Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist chocolate cupcake recipe you'll ever enjoy!
Chocolate cupcakes, the kind you dream about, are hard to find. Your quest can finally be over. You have found it. The be all, end all, of chocolate cupcakes. Never again will you need to search for a chocolate cupcake recipe, only to be sorely disappointed by the results.
The days of resorting to a boxed mix are in the past forevermore. If you've ever asked how to make chocolate cupcakes from scratch, you've found your recipe. As much as I'd like to showcase this chocolate cupcake recipe, I'll tease you for a mere moment with my perfect buttercream frosting. I could stare at those luscious swirls for hours!
Frosting for chocolate cupcakes:
I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't share some other frosting ideas to go along with this chocolate cupcake recipe.
- One of my absolute favorites is my Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Frosting. If you're looking for something rich and decadent to top you're chocolate cupcakes, that one is a winning choice.
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting would be an excellent choice to top these, or any, homemade cupcakes. That recipe uses freeze dried blueberries, so it doesn't just have to be a summer recipe.
- Finally, can you imagine how tasty homemade Eggnog Frosting would taste on these chocolate cupcakes? Is there a better word than heavenly?
When I say these are the best damn chocolate cupcakes you will ever enjoy, I'm not kidding. My husband, who doesn't like sweets all that much, can't get enough. My kids, who ask for anything but cake on their birthdays (so strange, I know), think these homemade cupcakes are the best things that have ever come out of my oven.
What makes these cupcakes so heavenly?
Think about all the wonderful things you'd want in a chocolate cupcake. Moist? Most certainly. Amazing taste? There's cocoa, coffee, and sugar in these bad boys.
In fact, they taste sort of similar to my Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts, but are obviously soft and fluffy like a cupcake.
What else could you ask for? Rise and volume? Yes, and I believe this has to do not only with the mixing directions but also the baking process. I explain this more below when I talk about how to make cupcakes. There is no other way to describe them than heavenly.
How to make chocolate cupcakes:
- I follow the same mixing procedure with homemade cupcakes and homemade cakes that I learned from my master cake maker friend
- 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 ones to have it form a thick batter and really mix it well
- Finally, add the remaining liquid to the batter and mix to combine. This is the secret to not only this chocolate cupcake recipe, but for all homemade cupcakes.
- Remember when baking to get them in the oven as soon as possible. This will maximize the amount your chocolate cupcakes rise.
- One of my tricks for amazing homemade cupcakes to give them good rise is to start cooking them in a very hot oven and then to reduce the oven temperature.
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 cupcake recipe appropriately. This chocolate cupcake 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 chocolate cupcake recipe. Just don't. 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.
- The baking time will change. Homemade 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.
Just look at all of those lovely little air bubble pockets. Those are what give this cupcake that soft, pillowy, fluffy texture, while at the same time the top leads to the slightest bit of sweet crunch on top. You're totally starting to salivate, aren't you? I just know it!
How full when filling cupcake batter?
Is this a question you ask yourself every time you try a new cupcake recipe? I do. The typical rule of thumb is 2/3 full.
If you fill your homemade cupcakes only half full, the final cupcake will be to small and if you go over the 2/3 amount, they will likely spill over.
If you find a really good chocolate cupcake recipe, however, you can start with your 2/3 full rule of them and then just keep distributing the remaining batter so that each one is the same size and they will cook up perfectly.
Kitchen tools used:
- Stand mixer: This is a kitchen must-have. I use mine almost any time I bake. It’s one of the few appliances I will allow to always remain on the counter rather than be put away.
- Silicone spatula: Any time you’re working with a batter, you’ll need a good quality scraper. These are the ones I use because they do the job right and don’t leave a nasty silicone taste when I like the batter off at the end!
- Flexible Measuring Cups - My sister and I first found these at a cooking class and we thought they were just the best invention. Any time you are measuring and/or pouring liquid, these are simply the best to have on hand. They make a great gift for your favorite cook, too!
- Muffin Pan - This is the regular size, 12 muffin, standard pan. If you don't already have one (or two or three) of these in your kitchen, I'd be shocked.
- Frosting Decorator Set: In a pinch you can always use a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off, but when I like to get fancy, I use a real metal tip!
This this the best chocolate cupcake recipe you will ever find! They are so moist they taste amazing on their own, but what is a cupcake without frosting? I love to serve these chocolate cupcakes with my Mascarpone Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, or my Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Frosting.
Love homemade cake recipes?
You'll definitely want to try these:
- Pound Cake
- Best Flourless Chocolate Cake
- How to Make Angel Food Cake
- Homemade Hummingbird Cake
- Texas Sheet Cake
- Best Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Cupcakes
Step-by-step recipe video below!
Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
RECIPE VIDEO WILL AUTOPLAY
- 1/2 cup strong hot coffee (or 1/2 cup boiling water + 1 pack starbucks via instant coffee)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 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.
This recipe was originally created in 2015 and updated in May 2019.