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Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate cupcakes

 There are many, many different recipes for chocolate cupcakes out there and, as much as I like to be creative and try as many of them as I can, I also like to have an easy, reliable recipe to fall back on when I need cupcakes in a hurry.  This is my “old reliable” chocolate cupcake recipe.

The cupcakes have a deep chocolate flavor and take only a few minutes to throw together. In a pinch, the batter could even be mixed up in one bowl. The batter uses liquid fat instead of solid butter, so there is no need for creaming and you don’t even have to use an electric mixer. I often use oil in the recipe for simplicity’s sake, but it works perfectly well with melted butter, too. Sometimes, I will throw in a few handfuls of mini chocolate chips if I want to make the cupcakes just a touch more chocolaty. The batter is fairly thin and full sized chocolate chips will sink to the bottoms of the muffin cups; mini chips help to alleviate this problem.

This recipe, unlike so many others posted here, will make 2 dozen cupcakes in one go. This makes it an excellent choice for parties and other occasions where you might need to serve a big crowd.

These chocolate cupcakes were made to complement a batch of vanilla cupcakes, but rather than just set them out on a plate, I decided to do something special with them. The suspense will only last a bit longer, I promise…

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in 2-12 cup muffin tins.
In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, water, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Whisk into flour mixture until all of the ingredients are mixed in and no streaks of flour remain. Add in optional mini chocolate chips, if using.
Fill muffin cups evenly with the prepared batter.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with only a few crumbs.
Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

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  • Emily
    June 29, 2007

    If you look at the fuzzy background you can see rows of red and white along with a blob of blue. I wonder what that could mean…

  • veuveclicquot
    July 2, 2007

    those are so cute! I love using buttermilk in cupcakes – IMHO, it makes them super moist and light. 🙂 Love the color scheme… 😉

  • Abril
    July 15, 2007

    I just made this and they’re delicious! I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I added the juice of a key lime to the milk and waited 3 minutes before using it.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  • michelle
    August 17, 2007

    i just made these…the centers were kind of sinking in, do you know what causes that? thanks!

    love ur website btw 🙂

  • carrie
    October 1, 2007

    sorry, i neeed to ask, what exactly is buttermilk?

  • visitor
    October 25, 2007

    nice site love tht pic of the cupcka:)

  • kangyi
    March 31, 2008

    may i ask how big your cup is?

  • Anonymous
    May 7, 2009

    I made these and had multiple people tell me that they were the best cupcakes they have ever had! I made them twice– once with cream cheese frosting, and once with Bailey’s buttercream.

  • Sandy
    May 27, 2009

    I made these this afternoon … in fact, they are still cooling in preparation to be frosted and I’ve already eaten 2! I was worried at first because the batter is so thin, but they are so moist and delicious!!! Oh, I didn’t have buttermilk so I just used regular milk. No big deal, great!!! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  • hampers
    June 2, 2009

    Sumptuously yummy. I love chocolates – the more if it’s prepared toxic-free and place in fabulous food hampers.

  • Christmas Hampers
    July 16, 2009

    I tried making some for my birthday with another recipe and it went a bit wrong, they ended up like rock cakes! Thanks for the above, just looking at it I can see I left something out before!

  • alex
    September 29, 2009

    you can make buttermilk easily if you havent bought any. just mix in a table spoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in 1 cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes. there you go, substitute for buttermilk!

  • Jackie
    November 14, 2009

    Just made these cupcakes, very yummy!! I added a pack of instant chocolate pudding mix to the recipe and reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup for extra moistness. mmm..mmm.. good!!

  • jan
    April 30, 2010

    OMG. best cupcake recipe.
    sooo moist & delicious!
    thanks for the recipe [:

  • Katie
    September 24, 2010

    I am just about to make some cupcakes with my little sister Grayson, and we were wondering, since we don’t have buttermilk (my mom isn’t a big cook, so we never have it around the house except for needed occasions) is there anything else we could possible use? Thank-you for your time!

    Katie and Grayson(:

  • Katie
    September 24, 2010

    Never mind, I just saw the buttermilk comment made by Alex! Thank-you Alex.

  • x3baking
    November 14, 2010

    I made these cupcakes and they were so quick and simple! thanks for this great recipe.


  • Melissa
    March 18, 2011

    I just whipped up a batch of these and they are gorgeous with a lovely texture. A new keeper recipe for me! For what it’s worth they took 19 minutes in my calibrated oven (I have an internal thermometer) and the recipe yielded 20 cupcakes (which was fine since I only needed 18). I was just hoping for more leftovers!

  • Stephanie
    March 28, 2011

    Great recipe! I normally struggle with baked goods and these turned out perfectly. Very easy and delicious. I agree with the last post…took about 20 minutes to bake in my oven as well.

  • DImA
    August 5, 2011

    does the cupcake taste kinda sweet or bitter?please do reply, thnx 🙂

  • Mel
    September 1, 2011

    Thanks heaps for this recipe, it was quick and easy and perfect for cake pops, I posted it here (http://mel-allwrappedup.blogspot.com/2011/09/ferrero-rocher-cake-pops-recipe.html). Baked as a cake the recipe was a bit sunken but turned out perfect as cupcakes. The sunken cake was very moist and probably just needed a stir before baking which I forgot.

  • vanessa
    November 17, 2011

    HI , may I know this is for how many serving ?

  • Michelle
    November 29, 2011

    I made these today as minis with a 1-Tbs scoop and it made 72 perfect mini cupcakes! They baked for 11 minutes at 350.. Yummy recipe – thanks!

  • Jessica
    April 7, 2012

    I made these cupcakes today – I’m from england and so I used plain flour.

    I didn’t have buttermilk so mixed half crème fraîche with half milk.

    They came out AMAZING. They are the most moist cupcake I have ever made – honestly. They are SO chocolatey and it was very easy to make this recipe.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • emmy
    April 24, 2012

    maybe i will convince my mom into mking these….they sound delicous and they have great reviews

  • Jessica
    May 27, 2012

    These are honestly the BEST cupcakes I have ever made – no exageration. Again I’m from england and buttermilk is not something I usually buy so I made a mixture of crème fraîche, yogurt and milk to make a similar consistency/ taste. I frosted them with a cream cheese frosting, but I actually prefered them without the frosting – they are that good. Would definitely recommend these and am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  • Christina
    May 31, 2012

    These are wonderful cupcakes. I have made them several times to rave reviews! I also recommended these on my blog to my readers — http://mamaknowszest.wordpress.com/



  • Jin Joo
    April 7, 2013

    Why did my cupcakes come out dented?

  • Naz
    May 28, 2013

    Can this recipe be converted into one whole cake

  • Linda
    September 3, 2013

    Buttermilk is soured milk well known in the US but not to be found in the UK. ‘Karnemelk’ in NL. Mixing 50:50 yoghurt and water/milk would also give you something similar I reckon

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