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chocolate cupcakes on white counter

BEST Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

These Chocolate Cupcakes with delicious rich chocolate buttercream frosting are a fabulous dessert, special occasion treat or birthday surprise. Made with simple pantry ingredients, you will fall in love with this recipe.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cupcake recipe, chocolate cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 32 cupcakes
Calories 252kcal
Author Lauren


For the Chocolate Cupcakes:

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream* or more, as needed (see notes about substituting milk below)


For the Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 32 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together to combine. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, stir buttermilk, vanilla and instant coffee granules (if using) together. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix oil and sugar together until combined. Mix in eggs and egg white, one at a time, until mixture becomes lighter in color, about 90 seconds.
  • Alternate adding in flour mixture with milk mixture, being sure to start and end with flour. Scrape the sides and mix again to ensure a smooth batter.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, fill tins 1/2-2/3rds of the way full with batter.
    Bake 15-22 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. Cupcakes will be done when a toothpick comes out clean or mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Cool 5-10 minutes in pans before trying to remove and transfer to cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • In a large bowl, measure and add butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, salt and vanilla. Stir with beaters on low (or paddle attachment on stand mixer) to mix and break up the butter. It will still be very powdery and dry. Slowly add in the heavy cream. Once you notice the frosting start to come together stop adding the cream. You may need to add more than the amount listed. This is also normal. Increase mixer speed to medium to get rid of any lumps and create a smooth frosting. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl and mix again to ensure a completely smooth frosting.
  • Chocolate frosting will be done when it can hold its shape, but you can easily move a butter knife through it. If its too thick, add more cream and mix. If you've added too much cream and the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar. If you notice there are a lot of air bubbles in your frosting, use a large wooden spoon to beat a lot of the air out of the frosting by hand.


*You can substitute milk for heavy cream in the buttercream recipe. Start with half the amount and slowly add more in as needed until it reaches the desired consistency.


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg