The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You’ll Ever Need!

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.

34 thoughts on “The Only Chocolate Cupcake Recipe You’ll Ever Need!

  1. 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 😉

    1. 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!

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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!!

  4. 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!

    1. 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!!

  5. 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

    1. 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!

  6. Hi
    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?

  7. 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?

    1. 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

  8. I made these with Ina Gartens peanut butter frosting. This is my new go to chocolate cupcake recipe! So perfect.

  9. Omgosh Ms. Betsy thank you, thank you THANK YOU for sharing this awesome recipe with us. I can’t wait to try it. I am a serious CHOCOHOLIC… You mentioned that you use this recipe for EVERYTHING, so I’m curious to know if the recipe listed would make a 9×13 sized about an 8 or 9-inch round? ..I am going to try out the cupcake recipe tomorrow along with your peanut butter frosting..I’m droooling already lol.

  10. I just tried this recipe, it was very moist, but some of the cupcakes didn’t rise at all. My baking powder is new. It was really weird.

      1. So I thought I overmixed- and I made a second batch the same day and experimented. When I filled the cupcakes over the 3/4 they came out perfectly, but if I filled them 3/4 they would only rise slightly. Maybe it’s the humidity? The cake itself came out awesome and my mother proclaimed that they were the best cupcakes she had ever eaten (I put a ganache on top and did a caramel frosting + coconut shreds to make a Samoa-type cupcake). I’m going to try this in a cake tonight see how it goes.

  11. i have been seeing this quote a lot lately. i think someone is trying to tell me something i know i have plenty of battles. it is cofirotmng to know im not the only one, and its an even greater reminder to be told to be nice to others. thanks aaron!!

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