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Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

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chocolate cupcakes

When my kids were babies, I started a home-based baking business specializing in special occasion cakes and cupcakes, mostly for children’s birthday parties. Before I opened, I spent weeks testing every vanilla and chocolate cake recipe under the sun, often baking into the wee hours of the night while my family was sleeping. My husband would wake up in the morning to find the countertops (and, oftentimes, the trash can) littered with cakes and cupcakes. He thought I’d lost my mind — little did he know I was just discovering my passion for finding and creating great recipes that work, which was the impetus for this blog!

ingredients-for-cake

Ingredients for the Cupcakes

Most of the cake recipes I tried were either dry, so-so or just inconsistent but, eventually, I created a few recipes that I loved and could rely on. This is the chocolate one (for the vanilla recipe, click here). The cake portion of the recipe is modestly adapted from Magnolia Bakery in NYC and the frosting comes from Cook’s Illustrated. Together, they make an old-fashioned chocolate cupcake that is sweet enough for children but also intensely chocolate enough for adults.

Ingredients for the Frosting

Ingredients for the Frosting

Begin by making the cupcakes. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the microwave in 20-second blasts, stirring in between, to prevent the chocolate from scorching.

unsweetened-chocolate

When it’s about 3/4 of the way melted, take it out and stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the remaining chocolate. Set aside to cool.

melted-unsweetened-chocolate

Next, whisk together the flour, baking soda, instant coffee and salt. (The coffee is optional; it enhances the chocolate flavor.)

dry-ingredients

Cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.

creaming-butter-and-sugar

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

adding-eggs

Mix in the vanilla and lukewarm melted chocolate.

mixing-in-chocolate

Then mix in the dry ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with the buttermilk.

mixing-in-dry-ingredients-and-buttermilk

Spoon the batter into muffin tins.

ready-to-bake

And bake for 20-25 minutes.

baked-cupcakes

While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Begin by melting the milk chocolate in the microwave.

melted-milk-chocolate

Next, combine the butter, Confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor.

butter,-sugar-and-cocoa

Blitz for about 30 seconds until well combined, then add the corn syrup and the vanilla.

adding-corn-syrup

Process until smooth, then add the lukewarm melted milk chocolate.

adding-milk-chocolate

Process quickly, until the frosting is creamy, silky and shiny.

finished-frosting

When the cupcakes are completely cool, spread the frosting over top.

Chocolate-Cupcakes-with-Rich-Chocolate-Frosting

My Recipe Videos

My Recipe Videos

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Servings: 24 cupcakes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules (optional, to enhance chocolate flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Frosting

  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, broken into small pieces (substitute semi-sweet chocolate for darker, more intense chocolate flavor)
  • 2-1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 cup Confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until about 3/4 of the way melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the remaining chocolate completely. (If necessary, place the chocolate back in microwave for a few seconds.) Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and lightly grease the top of the muffin tins with butter (this prevents the cupcake tops from sticking to the pan).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, instant coffee (if using), baking soda and salt until well combined.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lukewarm chocolate.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups until about 3/4 full (I think it's easiest to use an ice cream scooper with a wire scraper). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops look dry and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean (note that one pan may finish cooking before the other). Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until about 3/4 of the way melted. Stir, allowing the residual heat in the bowl to melt the remaining chocolate completely. (If necessary, place the chocolate back in microwave for a few seconds.) Set aside to cool.
  2. In a food processor, process the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the lukewarm chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. Do not overmix.
  3. Note: The cupcakes are best served on the day they are made. However, they can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for a day or two; just be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving. The frosting can be used immediately or held at room temperature for about 3 hours. For longer storage, cover and refrigerate, but be sure to bring it to room temperature before using.
  4. Note: The frosting is pretty foolproof, but if it "breaks" for any reason, try adding a teaspoon or two of warm water and mixing again.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 415
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated fat: 16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Sugar: 33 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 165 g
  • Cholesterol: 80 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • Your blog is wonderful. These chocolate cupcakes were so good! I had frosting left over but next time I think I’ll just pile it all on. The frosting was phenomenal. Followed your excellent directions and had no problems. This was only my 2nd recipe made from your site. The first was Jasmine Rice for which the technique was spot on. Thank you for being such a great resource. There are many food bloggers out there and you stand apart. I’ll definitely be back to try more of your tested recipes.

    • — Jeanne Morton on November 10, 2018
    • Reply
    • ☺️ So glad they turned out well, Jeanne!

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have baked the cupcakes and plan to turn them into owls with Oreos tomorrow for Halloween. I am wondering though if there is a lighter version of the frosting that would work than the one listed here. I’d go without frosting entirely but those Oreos need to stick somehow. Also, can I use maple syrup instead of corn syrup? Many thanks! Your blog is amazing.

    • — Olga on October 30, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Olga, So sorry about the delayed response!! If you choose to do these again, I would just suggest buying some store-bought frosting and just using a dab to stick each Oreo to the cupcakes.

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, what’s the difference of adding buttermilk and adding regular milk?

    • — Serena on October 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Serena, Buttermilk helps to keep baked goods moist and also helps with the “rise” when used in conjunction with baking soda. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Absolutely adore your website 🙂 Thanks for all that you do!

    I want to make these into mini-cupcakes for my husband’s birthday this weekend. Any modifications needed other than the cooking time? Also – do you use unsweetened cocoa powder in the icing?

    Thank you!

    • — Katherine on October 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the site, Katherine! No changes necessary for mini cupcakes (other than cook time) and yes on the unsweetened cocoa powder. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • could you use Cake Flour for this recipe

    • — luchetti on October 10, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Luchetti, for best results, I’d suggest sticking to the all-purpose flour.

      • — Jenn on October 10, 2018
      • Reply
  • Ok, I just bought your cookbook a couple hours ago because I am craving chocolate cake and your recipes are the best! However, I noticed that the frosting requires a food processor, which I do not have and do not want to purchase. Is there another way to make this frosting, such as with a blender or hand mixer? I have an excellent Blendtec blender and my roommate has a Ninja with the cup attachment that might be easier for scooping icing out of…

    • — Carly on July 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately, you need a food processor for this – it keeps the frosting from separating and getting greasy. (This type of frosting is quite finicky.) Instead, you could try a basic chocolate buttercream. It won’t be as deeply chocolate but it will still be delicious. Here’s a recipe to consider.

      • — Jenn on July 30, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    My niece wants marble cupcakes for her wedding. I’m considering being the baker. Could I use your vanilla cupcake and chocolate cupcake recipes to make marble cupcakes?
    I use your recipes all the time. Makes me seem like a super star cook/ baker. Thanks!!

    • — Christine Daly on July 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • I think that’d work, Christine…but I’d definitely do a test batch first!

      • — Jenn on July 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I have been enjoying the recipes on your blog for many years. Thank you for all of your hard work.
    I just made the chocolate lovers birthday cake from your cookbook. It came out delicious! I was already familiar with the yummy frosting because I have made your chocolate cupcakes on the website in the past. I noticed that there is a slight difference between the 2 frosting recipes. The chocolate frosting in the cake recipe calls for more confectioners’ sugar and less cocoa powder than the frosting recipe for your chocolate cupcakes on the website. Is there a particular reason for this change.
    Thanks so much.
    Grace

    • — Grace on June 25, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Grace, Yes, the cake has much a darker chocolate flavor than the cupcakes, so I made the frosting a tiny bit sweeter to balance it all out. So glad you enjoyed! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Do you have chocolate HOT FUDGE recipe? I want to make white chocolate fudge for the top of the cake. Thanks

    • — Fanny on June 14, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Fanny, I don’t have a proven hot fudge recipe to share – sorry! This one looks good and simple though if you want to give it a try. (Please keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself.)

      • — Jenn on June 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • I Jenn
    Thanks for your answers.
    I have another question. Can I used blender instead of food processor to make frosting.I don’t have food processor.
    Thanks again.

    • — Fanny on June 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Fanny, You really need a food processor for this; it keeps the frosting from separating and getting greasy. (This type of chocolate frosting is quite finicky.) Instead, you could try a basic chocolate buttercream. It won’t be as deeply chocolate but it will still be delicious. Here’s a recipe.

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I want to make the lovers chocolate cake that one is in your book.
    But I want to put on top curly o chopped chocolate for garnish. What kind of chocolate do you recommend?
    Thanks

    • — Fanny on June 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Fanny, I love that idea! I’d use semi-sweet or milk chocolate.

      • — Jenn on June 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • The cupcakes are pretty good, but my family and I prefer I a darker chocolate cupcake. Will continue to make recipes from this website. It is one of the best recipe blogs out there!

    • — Dara on April 29, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi jenn!
    I’m keen to make a semi naked chocolate cake with baileys smbc. The cakes for semi naked decoration need to be dense and not crumbly. Would the Cupcake recipe made as a cake fit the bill? If so… What size of pan would this require for a 3 layer cake?
    I totally love ur recipes 🙂 they are always spot on. Thanks so much for sharing these…
    Regards
    Vanita

    • — Vanita on April 13, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Vanita, Glad you like the recipes! I think you might have better luck with the chocolate cake recipe from my cookbook. If you’d like, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send it to you. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 13, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn—I’m following up on a previous comment. Is your chocolate lover’s birthday cake in your cookbook? I made a chocolate cake yesterday that came out so disappointing that neither of my kids could finish their slice. I also had made your vanilla birthday cake (half with sprinkles, half covered with coconut) and it was a huge hit. I pre-ordered your cookbook but if your chocolate cake isn’t there, will you please post it on your blog? Thank you for doing what you do!

    • — JinAh on March 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi JinAh, So happy the vanilla cake was a success…and, yes, the chocolate cake is in the book! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I am wondering if you would share your Chocolate Lover’s Birthday cake recipe with me? I am making your Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake (which I have made before) for my mom for her birthday. I was considering the chocolate cupcakes just as a second choice but after reading the reviews would love to try the cake.
    Thank you,
    Holly

    PS – I have already preordered your cookbook and can”t wait for it to come out!

    • — Holly Coffey on March 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure Holly, I’ll send it through email. (And thanks for purchasing the cookbook!)

      • — Jenn on March 6, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jennifer,
    I’ve enjoyed making many of your recipes. I wanted to know if it would be okay to use unsweetened cacao instead of unsweetened chocolate for the cake, and if I could use cake flour instead of all purpose flour. Do I need to change the amount? I want to make a chocolate cake in two 9 inch round pans. Any tips for making it extra moist? Thak you

    • — Heysol on March 2, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Heysol, based on the changes you’d like to make, I’d suggest the Chocolate Lover’s Birthday Cake that is in my upcoming cookbook. I will email it to you.

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! You’re the best. I look forward to getting your email.

        • — Heysol on March 2, 2018
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I made this as a layer cake (while making 1.5x batch of the frosting, as per a previous reviewer) when I was hosting very picky foodies and they were nuts for it. It looked absolutely gorgeous — a total show stopper — and the everybody was commenting that the frosting was “everything”. The only thing I felt could improve on was the moistness of the layers, as it was a tad dry. Could this have had anything to do with my baking them for 35 minutes? (I checked at 30 minutes they were underdone). Would you suggest pouring some sort of a syrup over the layers after they are baked to moisten them up?

    And BTW, every time I go to NYC, I go to Magnolia bakery specifically for the chocolate frosting. This frosting tastes the same, except better !

    Thank you for an amazing recipe !

    • — Malak Abu Shakra on December 4, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Malak, Yes a simple syrup would work well – or if you’d like, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you a wonderful chocolate layer cake recipe from my upcoming cookbook.

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’d like to make his recipe this weekend, however I’d like to make mini cupcakes. Should I change the temperature and/or cooking time?
    Thanks!

    • — Kelly on November 23, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, I’d keep the temperature the same but reduce the cooking time. I’d start checking them around 12 min. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2017
      • Reply
  • Ok I am not American so I do prefer darker chocolate, less sugar decadent deserts. I just made those cupcakes and I am in heaven…..

    • I’m making a 12×16 cake for my son’s birthday. Do you think I’ll need to double or triple the recipie? I’m not sure if I should layer it either.

      • — Lara on February 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • This is the BEST chocolate frosting. It’s definitely my go to favorite.

    • — Sonja on September 15, 2017
    • Reply
  • This recipe is AMAZING!! I thought it might be too sweet with all the sugar but it was not too sweet and the chocolate flavor was so rich. The texture was deliciously moist and the buttercream frosting paired so well with the cake. It was so worth the cost of the ingredients!
    I needed to make a birthday cake so I used a 9″ springform cake pan and baked for about 80 minutes in a convection oven. (It may have been ok at 70 minutes as the edges came out a little dry.). There was more than enough frosting and I could have added frosting in the middle. The next time I make this as a cake, I will probably split the batter into two round cake pans instead of one pan….or maybe just go with cupcakes.
    I used gluten-free flour (Namaste brand) and it came out just fine.
    Thanks Jenn for yet another recipe that makes me look like I know what I am doing in the kitchen!

    • — Ponyo on August 14, 2017
    • Reply
  • What adjustments would you make if baking these at 5,500 ft elevation?

    • — Steve on August 3, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Steve, I don’t have any experience with baking at high altitudes, but these tips may be helpful. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!

      • — Jenn on August 3, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Love your recipes! I’m going to make the cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday. I would like to add colored sprinkles to the batter, so the sprinkles are visible once bitten into. Any advice on adjusting temperature or cooking time, even sugar?
    Thanks,
    Bronwyn

    • — Bronwyn Leone on June 12, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Bronwyn, glad to hear you like the recipes! I think it would be fine to add sprinkles to the batter with no other adjustments necessary. Happy birthday to your daughter! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2017
      • Reply
  • Can I substitute dark brown sugar for the light brown sugar in your recipe? Thanks

    • — Yaritza on May 27, 2017
    • Reply
    • Yes Yaritza, that should be fine. Enjoy the cupcakes!

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Do these need to be refrigerated if serving the next day? You do say to do so in your recipe, but I am worried about the muffins drying out. Does the icing go bad if not refrigerated?

    Thank you!

    • — Debbie on May 13, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, You don’t need to refrigerate if serving the very next day. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 13, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, if I’d like to bake this cake in 10 cup bunt pan, how long should I bake it for? And do you think this portion is good to fill it?

    • — Serena on May 3, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Serena, Yes, I think the batter would fit nicely in a bundt pan and it’s likely to take about 70 minutes give or take, but keep an eye on it. LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2017
      • Reply
      • So I baked it in the 10 cup bundt pan the other day, it needs a bigger bundt pan cus I got a small eruption inside the oven ?

        70 mins also is too much, I took it out at 65 mins and the top was burnt and the outer layer is dry. I think 50 to 55 mins might be good. I crumbled up the center and made them into cakepops!

        • — Serena on May 18, 2017
        • Reply
  • Hi! For the frosting, what will be the alternative if I don’t have a food processor? So excited to try this recipe.

    • — Chris F on April 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Chris, You really need a food processor for this; it keeps the frosting from separating and getting greasy. (This type of chocolate frosting is quite finicky.) Instead, you could try a basic chocolate buttercream. It won’t be as deeply chocolate but it will still be delicious. Here’s a recipe.

      • — Jenn on April 30, 2017
      • Reply
      • Will a blender work instead of a food processsor? I am so happy I discovered your wesbite! The first recipe I tried was the blueberry muffins and my family loved it! Thanks, Jenn!

        • — Chris F on May 2, 2017
        • Reply
        • Hi Chris, I’m afraid the blender wouldn’t get the job done and achieve the right texture. I’d hate to see you waste the ingredients (which are on the pricier side) on something that’s not perfect. Sorry!

          • — Jenn on May 3, 2017
          • Reply
  • Hi,
    I don’t have a microwave. Can I melt the chocolate on the stove? I also don’t have a double boiler…so what should I do to ensure it doesn’t burn? Thanks so much! I LOVE your recipes and you are my go-to site for baking 🙂

    • — Laura on March 16, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, You can jerry-rig your own double boiler. Fill a small saucepan with an inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Then stack a metal or glass bowl on top of the pan, making sure the bowl fits snugly. Just be sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water – the steam from the simmering water should heat the bowl gently. And so happy you’re enjoying the site!

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2017
      • Reply
      • I melt chocolate on the stove ALL the time. Just make sure the temperature is on the lowest setting and watch and stir with a wooden spoon a few times

        • — carol winkelman on August 3, 2017
        • Reply
  • Sorry for posting questions in pieces. I would like to know if icing sugar is the same as confectioners sugar. Thanks.

    • — Deepa on March 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on March 3, 2017
      • Reply
  • Can I use unsweetened chocolate chips instead of a chocolate bar? In my city, we get slabs of what is called ‘chocolate compound’. Can that be used in this recipe? Else please suggest a brand of the unsweetened chocolate.

    Thanks.

    • — deepa on March 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend the chocolate chips as they don’t melt as well (they have stabilizers in them to help them hold their shape). I’m not familiar with chocolate compound, but if it melts well, I think it would be okay to use.

      • — Jenn on March 3, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, the vanilla buttermilk cupcake recipe has 2-3/4 cups all purpose flour while this recipe has only 2 cups of flour. I observed that the other ingredients are more or less the same. So just wanted to cross check if it is 2 cups for this recipe. I plan to make this cake for my daughter’s birthday party.

    • — deepa on March 1, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Deepa, Yes, the 2 cups of flour is correct here. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes (and happy birthday to your daughter :)!

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2017
      • Reply
      • Thanks for the super quick reply , Jenn ! My daughter is turning 1 and I am really excited to make the cake for her 🙂

        Your blog is always my go-to place! I have tried many recipes and they are all super delicious ! So I am confident of making this cake for the first time for an important occasion ! Appreciate the effort and love you put into your work !

        • — deepa on March 1, 2017
        • Reply
  • I made these cupcakes for the first time today. I have had great success with her muffin recipes but these cupcakes did not turn out like I thought they should. The batter was really light and fluffy, like a mousse. Her picture shows it more fudgy, I think. I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate, and took our 3 Tbsp of sugar per her suggestion. Also, my cupcakes turned out HUGE and they didn’t taste that chocolatey. I’m not sure I will try this recipe again.

    • — Olivia Hein on January 17, 2017
    • Reply
  • I’ve prepared these cupcakes twice and the frosting once. The frosting is rich and easy to work with, and I’ll use it again, perhaps adding instant coffee next time. The cakes were rather dry and I found them average in flavor. I don’t love the chocoholic muffin either. Both recipes call for low-fat buttermilk. I get moister, tastier cakes and muffins with recipes using (whole) milk.

    • — Helena on January 7, 2017
    • Reply
  • I made the chocolate frosting here and it was heavenly. Easy and just mouth watering. Everyone that tried it including my husband raved about it. I didn’t make the actual cake recipe here because I had a box mix that I needed to use up since it’s been in my pantry for 3 years! My review is just on the frosting – amazing!!! You could put that on anything and it will taste great.

    • — Anne G on November 7, 2016
    • Reply
  • Can you freeze the cupcakes with the icing on them? I want to make chocolate mini cupcakes for my Break the Fast and need to do all of my baking ahead of time. Thanks!

    • — Becca Goldberg on September 26, 2016
    • Reply
    • Hi Becca, You can definitely freeze these. I do think they are best if frosted after removing them from the freezer, but another reader commented that she has frozen them with the icing and had good results.

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2016
      • Reply
  • this is a silly question but your cupcakes are so even!!! what spoon do you use to scoop the batter and/or batter amount to achieve it? Thank you

    • — Sandy on September 20, 2016
    • Reply
    • Not a silly question! I use an ice cream scooper with a wire scraper. Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2016
      • Reply
  • The cupcake was amazing. So moist. I have found my go to cupcake recipe. I didn’t make the frosting just because I like peanut butter cream cheese frosting

    • — Tara on July 3, 2016
    • Reply
  • Would a single batch of frosting be enough to generously fill and frost a 9″ round layer cake or would it be best to make 1.5 times the recipe?

    • — Sadie on May 10, 2016
    • Reply
    • Hi Sadie, I think a single batch of frosting should work just fine here. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 11, 2016
      • Reply
      • I didn’t make the cupcakes so can only review the frosting, which was EXCELLENT! It has a firm, fudgy texture and lovely sheen similar to a ganache, but I thought it was easier to work with and piped better than a ganache. I used bittersweet and dark chocolates so my frosting was darker in color than the one pictured. If you’re using the frosting for a layer cake, it took 1.5X the recipe for the filling, crumb and finish coats, and top and bottom borders on an 8″ cake, with just a bit left over. I made the frosting the day before but found that it was too firm to spread after being in the fridge overnight, even though I let it sit at room temp for 3 hours to soften. Had to soften it in the MW. The cake kept well at room temp for a few days so I don’t think the frosting would need refrigeration unless it’s hot in the house. This is a great recipe if you like to have frosted cupcakes ready to go in the freezer. I did a test sample and they were perfect!

        • — Sadie on May 18, 2016
        • Reply
  • I have searched high and low for the perfect chocolate cake/cupcake recipe and finally found it here at “Once Upon a Chef”. I paired it with an old Peanut Butter Buttercream recipe (because that’s what the birthday girl requested) and it was absolutely fabulous!!
    I love your site Jenn and can not wait to try more of your perfected recipes!! ~Kimberly

  • Hi! I came across your blog through a random search. As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. I halved the recipe to make 12 cupcakes and seriously everybody just loved them even without the frosting. I couldn’t make the frosting alongside cupcakes because I did not have light corn syrup on hand. My hubby devoured the cupcakes so I’m planning to make frosting with the next batch. In short, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

    • — Ifrah on March 16, 2016
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – What changes would I make to this recipe if I wanted to use it to bake a two-layer cake? And how long should I bake it in two 8.5″ round pans? Thank you!

    • — Karen on December 2, 2015
    • Reply
    • Karen, Yes, you could definitely make a layer cake with this recipe. I think the cooking time should be around 30 minutes, but keep your eye on them!

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2015
      • Reply
  • Hi, would really like to give this recipe a go. Could I bother you for the ingredients in grams? Thanks!

    • — Jessica on November 13, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica, I’ve updated the recipe with metric measurements. (There is a button in the top right corner of the recipe that allows you to select metric or cup measures.) Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2015
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I’d love to make this yummy cupcake, but if I am using semi-sweet chocolate for the cake, how much sugar should I reduce?

    • — Serena on October 30, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Serena, I would try to find the right chocolate for the best results, but if that’s not possible reduce the white sugar by 2-3 tablespoons.

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2015
      • Reply
  • I am looking forward to making these cupcakes for my son’s birthday this weekend but need to make them the day before. Is it better to frost them the day before and refrigerate or make each component separately the day before, bring to room temperature the morning of the party and frost then. Apologies if this is a silly question…cupcake novice here!

    • — Maggie on October 6, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Maggie, I would definitely make the cupcakes with the frosting the day before, then bring to room temperature before serving. They will still be delicious 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 9, 2015
      • Reply
  • Is there a big difference in using buttermilk or a substitute, such as milk and lemon juice or vinegar? I don’t buy buttermilk at the store for 1 recipe but often wonder if I should. Thanks a bunch,
    Jamie

    • — Jamie on September 23, 2015
    • Reply
    • No difference at all, Jamie — I often make my own 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 24, 2015
      • Reply
  • I’d like to try making this cake but want to avoid using refined sugar. Could you tell me if I could use honey or maple syrup or even coconut sugar in its place? And if so, how much? I also want to bake it as a 9×13 cake. What would the cooking time be on that? Love your recipes by the way! It’s clear you put a lot of effort into making sure they are tested and true (and delicious)!

    • — LDS on September 12, 2015
    • Reply
    • LDS – I’m so sorry, I can’t recommend those substitutions. I’ve never tried them in this recipe and, in the past, I haven’t had much luck replacing sugar with honey or maple syrup — it typically causes the cakes to brown too quickly. Unfortunately, I’ve never baked with coconut sugar so I can’t be of any help there. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2015
      • Reply
  • These were amazing! So light and fluffy and the frosting was a very rich chocolate! I did not have corn syrup for the frosting so made my own with 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup hot water – worked just fine!

    • — Richeli on August 27, 2015
    • Reply
  • I love this cupcake recipe – it is my go-to for chocolate cupcakes! The frosting isn’t super sweet which I like.

    • — Lynda M. on August 27, 2015
    • Reply
  • I love chocolate! For the frosting I just used nutella and cream cheese. Yummy!

    • — Tammy Woodfield on August 27, 2015
    • Reply
  • I’m making this as a cake instead of cupcakes and am using a spring form instead of two pans. How long should I bake it?
    Thanks for the help! We can’t wait to taste this highly rated recipe.

    • — Karen on August 2, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, For best results, I would definitely suggest using two 9-inch pans (cook for 30-35 min) but if you’re using a springform pan, I’m guessing cook time will be 45 min- 1 hour. Good luck!

      • — Jenn on August 3, 2015
      • Reply
  • Hi ,
    i wanted to know if i can use maple syrup instead of corn syrup..thank you.
    PS your recipes are Fantastic and makes me look like a real chef ..thank you for sharing

    • — nathalie on July 31, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Nathalie, So glad you are enjoying the recipes! I would stick with the corn syrup on this one — chocolate frosting is finicky and can “break.”

      • — Jenn on July 31, 2015
      • Reply
  • I want to make a vanilla cake with chocolate icing – What do you think about using this icing with your “Vanilla Birthday Cake?|”? Are there any adjustments that you think might enhance that combination? Thank you!!

    • — Carol on July 10, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, It will work just fine — no adjustments necessary 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2015
      • Reply
  • I made these chocolate cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting from the Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe for my son’s 21st birthday. Absolutely wonderful! Perhaps my favorite cupcakes ever. These recipes are definitely keepers. I even printed them out which I rarely do anymore so I can be sure to have them. Our family doesn’t like oodles of frosting so I did have about 2 cups left over after frosting 22 cupcakes but the frosting is so good I didn’t scrape it off the cupcakes like I usually do when I eat them.

    • — Carol F. on April 29, 2015
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I would like to swap the frostings from your chocolate cupcakes onto your buttermilk cupcakes and the frosting from your buttermilk cupcakes onto your chocolate cupcakes. But before I do this I would like to know if the flavors would suit or should I just do as per your recipe?
    Thank you
    Mandy

    • — Mandy on March 29, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Mandy, Go for it – it’s really just personal preference 🙂 Please come back and lmk how they turn out.

      • — Jenn on March 30, 2015
      • Reply
  • This cupcake recipe is to die for!

    • — Jessica Herring on March 25, 2015
    • Reply
  • I live at an elevation of 6900 feet. What would you suggest as a high elevation adjustment for this recipe?

    • — Karen S on March 7, 2015
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I split the recipe in half to make 12 cupcakes?
    Thanks!

    • — Olena on February 28, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Olena, Yes, that’s fine.

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2015
      • Reply
  • If I wanted to make this as a cake…instead of a cupcake…what size pan would I use?

    • — Don on February 1, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Don, I would use two 9-inch rounds.

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2015
      • Reply
  • Would this convert well to a layer cake??

    • — Edi on December 18, 2014
    • Reply
    • Hi Edi, Yes, I think it would convert very well.

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2014
      • Reply
  • I like each and every one of your recipes.
    I have not tried them all yet though, but I am working on it. I like cooking and baking with my 11-year-old daughter, she teaches me so much! She made the cup cakes, they are fabulous, very good recipe. The only change she made: she piped the icing into the cup cake with a tip and covered it with a dot on the top. Great surprise for dad! Thank you for your recipes.
    -Maria in Princeton

    • — Maria on December 4, 2014
    • Reply
  • OMG this recipe is devine! I have made it 3 times now and my gorgeous & skinny sister ate two cupcakes and asked for the recipe. Very happy to have this recipe up my sleeve… thank you Jenn!

    • — Monique on November 18, 2014
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I don’t have corn syrup, what can I use instead?

    • — Masuda on November 16, 2014
    • Reply
  • Can I freeze these cupcakes? I want to make these and the vanilla for my daughter’s pasta party for 26 girls. This way all I need to do is frost them the day of.

    Thanks,

    Kathy Vinci

    • — Kathy on September 12, 2014
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Yes, it’s fine to freeze the cupcakes.

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2014
      • Reply
  • For the frosting, can you use an electric mixer instead of a food processor?

    • — Mary on April 6, 2014
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, You really need a food processor for this recipe; it prevents the frosting from separating and turning greasy. This type of chocolate frosting is very finicky. If you don’t have a mixer, you could try a basic chocolate buttercream. It won’t be as deeply chocolate but it will still be delicious. Here’s a recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/chocolate-buttercream-134704

      • — Jenn on April 7, 2014
      • Reply
      • Just a note – I have used my standmixer to make this frosting and it worked perfectly for me! So fluffy and delicious!

        • — Sarah on April 11, 2016
        • Reply
  • These are amazing!!!! My new favorite chocolate fix that I crave waaaay too often! I love that they’re not too sweet, but perfect. Completely rich and decadent! I don’t think I’ve had a more delicious chocolate cupcake.

    • — Kelly on March 15, 2014
    • Reply
  • These look divine. And after reading Jeff’s comments above, I will DEFINITELY be giving these a try!!

    • — Dee on March 1, 2014
    • Reply
  • I know that a cupcake is a fun, sweet confection that is rooted in the joys of childhood. But if a cupcake could be considered “serious”, this would be the one. Last night I finally got to try one (well actually 1 1/2) The texture, moistness, and flavor were all I needed to confirm that I am no longer on a hunt for the ultimate chocolate on chocolate cupcake experience. This is it. Now, just crossing fingers here, that they will freeze like a dream, as I have 3 remaining. Now, on to your millionaire’s shortbread….isn’t life great?

    • — Jeff Winett-again on February 17, 2014
    • Reply
  • Wow, what an honor to post the first review for this evidently awesome recipe. I use the word “evidently”, as hubs and I won’t be trying them until tonight while watching Seinfeld re-runs in bed. So how do I know these are incredible? I prepared this recipe to the letter this morning as a gift to someone who is recovering from a painful knee surgery. Jon is a foodie and baker, par excellence. He was sleeping when I dropped the cupcakes off, and if there were any way that I could include the voice message that was waiting for us, when we got home, I would be doing so. I have never heard him rave about anything, such as he did for these cupcakes. It was bordering on embarrassing, but I loved every second of this 🙂 Anyway, very psyched for dessert tonight. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • — Jeff Winett on February 16, 2014
    • Reply
    • Jeff, That is so nice to read! I hope you enjoyed them as much as your friend Jon did 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2014
      • Reply

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