Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes

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Chocolate Cupcakes – Ultimate recipe for the best chocolate cupcakes that are so moist and fluffy. Frost with butterbeer buttercream frosting for the most decadent dessert!

bite out of moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes with butterbeer buttercream frosting

These chocolate cupcakes really should be called death by chocolate cupcakes because that's how I felt after taking just one bite. They're so light, fluffy, and moist, it's really easy to chow down on 2 or 3 before you even realize it.

Cupcakes are so easy to make, but I'm going to share a few tips with you for how to make a cake moist, fluffy, and soft. In fact, these cupcakes will likely be the softest cupcakes you've ever made.

Top them off with a butterbeer buttercream frosting, and you've got the makings of a most decadent dessert.

easy chocolate cupcakes with butterbeer buttercream frosting and brown paper cupcake liners on a white marble countertop

I've loved cupcakes since I was a little girl; every year my mom would make a batch of cupcakes for me to take to school and share with my friends on my birthday.

This chocolate cupcake recipe is perfect for a child's birthday, for the holidays, or even for a fun after school treat for your kids.

I JUST WANT THE RECIPE! TAKE ME TO THE RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES!

If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the scrumptious chocolate cupcake recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

HOW TO MAKE CAKE MOIST (OR IN THIS CASE CUPCAKES)

I've had a love/hate relationship with homemade cake recipes in the past; sometimes I've gotten them right and sometimes they've been total flops. Thankfully, these cupcakes turned out perfect!

homemade chocolate cupcakes with a blue striped towel on a white marble countertop

There are a few steps I took to ensure that our chocolate cupcakes would be very light, fluffy, and moist, just like my favorite yellow cake. And the steps I took to make moist chocolate cake actually worked.

  • Use a mixture of butter and oil to make a moist cake.
  • When you cream the butter and sugar (or mix the butter and sugar), do so for a good 5 to 8 minutes.
  • When mixing the other wet ingredients in with your creamed mixture, only add the yolks of the eggs. Wait to fold the egg whites in after all the other ingredients have been added and mixed.
separating eggs using an egg yolk separator and a Pyrex measuring cup for chocolate cupcakes recipe
  • Use buttermilk instead of regular milk. In fact, you can make your own buttermilk; I'll show you how below. What buttermilk does is break down the gluten, which makes your cake softer.
  • Use cake flour to make a lighter, softer cake. It really does make a difference.
  • Sift your flour and dry ingredients together at least 3 times. My grandma would've said 7; she was a real stickler about sifting.
  • Don't mix the cake batter too long after adding the flour. Mix it just until it's mixed. You can even alternate the flour mixture with the milk to be more aware of how long you're mixing. Over mixing can make a cake more dense.

SugarEd Productions has all sorts of tips for how to make your cake fluffy and moist.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BUTTERMILK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY IT

We almost never buy buttermilk. We just never use it because I know I can make my own when I’m baking.

My mom taught me this little trick when I was younger.

Just add about a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to a cup or two of milk; I usually use a tablespoon for every 1 to 2 cups of milk. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

ingredients to make buttermilk for chocolate cupcakes recipe, including vinegar and whole milk, with Pyrex measuring cup on tile counterop

Before you know it, you have sour milk or buttermilk. Works like a charm!

CAN I MAKE THESE CUPCAKES AHEAD OF TIME AND FREEZE THEM?

You can! In fact, Life as a Strawberry has a really helpful tutorial for How to Store and Freeze Cupcakes.

TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE CUPCAKES

Start by making your buttermilk and setting it aside so it can do its thing.

Then cream (or mix) the butter, oil, and sugar together for a good 5 to 8 minutes. You can also cream the egg yolks and vanilla extract in with the sugar mixture if you want.

sifting dry ingredients for chocolate cupcakes into white batter bowl

Sift your dry ingredients together at least 3 times.

Then alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to your creamed mixture, mixing after each addition.

batter for chocolate cupcakes in white mixing bowl with spatula

Finally, when everything is mixed together, fold in the egg whites and mix together just until the batter is mixed.

Add cupcake liners to 2 large muffin tins, and pour or dispense batter into each cup, filling it 3/4 of the way full.

not yet baked chocolate cupcakes in brown paper cupcake liners in muffin pan

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

baked chocolate cupcakes in muffin pan on white marble countertop

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. You can use a table knife to go around the edges of the cupcakes if they stick to the pan at all.

bite out of moist chocolate cupcakes

Allow them to fully cool before attempting to ice the cupcakes.

Then top with a cupcake frosting like this deliciously creamy butterbeer buttercream frosting or regular buttercream frosting for the best chocolate cupcake recipe ever. Yum!

frosting dark chocolate cupcakes with butterbeer buttercream frosting

MORE CUPCAKE RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:

Lime Vanilla Poke Cake Cupcakes

Scrumptious Poke Cake Lemon Cupcakes

Strawberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Chocolate Bunny Tail Cupcake Bites

Valentine Snack Cakes Copycat Recipe

fluffy and moist chocolate cupcakes with butterbeer buttercream frosting on white marble countertop

KITCHEN TOOLS YOU'LL NEED TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer – You can definitely mix chocolate cupcakes by hand, but a mixer enables you to get a really smooth cupcake batter.

Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups

Egg Yolky Separator – Who doesn't love a cute egg yolk separator?

Spatula

Muffin Pan with Cupcake Liners

Batter Dispenser – This makes it really easy to fill the cupcake liners.

Cake Tester or Toothpicks

Wire Rack

Cake Decorating Kit with Tips and Pastry Bags – If you decide to decorate your cupcakes or even just want to swirl the icing on.

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE RECIPE

If you love this moist chocolate cupcake recipe as much as I do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest!

moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes recipe

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Yield: 24 servings

Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes

bite out of moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes with butterbeer buttercream frosting

Ultimate recipe for the best chocolate cupcakes that are so moist and fluffy. Frost with butterbeer buttercream frosting for the most decadent dessert!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pure cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  2. If you're making buttermilk, make it first and set aside.**
  3. Cream (or mix) the butter, oil, and sugar together for a good 5 to 8 minutes. 
  4. You can also cream the egg yolks and vanilla extract in with the sugar mixture if you want, or you can add them in after the butter and sugar mixture is creamed.
  5. Meanwhile, sift the dry ingredients together at least 3 times.
  6. Then alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to your creamed mixture, mixing after each addition.
  7. Finally, when everything is mixed together, fold in the egg whites and mix together just until the batter is blended.
  8. Add cupcake liners to 2 large muffin tins, and pour or dispense the batter into each cup, filling each cup 3/4 of the way full.
  9. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.*** 
  11. Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before attempting to ice them. Then top with this deliciously creamy butterbeer buttercream frosting.****

Notes

*When mixing the other wet ingredients in with your creamed mixture, only add the yolks of the eggs. Wait to fold the egg whites in after all the other ingredients have been added and mixed.

**You can make your own buttermilk or sour milk. Just add about a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to a cup or two of milk; I usually use a tablespoon for every 1 to 2 cups of milk. Stir and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

***You can use a table knife to go around the edges of the cupcakes if they stick to the pan at all.

****Icing not included in nutritional facts. See nutritional info for the butterbeer buttercream frosting at the link above.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

24 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Saturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 21gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

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37 thoughts on “Moist and Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes”

  1. If I wanted to make just white cupcakes, do I omit the cocoa powder only? Would I need to add anything else? (***have not made this recipe yet***)

    Reply
    • Darci, you’d likely need to add a bit of flour to make up for the cocoa powder. You might try my yellow cake recipe but make cupcakes out of it instead. I’m working on a white cake recipe but haven’t quite perfected it yet.

      Reply
  2. Made these last night with the butter cream icing. They turned out fabulous! Love the almond flavor in the icing. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  3. I followed this recipe completely but my cupcakes were completely flat. They fell apart. They separated from the cupcake liner before I even had time to take them out of the muffin pan. I’m completely frustrated.

    Reply
  4. I find sometimes cakes don’t rise properly band cause my eggs are too cold or somebody bags the door shut when they come in…lol. When I bake I make sure the eggs are room temperature and nobodies home….except me?

    Reply
  5. Hi,

    Just pulled these cupcakes out of the oven. They were flat and fell apart. I am so disappointed. I wanted these to be perfect. I followed everything exactly as you had printed. Now what? A trifle? Should i try to save the few that didn’t totally crumble? I am beginning to think I have lost the touch with several failed desserts from pinterest the past few weeks! Lol

    Reply
    • Lisa, you are not the first person to give me this feedback. So I think I need to re-test this recipe. I have never had this result; they’ve always baked up light and fluffy for me. I know oven times and altitudes can make recipes vary greatly. But I’m going to add this to my agenda in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned. And thank you for the feedback!

      Reply
  6. I tried this recipe and unfortunately my cupcakes fell completely apart in the center. I baked them for 20 min on 350 degrees. What did I do wrong? The taste is still very good though.

    Reply
    • Svenja, I’m not sure what might’ve happened, but I have this recipe down to test again because you are not the only one having this problem. Things can really vary with baking, especially any type of cake, but I’m definitely going to test this recipe and see if I can figure out what the problem is. Thank you for letting me know!

      Reply
  7. Hello just wondered am I supposed to beat the egg whites before folding in last? Didn’t specify. But I did. Hopefully they turn out! Thanks i made them heart shaped so looking forward to trying them.

    Reply
  8. Mine turned out ok I feel. Light fluffy. I beat the egg whites before folding in last. Maybe that is the missing step listed on the recipe here.

    Reply
      • You’re welcome! I have to say a might not have beat the egg whites long enough or maybe folded them enough. Hand full of cupcakes looked very interesting lol. Wholes in the middle. I had all the ingredients room temperature and made the buttermilk myself like you suggested not sure my vinegarwas distilled though! But enough turned out awesome to finish them and serve for valentine’s dessert! My mother in law really loved they were light fluffy. I used a fresh whipped cream icing that had strawberry jello powder for flavor. Thanks for a good one!

        Reply
  9. Hello! Made these and loved them. Is there a way to make it into just a cake vs cupcakes? How long would you bake it for in 2 small round pans?

    Reply
    • Ashlee, thank you! I haven’t tried making them into actual cake, but I don’t see why not. Baking time would just vary. I’d think maybe 20 to 25 minutes? But I haven’t tried that, so I’d maybe check it after 15 to 20 and see where it’s at before going longer.

      Reply
  10. Hi is it possible to use this recipe to make a cake rather than cupcakes? It’s my son’s birthday and we love making these cupcakes and I was wondering if it would work the same as a cake or would I need to add anything extra? Thank you for any suggestions.

    Reply

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