the 22-25 min baking time it took about 15 min. So when using the silicone keep an eye on them to be sure they dont overbake. I also sprayed the feet liners with a baking spray and they are pulled away from the liner. I know sometimes they say you dont need to use spray for them but I always do and have had no trouble with them coming out. I made 24 reg cupcakes and 8 silicone cupcakes from this recipe though, so you must be using the larger muffin pans, but we are not complaining at all. Thanks again so much for this absolutely easy recipe, going to go and decorate them now.

    • Tara ⋅

      Hi! sorry for the late reply! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe though! Usually when a recipe calls for a specific flour, you should use that one. But there’s no harm in experimenting. I find that if I use cake flour in a cake recipe that calls for all-purpose that I end up with a crumblier texture. Still moist, but it doesn’t hold together as well as it should. That’s just my opinion though, since I don’t like crumbly cakes or cupcakes, no matter how moist they are.

      Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to comment!

  38. Mariam ⋅

    Just wanted to let you know that this is probably the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve made! I used a combination of scharffen berger and Trader Joe’s natural cocoa and it was delicious and moist! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  39. Martin ⋅

    Hi!this is Martin from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Your recipe is no doubt THE BEST I HAVE EVER MADE/TRIED!! I added a teaspoon dry ginger (just coz I love ginger with chocolate) and sinked a little piece of dark chocolate in the batter before getting the cupcakes into the oven. They turned out suuuuuuper fluffy with a marvelous taste, and didn’t need any frosting coz they are super moist! From now on, no other chocolate cupcakes for me but this!! Thanx for sharing and congrats!!

  40. Nixtrosh ⋅

    Hi! Does this recipe call for an all purpose flour or cake flour? Please reply 🙂 Thank you!

  41. Pingback: This Week’s “Wednesday Cupcake” « A Cupcake and A Camera

  42. Lisa ⋅

    I tend to over beat my batter, can I just whisk it together by hand, or would that change the texture?

    • Tara ⋅

      You could whisk by hand if you’d like, but using the mixer is perfectly safe. Just don’t go beating it for minutes and you’ll be fine!
      Sorry for the late reply!

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