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Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is a go-to for birthday parties! These cupcakes are easy to bake and easy to frost!

Cupcakes Perfect for Celebrating

These cupcakes are chocolatey, they're flavorful, and the frosting is amazing! By changing the cupcake liners, adding food coloring to the frosting, and decorating the cupcakes with sprinkles or chocolate curls, these cupcakes can be made for any party celebration!

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream garnished with milk chocolate and white chocolate curls.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

The trick to making perfect chocolate cupcakes is to make them rich in flavor and use room temperature ingredients.

To make these cupcakes rich in flavor, use instant coffee granules. It enhances chocolate flavor from subtle to rich! Also, use room temperature eggs when making this recipe. Beating room temperature eggs allow the eggs to whip into a higher volume resulting in fluffier cupcakes!

A plate of chocolate cupcakes with American buttercream frosting.

Also, working with room temperature eggs mix beat into the batter better than using eggs that are straight from the refrigerator.

Buttermilk in the Cupcakes

Using buttermilk as an ingredient in these cupcakes makes the cupcakes moist and more flavorful as well.

If there is no buttermilk on hand, there's are quick and easy substitutes!

A plate of chocolate cupcakes in black cupcake wrappers topped with white buttercream frosting and garnished with chocolate curls.

For every cup of buttermilk, use 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir it together and allow it to sit for a few minutes before adding to the batter.

Another substitution is to use white vinegar. One cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar mixed together and allowed to sit for a few minutes before using will yield the same results as using buttermilk.

RELATED: Butterscotch Cupcakes

A plate of chocolate cupcakes with American buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Making rich and moist chocolate cupcakes with a homemade buttercream frosting is not only easy to make but even more delicious than store-bought cupcakes.

Making the frosting is easy to make using a hand mixer and is simple to pipe onto the cupcakes when it's thickened enough. Also, this recipe makes enough frosting to pipe onto all the cupcakes to achieve beautifully frosting cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are garnished, they can be garnished with crystallized sugar, sprinkles, and chocolate curls. The possibilities are endless when creating these cupcakes for a special day!

I piped these cupcakes using a 1M piping tip and a reusable piping bag. I also used premade chocolate curls to decorate these cupcakes.

For more cupcake recipes check out our sister site, Mama Needs Cake.

📖 Recipe

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 16 Cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup buttermilk*
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • ¼ cup half & half**


Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place 16 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together room temperature eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  6. Combine hot water and the 2 teaspoon of instant coffee until dissolved. Add to bowl.
  7. Add in the buttermilk and stir together the ingredients until just combined. Don't over mix.
  8. Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ of the way full and bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick to see if they're done. (The center will come out clean)
  9. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Beat together the softened butter and the shortening until creamy.
  2. Add in the vanilla.
  3. Beat in the powdered sugar, a little at a time. It will be crumbly.
  4. Add in the ¼ cup of milk a little at a time until desired creaminess is achieved. Add more if you want it more creamy.
  5. Pipe onto cool cupcakes.


*If you don't have any buttermilk on hand - you can use a milk and lemon juice substitution. 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir and allow to sit for at least 3 minutes before removing the ¼ cup and adding it to the ingredients.

**In place of half & half, regular milk can be used.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 8.9gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 56.5gFiber: 1gSugar: 49gProtein: 2.1g

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