Pan full of homemade chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Cakes

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

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I just love this easy chocolate cupcakes recipe. No need to buy the chocolate cupcake mix from the store when you can make it from scratch in just a few minutes. They are super light and fluffy and oh so delicious.

Growing up my favorite cupcakes were definitely chocolate cupcakes. I just love cupcakes in general from these homemade strawberry cupcakes to these vanilla cupcakes, and more.

I am a bit of a chocolate addict, so of course I would love these easy chocolate cupcakes! If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Muffin pan full of easy homemade chocolate cupcakes.

In order to make these easy chocolate cupcakes from scratch you need a handful of everyday ingredients:

  • Flour – Cake flour or all-purpose/plain flour.
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa powder – You can’t make these homemade chocolate cupcakes without the cocoa powder.
  • Egg
  • Oil – Use any oil like vegetable, canola, olive, avocado, coconut, etc.
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water

Tip: If you want them extra moist add in some sour cream. And leave out the vinegar.

Closeup of a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

Tools

  • Bowls
  • Sifter or whisk
  • Cupcake/muffin pan
  • Spatula

Step 2: How to make easy chocolate cupcakes at home

Dry mixture of flour, cocoa powder, etc in a bowl being whisked.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F/176 C. Place the rack in the middle position.

Use a whisk or sifter and blend together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and the cocoa powder.

Tip: Do not skip this step. Cocoa powder tends to be lumpy, so whisking it or sifting it makes a light mixture free of lumps.

Egg mixture being whisked by hand.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and the water.

Note: Some recipes like my chocolate cake recipe call for hot water or coffee. The idea being the hot liquid blooms the cocoa powder making the chocolate flavor richer. It also helps to make it moister. Since I already show that in the chocolate cake recipe I didn’t elect to do it in this recipe. Although you certainly can. Just add the hot liquid later.

TIP: Another thing you can add is 1/2 cup of sour cream at this time. This will make the cupcakes moister. If you decide to use sour cream, no need for the vinegar.

Large bowl full of easy to make chocolate cupcakes batter.

Add the flour mixture a third of it at a time to the egg mixture. Stir it with a stiff whisk, wooden spoon, or you can use a hand mixer.

For this particular recipe, I didn’t want to use any electric gadgets, to show that you can do everything by hand.

Note: If you are using the hot liquid (water or coffee) add it after blending the flour mixture and the egg mixture. This way you don’t cook the egg accidentally.

And just like that the easy chocolate cupcakes batter is done. Simple right?

Step 3: Bake the chocolate cupcakes

Cupcake/muffin pan lined with paper cups and filled with chocolate cupcake batter.

Take a muffin/cupcake pan and line it with paper cups. Then use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop in the batter into each cup, filling it about 2/3rds of the way. You can certainly use a spoon too if you like. The measuring cup makes sure you get an equal amount in each one.

Bake them in the oven, middle rack position, for 15 to 17 minutes. They will be done when a toothpick comes out clean after poking it in the center.

Freshly baked chocolate cupcakes still in the pan.

Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes, then remove them and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled you can make a homemade buttercream frosting or use the chocolate buttercream frosting from this chocolate cake recipe.

Large bowl full of homemade cream cheese frosting.

Or if you want a bit of tang to the frosting you can make the following Cream Cheese frosting.

You will need:

  • Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.
  • Softened butter – It can be salted or unsalted.
  • Cream cheese – It needs to be room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract

Mix the cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter and vanilla extract and cream everything together. Add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time, until you get your desired consistency. There you go a simple cream cheese frosting.

Step 4: Decorate the cupcakes

Hand squeezing white frosting onto chocolate cupcakes.

Place your choice of frosting in a piping bag with a tip or just use a bag and snip the corner off. If using a bag with the corner snipped without a cake tip, the result will look like the picture. If you want a fun design, use a star tip or something like that.

I show a classic star tip design in the strawberry cupcake recipe, so in this one, I wanted to show something else.

Plate with 7 frosted easy chocolate cupcakes.

Frost the cupcakes and then they will be ready to serve. These easy chocolate cupcakes are so yummy. Enjoy!

How long do homemade chocolate cupcakes last?

If store in an airtight container at room temperature the cupcakes will last a few days. They will last about 4 days in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer.

Chocolate cupcakes pin for Pinterest
(Pin it!)

Here are a few other cake recipes you may like:

Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Cheesecake

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Cakesicles

White Texas Sheet Cake

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

These chocolate cupcakes are delicious and super easy to make. The batter comes together pretty quickly. You will have chocolate cupcakes in less than 40 minutes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Cooling Time5 mins
Total Time37 mins
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: moist, rich, soft
Servings: 18 people
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • sifter or whisk
  • Paper cupcake cups
  • Cupcake pan
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil 118 ml
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract 5 ml
  • 1 tsp of distilled white vinegar 5 ml
  • 1 cup of water optionally use hot water or coffee (237 ml)
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour (cake flour or all-purpose/plain) 92 g
  • 1 cup of sugar 200 g
  • 1 tsp of salt 5 g
  • 1 tsp of baking soda 5 g
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder 62.5 g
  • 1/2 cup sour cream optional, leave out vinegar if used (120g)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 cups Powdered sugar (confectioner's/icing) (480g)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter salted or unsalted (113g)
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese (225g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (10ml)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder, or use a sifter.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar, vanilla extract, (sour cream – optional) and water. If using hot water/coffee add it later.
  • Add the dry mixture a third of it at a time to the egg mixture, use a whisk, hand mixer, or wooden spoon. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. The batter is complete.
    If using the hot water/coffee add it after adding the flour mixture.
  • Line a cupcake/muffin pan with paper cups and then scoop in some batter into each one. Fill them about 2/3rds of the way.
    Bake in the oven, middle rack position, for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle. It may take a little longer depending on the oven.
    Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes and then place them on a wire rack to cool while you make the frosting.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter and vanilla extract and mix. Next, add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you get your desired consistency.
  • Frost the cupcakes with a knife or use a piping bag. You can also add the frosting to a large bag and snip off the corner and use it like a piping bag. Enjoy!

Video

How to make Chocolate Cupcakes | Easy Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Notes

Note: The nutritional facts reflect using a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on each cupcake. 
Tip: You can get 24 smaller cupcakes if you want, only add a little more than half of the batter per cupcake cup. 
List of nutritional facts for chocolate cupcakes

Do you like this recipe? Share and Pin it! Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

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