Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

These are the best, most moist, chocolate cupcakes ever.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

The cupcake. What a brilliant idea. Not that I don’t love making a whole cake, and I definitely love eating a big slice, but there’s just something about that individual serving in its little paper wrapper that takes the experience to a whole different level. Maybe it’s nostalgia, all those childhood memories of eating cupcakes at birthday parties or helping Mom scoop the batter into the cupcake pan? Even if I use my standby cake recipe to make cupcakes, the little guys just seem to taste better. And now with this Chocolate Cupcake recipe, I may never make a big cake again (well, of course I will, but that’s how good these cupcakes are!).

We have Eliza Leslie to thank for one of the first memorable cupcake recipes. Back in the day (the 1800s), this American cookbook author went against the traditional weighing out of ingredients and, instead, decided to measure hers with a teacup. And it worked (though I’m glad we’ve evolved to actual measuring cups). She published her recipe in a cookbook and called it “The First Cupcake” so here’s to you, Miss Leslie (that’s what she was called) and thank you!

Chocolate is the favorite dessert flavor for so many people. Are you one of them? I am, for sure. In these moist tender cupcakes, the chocolate flavor is the star, thanks to cocoa powder which brings such a distinct richness. So very delicious. And while I am a proud chocoholic, I do love to have these cupcakes beside a bowl of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Buttermilk: The Secret to a Moist Cupcake

Buttermilk is, basically, fermented milk. I know that doesn’t necessarily sound like something you want in your cupcake, but trust me: you do. Buttermilk is thicker than regular milk and has a tangy flavor and both of these things contribute mightily to the success of these cupcakes (think texture and taste). Plus, buttermilk is considered low-fat, and it contains the kind of good bacteria found in probiotics.

You don’t want to substitute regular or plant-based milks for buttermilk in this recipe because it will change the texture and the taste, and not in a good way. So if you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, don’t worry: you can make your own! It’s easy. Just add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (white or apple cider) to a cup of milk, let it stand for 10 minutes, and voila: buttermilk! You can even make vegan buttermilk by adding the acid to soy or rice milk. Just remember to let whatever kind of homemade buttermilk you make sit for the ten minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes

Step 1: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Line your muffin pan with paper liners to get ready for the batter.

Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Step 3: Combine the wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Step 4: Bring the batter together. Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients, whisking until just combined and smooth.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Step 5: Fill the liners. Divide the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about two-thirds full.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Step 6: Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

These cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for one day, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Does cocoa powder contain gluten?

No, cocoa powder is naturally gluten free, and so is baking soda, so to make this recipe gluten free, just replace the all-purpose flour with any gluten free flour you like.

Be gentle

One of the tricks to a light and fluffy texture is not to over mix your batter–over mixing can cause a tougher, more dense cake and it can also cause the batter to lose air, which could result in a deflated cupcake instead of the light and airy ones we love.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Serving Suggestions

Is there such a thing as too much chocolate? To find out, frost these Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting (by the way, the answer is no–there is no such thing as too much chocolate!). But chocolate also plays really well with others, so try these frostings, too: Salted Caramel Frosting, Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (with a side of Strawberry Basil Ice Cream!), or Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting.There are also so many classic chocolate pairings like peanut butter, which makes these cupcakes frosted with Peanut Butter Frosting and served with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream the most heavenly dessert. And what about orange? Try spreading Orange Marmalade on top of Chocolate Cupcakes for a great taste sensation. And don’t forget about the happy marriages between chocolate and nuts and chocolate and coffee…you can serve these Chocolate Cupcakes for breakfast or an afternoon snack alongside a healthy Almond Milk Smoothie or Almond Milk Iced Coffee Shakes.

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 241 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Line your muffin pan with paper liners to get ready for the batter.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
    Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
  • Combine the wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
    Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
  • Bring the batter together. Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients, whisking until just combined and smooth.
    Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
  • Fill the liners. Divide the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about two-thirds full.
    Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
  • Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 144mgPotassium: 77mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 53IUCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
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