Rich, moist, & easy to make, these best-ever homemade chocolate cupcakes are sure to please anyone! Cream cheese icing makes them even better!
Chocolate cupcakes are a traditional dessert that has withstood the tests of time. While it’s just as easy to grab a box of chocolate cake mix, making this chocolate cupcake recipe from scratch is easy and fun.
Enjoy a batch of tasty moist chocolate cupcakes and the pleasure of knowing you did it all yourself. These cupcakes are simple and easy to make, and every cupcake is tender and fluffy. The perfect treat for snacking or for parties. There’s never a wrong time for chocolate cake!
I enjoy serving up my chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting because the pairing is so great. Tangy, sweet, moist, fluffy, and rich- what could be better?
Ingredients for chocolate cupcakes
- Flour: The base of our chocolate cupcakes is all-purpose flour.
- Cocoa powder: We need cocoa powder to make our cupcakes full of delicious chocolate flavor.
- Salt: This is a flavor enhancer that will bring out the other flavors in the recipe and make it taste incredible.
- Leavening agents: To get a nice and fluffy cupcake we need both baking soda and baking powder.
- Sugar: Adding in some granulated sugar will help us to get a nice and sweet cupcake.
- Oil: We need fats to help make our cupcakes moist. Using olive oil will help to give us a little flavor and some fats for a richer tasting cupcake.
- Vinegar: We just need a little bit of mild-flavored or white vinegar to make these cupcakes perfect in texture.
- Vanilla: Adding in a little vanilla will help to give us a flavorful cupcake by creating a nice base for other flavors to branch off of.
- Water: To thin down the cupcake we need some water.
- Frosting: I like to use storebought cream cheese frosting, but you can use about 2 cups of homemade cream cheese frosting if desired.
How to make chocolate cupcakes from scratch
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
- In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
- Create a well in the dry ingredients and then pour the wet ones inside, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- Adjust the oven rack to the center/middle position and then bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean or with just a few crumbs on it.
FAQs about Chocolate Cupcakes
To make moist and fluffy cupcakes you want to have air bubbles and moisture in the batter. We accomplish this with the learning agents, vinegar, oil, and water all coming together to create a moist cupcake that releases air bubbles as it bakes. To help this along, make sure not to overmix the batter as that will prematurely release air bubbles and create a more dense cupcake.
You can use the blade of a sharp paring knife to test the doneness of a cupcake if you don’t have any toothpicks handy. You can also touch the tops of the cupcakes (carefully- they’re hot) to see if it’s springy or soft. The edges should look done and the tops should no longer be glossy. The cupcakes should also not sink in the middle after removing them from the oven as this is a sign that the centers are unfinished baking.
If frosting using homemade cream cheese (or dairy containing frosting) then cupcakes should be stored in a fridge. If using storebought frosting or leaving them unfrosted, they can be stored at room temperature. Storing in the fridge may cause the cupcakes to dry out faster, but either way, the cupcakes should be kept in an airtight container for maximum freshness.
Best Ever Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
- 3 cups flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar white or mild flavored
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups cream cheese frosting see note
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Mix wet ingredients together.
- Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in, mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. A toothpick should come out with a few crumbs on it.
Can you substitute canola oil for the olive oil in those cupcakes? I was also wondering how this would work out for a 6 inch cake… layered. Do you think I would double the recipe?
Hi Deb, for a cake I’d use my Basic Chocolate Cake Recipe. You can sub the canola oil for the olive oil, but it does change the flavor slightly.
Moist and delicious cupcakes!