Death by Chocolate Cupcakes.

Dark chocolate cupcakes topped with dark chocolate frosting. Chocolate lovers only!

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

This recipe is dedicated to all of you chocoholics.

Pure, unadultered, inexplicable, out-of-this-world love for chocolate.

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

I know many of you adore chocolate.   My most popular cake recipe is – chocolate!  My Triple Chocolate Layer Cake recipe is what inspired me to make these death by chocolate cupcakes.  Today’s cupcakes are a different recipe than that cake, but they are just as rich, fudgy, and decadent.

They are dark chocolate cupcakes with a thick dark chocolate frosting on top and sprinkled with chocolate chips. The cupcakes are not overly sweet – they are deep and intense. Pure chocolate. And a lot of it!

I have made about 7 batches of chocolate cupcakes so far this summer. I am not exaggerating!  Some batches ran over the sides and looked more like brown mushrooms, not cupcakes. Others did NOT taste like chocolate. Others were crunchy on top (eww!), dry, bland, and blah. Blah blah blah.  I have been searching and testing and testing (and testing some more!) to find that perfect chocolate cupcake recipe.  Finally, I took a few things I’ve learned from all my mistakes to come out with the best. I only give you the best of the best!

I’ve brought you chocolate cupcakes before on my website.  These chocolate cupcakes are loved by many of you!  And these chocolate cupcakes are quick, easy, and ultra moist. Both chocolate cupcake recipes are fantastic! However, I did not develop either of them on my own.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes. Moist, rich, tender, and SO much fudgy flavor.

Today’s new recipe produces rich, moist, and flavorful cupcakes.  I use a mix of melted chocolate and cocoa powder to make these cupcakes ultra fudgy. I nearly double the amount of cocoa powder than previous recipes that I’ve tried this summer. 2 eggs, brown sugar, and buttermilk gives each bite a tender, moist texture.  They are the complete opposite of dry and bland!

Buttermilk is required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake.

Don’t have buttermilk?  You can make your own.  Measure 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

The batter for the cupcakes is very thick. I’m warning you now!  Very thick – almost like frosting or chocolate pudding.  Just taste it.  You KNOW you’ll have amazing cupcakes after you taste the batter. So deliciously fudgy.

The frosting I use for these cupcakes is one of my favorites.  It’s the same frosting recipe that I often use to frost my peanut butter cupcakes.  The wonderful thing about this frosting is that there is not that much butter in it.  It’s not a buttercream frosting. It’s pure, thick chocolate.  Like melted fudge, but thicker.  You all love it so much.

I could eat this dark chocolate frosting with a spoon and be happy for the rest of my life.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes. Moist, rich, tender, and SO much fudgy flavor.

Ultra rich and creamy homemade Dark Chocolate Frosting

It’s ultra smooth and velvety.  One of the best frostings I’ve ever had.

I piped the frosting on with Wilton tip #12. I use this tip almost exclusively on my cupcakes, as well as the Wilton 1M. (See how I swirl frosting here.)

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at

I am in LOVE with these chocolate cupcakes. By far my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe.

I made a version of them for my cookbook – you will LOVE what I did with them. :)  Trust me, you have to try these chocolate cupcakes. Soft, moist, tender, intensely fudgy, chocoholic-heaven!  Everything about this recipe is perfection to me and I know you will adore each and every bite, too.

Chocoholics unite!


Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

Print Recipe

Dark chocolate cupcakes topped with dark chocolate frosting. Chocolate lovers only!

Yield: 12 cupcakes


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk*

Dark Chocolate Frosting

  • 2 and 3/4 cup (330g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons (95ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (60g) semi-sweet chocolate chips for decoration, optional


For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time. You may also melt the butter and chocolate over low heat on the stovetop. Stir until smooth and set aside to slightly cool.

In a medium sized bowl, toss the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the cooled butter/chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until everything is added. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be very thick like pudding.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Frost cooled cupcakes and top with chocolate chips as desired. Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.  Store covered in the refrigerator is desired for up to 1 week.

Additional Notes:

*Using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour is OK. I find the cupcakes to be slightly softer using cake flour.

*Room temperature eggs are required for this recipe. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a glass of warm water for 5-10 minutes.

*Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you do not have buttermilk, make your own by mixing 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup milk. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

*Try my Milk Chocolate Frosting if you're not a fan of dark chocolate.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


If you’re a chocolate lover, you need to try these recipes next!


Triple Chocolate Layer Cake

Triple Chocolate Layer Cake


1 XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie (recipe for ONE large cookie)

1 XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie


Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Cupcakes





447 Responses to “Death by Chocolate Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Ramyaposted March 28, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Thanks so much for this fantastic recipe! The cupcakes were moist, delicious and really perfect! This was the first time my friend and I made cupcakes, and we were absolutely delighted. :)


  2. #
    Christineposted April 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Omg!! I am happy beyond words! This is the best cupcakes recipe ever!!i tried many recipes before and your recipe is the greatest of all!!! Thank you very very much!!!!! 😀 tender crumbs,very chocalatey, and beautiful tops! Thumbs up!


  3. #
    Staceyposted April 13, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Hey Sally…I just love your blog…


  4. #
    Joanposted April 19, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Wowww…these cupcakes are sooo good. I’ve already made them twice and so pleased with the results. Tender crumb, oh-so chocolatey – it’s like a cross between a fudge brownie and a sponge cake. On my 2nd attempt, I halved the sugar and added dried blackcurrants for little bursts of acidity and sweetness. Gorgeous!


  5. #
    Crystalposted April 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Sally!
    I made these cupcakes last night and they turned out beautiful! The frosting was DELICIOUS!! The cake had really good flavor too…the only thing is that mine were really crumbly and not very moist. I altered the trecipe slightly by using white whole wheat flour and adding mini chocolate chips to the batter (trying to make it more healthy and chocolately all at the same time…HA…the healthy part is clearly pointless)! anyway do you think it’s the flour that made it crumbly? Or what else do you think would cause that? I usually follow all of your recipes exactly and they are always perfect! :)


  6. #
    Fathimaposted May 4, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Hii Sally,,i am a firstimer here…,umm i wanted to know if this batter could be used to bake a cake with
    .. There is so many positive reviews about it that I wanted to bake it..there are so many chocolate cake recipes out there which use oil-not much of a fan of it..
    And i also wanted to thank you…you have such a wonderful collection of recipes..hats off..


  7. #
    Sandraposted May 10, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I have the exact same question as Fatima. I’ve made the cupcakes before and love them so much that I’ll like to make my son’s birthday cake with the same recipe. Is it possible? Thank you!!!


    • Sallyreplied on May 10th, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      You could absolutely make a cake from this batter in a deep dish (9×2 inch) cake pan. For a layer cake, I truly suggest this one:


      • Sandrareplied on May 10th, 2015 at 3:25 pm

        Thank you for your help! I saw the layer cake recipe and hesitated because his birthday cake will have a strawberry wipped cream filling, but we fell in love with this recipe and can’t get enough of it ! Usually, i hate to make chocolat cakes or cupcakes because they are so dry but this is perfect (and i added some chocolate chips in it so in two days all the cupcakes were gone)

        Thank you again !

      • Kellyreplied on May 17th, 2015 at 7:26 pm

        I have made Sally’s chocolate layer cake a few times now & I always get compliments on how moist and tasty it is, I layered it with Sally’s other beautiful creation.. The cake in the pinata cake recipe, I made them both in an 9×13″ pan and it was perfect! Best cake I have ever made, I wish we could share pics on here as I then piped it a purple Rosette cake for a close friends 16th b’day party, She loved it! :)

  8. #
    Loriposted May 11, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Hello Sally. This is the second time I try one of your recipes. Thanks for so many experiments… the chocolate flavor is very intense, super yummy.
    Could you give me a little advice, how much should I fill the liners? I distributed the batter evenly, but had to trim the cupcake top a little bit before I frosted them.


    • Sallyreplied on May 11th, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Lori, I suggest filling each 2/3 of the way full. This should help!


  9. #
    Kellyposted May 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    I made these cupcakes yesterday for my friends b’day, I also made your Very Vanilla Cupcakes & just like these babies..they were delicious! I made them with a strawberry flavoured whipped chocolate ganache. Everyone said they were yummy.


  10. #
    Allieposted May 19, 2015 at 11:47 am

    these look so good.


  11. #
    Adrienneposted May 21, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I need to make a half sheet chocolate cake.  It will be 11×15.  It’s for a graduation party.  Could you please tell me if this recipe will work, or would I need to double it?  Thanks in advance!


  12. #
    Carineposted May 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Hi Sally!

    Instead of semi-sweet baking chocolate can we use dark chocolate? Cause I can’t find any. Or will semi- sweet chocolate chips work too? Thank you :)


    • Sallyreplied on May 24th, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Don’t use chocolate chips– you can use up dark chocolate, yes.


  13. #
    Annieposted May 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Shalom Sally,
    (I went to the thesaurus so I can find a creative hello.)
    For gluten-free cupcakes, would I just substitute wheat with wheat free wheat (I know it sounds crazy, they do make it..)? If I did, would the cooking time change? Once again, thanks for the awesome recipes!



    • Sallyreplied on May 28th, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Annie, I’m really unsure. I do not make my recipes with GF flours because we are not gluten free. I have very little experience with it.


  14. #
    DTposted May 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    The cupcakes were very soft (i used cake flour) and moist, and had a good chocolate flavour… i like it that they are not too sweet. but they are a little sticky on the top and too crumbly for me.


  15. #
    Jasmineposted May 31, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Hey! I just made your Death by Chocolate cupcake recipe today . They were soooo good, I am a chocolate lover now. I was skeptical at first, but these are amazing. Thanks : )


  16. #
    KCposted June 4, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Nearly two years after this recipe was posted, but I have to comment. I adore this cupcake recipe! It is quick, doesn’t require a mixer, and just substantial enough to be finger food instead of crumbling everywhere. My very soft and airy cake recipe just didn’t make the best cupcakes, but this is a keeper. Just don’t be like me and assume your silicon cupcake tins will release these easily – my first batch ended up as half cupcakes and a bunch of crumbs! Liners it is… <3


  17. #
    Hinaposted June 5, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Hi.these cupcakes look amazing! Can I use this cupcake recipe with salted caramel frosting?


  18. #
    Uniquaposted June 17, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Hi, Can this recipe be doubled to make 24 cupcakes simply by doubling all the ingredients? Or are more adjustments required?


    • Katereplied on July 9th, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Can I double the recipe?


  19. #
    Bettina Paulaposted June 24, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Sally!What kind of milk do i use in this recipe? 


  20. #
    Andrea Grayposted June 25, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Sally, made these for my husband for Father’s Day.  They were great. He compared them to a local bakey we get cupcakes from. So I was glad he enjoyed them. My problem was they were a bit dry. I followed the recipe to the “T”. Should I add a little buttermilk or something next time? I plan on making them this coming weekend for a gathering along with your peach/ blueberry pie. 


    • Andrea Grayreplied on June 25th, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Extra buttermilk*


    • Sallyreplied on June 25th, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Andrea, a little extra buttermilk sounds like the right idea. How about 1/4 cup extra? Enjoy that blueberry peach pie!


  21. #
    Pamelaposted June 27, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Can I use this frosting to cover a 9×13 cake? Is it thick enough for decorating and bordering a cake? How do I adjust for that?  Thanks in advance. 


  22. #
    melissaposted July 2, 2015 at 12:29 am

    hi sally quick question is it best to use a mixer to mux the batter or stir all by hand??? also do you have a vanilla or buttercream icing instead to use for these?? thank you melissa


  23. #
    Margaretposted July 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if I could make 24 mini cupcakes using this recipe instead of 12 regular sized ones. And if so, are there any adjustments that I need to make, such as baking time? Thanks.


    • Sallyreplied on July 3rd, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Definitely! The bake time will be about 11-12 minutes.


  24. #
    Amyposted July 15, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I have always been shy of baking chocolate cake because I grew up eating super dry chocolate cake  — maybe it was just chocolate sandpaper?  Well-intentioned folks would just smear extra-sugary chocolate frosting all over the top as if it would make up for the excruciatingly dry taste of the cupcake.  It just made that glass of milk that much necessary to choke it down.  Well, these cupcakes made me a believer that chocolate cake can be moist.

    I made these for a 4 year old’s birthday — piped chocolate frosting on top, sprinkled Oreo® crumbs on top, and then placed a huge, plastic Monster Truck on top of one of the cupcakes as if it was riding around in the mud (Oreos®). You made his day!


  25. #
    Tikvahposted July 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I found this recipe via Google, trying to find a good chocolate cupcake recipe for my first cupcake catering! I’m making cupcakes for a family of chocolate lovers, and they love them! I am also dairy-free, so I used coconut oil instead of butter (subbed 1:1) and almond milk/vinegar for the buttermilk. They turned out super tasty, and are going to be dipped in ganache, and topped with chocolate whipped cream! Thanks for a great recipe!!!


  26. #
    Lizzieposted July 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I love these cupcakes, however for a darker frosting I used this frosting recipe:
    . Thank you for this awesome recipe!


  27. #
    maniposted August 1, 2015 at 7:09 am

    I Made these cupcakes and they turned out so yummy ans delicious .thanks for such a nice recipe.


  28. #
    maniposted August 2, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Can u plz tell whether i could use this recipe to bake a cake?


  29. #
    Juliaposted August 2, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Sally, these are the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever had!! They are absolutely amazing, and so chocolatey.  Will definitely be making these cupcakes again! 


  30. #
    Mindyposted August 5, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Would you need to adjust this for higher altitudes?


  31. #
    Monte Tiernanposted August 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Is semi sweet baking chocolate different from semi sweet chocolate chips?


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