The Best Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe - Handle the Heat

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

By Tessa Arias
February 1st, 2021
4.95 from 391 votes
4.95 from 391 votes

After tons of testing and tweaking, I've finally discovered the BEST Chocolate Cupcake recipe! Truly! Keep reading for lots of recipe tips, insights into the science of baking, and the full printable recipe.

Yield: 12 to 15 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Chocolate overload in the best possible way! Texture: The cupcakes are incredibly moist and tender without being too delicate or crumbly. And the frosting is just oh so light and creamy. Ease: The cupcakes themselves are super simple and easy, but the frosting is more involved. It balances out in the end! Appearance: Gorgeous. Pros: The BEST, duh!! Cons: None. I make this again? Yessss, but maybe not for a while since my kitchen has experienced a cupcake explosion since trying to perfect this recipe, ha!

Oh, were these Chocolate Cupcakes a frustrating recipe to perfect. If you follow me at all, then you know I love to utilize the science of baking to tweak and test recipes until I think they’re the ULTIMATE version of that recipe.

close up of chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles on a chocolate cupcake

I’ve done it with my Ultimate Brownies and Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, so it was about time I embarked on another recipe.

What better to perfect than Chocolate Cupcakes?! It took about 5 straight batches over a couple days, after previous casual tests over the months, to finally nail the recipe.

I hope you love it as much as I do! It’s perfectly moist and tender. Not so moist that is collapses and not so tender that it crumbles. Plus tooooons of chocolate flavor. Like three kinds overall!

best homemade chocolate cupcakes on a plate cut in half

How to Make the BEST Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe underwent extensive testing to perfect. Below is a complete explanation of every major element in case you wanted to learn more about the science and process behind all of it.

I’ve tried to answer any questions you might have below, but feel free to leave a comment with any other questions.

ALSO, I ended up writing an entire post about How to Make Perfect Cupcakes HERE you might enjoy. Otherwise, keep scrolling for the full printable recipe.

Tessa piping chocolate frosting onto homemade chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients

Best chocolate to use for chocolate cupcakes:

We can’t make stellar homemade chocolate cupcakes without first considering the chocolate! The cupcakes themselves use a whole 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate AND Dutch-process cocoa powder for as much chocolate flavor as possible. Make sure to use freshly chopped baking chocolate and not chocolate chips, which don’t melt down as smoothly.

Do I have to use Dutch Process Cocoa Powder?

I do recommend you stick with the Dutch-process cocoa as it actually works differently on a chemical level compared to regular natural cocoa. You can learn more about the differences between cocoa powders here.

comparison of dutch process vs natural cocoa powder

You can find it at many gourmet food stores, like Whole Foods, Sur la Table, and Williams-Sonoma. One of the best surprising parts about Dutch Process Cocoa is that it almost always contains more cocoa butter (fat!) than your typical grocery store cocoa powder. This means more moisture, richness, and chocolate flavor! Learn more about cocoa powder + fat here.

If you must use regular unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe, then omit the vinegar. Your cupcakes may be a little more dry if using something like Hershey’s or Nestle.

The frosting uses melted chocolate for the most intense and pure chocolate flavor possible. I like to use semisweet, but feel free to use milk or bittersweet chocolate instead. It’s totally up to you!

melted chocolate for homemade chocolate cupcakes

melted chocolate for the best homemade chocolate cupcake recipe

How to make MOIST Chocolate Cupcakes:

  1. This recipe calls for vegetable oil instead of melted butter. I went back and forth on this for a bit and wound up choosing the oil because it creates an ultra moist texture and open, slightly spongy crumb which is perfect for chocolate cupcakes. For more details on how these two fats affect tenderness, flavor, and texture, check out my Butter vs. Oil in Baking article.
  2. Since oil is liquid at room temperature, it gives a better sensation of moistness than butter does.
  3. Be sure to also use full fat ingredients and don’t reduce the sugar in this recipe. Sugar actually helps contribute to moistness if you can believe it!
  4. Lastly, be sure not to accidentally over measure your flour and cocoa powder. Spoon both ingredients into their measuring cups then level off the excess with a knife. Or better yet, use a digital kitchen scale. Check out my How to Measure Flour article for a step-by-step on how to accurately measure your dry ingredients.

moist chocolate cupcake before being frosted

Hot Water and Espresso Powder in Chocolate Cupcakes

If you bake chocolate cake or cupcakes a lot, you’ve probably seen quite a few recipes that utilize hot water or even hot coffee. It helps to dissolve and ‘bloom’ the cocoa powder to bring out as much flavor with as few cocoa lumps as possible. In my Best Chocolate Cupcake recipe, I use a combination of hot water and instant espresso powder. The espresso simply enhances the chocolate flavor without actually being perceptible.

Do I have to use espresso powder?

Alternatively, you could use hot coffee for the same effect. Or you can omit it altogether if you’d prefer.


Most of my initial recipe tests used only granulated sugar for the cupcakes. Then, I thought I’d try to add in a bit of brown sugar. The resulting chocolate cupcakes were flavorful, moist, and slightly chewy. Perfect!


The more whole eggs a cake recipe has, the richer it’ll be. I repeated one of my favorite baking tricks and added in an egg yolk. It works beautifully for brownies and cookies, so why not chocolate cupcakes? It adds more richness, chewiness, and structure so the cupcake can stand up to a generous or heavy frosting.

Is there an egg substitute for chocolate cupcakes?

I have yet to find an amazing egg substitute for this recipe. My friend Gemma from Bigger Bolder Baking has an excellent resource on egg substitutes.


Oh man, this is where I encountered the most frustration. I went back and forth on this. When I used both baking soda and baking powder, the cupcakes rose to a beautiful height while baking but then fell and collapsed slightly as they cooled. Bummer. That was too much leavener.

I went back to only baking soda, which is more effective per teaspoon than baking powder, but had to add vinegar to the recipe. Why? Well because there wasn’t much acid for the baking soda to react with originally. Dutch-process cocoa powder has been neutralized of its acid, so it was only the sour cream and small amount of brown sugar. For tall and light cupcakes, we need enough leavening so baking soda + vinegar did the trick. This is why you omit the vinegar if you’re using natural cocoa powder.


I tried testing with bread flour after seeing a few ‘ultimate’ recipes elsewhere that used it, but found that all-purpose worked just as well. Since all-purpose flour is more readily available, I stuck with that to make things easiest for you.

Sour Cream

I find that sour cream adds such a lovely richness and balance of flavor to cupcakes, so I just had to include it here. I think it definitely works best, but full fat plain yogurt also makes a fine alternative in chocolate cupcakes.

The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

When I originally published this recipe, it used the more difficult Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream as the frosting. Although delicious, it’s more advanced and requires more time and special equipment.

In the interest of making this recipe easier but equally as delicious, I swapped in an American-style chocolate buttercream that’s made extra special with two additions. The frosting contains cooled chocolate ganache for extra chocolate flavor and fudgy richness.

For an extra smooth and rich frosting, opt for organic powdered sugar and high fat cocoa powder. The full explanation for both is found here.

My favorite cupcake tools:

  • Cupcake liners: these ones are my favorite for cupcakes that don’t stick to the liner.
  • Piping tip: I used the Ateco #828 piping tip for swirling on the chocolate frosting on these cupcakes. Any large open star tip will work!
  • Piping bags: I love these ones.

How to store Chocolate Cupcakes:

Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Can you freeze cupcakes?

If storing for longer than a week, wrap unfrosted cupcakes individually in plastic wrap (this prevents freezer burn and taste transference). Place cupcakes inside a freezer bag on a shelf in your freezer where they won’t get smashed. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Unwrap the cupcakes and allow to defrost at room temperature for about 1 to 2 hours. More details on how to freeze and make desserts ahead of time in my *free* Make Ahead Baking Guide.

Can I make a layer cake with this recipe?

I have my Best Chocolate Cake recipe here that I highly recommend you check out! It’s very similar to this recipe. You can also check out my guide for How to Convert Cupcakes Into Cake (and vice versa!).

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting on a white background

More Chocolate Cupcake Recipes:

More Frosting Recipes

4.95 from 391 votes

How to make
Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: 12 to 15 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
After tons of testing and tweaking, I've finally discovered the BEST Chocolate Cupcake recipe! Truly! Keep reading for lots of recipe tips, insights into the science of baking, and the full printable recipe.


For the cupcakes:

  • 5 ounces (142 grams) bittersweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (28 grams) Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream, at room temperature (or plain full fat yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) finely chopped semisweet chocolate (don't use chocolate chips)
  • 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, at a cool room temperature
  • 2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted (preferably organic*)
  • 1 cup (85 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


Make the cupcakes:

  1. In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups until 3/4 full. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 17 to 18 minutes.

  6. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Make the frosting:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let stand for a few minutes before stirring until smooth. Set aside and cool to approximately 75°F or until thickened but still pourable.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes, or until very well blended, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the cooled chocolate cream mixture. Continue beating until the frosting has lightened in color and texture, about 2 minutes more, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  4. Frosting can be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm frosting in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and stir until creamy again before frosting cupcakes.
  5. Frosting can also be transferred to a ziptop bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge overnight then rewhip in the stand mixer until light and smooth.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Cupcake yield will depend on the size of your muffin tin cavities. If they’re smaller, you may need two pans to make 15 total cupcakes. You can use 1/2 cup hot strongly brewed coffee in place of the espresso powder + hot water. If using natural cocoa powder, omit the vinegar. For the frosting, opt for organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch, such as Wholesome, instead of cornstarch for a smoother silkier texture.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : chocolate cupcakes

This recipe was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2021 to make the cupcakes more moist and tender with an easier frosting. New photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

February Baking Challenge

This recipe was the selection for the February 2021 monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join a challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win PRIZES. Click here for full details. Check out everyone’s cupcakes:

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Denise — October 30, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    FYI, for those not able to find Dutch processed cocoa powder, I just picked up a bag at Costco. I’m so excited to be baking these today to make Frankenstein cupcakes with for our Halloween potluck at work tomorrow!

  2. #
    Amanda Tyler — October 30, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Can you double this recipe?

  3. #
    Claudia — October 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Tessa, You def. were not kidding with best chocolate cupcakes. I gave a few different recipes this week getting ready for my daughters first birthday and this was one of everyone’s favorite pick. My own issue was not sweet enough giving a bit of that bitter taste….So I wonder would the semi sweet change anything other then giving it a little more sweetness?
    Really appreciate your shared recipes 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — October 10, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Semisweet should work just fine! Did you taste the cupcakes with buttercream? I find the bittersweet pairs well with the super sweetness of buttercream 🙂

  4. #
    Eleanor — September 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Many thanks for the “skip to the recipe” button! I can’t remember the last time I came across a recipe on a blog that didn’t make me scroll through a million photos to get to the recipe. Bless your beautiful soul.

    • #
      Tessa — September 25, 2016 at 9:07 am

      You’re welcome, Eleanor! I’m glad you like that feature 🙂

  5. #
    Tari — September 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks, Tessa. Medical issue is better!!

  6. #
    Tari — September 17, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Hi. Just made these last night for a party today. Party has been cancelled indefinitely due to a family emergency. I’m wondering if these can be frozen, and for how long? They are unfrosted, as I was called away after making the frosting.

    • #
      Tessa — September 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Hi Tari, I hope everything is okay! These cupcakes will last unfrosted frozen in an airtight container for about 4-6 weeks.

  7. #
    Hazel — September 17, 2016 at 1:20 am

    hi tessa! can i use this cupcake recipe for fondant themed cupcakes without the chocolate buttercream? will these stay moist at room temperature if i make them ahead 2 days before delivery date or should i put them in the fridge?

    • #
      Tessa — September 17, 2016 at 11:09 am

      I don’t use fondant so I’m not sure! I would refrigerate them in an airtight container 🙂

  8. #
    Huda — September 12, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Hello, Jessa! These cupcakes look so good!!!! I’m planning on making these today for Eid. I hope mine turn out as good as yours look! But for bittersweet chocolate, can I add dark or semisweet chocolate chips or what exactly because I’m confused.

    Oh Oh and I have a one more question. I’ve recently created a blog and I’m planning on making posts for whatever I make but since I’m new I’m not really sure about how giving credit really works like. Do I just add a link to your post or is there something more I need to be careful about? Thanks for reading and I look forward to your reply <3

    • #
      Tessa — September 12, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Eid Mubarak, Huda! Yes you can use the same amount of semisweet chocolate in place of the bittersweet. The cupcakes will just be slightly sweeter!

      Most bloggers prefer to receive credit with a link back to the original post, and a link back to the blog homepage. When sharing another’s recipe, be sure to re-write the recipe directions in your own words. Lastly, only share another’s photographs if you have explicit permission. If you follow those guidelines you should be good 🙂

  9. #
    amelia — September 6, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    best chocolate cupcakes i have made!! and we try so many recipes because we love chocolate lol. we dont have bittersweet choc in australia so i used good quality dark choc and still they are so so good. i always make smb with cakes & it goes so perfect together! thanks tessa.

  10. #
    LittleCook — August 19, 2016 at 11:04 am

    WOW i made this icing (with white chocolate) and the chocolate cake from your chocolate mint cupcake and it was so perfect! I had put oreos on top because it was an oreo cake and it was so delicious!
    Keep up your good work I really like to read you, you inspire me 😀

  11. #
    Tessa — August 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Um Tessa, I know we’ve never met so this is a bit weird, but I love you. Like seriously the best baker award should go to you. Forever. I can’t tell you how many scratch cakes/cupcakes I’ve tried over the last couple years. Not a single one has met my expectations… But these little puppies. Yes. They did. Perfectly soft and airy like a boxed mix but with this special almost chewy top. The are nothing short of perfection. I’m smitten. Thank you, thank you for sharing this recipe with the world!!!
    (This is the 2nd recipe of yours I’ve tried and you are 2/2! I LOVE the weight measurements! Keep up the delicious work!) ❤️❤️

    • #
      Tessa — August 18, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Wow, Haley!! Thank you so much! That makes me so happy 🙂 🙂

  12. #
    Sara — August 15, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Hey I love ur recipes.they r so perfect.I baked banana chocolate muffins with ur recipe many’s a hit among kids.thanks a ton for ur effort in sharing detailed recipes.I wanna know the simple chocolate cupcake recipe.? Can I add granulated sugar rather than brown sugar in this recipe.tia

  13. #
    Mariam — August 14, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Hi! My husband’s 5 year old niece was in town and her mom told me she really wanted to make chocolate cupcakes with me, and she has never made cupcakes before. I am NOT a baker. I probably bake once a year. But I really wanted to give her an authentic experience instead of using a box, so I searched high and low and settled on your recipe. I just wanted to say THANK YOU. They turned out PERFECT. Everyone loved them. I love that they rose well, were pretty sturdy yet fluffy on the inside, and were not overly sweet. I also missed the part about not using vinegar if using regular cocoa powder but they were still delicious. Will be saving it to my favorite recipes list!

    • #
      Tessa — August 14, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Oh, that makes me so happy to hear!! Thanks for sharing Mariam! 🙂

  14. #
    Christen — August 13, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I made these today for my daughter’s birthday party and they were sooo delicious! This is going to be my #1 chocolate cupcake recipe from now on!

    • #
      Tessa — August 14, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Yay! So happy to hear that!

  15. #
    Jennifa — August 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Tess Yesss please put up the feature where we can upload our pics that used your recipe.

  16. #
    Suzie — July 31, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Made these for a shower… Flavor was amazing but they turned out dry
    Could it be because i doubled the recipe???? Would like to make again but fix the dryness factor. Measured carefully and didn t ovetbeat or overcook!!!!

    • #
      Tessa — August 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Did you measure by weight or volume? By volume, this recipe doubled should required 1 3/4 cups flour (I know that can be a little confusing). I’ve tested this recipe many times, and based off the positive comments its received I’m thinking it was probably an ingredient that was mis-measured or incorrectly doubled.

  17. #
    Jennifa — July 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Ok so these are the best cupcakes ever hands down!!!!!!!!!! Omg I sent a batch to my husbands office and they loved them!!!! Thanx Tess for being kind enough to share these recipes most would keep it secret lols. I wish I could post pics of the cupcakes

    • #
      Tessa — July 31, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Ah so happy to hear that!! I’ve actually been thinking about adding a feature to my recipes that would allow anyone to submit their own photos of the recipe. Would you like that feature?

  18. #
    Jennifa — July 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    You are amazing Tess I just put a batch in the oven …as for the frosting I used your buttercream frosting recipe only because I had made it first and then thort to myself why not try the best cupcake recipe lols. Can’t wait to frost them

  19. #
    ella — July 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    I tried to make coco cupcakes without a recipe and they were to thick, so we fixed them using this recipe and they were so good!!!!!! 😉

  20. #
    Andrea Garvey — July 11, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Hi Tessa,

    As Aussie here trying to work out ounces into grams. With regards to the Dutch-process cocoa, it seems that 2 tablespoons would equal 1 ounce, however this isn’t sufficient enough to make 1/3 of a cup. Could you please advise in tablespoons the amount of Dutch-process cocoa to use?

    Many thanks!
    regards Andrea

  21. #
    Barb — June 24, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Tessa,
    I’ve never used a piping tip for icing. How do you use the Ateco piping tip? Also would I need to buy
    pastry bags or can I use a ziploc with the Ateco tip? Would I fold the plastic bag and then cut the tip, then put the tip on it? Please help. . .thanks. I’d like to try the recipes and use the piping tip.

  22. #
    Mica — June 23, 2016 at 9:04 am

    BTW, your so generous sharing all your recipe
    I will definitely look one for your baking cookbook!!!!

    • #
      Tessa — June 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks so much! Dutch process cocoa powder is the same as “alkalized cocoa powder.” It can also be called “Dutched cocoa.” 🙂

  23. #
    Mica — June 23, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Hi tessa,
    Thank you so much sharing this wonderful recipe….
    Sooo excited to try baking your creation…
    Im just curious if it is possible to replace the “dutch process cocoa powder” to “alkalized cocoa powder”?…
    Hope to see soon …..MANGO CUPCAKE

  24. #
    shantana — June 17, 2016 at 4:55 am

    hi, I would like to triple this recipe, how do I go about doing that? thanks in advance.

  25. #
    Ayesha — June 16, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Hey.tried these today,the frosting turned out super.
    But something seriously went wrong the cupcakes,the batter overflowed the cups.the cakes smelt bad when baked and they taste very bitter.i made a few changes,can you tell me if this is what went wrong?
    1.i used sour cream substitue(milk with vinegar)
    2.i didn’t find any step about not using vinegar if using natural cocoa,thus used vinegar twice.once as stated in the recipe and once for the sour cream sub.
    Is that why they’re so bitter tasting and smelling bad?

    • #
      Tessa — June 19, 2016 at 7:14 am

      Hi Ayesha, I’m not quite sure what happened! But I can say this recipe took a looooot of tweaking and testing so following it exactly is your best bet.

  26. #
    Shruti — June 16, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Hi, it’s probably the third time I’ve made these chocolate cupcakes with different frostings (of course with your swiss buttercream recipes) and they turn out perfect every single time. Everyone loves them in my house from kids to adults. Thanks for this wonderful delicious super easy cupcake recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — June 19, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Awesome! So happy to hear that 🙂

  27. #
    Erin — June 15, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    A little too much bittersweet chocolate for me, I think I will try semisweet next time instead. I also might try baking powder instead of soda to make them a little more dense, I like them a little less airy. Yummy though, and not overly sweet which I like.

  28. #
    matt — May 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    For a vanilla frosting can I just omit the chocolate or should I also increase the amount of vanilla?

  29. #
    Ashley Lynn — May 16, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Hi – I was just wondering if the cupcakes would require to be refrigerated given the sour cream? I want to make these as cupcake jars favors so guests may not refrigerate. I see the frosting calls for egg whites so I’d use a standard buttercream instead since egg whites do require refrigeration.


    • #
      Tessa — May 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Hi Ashley, actually you wouldn’t need to worry about the sour cream or egg whites spoiling since both those ingredients are cooked to a temperature that kills bacteria. The only perishable ingredient you’d need to worry about is the butter in the frosting, however the sugar helps prohibit bacteria growth so buttercream is fine left at a cool room temperature for the better part of the day. It’s up to you and what you feel safe doing. I typically refrigerate after 8 hours.

  30. #
    Prashant — May 9, 2016 at 4:36 am

    These were just awesome! Easy to make … made these with my daughter as a mother’s day treat for her mom. Everyone loved them. Thanks for this wonderful recipe, I substituted plain yogurt for sourcream.

    • #
      Tessa — May 10, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Wonderful!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  31. #
    thu — May 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you this wonderful chocolate cupcake recipe Tessa. I’m so excited to try it out
    for my son’s birthday at the end of this month. I wonder if you also have any recipe for vanilla cupcake (regular yellow cupcake I mean)

  32. #
    Mallory — May 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Does this recipe double well?

    • #
      Tessa — May 4, 2016 at 10:16 am


  33. #
    Samantha — May 3, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Hi! Ok, so these are in the oven now! The batter is awesome, I had pretty high expectations for them, all seemed well. Except for the cocoa powder part! My hubby ran to the store for me and couldn’t find dutch processed, so we used regular. And it wasn’t until now that I saw your suggestion about omitting the vinegar if using regular!!! YIKES! I guess we shall see what happens after these puppies are done. I’ll let you know if it is successful, hoping so, they are for my sons class party…tomorrow! lol.

    • #
      Tessa — May 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

      So how’d they turn out?!

  34. #
    Francesca — April 21, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Hello Tessa, this is the best chocolate cupcake I have tried so far in years. Sweetness is just right, texture is smooth and moist and most of all, no caving! Was not able to make the frosting though as the cupcakes were quicky gone before I could even prepare the frosting! Love, love this recipe!

  35. #
    Gloria Morris — April 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    The recipe sounds great but we don’t like cupcakes we like layer cake, can you just use the same recipe?

  36. #
    Stacy — April 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    So, my fiance bought groceries for me and instead of buying a bar of bittersweet chocolate, he got bittersweet chocolate chips. Its a 10 oz bag, and I see the recipe needs 4 oz. Do you think half a cup of chocolate chips would work? I don’t have a food scale so I can’t weigh ingredients… you may not answer before I get started, but I figured someone else may need to know later anyway! I’m having a party tomorrow, so I have a lot of baking to get too! 🙂 This is the first time trying one of your recipes, and it looks really good, so hopefully it turns out!

    • #
      Tessa — April 18, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Stacy, bittersweet chocolate chips should work fine. 6 ounces of chocolate chips is 1 cup, so a generous 1/2 cup measurement should do the trick.

  37. #
    Anna — April 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    So, I’m not a baker by any means. Cooking is my game but I had the urge to bake after seeing this recipe. The cake portion turned out perfectly. The cake was moist and not overly sweet. However the icing turned out to be more of a ganache and not really fluffy at all. This could be because I hadn’t melted the chocolate prior or maybe I should’ve refrigerated the icing for an hour or two before icing my cupcakes? After adding the butter to the egg white/sugar mixture it just never got to as fluffy as I had hoped. I feel like maybe the step of having to melt the chocolate beforehand should be in the method rather than listed as an ingredient. Or that the icing should be refrigerated for an hour or two before applying to the cupcakes. I just put the bowl back on the double boiler for a little bit longer so the chocolate could melt properly. I’m sure if I did this recipe over it would turn out beautifully. I’ll definitely try t again someday….

  38. #
    punam — April 9, 2016 at 4:52 am

    What do you mean by sour cream can i skip that

    • #
      Tessa — April 9, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Did you read the post? I describe what the sour cream does, “Sour Cream: I find that sour cream adds such a lovely richness and balance of flavor to cupcakes, so I just had to include it here.”

      If you don’t have sour cream you could substitute with full fat Greek-style yogurt.

  39. #
    julie Fourie — April 8, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Love your chocolate cupcakes. How about a moist vanilla cupcake. I just can’t find one.

    • #
      Tessa — April 9, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      I have yet to perfect the vanilla cupcake recipe 🙁 I’ll keep trying though!!

  40. #
    Georgie — April 8, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    This is one of the best recipes I know but mine do not look as good as yours!! I think you are a very smart person to have created such a tasty thing and I shared them with my family and almost fainted they were sooooo good!thankyou for making this recipe on Pinterest and if you would like to see some of the things I have done please look and follow me

  41. #
    Lisa Ogura — March 16, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    OMG! So yummy! Just finished baking a batch of mini chocolate cupcakes and couldn’t wait until they cooled completely. This is a test run for my son’s birthday party next week and couldn’t be happier. Only substitution was using decaf instant coffee. Will be trying to match the cupcakes with a marshmallow cream cheese frosting tomorrow. Need a white canvas on top for the edible Power Rangers print cupcake toppers. Thank you for the detailed recipe (love the weights) resulting in such a moist chocolatey cupcake!

    • #
      Tessa — March 17, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Yay, Lisa! It always makes me happy to know when my recipes are being used for a special celebration. Hope your son has a fantastic birthday 🙂

  42. #
    Elisabeth — March 9, 2016 at 10:16 am


    I am in France, and sometimes when I come across great recipes like this one, I’m always held back by your “cups” system, especially as converters never all give the same conversion…

    Would it be possible to add grams to your recipes

  43. #
    Lorie Lai Kanazawa — March 9, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Tried this earlier and I was so happy for the result!!!
    My kids loved it!!!
    They even ate it after i removed the first batch from the oven.. And because of that, i need to make a second batch!!!
    Bad thing is i didn’t got the chance to make frosting coz I haven’t got my order for the hand mixer yet… :'(
    But the cupcakes alone are delicious!!!
    Will surely keep this recipe…
    Thanks a lot!!

  44. #
    Jamie — March 3, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Is white vinegar the same as distilled vinegar?

    • #
      Tessa — March 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Yep! My bottle says “distilled white vinegar.”

  45. #
    Jamie — March 3, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Is white vinegar the same as distilled vinegar?

  46. #
    Deborah — February 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    These were terrific!! Probably the best recipe I have found so far. Chocolate cup cakes are my husbands favorite so I make them all the time. Tried this recipe recently and found it to be moist and full of chocolate flavor and held up to the dry climate. Instructions are clear and easy to follow. Thanks so much Tessa! Love your stuff!

    • #
      Tessa — March 1, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      So happy to hear that, Deborah!

  47. #
    Aneesa — February 29, 2016 at 2:57 am

    These look awesome and i can’t wait to try them!! Best blog ever! I completely take on your advice to use dutch process cocoa and i will be ordering from amazon asap! But as i want to make these now and only have regular cocoa pls advise as to whether i still need the vinegar!

    Thank you!


    • #
      Tessa — March 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Awesome, Aneesa! I would say if you’re going to try regular cocoa to omit the vinegar, but I can’t be 100% sure as I haven’t tried that exactly. Let me know how it turns out!

  48. #
    Ana — February 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Omg It looks sooo good, I would love to try it but I am French and don’t understand anything to cups and ounces is the recipe available with grams measurements ? As I also have tried to perfect my cupcakes I succeded for the frosting part but The muffin in itself I didn’t… Thank you for sharing you hard work, I discovered you through Instagram and subscribed right away, love what you do!

  49. #
    Patty K — February 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve been struggling to find the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe too! Can’t wait to try these! Dare I say my hunt is over? 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — February 8, 2016 at 9:27 am

      I hope it is over! Let me know what you think!

  50. #
    Marcia — February 7, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I will have to say that this truly is the best chocolate cupcake I have made!! Thanks for your work and for sharing this with us!

    • #
      Tessa — February 8, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Oh I’m so thrilled to hear that! Thanks, Marcia!

  51. #
    Beth — February 6, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    What adjustments should be made for high altitude? I live at 6,000ft above sea level.

    • #
      Tessa — February 7, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Hi Beth! I’m not sure about high altitude. I’ve never lived or baked much above sea level.

  52. #
    blueskycanyon05 — February 6, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Tessa, the cupcakes are the best. I have enjoyed reading your research on not only the cupcakes but the chocolate chip cookies. I’m going to try my hand at the decorating side after I watch your vedio. I made the cupcakes last night and took them over to my best friend. She told me this morning they’re half gone and the best she’s ever had.
    Thanks again great job.

    • #
      Tessa — February 6, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Oh so thrilled to hear that, Bill!! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  53. #
    Tanvi — February 5, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Hello! Will I be able to use natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-process? I don’t think it’s easily available in India, where I live. Is there a substitute I can use?

    • #
      Tessa — February 6, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Hi Tanvi, did you read the post? I talked about the cocoa powder under the Chocolate heading and included a link explaining the difference between the two. Your best bet is to stick with Dutch-process. I order mine online 🙂

  54. #
    Eleni — February 4, 2016 at 5:28 am

    We do not have sour cream in Greece, can I make it somehow? I really want to try them , they look delicious!!!

    • #
      Tessa — February 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      You can use plain yogurt!

  55. #
    kim — February 3, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    The cupcakes look sooo good…I can’t wait to try your recipe.
    For the cupcakes you don’t use electric mixer at all?

    • #
      Tessa — February 4, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Nope, they’re super simple 🙂

  56. #
    Jassy — February 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Tessa, I’m wondering if these can be made into cake easily? If so, what would I need to do differently?

    • #
      Tessa — February 4, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      I’ve only tested this recipe for cupcakes so I wouldn’t feel 100% confident with any instructions for making a cake instead. Let me know if you give it a try!

    • #
      Rachel Dice — May 22, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      I’ve made this as a cake and it’s great! I did 3 -8” layers at 325 for around 20 mins. Hope that helps!

  57. #
    Jennifer @NourishedSimply — February 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Love chocolate cupcakes! Thank you so much for sharing where to purchase Dutch-process cocoa powder. I have seen that listed on many recipes, but have not found it. Of course, duh, Amazon has everything!! Love the updated look of you site by the way.

    • #
      Tessa — February 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂 And Amazon Prime is such a lifesaver!!

  58. #
    Aneesa — February 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I love love love your ultimate guides/the best ever…recipes!! This recipe looks perfect!! Please please please also do an ultimate guide to vanilla cupcakes and also eggless cake as i am yet to find an awesome recipe and i am sooo in need of one!!
    Love your blog/vlogs/insta!!

  59. #
    fadheelah — February 3, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Awesome recipes. Awesome pics
    A really marvellous effort at sharing tried and tested recipes

    • #
      Tessa — February 3, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Thank you!

      • #
        Asunción Figueroa — February 12, 2021 at 9:48 am

        Very good! They’re moist and delicious. Although, I did half of the frosting because I thought it was too much and it was the perfect amount Follow all the tips that Tessa gives!

  60. #
    Melanie @ Gather for Bread — February 3, 2016 at 6:59 am

    So decadent. I just love your recipes! Gorgeous photos too.

    • #
      Tessa — February 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Thank you!

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