Classic Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from Scratch

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Today I'm sharing the BEST Chocolate Cupcake recipe with you from scratch! 

We're talking ultra moist, fluffy, and perfectly chocolatey cupcakes! SO good. Make these once, and you'll come back to this recipe again and again.

Don't let the title of this post fool you, this decadent chocolate cupcake recipe can be used for chocolate layer cakes too! 

The BEST Classic Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch! Moist and delicious recipe by Online Cake Tutorials, Videos, and Recipes!

If you've explored our Cakes and Cupcakes Section, you may be familiar with our favorite classic Chocolate Cake recipe. This homemade chocolate cake has been one of our most popular cake recipes over the years, and is our go-to when we need a rich, decadent chocolate cake.

Today's featured classic chocolate cupcake recipe is based on our popular chocolate cake recipe, but the mixing method is different.

Instead of using the reverse creaming method of mixing as we do when making layers of classic chocolate cake, we use the conventional method of mixing for our cupcakes. This small change makes for fluffier cupcakes! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Can these cupcakes be frozen? Yes they can! Our method of choice is to line them up onto a sheet cake board, lay a piece of plastic wrap on top, and then wrap in aluminum foil for up to three months. To thaw, leave the foil on the cupcakes but loosen each end so that it isn't so tightly sealed. Condensation will form on the foil rather than the cupcakes. You can remove the wrapping once they are nearly thawed.
  • Why is there coffee in this chocolate cake recipe? Can I leave it out? Coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate in the recipe- but there is no coffee flavor. Yes, the coffee can be left out, and replaced with water instead.
The BEST Classic Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch! Super moist and delicious recipe by! Online cake tutorials, recipes, videos, and more!

Our homemade chocolate cupcakes above were frosted with our classic Vanilla Buttercream recipe. Our Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream would work well too! (Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream contains shortening and butter while Classic Vanilla only contains butter)

We used our trusty 2D (large star) piping tip to create a rose swirls of frosting. (To make a rose swirl, simply start in the center of the cupcake, holding the bag vertically, and spiral out.)

Delicious Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe by! You'll love this easy and flavorful crusting buttercream recipe! Online Cake Tutorials, Recipes, and More!

**If you are looking for a great Doctored Cake Mix recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes, we love this one!: Chocolate Cake (Doctored Cake Mix) Recipe . 

What Frostings and Fillings taste great with chocolate cupcakes?

Chocolate cakes and cupcakes are great with so many flavors! In fact, we've used today's recipe to make Mint Chocolate Cupcakes as well as Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes. Here are a few more favorites;

Classic Chocolate Buttercream,

Coconut Filling 

Mint Chocolate Chip Buttercream Frosting

Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting 

Oreo Buttercream Frosting

Delicious Classic Chocolate Cupcakes From Scratch! So moist and wonderful chocolate flavor! My Cake School.

More Cupcakes!

We have many more cupcake recipes to share with you!

Some of our favorites are Boston Cream Cupcakes, Banana Pudding Cupcakes (both are cake mix), homemade Strawberry Cupcakes, and Lemon Cupcakes!

The BEST Classic Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch! Super moist and delicious recipe by! Online cake tutorials, recipes, videos, and more!

Classic Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from Scratch

These decadent scratch chocolate cupcakes are so moist and taste fantastic with all sorts of frostings from vanilla buttercream to mint chocolate chip, coconut, or chocolate!
Course: Recipes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 cup 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups 400g sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup 54g vegetable oil
  • 2 ¾ cups 322g all purpose flour
  • 1 cup 82g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (don't skip the sifting)
  • 2 teaspoons 10g baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon 2g baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon 2g salt
  • 1 cup 220g milk
  • 1 teaspoon 4g vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 220g hot coffee, it can be instant or brewed
  • cupcake liners


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If making a cake rather than cupcakes, grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans).
  • In a separate bowl, add the flour, sifted cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend and set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, beat the softened butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each egg just until the yellow of the yolk has blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Mixing on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of milk) Mix just until combined.
  • Add the cup of hot coffee at this time on low speed, mixing just until combined. The batter will be very thin. Don't worry this is how it should be.
  • If making cupcakes, scoop the batter (about ¼ cup per cupcake) into the cupcake liners and bake at 350 for about 16-18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched or a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. (Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes).
  • If making cake layers, divide the batter between three prepared 8 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Check for doneness at 30 min. by putting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached, it is done.
  • Makes 9 cups of batter.
4.58 from 90 votes (89 ratings without comment)

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  1. Hi Michelle, Yes, that will be fine. We like to store ours in a bakery box. We don't store in an airtight container, as this can sometimes cause the cupcake liners pull away. If you are storing in a plastic container just leave a small opening. The frosting seals the cupcake helping to keep them from drying out. They are very small so they are best eaten by the second day.

  2. Hi Melissa and Bebe I would like to give this recipe a try. How much batter goes into the cupcake liner? And also is there a reason why there is more baking soda than baking powder? Would it be possible to just use baking powder only and if so how much? Thank you!?

  3. Hi Melissa I would like to try this recipe. How high do you fill cupcake liners? Why is there more baking soda than baking powder? Can baking powder alone be used? And if so, how much? Thank you!

  4. Hi Kayla- I'm not sure why that would be but assuming you haven't left out an ingredient, I would just go with it ;0)

  5. Hi, would like to try this out but only have Dutch cocoa powder available. Can I use recipe as stated or do I have to adjust baking soda/baking powder if I use buttermilk instead of milk? Thank you

  6. Hi Andrea, I found the following info on substituting Dutch processed cocoa for regular cocoa powder -- According to “The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion”: “If a recipe calls for natural cocoa and baking soda and you want to use Dutch-process cocoa, substitute an equal amount of Dutch-process cocoa but replace the soda with twice the amount of baking powder.Feb 18, 2015. You will be making 2 changes to the recipe if you also substitute buttermilk for the milk, I don't know how that will affect the recipe since I have not tried this.

    1. Hi,thank you for your answer. I was thinking of using buttermilk to add missing acid from natural cocoa powder and use recipe as it is. Was just wondering if the acidity from buttermilk would be enough to activate the baking soda?

  7. Hi,thank you for your answer. I was thinking of using buttermilk to add missing acid from natural cocoa powder and use recipe as it is. Was just wondering if the acidity from buttermilk would be enough to activate the baking soda?

  8. Hi Andrea, Oh, I thought you were going to use Dutch cocoa powder. You might find the comment made n June 9, 2017 helpful. She used buttermilk instead of milk as her only change in the recipe and thought it worked well.