Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a chocolate buttercream frosting!  These cupcakes are easy to make, incredibly soft, light, and moist.

For the chocolate cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder optional

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

To make the chocolate cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-count muffin pans with 16 cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Add the oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
  3. Add the instant espresso powder to the 1/2 cup boiling water and mix until fully dissolved. Add to the mixing bowl and mix until everything is just combined. The batter will be thin, but this is okay.
  4. Evenly distribute the batter between all 16 cupcake liners, making sure to just fill each one a little over halfway full. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and remove the cupcakes from the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the chocolate frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on medium speed until fully combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired.


 Prep Time : 40 minutes

 Cook Time : 20 minutes

 Total Time : 60 minutes

 Servings : 16 cupcakes