The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You’ll Ever Need!

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Your search is over.  You don’t have to look on Pinterest or Google anymore… because yes, you’ve finally found it.  The only chocolate cupcake recipe you’ll ever need!

The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You'll Ever Need! by

You might be thinking that is an awfully bold statement.  But let me assure you… this recipe isn’t all talk… it’s ALL FLAVOR!  Rich chocolate cake highlighted by the subtle undertones of espresso topped with the lightest, fluffiest chocolate buttercream you’ll ever taste.

You’ll  never need another chocolate cake recipe ever again… because trust me… this one is not only simple to make, but out of this world delicious!


If you can’t take my word for it… ask Lucy.  She helped decorate these cupcakes and she loved them! (PS… Her Mommy and baby sister loved them too!)


The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You'll Ever Need! by

The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You’ll Ever Need!
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 1 dozen cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup brewed coffee
  • ½ Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • rainbow nonpareils- for garnish

Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Whipped Chocolate Buttercream.
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the dark chocolate cocoa powder and mix on medium-high until combined.
  3. Add the sugar and salt and mix until incorporated. The frosting will be very thick.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream and mix until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again for 20 seconds.
  5. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again for 1 more minute.
  1. Using a Wilton 1M tip on a piping bag, pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  2. Top with rainbow nonpareils for garnish.


24 Comments on The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You’ll Ever Need!

  1. Lisa
    September 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m always looking for a good chocolate cupcake recipe so many are a bit dry or too claggy (heavy) can’t wait to try this recipe out!

    • Betsy Eves
      September 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm (1 year ago)

      This recipe is definitely not those things! It’s moist, dense, yet still has a good crumb… and FULL of delicious flavor! My go-to all time favorite recipe!

  2. Mabel
    September 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm (1 year ago)

    How do u make the top of the cupcake so smooth and perfect?

    • Betsy Eves
      September 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm (1 year ago)

      Are you referring to the cake part or the frosting part? :)

  3. cookingactress
    September 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm (1 year ago)

    Ooooh this does look like the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe!

    • Betsy Eves
      September 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm (1 year ago)

      Kayle – It totally is! I love love love love love it!!

  4. Jessica Nunes
    September 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi, I have recently discovered your blog and I am loving it and it looks like you have tons of great recipes! I would like to know whether the brewed coffee need to be hot when you mix it and I am also having a hard time finding anything called dark chocolate cocoa powder here in Portugal, will it be okay if I just use regular cocoa powder (I am sorry if this is a really stupid question)? Thanks in advance and congrats on the amazing website ;)

    • Betsy Eves
      September 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Jessica – The coffee doesn’t have to be hot hot… but brew it before you start prepping everything else, measure what you need and then add it when called for. As for the cocoa powder, just use what you have access to. The higher percentage % of cocoa, the darker the chocolate. So pick something at least 60%. :) Happy Baking!

  5. Marjorie Portia C. Dominguez
    September 12, 2013 at 2:28 am (1 year ago)

    ooh will be trying this recipe today :) Just want to make sure I got this right — so apart from the 3/4 brewed coffee, there is 1 T espresso powder right ? and together with butter, cocoa powder and vanilla — forms the chocolate mixture correct ? Thanks :)

  6. Louise
    October 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm (1 year ago)

    Mmmmm…soo happy to find a chocolate cake with sour cream! I find that sour cream cakes are soooo moist and delicious! I will be trying this for sure but one quick question. If I make a cake out of this, what size will the the recipe give approx.? Thank you!!

  7. Katie O.
    October 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Made these last night! They turned out great! I did not have dark chocolate cocoa on hand so I substituted Dutch cocoa. I wish the recipe had made more! Have you ever doubled it? Thanks for sharing!

    • Betsy Eves
      October 31, 2013 at 3:43 pm (1 year ago)

      Yes – it’s very easy to double it! :) No problems at all! I’m glad you loved it!

      • Katie O.
        October 31, 2013 at 6:09 pm (1 year ago)

        So did everyone I shared them with! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!!!

  8. Vanessa
    October 31, 2013 at 12:04 am (1 year ago)

    How long does the frosting last?

    • Betsy Eves
      October 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm (1 year ago)

      I’d say up to a week! :) Longer if you freeze it!

  9. Alexa Bedolla
    December 21, 2013 at 7:25 am (1 year ago)

    I’ve been using this recipe loyally for a year. It never fails! And now I have it memorized lol

    • Betsy Eves
      December 21, 2013 at 8:52 am (1 year ago)

      That’s so great!! It seriously is my favorite too! And I love how it’s easily adaptable to accommodate other flavors, frostings, fillings, etc!!! :) I’m so glad you love it as much as I do!!

  10. mturcotte83michelle
    January 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm (1 year ago)

    Can you store this buttercream recipe in the fridge and then rewhip it before use? Also can you frost the cupcakes and then leave them in the fridge overnight? I don’t want to frost 3 dozen cupcakes the morning of my daughters bday party! lol

    • Betsy Eves
      January 9, 2014 at 9:40 am (1 year ago)

      I wouldn’t store the frosting ahead of time… I’d just whip it up right before you want to make the cupcakes. The frosting will stay better on the cupcakes in the fridge than in a bowl. You’d have to let the frosting come completely to room temperature before you rewhipped it and that’s just a big hassle and time sucker! Put the cupcakes in an airtight container and they’ll be okay one day. You don’t even really have to put them in the fridge if it’s just one night. I make the day before all the time and they’re just as perfect the next day. If you’re making longer in advance…. I’d suggest making the cupcakes, freezing them then frosting the day of. :) Happy Baking!

  11. Eileen
    April 20, 2014 at 10:55 am (11 months ago)

    Making these for the first time, and the recipe calls for one egg yet the recipe says to whisk sour cream and eggs, plural. Is it one egg, or two?

    • Betsy Eves
      April 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm (11 months ago)

      Just one egg! Thanks for catching my typo! :) Happy baking, Eileen!

  12. Sophie
    May 29, 2014 at 1:49 am (9 months ago)

    I made these cupcakes for the first time today, and they turned out really greasy. I’m not sure why, but they were just really buttery. :/
    The frosting was great, though. Any ideas as to what might have happened?

    • Betsy Eves
      May 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm (9 months ago)

      Hi Sophie – I’m not sure what happened. I would have had to been there in the process of you making them. I’m sorry they tasted buttery to you. This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe! I use it for EVERYTHING. Maybe try again, making sure to have all the ingredients as listed and not deviate at all from the instructions. Good luck and happy baking! xoxo <3


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