The Best Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla American Buttercream

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

It might be time to take a little break from all things “fall” and food made with pumpkin (and the resulting Pumpkin Spice) and put aside all those thoughts about Thanksgiving (coming up so fast!) and have a little sumpin sumpin that’s chocolate, maybe a little sumpin like these Best Chocolate Cupcakes.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

The Best Chocolate Cupcake with Best Vanilla Buttercream, American Style


I mean, you can never go wrong with chocolate, amirite? Any time of year. And when that chocolate delivery system comes in a compact cupcake form like these Best Chocolate Cupcakes, even better.

About Best Chocolate Cupcakes:

And when the Best Chocolate Cupcakes are super easy? Major brownie points. (or would that be cupcake points?!) I love recipes like this that are just stirred together. No mixer needed. Love, love, love them!

These chocolate cupcakes will redefine your definition of chocolate cupcakes. They deliver a wallop of intense chocolate flavor and are super tender and moist. And they’ll stay moist for days. You simply can’t buy a cupcake like this! The only drawback is that they are moist enough to maybe leave a little behind on your hands, but oh well. Suck it up, buttercup, and tuff it out – they’re worth it!

The Frosting:

Because they’re so tender, you’ll want to use a light, well-whipped frosting on them. And speaking of frosting, Best Chocolate Cupcakes bake up with only a very slight dome, which makes them great for holding onto an abundance of frosting. I think they’re darling with just a bit of the cupcake still showing; it gives a hint of the chocolate deliciousness to come, but the recipe for the frosting, linked below, will be more than enough for full coverage if you want.

The frosting on these cupcakes is my Best Vanilla Buttercream, American Style. It took me a few attempts to perfect it (not that I’m complaining about all those taste testings; the things I do, lol!) and it’s perfectly beautiful, pipes like a dream and tastes fabulous! And that’s coming from someone who hasn’t always been a fan of the American style of buttercream. Some recipes are just too sweet but this one is perfectly balanced.

If you’d like other options for the frosting, these are a perfect foil for my Ermine Buttercream Frosting, too, although that frosting is a little heavier, not quite so airy. If you want to make these because you have no mixer or don’t want to pull one out, you just can’t go wrong with a little casual smear of peanut butter!! Just make sure the peanut butter is a light one and not too cold or it will pull the top of the cupcake. You’re best off with a kind of dollop and quick swoop, leaving them looking rustic.

The Best Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla American Buttercream

The Best Chocolate Cupcake with Best Vanilla Buttercream, American Style

Making Best Chocolate Cupcakes:

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes are a stir together recipe; they’re so easy and super simple with no special equipment needed, although, of course you’ll need a mixer for the buttercream frosting. Really they are no more difficult to make than a pancake batter. They’re a small little miracle. There is something about baked goods that use coffee (or hot water in a pinch) and cocoa that really brings the chocolate flavor home.

The recipe makes an odd amount: 16 cupcakes and they are on the smaller side. In order to get the beautifully flat top for rising, the cupcakes have to be filled just a bit over the halfway point and not quite 2/3rds to come right up to the top of the liners but not too far over. I fill them all, then use a teaspoon to move the batter around if needed.

These cupcakes are very soft when they come out of the oven. Let them cool a bit before removing them from the muffin tines so they won’t become misshapen from handling.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Saving Money on Best Chocolate Cupcakes:

So one final thought: I can’t say more about bringing in food at a budget than to stress that just like the stock market, it’s all about timing. Buy low. And baking goods are hard to find at a lower price than right now, during what I call the Trifecta of Holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Stock up. You are also going to find great prices around the Easter/Lent holidays and sales, although they might be a little more minor, around Valentine’s Day.

All in all, this is a very inexpensive cupcake to make. They are made with oil, not butter, and cocoa (do splurge for the Hershey’s Special Dark) rather than chocolate. You may want to use the old sub of vinegar to milk instead of using buttercream. In this case, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar in the bottom of the measuring cup, then fill with enough milk to come up to the 1/2 cup mark.

The Best Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla American Buttercream

The Best Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla American Buttercream


Best Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (43g) Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot coffee or water


Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C) and prepare two cupcake pans with liners.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside. Combine the egg, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla in another bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined. Add the hot coffee or hot water to the batter and mix until well combined. Batter will be thin.

Fill the cupcake liners just a little above halfway (transfer the batter to a bowl with a spout or a large measuring cup to make this easier) and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove the cupcakes from oven and allow to cool enough so they hold their shape (about 10 minutes) then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Keywords: Buttermilk, Cake, Chocolate, chocolate cupcakes, Coffee, cupcakes, Desserts

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I’ll be posting this recipe over at Fiesta Friday Blog Party, hosted this week by Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Trupti @ My Culinary Saga


These super easy, stir together by hand cupcakes pack a deep, dark chocolate flavor! Insanely good! #Chocolate Cupcakes #BestChocolateCupcakes #ChocolateDesserts #Desserts

63 thoughts on “Best Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Pingback: Best Chocolate Cupcakes – SEO

  2. Gorgeous looking cupcakes and I love the addition of coffee with the chocolate – I so have to try that! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday this week 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great weekend.

  3. Thanks for the chocolate break Mollie!! I love all the holiday baking– but when January hits, all I want are brownies!! these look great– and the frosting is so pretty! And– I so agree with coffee added to chocolate baking– I don’t drink coffee, but love coffee ice cream and coffee in chocolate cake!! take care Mollie. xox

    • I don’t drink coffee, either, but I always keep some instant espresso on hand! Unless I have company, then I’ll step up and buy actual coffee or beans!! I only had coffee ice-cream once – not my fave….

      • Coffee ice cream– well actually, it’s best with a lot of chocolate and almonds! (Or at Coldstone– coffee ice cream with peanut butter, almonds, fudge sauce and crushed Oreos!) hugs friend!

  4. marybellebuono

    I just had to stop and let you know, I had a good laugh about your frosting and Donald Trump, very cute. Also, I thank you for the great recipe, hugs, and blessings.

    • Hi Mary Belle! I was wondering if anyone had noticed that – and it was purely accidental but a bit wicked of me to post it, lol! Hugs and blessings right back, and let me know how you like the cupcakes if you get a chance to try them!


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