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Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa powder and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist chocolate cupcake recipe you’ll ever enjoy!
Why this recipe works:
Think about all the wonderful things you’d want in a chocolate cupcake.
- Moist? Most certainly.
- Amazing taste? The combination of cocoa, strong coffee, and sugar create rich flavor.
- Rise and volume? Oh yes. These cupcakes get tall and fluffy. This has to do not only with the mixing directions but also the baking process.
Your quest for the best chocolate cupcake recipe can finally be over. You have found it. Never again will you need to search for a chocolate cupcake recipe, only to be sorely disappointed by the results.
I’ve made this cupcake recipe dozens of times and it always turns out perfect.
How to make these chocolate cupcakes with coffee:
- Combine the cocoa powder with the coffee (photo 1).
- The trick is to mix all of the dry ingredients and all of the wet ingredients in the cupcake recipe separately. Then, add just enough of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients to have it form a thick batter (photo 2). This gets mixed really well on a high speed until light and fluffy.
- Finally, you will add the remaining liquid along with the chocolate coffee mixture to the batter (photo 3) and mix to combine. This is the mixing secret to not only this chocolate cupcake recipe, but for all of my homemade cakes and cupcakes. Mix the batter just until everything is fully combined (photo 4).
- Fill the cupcake liners in the muffin pan so that they each have the same amount (photo 5) and then bake (photo 6). One of my tricks for amazing homemade cupcakes to give them good rise is to start cooking them in a very hot oven for a few minutes and then to reduce the oven temperature until they are done.
- These cupcakes rise. A lot. If you’re looking for flat cupcakes, this isn’t the recipe for you.
- This recipe can be made into a 9-inch round Chocolate Cake, however it will rise making the center taller than the edges which isn’t always ideal for a cake recipe that you want to stack and frost.
- The cocoa powder I use is Volupta Organic & Fair Trade Unsweetened Super Food Cacao Powder (I buy it at costco). If you use dutch processed cocoa powder, you’re supposed to add 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda for every three Tablespoons of cocoa powder used because Dutch-processed cocoa powder is cocoa powder that has been washed in a potassium solution that neutralizes its acidity.
- Remember when baking to get the cupcakes in the oven as soon as possible. This will maximize the amount your chocolate cupcakes rise.
I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t share some other frosting ideas to go along with this chocolate cupcake recipe.
- Perfect Buttercream Frosting – great for decorating
- Cream Cheese Frosting – super easy to make
- Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Frosting – rich and delicious
- Mascarpone Frosting – my personal favorite because it’s so light and smooth
- Maple Cream Cheese Frosting – incredible flavor
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting – made with freeze dried blueberries!
- Eggnog Frosting – fun during the holiday season
- Cookie Dough Frosting – what cravings are made of!
Can this recipe be used to make a cake?
I get asked this question all the time, and the answer is yes. My family loves these chocolate cupcakes so much that I often get asked to use this cupcake recipe but turn it into a cake. There are just a few things to consider when doing this:
- Scale your recipe appropriately. This recipe yields 12 cupcakes which equates to one 9-inch round cake layer. If you were wanting to make a two layer 9-inch cake, you would have to double this cupcake recipe.
- No need to change the recipe. You wouldn’t want to change the heavenly taste, would you?
- No need to change the oven temperature. You would follow the same procedure to make a cake as you would these homemade cupcakes which involves starting it in a very hot oven to give it lift, and then reducing the temperature. If you don’t want as much lift, do not start at the higher temperature. Just bake the cake at 325 F and the cooking time will need to be increased until a tester comes out clean.
- The baking time will change. These cupcakes, on average, take about 20 minutes to bake. Cakes, however, take much longer. You can plan on two 9-inch baking pans taking about 30-35 minutes to fully cook. Be sure to test the center with a toothpick and do not remove from the oven if the batter still appears to be wet.
Love homemade cake recipes? You’ll definitely want to try these favorites.
- Pound Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Angel Food Cake
- Homemade Hummingbird Cake
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Cupcakes
Did you make this recipe? Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Combine hot coffee and cocoa powder. Mix well to dissolve and set aside. By the time you mix this with the liquid ingredients, you'll have wanted it to cool to a lukewarm temperature so that it doesn't cook the eggs.
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with paddle attachment.
- In a separate bowl, combine milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Mix well to combine.
- Add about half of the milk mixture to the flour and mix on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Combine the chocolate mixture with the remaining milk mixture and add to the batter. Mix with batter on medium speed for about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl before turning mixer on.
- Distribute batter evenly to the 12 muffin cups. Batter will be very wet.
- Bake in preheated 425 degree F oven for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 F without opening the oven door. Continue cooking at lower temperature for an additional 13-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and transfer cupcakes to a cooking rack as soon as they're cool enough to be touched.
- Prepare buttercream frosting according to instructions or your other favorite frosting... or just devour it plain!
- These cupcakes rise. A lot. If you're looking for flat cupcakes, this isn't the recipe for you.
- This recipe can be made into a 9-inch round cake, however it will rise making the center taller than the edges which isn't always ideal for a cake recipe that you want to stack and frost.
- The cocoa powder I use is Volupta Organic & Fair Trade Unsweetened Super Food Cacao Powder (I buy it at costco). If you use dutch processed cocoa powder, you're supposed to add 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda for every three Tablespoons of cocoa powder used because Dutch-processed cocoa powder is cocoa powder that has been washed in a potassium solution that neutralizes its acidity.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This recipe was originally created in December 2016 and has been updated to include more helpful information, cooking tips, and process photos. Don’t worry – I didn’t change the recipe!