Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Rich, Sooo Delicious and Sweet to eat are exactly what these Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting are. I am thankful for that because I have always been a HUGE proponent for chocolate anything, but especially, chocolate cupcakes. There is just something about their baked chocolate flavor paired with the fluffy, almost pillow-like texture that leaves me feeling satisfied, warm and cozy inside. What I love about chocolate is that it is a consistent flavor. I always know what I am getting when I make these. This recipe calls for cocoa powder. For best results, it must be sifted. With a quality cocoa powder, the best chocolate cupcakes can be made right in your own kitchen.

Every year as a child when my birthday came around, my mom would come to me asking what kind of cupcakes I wanted her to make so I could take them to my classmates at school. It was rather “sweet” (pun intended) of her to ask, although I am almost certain that she already knew what the answer would be. (CHOCOLATE, of course!) I am sure that she just wanted to make me feel included in the planning process and included I felt. I enjoyed helping her sift the dry ingredients, mix the butter and sugar into a fluffy like paste and add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract (optional).

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Madison Course: DessertDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 flour

  • 1 teaspoon 1 baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 granulated sugar

  • 1 cup 1 water

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 vegetable oil

  • 1 large 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon 1 white vinegar OR lemon juice

  • 1 cup 1 sour cream, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract (optional)

  • For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 4 cups 4 powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons 2 milk


  • For the Cupcakes:
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder together. 
  • Add in the salt, granulated sugar, water, vegetable oil, egg, vinegar, sour cream and vanilla extract. Stir until combined with no lumps.
  • Pour cupcake batter into liners and bake for 17-20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting with the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. 
  • For the Frosting:
  • Using a mixer, mix together butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk until well combined.


  • Be sure to keep refrigerated since the buttercream will melt.

Back in those years, we used a chocolate cupcake recipe from a cookbook that we had at home. Over the years, we ended up developing our own recipe. It is pretty similar in flavor to the one I remember eating as a child. Now, this has been my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe for some time now. Since we have been on lockdown, I can proudly say I have made A LOT of these and since creating the recipe, I have not had to make any changes. Just like the saying “why fix something that isn’t broken?” Now that I have cracked the code, there is no need for me to pivot with this recipe.

For best results when making these cupcakes, make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. This requires a bit of planning ahead. I allow my ingredients to sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before using them so that they can come up to room temperature. Everything mixes together so smoothly.

To make this cupcake moist, In addition to the vinegar and baking soda, to add even more moisture to these cupcakes, I add in a cup of sour cream. For those of you who have not used sour cream in your cake batters before, do not worry, you cannot taste it at all. Just like the lemon juice/vinegar, it is virtually undetectable!

The buttercream frosting is easy to make and needs to be refrigerated after being put on the cupcakes since it can melt pretty quickly. It has just the right about of sweetness and the right amount of unsweetened cocoa powder. I hope you enjoy whipping up the cupcakes and the frosting. Enjoy!!!


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